POLITICIANS try to appear robust and consistent in their policy statements.
Our local MP for Thirsk and Malton Kevin Hollinrake, and Energy Minister Claire Perry, have been robust in their promotion of a future onshore oil and gas industry based on the multi-well extraction method known as fracking.
Unfortunately, however, their consistency and timing are sorely lacking.
Recently the Government partially accepted a major policy recommendation by the Committee on Climate Change, the body responsible for the UK’s carbon targets, by agreeing that no new-build home after 2025 will have a gas boiler and that no home should be heated with gas after 2050.
That distant date of 2050 will no doubt morph into 2030-35 as climate change impacts hit harder and heat pump retrofits (and indeed electricity from renewables) fall in price.
Mr Hollinrake, Ms Perry and the fracking companies are deluding themselves if they think that a new, highly intrusive fossil fuel extraction industry has any hope of prospering in these circumstances.
It is simply not in the national interest.
From: David Cragg-James, Stonegrave, York.
AS recently as last August, Ineos was reported as in the process of contacting primary headteachers to promote its Daily Mile initiative for children, advocating their running outside for 15 minutes a day.
It stuck in the gullet then to read that Ineos’s action derived from its “passionate belief in the importance of getting children active and healthy from a young age”.
This from a company aggressively pursuing a fracking agenda to feed its plastics industry when indications of the detrimental effects of fracking on the health of children and others living close to fracking wells are increasingly well documented.
This cynical use of the health of our children to gain a presence, and then acceptance and approval in our communities is now matched by its Team Sky initiative – which similarly should evoke our disgust and rejection.
Ineos’s justification of its actions consists in a long list of uses of plastic it hopes we will consider indispensable for our civilisation.
Although many probably are, surely this polluting company’s philanthropic (if not disinterested) efforts would be better directed at resourcing less harmful renewable alternatives given the planetary crises it is feeding.
May we continue to promote human health through sport, but without misplaced gratitude to an industry which endangers this health.
Corbyn faces volley of abuse
From: John Appleyard, Firthcliffe Parade, Liversedge.
THE four British paratroopers who have been using a picture of Jeremy Corbyn for target practice are not fit to represent their country and should be immediately dismissed.
Day in, day out Jeremy Corbyn has had to face bitter personal attacks on his leadership from the first day of his election and not just from Tories, but his own MPs too.
Kim Leadbeater, the sister of my late MP Jo Cox, states that the level of abuse aimed at politicians is higher than ever, but it could also be due to the poor quality of some of our MPs who have very little in common with the people they claim to represent.
Jail term cuts are ridiculous
From: Bob Watson, Baildon.
THE Government’s ridiculous suggestion, via Justice Secretary David Gauke, that jail terms of less than 12 months should be scrapped is rightly ridiculed by Christopher Clapham (The Yorkshire Post, April 9).
As he says, more common sense from Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies who called the plans “stupid” after pointing out figures showing that criminals jailed for six months or less have committed more than 50 previous offences on average. A frightening statistic.
All the more concerning therefore is the stance of West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, who supports the scrapping of such sentences.
If he considers this sort of action to be the right way forward, then I would suggest that he is simply not fit to hold his present office.
Nation needs fewer people
From: Ken Fields, Tadcaster.
IT is not more houses that Wetherby needs – or the rest of Yorkshire for that matter. It is less people.
Both Britain and Ireland are seen as a soft touch – that’s why they are fast becoming a hiding place for waifs and strays, lost souls, vagrants, vagabonds, reprobates and never-do-wells from all over the world.
Politicians who live in expensive property in stockbroker belts, covered by private health care, are not unduly affected by their presence.