Reader’s letters - Wednesday June 17, 2015

The Queen on stage outside Lancaster Castle
The Queen on stage outside Lancaster Castle
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Who’s liable for damages?

I have tried to read many articles regarding fracking from both sides to gain a balanced view before sending in my views to be considered for publication.

The diversion tactic by Cuadrilla that continually tries to argue the sole reason local people are against this is due to traffic congestion and noise, rather than also commenting on the potential detriment impacts from what they are planning to do to the earth, had started to sway me towards anti -fracking.

However, my personal choice has now been made after reading a book by Naomi Klein, called This Changes Everything, which highlights the choices mankind has to make between Capitalism Growth sourced by big business and Fossil Fuels and their view we have unlimited resources in the earth and extracting absolutely everything will have no detrimental impact on the planet and its people, versus Climate Change, and the real impact it is having all over the world but not being reported by the mainstream media, for various reasons, and the legacy this generation will leave for our children and grandchildren.

In conclusion, I am now on the side of the anti-fracking party.

As a further point, I wondered what is the position regarding liabilities if, over time, people’s ill health is proven as a direct result of fracking, as is the case in the US today, and how this concerns all the individuals on the council committee that are supporting fracking today? Do they become liable, or Lancashire County Council in general, or Cuadrilla or the Government, or no one, and the councils just say sorry we got that one wrong?

Recent history has again proven whenever there is a major problem, no one is ever accountable. Maybe Lancashire could lead the way and get named individuals within named companies to openly state those organisations will underwrite all liabilities if they are so confident. But, should there ever be a need when farming businesses are lost, the drinking water is contaminated, and earth tremors cause damage to property, who do we sue please?

Neil, Preston

Reasons behind radicalisation

Much concern is being expressed in the media about the radicalisation of British youths, leading in some cases to the radicalised going to join terrorist groups like the monstrous Isis. Questions are continually being asked how can this possibly be happening? Research evidence is available to answer this.

Firstly, the internet is being used to recruit. Twitter and Facebook are in constant use. By these means, terrorists are distributing propaganda to entice people to join in discussion groups promoting the positive aspects of their activities. It is a very cost-effective means of recruitment.

Secondly, it is the most vulnerable who are targeted. These are mainly second-generation Muslims. Vulnerability can lead to indoctrination. Then, for some, to violence.

The chief cause of vulnerability is marginalisation and alienation. A major cause is the conflict of being torn between one’s religious heritage and that of what is seen as the non-spiritual West. Prisons, for example, are a very vulnerable environment as they are strong centres of alienation.

People with these feelings then form groups. This gives them what they crave, namely a sense of belonging and purpose.

In brief, the factors that drive radicalisation include psychological, political, ideological and socio-economic. A sense of adventure is also enticing. However, peer pressure is more important. Human contact is crucial in addition to the internet.

Thirdly, poverty is not a major cause. The vast majority come from middle class homes, and are often well-educated.

Finally, and disturbingly, de-radicalisation is extremely difficult. The brainwashing of prisoners in the Korean War and Vietnam War proved that this, even if successful, can take years.

Dr Barry Clayton, address supplied

Remembering Mollie’s pies

Thanks to John Turner for reviving memories of Mona and Ashton Streets (LEP June 15).

Perhaps I might also mention Gregson’s cobbler’s shop on the corner of Mona Street and Ashton Street. My grandfather was Frank Gregson, who repaired countless pairs of shoes until his retirement in 1959.

Although I didn’t live there, I spent many happy hours with my grandparents during the school holidays and, as well as going down to Annie Greenwood’s for sweets and my copy of Wizard or Hotspur, the highlight of the day would be a pie from Mollie’s pie shop (absolutely sensational!) or, if it was Friday, a butter pie from Ruby’s on the next corner. (No meat on Fridays for us Walburgians!)

It seems amazing that you could have two pie shops of such quality within 50 yards of each other, not to mention the array of other shops which John mentioned.

Bernard Routledge via email

Mystery ‘shed’ was for Queen

We braved the heavy rain to go and see Her Majesty visit Lancaster Castle. We got there early and claimed a good spot near the castle gates. We did wonder what the blue roofed, unfinished, raw wood ‘shed’ – on one side of the gates –was for.

There was a crest on it, so it did not appear to be the outside smoking area for the castle’s staff.

There was some hammering going on, and we realised it had to have something to do with the Queen’s visit, and last minute efforts were being made to get it finished.

When the Queen entered this ‘thing’ to receive the keys to castle, we are sure she would have been impressed, if they had managed to get some matching blue fabric draped over the ceiling, and the bare support posts painted.

Her Lady-in-Waiting may even have slipped a £20 note somewhere, to help towards the million or so the event cost.

Lovers of Old Heysham

Sentence is too low for thief

Stealing from the disabled or the elderly is the lowest of the low and all he gets is 100 hours (Thief took blue badge (LEP June 14)?

jono1979 via LEP website