Politically puzzled

AT the same time as you highlighted a report on the dismally poor, and still declining, quality of life indicators in Redcar and Cleveland (D&S Times, May 7), we are hearing of significant gains for the Conservatives in the recent elections.

I am puzzled why after 11 years of Conservative government and several years of having Tory MPs and a Tory mayor, people in this region are still flocking to the Conservatives at the ballot box.

Andrew Welford, Scaling, Saltburn.

Battle cry

THE new Tory battle cry appears to be "Time for Change". Change from what?

In my 70-plus years nearly two thirds has been under a Tory government including the last 11 years.

Am I missing something?

Ian Wilson, Guisborough.

Vote thanks

I WANT to thank all my supporters for the tremendous support given to me at the election to be Durham county councillor for Weardale.

I have always given one hundred per cent to carrying out my role as your elected representative, and will continue to do so.

Thank you again.

Cllr John Shuttleworth (Ind), Weardale.

Tory successes

THIS weekend’s results nationally and locally are giving a clear message of support to a party they can trust to get on with the job and deliver.

Jill Mortimer has become Hartlepool’s first Conservative MP since the constituency was created in 1974 as well as the its first female MP, and Ben Houchen has been re-elected as Mayor of the Tees Valley with 73 per cent of the vote (up 22 per cent).

In Darlington, I am delighted that Jack Sowerby retained my old seat in Hummersknott and David Willis won the Red Hall seat, further consolidating Conservative control of the council.

In Durham the change in the balance of political power is extraordinary. In my Sedgefield area, I want to congratulate David Sutton-Lloyd, Tony Stubbs and David Brown for retaining seats in Newton Aycliffe and Sedgefield, and Elaine Peeke and Joe Quinn for winning seats for Bishop Middleham & Cornforth and Ferryhill.

In Newton Aycliffe, we have a level political balance with two Conservatives, two LibDems, two Labour and an independent. It is not long since it was seven Labour.

I have to also congratulate Nev Jones for his success in Aycliffe East. I have known Nev since we were neighbours as children, both going to Sugar Hill school.

I also thank our many other candidates across the region who came very close to even more success.

The important thing now is that all councillors work together to deliver for their areas. I look forward to working cross party on issues like Ferryhill railway station and Newton Aycliffe town centre, and to encourage Durham County Council to support our parts of the county.

The election results are a real endorsement of the efforts of the Conservative party locally and nationally and I thank all voters for this. I can assure them of our full efforts to repay this trust.

Paul Howell (Con), Sedgefield MP.

On the fence

I AM not writing this letter to gloat over the Conservatives winning Hartlepool but to put my views as to why Labour are in their current predicament, as for the sake of democracy any country needs a strong opposition otherwise, what do you have, a one party state.

I believe Labour’s demise started in 2010 when Ed Miliband won the leadership from his brother, David. A case of the soft left winning from the centre.

I couldn’t believe it at the time and I believe that if the result had been different, Labour wouldn’t be in the state they are in now.

Ed’s party went on to lose in 2015, not helped by losing their power base in Scotland to the SNP. Ed resigned, and the extreme (in every way) left wing, Jeremy Corbyn was elected.

What was the Labour party thinking about? To add to his total unsuitability, he had the ridiculous (ex-girlfriend) Diane Abbott on the Shadow Cabinet.

After the election when he finally realised that his views were not shared by the country he finally stood down.

The grey, Keir Starmer (a man who would not be noticed in a crowd of two) was elected, a fence sitter.

Labour, you need to get your act together or we could end up with (shudder the thought) the Liberals, a misnomer, as they are decidedly illiberal, if you disagree with them, as the Second party.

Thomas Ball, Barnard Castle.

Polls closed

I RECEIVED a pamphlet asking me to vote Labour in the election for Tees Valley mayor. It showed me one reason they lost. The leaflet came through the door on Friday – the day after the election.

P Curtis, Darlington.

Pulling together

REGARDING John Hopkins' letter (D&S Times letters, May 7), I was appalled to read to read the thinly veiled Party Political Broadcast.

My daughter is a school teacher, she has worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic, as have her fellow teachers. She has worked long hours (without a jab) caring for the children of key workers, and children of parents who were able to work to keep this country moving.

We all have our political views and are entitled to express them, however, using school children to further your political agenda should, in any civilised society, be off limits.

The whole world is going through a deadly fight against this virus, we should be all pulling together instead of callously using the pandemic to take advantage and snipe at every opportunity.

This country is a great democracy. We have a Government and a Prime Minister elected by the people – we should respect that regardless of our personal views, and given these times, let them get on with it. There will be time a plenty after this battle to point fingers and apportion blame.

Lawrence Wetherell, Burrill, Bedale.

Climate responses

I ANTICIPATED the entirely template-based responses (D&S Times letters, May 7) to my letter in the previous week's edition about the climate. I must also confess to an error in my original communication by mistyping the warming since 1979, and which should have read “0.5C”. However, according to the four internationally recognised temperature “authorities”, there has been no net warming for the last six years.

It ought to be of great concern that educated debate is being “no platformed”, billions wasted upon a delusion and the public’s trust in “science” ultimately undermined. Assertions that “everybody agrees” and appeals to apparently authoritative sources, are grossly misleading. The fundamental tenet of science is that it is never settled. If one actually bothers to cut through the “science by press release”, credulously cut-and-pasted verbatim, and go back to the actual datasets, you will discover some remarkable inconsistencies with the predominant narrative.

Those same authorities admit a general increase in Earth’s vegetation. Less selective choice of dates reveals no long-term increase in UK rainfall, floods, nor in worldwide hurricanes, tornadoes or wildfires. Fewer people die from climate-related disasters than ever before and world grain production is at record highs. I challenge anyone to prove otherwise with authoritative data, not opinion.

Having both written papers for peer reviewed journals and been a peer reviewer, I would urge everyone to be less accepting of alarmist stories. The modelled hypothesis of anthropogenic global climate change, is not borne out by the observations, and thus should be discarded. Something is not accurate just because it is repeated often. Ask yourselves “who is telling me this, why are they telling me this, and what do they have to gain?”.

Martin Coady, Great Broughton.

Who benefits?

I REFER, to the letters in D&S Times of Friday May 7 from Michael Chaloner, and Frank Broughton and confirm that the current, correct, climate forecast is for a period of global cooling. Also, CO2 at 0.04 per cent of the atmosphere, is not a "greenhouse gas". And even if it were, scientists are agreed that only three per cent of the CO2 in the atmosphere is attributable to the actions of mankind. That is, 97 per cent is naturally occurring. How do the climate warriors intend to stop this "natural" increase?

CO2 is plant food. We could not feed the current world population without the rise in CO2. Does Mother Nature (or God) know more about our world than the scientists and politicians who are intent on frightening our children?

Given that the UK is due to host COP 2022, it is incumbent upon us all to re-visit the science and the arguments, for and against. It’s make up your mind time. Also, tell your MP of your opinion. Search the subject on Youtube or Google it.

We are told, time and again, that 97 per cent of scientific papers on this subject support the notion that mankind is responsible for climate change. The true figure is 37 per cent.

While weighing up the evidence and arguments, consider who benefits from the global warming "panic". It is the poor are paying proportionately more for, so called, green energy. If we had not wasted billions on this fraud, we could have invested in hydro-electricity or nuclear power, both of which will continue to churn-out cheaper energy in freezing conditions.

Alastair P.G. Welsh, Aycliffe Village.

Litter collection

I DO try to collect recycling as I walk the dog. I see, overwhelmingly, cans from the most well-known brand of energy drink. I have contacted this firm more than once to point out their shameful dominance in the litter market, with no response to date.

I am loathe to pay almost £12 for the plastic hoop on which to affix a collection plastic bag. This is not because of the price as much as I feel that I am just buying even more plastic from China.

Is there not a community supply of plastic hoops for recycling collection?

I don't collect non-recyclable litter as this serves no purpose as regards educating the ignorant people who leave it by the roadside.

L Marsay, Stokesley.

Barnett formula

THE Barnett Formula is still in operation giving substantial payments to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all paid by the English tax payers.

Now that these countries wish to go their separate ways, surely these payments should cease.

The 2018-19 total amount was £42bn.

B D Todd, Richmond.

Open the gates

QUAKER fans old enough to have had their second Covid jab will doubtless remember Gordon Galley. I remember as a teenager watching Gordon flying down the left wing towards the cricket ground end and the cry would go up “open up the gates”.

Years later my wife and I become good friends of Gordon and his wife Beryl. When they moved to the Nottingham area to be closer to their family, my wife and I would visit them and they in turn would stay with us when in town.

Sadly earlier this year the gates did open for Gordon and he is no longer with us. For obvious reasons we could not attend his funeral and is our way of saying goodbye old friend.

E Pickering, Darlington.

Park barriers

IT seems that after 12 years and a multi-million pound renovation programme on the South Park thanks to the National Lottery, the council will have to go cap in hand to ask more funding as the wooden barriers which were fitted are now rotting away, especially around the two islands and the soil is disappearing at a fast rate from the islands which are the wild fowl safe sanctuary.

I would like to give a tip to whoever recommend using wood – wood and water don’t mix very well.

Stan Wilby, Darlington.

Body disposal

WHEN folks are dying a such a rate in India, it is surprising to see photos and articles about “disposal”, which seem completely unrealistic.

A photo has appeared of a wood-burning cremation pyre in New Delhi. Given the death rate this method is nonsense – and a waste of vast amounts of wood. There was similar in Bhopal.

If cremation is a religious requirement, then a “cremation pit” is the answer. Pile the bodies into the pit in the clothes they died in, with no coffins. Thoroughly soak with petrol for efficient cremation.

Only the military are sufficiently disciplined and efficient for such a task.

There would be no mourners or religious leaders present – there is no room under emergency conditions for emotion.

Similar applies to Brazil. I believe Roman Catholics are anti-cremation. The high death rate in Brazil has led to re-use of plots on a large sale.

The correct “emergency disposal” is a mass burial pit, organised the same as the India situation.

These comments may seem ruthless, nevertheless they are the only realistic solution – for any nation.

The above methods were used during the 1918/19 Spanish Flu pandemic and are necessary today.

G B Butler, Stockton.