Readers’ letters - November 3

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UK defence sales are an immoral defence

Can I offer another perspective on the issue of proposed job losses at BAE Systems?

Instead of pursuing more orders for warplanes from oppressive regimes to protect jobs, BAE Systems should be diversifying, through an arms conversion strategy, from weapons of war into manufacturing socially and environmentally useful products that the world needs, such as renewable sources of energy.

If they did this, they would employ far more people than producing arms, which are very expensive and only perpetuate the cycle of war and destruction.

There is also an ethical dimension to this debate.

I find the comments of the Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, in relation to arms sales to Saudi Arabia abhorrent. (Editor’s note - Michael Fallon has now resigned as Defence Secretary)

He has the gall to blame Parliamentarians for criticising Saudi Arabia’s human rights record as a reason for the delay in signing another deal to sell more Typhoons to this regime which has used these warplanes to destroy community facilities and kill civilians (collateral damage) in Yemen.

These war crimes by Saudi Arabia against civilians in the Yemen are undeniable as evidence by Human Rights Watch and other humanitarian bodies has been submitted to the United Nations.

It is interesting to note that the judge at Burnley Magistrates Court on October 26, in declaring innocent two defendants accused of criminal damage at BAE Warton, as they tried to disarm Typhoon jets, accepted the evidence that these planes would have been used to bomb civilians in the Yemen.

So, this minor damage was justified in order to prevent far greater damage, war crimes.

Sadly, while nearly two-thirds of citizens are against selling arms to Saudi Arabia, the Church of England, in the person of the Archbishop of York, along with the Government, says that the production of Typhoon war planes is justified as it helps to protect jobs.

What an immoral argument.It is a disgrace that hundred of innocent fellow human beings are murdered in order to protect jobs.

David Penney (Rev)

Address supplied


Opportunity to get on track

Two recent articles attracted my attention – one about the closure of the Alstom factory and the other about Prof Lewis Lesley’s attempts at getting trams running in and around Preston (LP October 26). These are a perfect storm of opportunity for Preston.

First we have a workforce who, being adept at manufacturing trains, could face redundancy or movement to Widnes (hmm, the power of a new bridge!) and a chap who wants mini trains, i.e. trams, to run in Preston. So why not marry the two together and have trams RUNNING in Preston and MADE in Preston. After all, trams are just trains but a bit shorter, aren’t they?

Also, by building a small section of new line from the factory to the dock line, the trams could connect up with the main line and thus be delivered all over the country.

In addition, prospective buyers of such trams could see them working around Preston in real scenarios rather than on some circular track around some foreign manufacturer’s base.

All of this though requires the usual stumbling block of our city councillors having a myopic view to such a development, putting in its way all sorts of, er, buffers, to prevent making this a reality. This is the time for those councillors to have the same vision as both Prof Lesley, pictured, and his team of visionaries, oh and a little nudge from me. Will it happen?

Only if the councillors take it on board and have the vision to retain a skilled workforce and the vision to help solve Preston’s chronic traffic congestion problems.

One last thought. On NWT, based in Media City, Salford, one often sees, on the screens in the background, trams plying their trade along the tracks of Salford Quays.

Wouldn’t it be great to see trams travelling along by our own ‘quays’, that of Preston Marina, with people having just stopped off at the Interchange that was once Preston Train or, in deference to Neil Inkley, Railway Station, to board the tram to the Marina and maybe on to, say, Freckleton/Warton, which is currently not served by any track transport. There again, a tie-up with BAE Systems at Warton could see both the fastest trams in the world and with the capability to annihilate anything blocking their path, but that would be going down a rather different track.

Neil Swindlehurst

Walmer Bridge


Missing Vinnie

Our son is a disabled man confined to a wheelchair.

His companion, a young cat, failed to return home in the early hours of Monday, October 30, in the Shelley Road area of Ashton.

This is out of character as he normally only goes out for short periods, always returning within an hour, to make sure Philip’s there.

Despite all our efforts, including leafleting neighbouring houses, there has been no sign of him.

He is a seven to eight-month-old ginger tom cat, answering to Vinnie.

He is all ginger, with white markings on his chest, tip of the tail and paws.

He is wearing an orange and red collar, with fish patterns on it and a bell.

He has been fitted with a microchip.

Vinnie has only been with our son for four months but he is already his main companion.

We would ask that anyone living in that area check all garages and out-buildings to see if he might be hiding and possibly unable to find his way home.

If anyone has any information, please help by ringing Carol and Brian Hall on 07740 469053/ 01772 614181 or Philip on 07841876436.

C and B Hall

via email


Manners were a real treat

Re: Trick or treaters on Liptrott Estate, Chorley.

I must have had at least

40 kids of all ages knock on my door on Halloween evening.

They were trick or treating, and every single one had really good manners.

Every child said thank you, without prompting, for their treats.

Even the little ones.

The kids here – on Harestone Avenue, Lydgate Road, Arnold Place and Liptrott Road – are a credit to their parents and schools.

Well done kids and parents.

It was a pleasure to hand out treats.

Big thumbs up.


Local resident