Readers’ letters - August 16

Protesters gather to oppose a bid for fracking operations in Lancashire. See letter
Protesters gather to oppose a bid for fracking operations in Lancashire. See letter
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Where are all these jobs?

I totally agree with Anne Nightingale and Simon Sweeney’s letters about fracking (LEP August 12).

It appears this Government is carrying on with Cameron’s policy of jack-booting all over local democracy.

Are they not aware that there are more than 300,000 signatures on various petitions against this dirty polluting practice?

People like Babs Murphy, from the Chamber of Commerce, Stay Blackpool, and the North West Energy Task Farce have repeatedly told us that fracking will ‘create thousands of jobs’.

Have you ever noticed that not one of these learned people have ever said what these ‘thousands of jobs’ will entail?

Who are the employers going to be?

Will they be skilled or manual workers?

Where will all these workers come from?

Seems to me and many others I have spoken to that this is all a load of bull droppings.

(Family paper, but you know what I mean).

Mr Sweeney is right.

Green energy is the way to go but this and the previous Government won’t have it.

David Nicholls, Warton

Grammars boost social mobility

The words ‘Grammar School’ have become pejorative.

News that the Government is considering building new ones has predictably brought forth the usual criticisms, many ill-founded, of this very popular school type. Seldom do opponents have the honesty to admit that at the heart of their arguments is class and envy, and not a little hypocrisy.

Over the years many leading left-wing politicians have railed against any kind of education that gives children an unfair advantage. Despite this they have not hesitated to send their own offspring to very expensive private independent schools.

Apparently these are all right, but not grammars.

Selection is a natural part of life. Politicians are selected, as are sports teams. Grammar schools select on the basis of academic ability and potential, not wealth or class.

Many studies reveal that, in the 1950s, a typical grammar school class of 25 had a minimum of 11 children from manual working class families.

Also it is untrue to claim that going to a secondary modern school meant you were condemned to a sub-standard education.

What mattered was personal effort and, most importantly, parental support and sound teaching. Many from such schools achieved prestigious positions in, for example, broadcasting, the armed services, the arts and education.

The grammar school transcends class and gives equal opportunity to all, based entirely on academic merit.

Currently, there are 164 grammar schools in England out of 24,000 state schools.

Contrary to biased claims and myth, they enhance social mobility and give parents choice.

There is no reason why the poorest child should not get into a grammar school. Intelligence and achievement is not a product of wealth.

Two great socialist writers and thinkers, Tawney and Webb, openly supported grammar schools.

It is, therefore, an irony that it was the Left that destroyed them by spurious dogma about social equality. That destruction destroyed the excellent without improving the bad. As a result, class divisions have widened.

Overseas, no one thinks twice about schools where pupils are admitted on the basis of academic ability. Only in Britain is it regarded as dangerous elitism.

If we are to improve our education at all levels and compete in a growing competitive world, this dinosaur attitude must end, and soon.

Dr Barry Clayton via email

Important for communities

Congratulations to CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), which has recently conducted a survey of 2,000 people asking them their thoughts on the continuing number of pub closures.

Their response clearly put the blame on cheap alcohol available from supermarkets, high rents and wholesale beer prices from pub companies, along with high taxation and VAT on beers imposed by the Government.

Their remarks echo

those published in MEP

Paul Nuttall’s Last Orders book in UKIP’s Save the Pub Campaign.

The British pubs are an important part of our communities and when one closes, it is not only a loss to the regulars, it causes job loses and hardship to all who are affected within the communities, and with 21 currently closing each week, that represents thousands of jobs overall.

UKIP would recommend a Royal Commission to investigate pricing structures used by breweries through pubcos and, in particular, through their wholesale prices to supermarkets to establish what makes the costs higher to their tied houses.

We would take appropriate actions on the findings, as well as reducing any unnecessary EU-derived and UK regulations in order to ensure that our pubs thrive for the benefit of future generations.

Philip Griffiths,

North West President,

UKIP

(UK Independence Party)

Tim Farron is

a Prestonian

So Steve Green complains that Tim Farron is not a Prestonian, as he has spent part of his life in Lostock Hall and Leyland (LEP Letters, August 13).

Well, Mr Green, your surname is rather apt, for you are GREEN when it comes to facts. Tim Farron was born in Preston, so that does make him a Prestonian.

Now, as a former teacher of Tim Farron at Lostock Hall High School, here is your ‘dunce’s hat’ Mr Green.

Go and stand in the corner of the room and write out 100 lines: “Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Party, is a Prestonian.” And next time check your facts.

Neil Swindlehurst, Walmer Bridge