Letters - July 23, 2018

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We have to wake up 
...or become zombies

Our homes have been invaded and taken over by devices.

Homes are no longer refuges, sanctuaries or, in Jane Austen’s words, “a nest of comforts”.

No longer is the home a place to retreat to after leaving work behind. Mentally most of us are still at work.

Everywhere a screen dominates.

The internet has become like Twitter and Facebook replacing conversation.

Our sense of community is slowly becoming less and less. Real people says one leading expert, “are becoming tiresome”.

Radio, then TV and smartphones and now Google’s Nest and Amazon’s Alexa dominate.

They entertain but also be aware they collect personal data.

Three weeks ago a very senior scientist at Silicon Valley announced that over 87 per cent of employees had banned their children from having a smartphone in order to “preserve privacy and a sense of home”.

No one knows better than they of the dangers posed by new technology.

It is time we woke up and followed their example. Otherwise, a nation of zombies awaits.

Dr Barry Clayton

Thornton Cleveleys

FRANKLIN GRAHAM

Bullying forced 
ad’s removal

I am writing regarding the removal of the advert for the visit of US preacher Franklin Graham from resort buses.

There was nothing offensive per se about this ad. It was just collective bullying by LBQT hate groups that forced its removal - proving that ‘hurt feelings’ trump freedom of speech and common sense. Heaven help us.

Mike Barker

South Shore

POLITICS

A glorified builder with no experience

It appears that President Trump’s visit to Europe has overwhelmingly proved that he’s ‘all mouth and trousers’.

He seems quite happy to make caustic and critical comments about others – Theresa May and European leaders – via Twitter or the media behind their backs.

Yet, when actually confronting them face to face, he backs down and ends up being mealy-mouthed and conciliatory.

Frankly, if I were an American citizen, I’d be thoroughly ashamed of both the man and the extensive damage he is doing to their country and reputation. Then again, if one is stupid enough to vote in a glorified builder and developer with no experience of diplomacy and respect, what do you expect?!

Karl Sheridan

via email

APPEAL

Dangers in lakes and reservoirs

With the start of the school summer holidays and the continuing, unusually warm weather, I am writing to request your readers’ help in saving young peoples’ lives.

Over the last six weeks there have been a number of tragic drownings in quarry lakes, reservoirs, canals and other, similar man-made bodies of open water. All too often, these tragedies occur when people are engaged in what they perceive as harmless fun, either cooling off in the water or playing near the water’s edge.

Man-made water bodies like quarry lakes and reservoirs can be extremely deep, have sudden changes in water depth, be difficult to exit and conceal a range of hazards such as pumps, entangling weeds, rocks and old machinery. Quarry faces and edges can be unstable and suddenly give way, resulting in falls into water and also making it more difficult to get oneself back onto dry land.

The water in quarry lakes and reservoirs can also be extremely cold, even after a long hot spell. At 15C and below, the body can experience cold water shock when immersed in water, this results in a sudden, involuntary inhalation of water into the lungs which can be deadly. The cold water can also cause even strong swimmers to tire quickly.

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is supporting the water safety campaigns being run by the RNLI and other organisations such as the RLSS and the Fire and Rescue Services ‘Be Water Aware’ campaign. Collectively, we do not want to discourage members of the public from enjoying the water but would like people to be aware of the risks and choose to swim in areas that are safe.

Please also remember that warning signs and fences are there to help protect you and your family.

Elizabeth Clements

Mineral Products Association