Reader’s letters - Friday May 15, 2015

Vladimir Putin could hold the keys to Britain's energy future, according to one reader
Vladimir Putin could hold the keys to Britain's energy future, according to one reader
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Time to look at shale again

Now the election is over perhaps we need to review the debate around fracking and try to inject a modicum of common sense into the discussions. Last week saw Greenpeace produce an advert against fracking only to find the Advertising Standards Agency instructed them to stop using the advert and to issue a correction notice because of the unsubstantiated claims made.

Greenpeace asserted that “experts” agreed fracking would increase the cost of energy and not bring about the expected cost reductions. The assertion could not be proven by any evidence and so the ASA ruled against them. This was one of the many claims and assertions made over the past few years where no evidence exists to prove the case. It verges into hysterical conjecture.

We could look at the subject a somewhat different way and agree our current energy arrangement could dramatically reduce the cost of our energy requirements. If we leave things as they are, and the West continues to apply sanctions against Russia, then we may well find Mr Putin will turn off the tap for our gas supplies and our energy bills will fall to zero (although it might be a bit chilly at nights). Maybe not our best idea to remain dependent on an unstable and unreliable source of energy.

With a supportive government now in place, it would make sense to stop the squabbling and look at ways of resolving their differences. Both sides appear to believe a strong regulatory body is required to oversee the industry. Pressure could now be put on the government from both sides to create such a body.

It has all been done before in other industries, so it should be relatively easy to follow these other successful examples.

However, to achieve such an accord it will undoubtedly be necessary to undertake some exploratory drilling to establish whether, or not, there is a source of energy down there that could be economically retrieved.

It may well be this could prove to be the death knell for the industry if the energy does not exist or cannot be economically recovered. But, should it prove there is a source of energy down there that can be economically recovered, then it would be the real time to get the controlling organisation put into place.

So, let us all just get on with the exploration drilling (not fracking) and find out what it is we are all talking about. Let us get some facts on the table instead of the plethora of unsubstantiated claims around which so much emotion is being displayed. Our need for a reliable (domestic?) energy source is becoming more urgent.

Frank McLaughlin, address withheld

Paying price of old industry

Labour lost because Labour is lost. Lost for a cause, lost for direction, lost for the coal mines, lost for the steelworks, the shipyards and heavy industry. All the things north and south of the border that bound working class people together.

Churned out on a Tory Gestetner machine little separated Labour from the pack and when push came to shove, and a threat loomed large on the horizon, Labour could do little to stop a surge towards the Conservatives.

Labour lost because Labour is lost. Lost for a lodging in the hearts of the people. A lodging once based on the unshakable foundation of ‘Labour born and bred’ - but alas no more.

Labour was once the natural home of hard working people and by that I mean people who got up at 5am and grafted their socks off until 5pm making such things as steel, locomotives and switchgear and came home not by car but by bus.

A far cry from the Britain of today wherein there are more museums and mill tours than factories. Ed Miliband isn’t to blame, but he might have noted that in the traditional ranks of white-collar, blue-collar and blue-overalls are conspicuous by their absence.

Joseph G Dawson, Withnell, Chorley

When the river froze over

It was good to see the response from Teddy Beardsworth regarding my memories of life in South Meadow Lane during the 1940s and 1950s (letters May 12).

We were schoolboy pals although he is a little older than me. I well remember his first job after he left St Stephen’s School. He was employed by the Post Office as a Telegram Boy. How I envied him riding around Preston on his cool red bike, dressed in a smart uniform while I was still stuck in a stuffy classroom while the likes of Mr Carrie and Mr Hunt did their damndest to prepare us for the big wide world.

My jealousy, however, soon evaporated on that extremely wet and windy day when he passed me, pedalling hard into the teeth of the gale, encased in his black regulation cape with big raindrops dripping from his peaked cap. He asks if I remember the old boat house on the river where all the rowing boats were washed away. I certainly do. I believe it was in the flood that followed the big freeze of 1947.

The Ribble froze solid and I can recall walking on the ice from the North Union railway bridge up to the tram bridge, much to the horror of my mum when I told her. As Teddy says ‘They were good times.’

Derek Rogerson, Bamber Bridge

Days of playing with Sir Tom

This photograph (see above) is of a Preston North End reserve team from many years ago. Look who’s next to the end on the right on the front row. Yes, Sir Tom.

The photograph was given to me by Joe Holden who is pictured end left on the back row.

Joe lives in Longridge and is very proud of this photograph and the face that he played in the same team as Sir Tom. I am sure he will be delighted to see it in the newspaper. If anyone is able to name the goalkeeper and confirm the names of Lloyd and Best it would be helpful.

Brian Woodburn, Alston

Bus service not good enough

Maybe it would be a good idea to spend some of £13m earmarked for the bus station on services as I waited 30 minutes on Friday for a number 18 bus. Service is disgusting and it’s not the first time may I add.

John Burke, via e-mail