Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Letters to the Editor


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Was lockdown for nothing?

Dear Editor

Sometimes the simplest questions are the most powerful, as for example, when a freedom of information request to the Office for National Statistics asked: ‘Please can you advise on deaths purely from Covid with no other underlying causes?’ (FOI/2021/3240)

The essence of the reply was that in all of 2020 and the first nine months of 2021, a total of 17,371 people had died in England and Wales with Covid listed as the sole cause of death.

This figure is an order of magnitude lower than the various figures we usually hear for Covid deaths and is at a level more typical of influenza.

As Professor Mark Woolhouse, the University of Edinburgh epidemiologist, has pointed out: ‘People over 75 are an astonishing 10,000 times more at risk than those who are under 15.’

These facts raise very uncomfortable questions for all parts of the UK: Were the universal lockdowns justifiable? Have we reduced a great many people to penury and grossly disrupted the education of a generation young people for nothing?

Otto Inglis



Why are battery and solar farm dangers ignored?

 Dear Editor

The people who build solar farms and battery storage farms have no thought for the potential danger to the public of the large lithium-ion battery units needed to store the electricity generated by solar panels before transfer to the National Grid. In recent years these battery units have been involved in numerous fires and explosions in Britain and around the world. The batteries were deemed an ‘unacceptable risk’ in Arizona after causing two serious fires. In Illinois one burned for three days and in Merseyside a battery cabin exploded. South Korea has experienced 23 battery farm fires. Professor Wade Allison, emeritus professor of physics at Oxford University, and a panel of experts have warned of the potential for huge explosions, fires and clouds of toxic gas that could devastate towns and villages nearby. Solar farm battery units are not covered by the Control of Major Accident Hazards regulations and are unregulated under UK law. Why not? This proven danger to life and health must be investigated. Councils should refuse planning permission until proper guidelines are issued.

Clark Cross 



BBC censorship is more serious than Covid

Dear Editor

A sea of protesters, tens of thousands, parked outside Broadcasting House, banners, loudspeakers and some chanting. Barely mentioned by the BBC, a few seconds in the news at most and a ludicrous claim that the mass was in the hundreds. Had this been some Woke event, BBC reporters would have been swarming like bees, hours of comment and interviews. The issue here is neither Covid nor the vaccine and its mandates: they can be resolved only through massive lawsuits over several years to come. The issue is the extent of censorship in Britain today and the key role the BBC as national broadcaster is playing in this assault on freedom. It’s no longer a case of a tiresome licence fee but a state broadcaster actively involved in crushing dissent, insidiously through silence and misrepresentation. This is far more serious than Covid.

The next mass gathering, if there is one, must be on the issue of freedom itself and targeting all MSM outlets, along with the BBC. At some point Woke and its paymasters will need to be confronted but the role of the media in stifling speech and thought is central.

Rhydwenna E Jones


The ‘internet of things’ is asking for trouble

Dear Editor

In 2025 BT is switching off the traditional copper line telephone network, the Public Switch Phone Network, or PSPN. It is replacing it with a broadband connection such as Voice Over Internet Protocol or VOIP. Broadband connections are susceptible to outages and power cuts.

During Storm Arwen the only phone I could use was the BT line into the master socket using a simple cabled handset – the copper wires supply their own electricity. The digital, cordless, phones were down as were all the mobile networks for two days. If our village had been on VOIP during the power cut, we would have been unable to dial 999 or any other number. The same would apply to thousands of people in all the affected rural areas.

BT are offering a battery backup for customers who are already on VOIP, at the cost of £85, but these are in short supply, and last for only one hour. This will work only if your broadband works and obviously this isn’t always the case. It isn’t really a backup at all. We should be making the phone system more reliable, not less. Scrapping landlines and their replacement by broadband phones (VOIP) instead of an unbreakable copper connection is a mad idea.

There was a ‘public consultation’ about this carried out by Ofcom, of which I became aware only after it had closed. Ofcom’s response to the consultation is available from their website. A FOI request reveals Ofcom’s mindset on this issue.

The ludicrous thing is that Ofcom is sticking to requiring providers to furnish only a one-hour emergency capability in the event of a power cut, by powering the router. Even the London Fire Brigade have pointed out that the average power cut in London lasts 2.6 hours.

Furthermore, as the National Grid is becoming edgy with more and more wind farms having to be balanced to keep the frequency at 50Hz it is likely that the Grid will go down at some point, not only taking down the internet but making a Black Start difficult. Furthermore, a lengthy power cut or storm is likely to cause more, not fewer, calls on the emergency services. Stress causes heart attacks.

Moving wholesale to internet connections is making the national infrastructure less resilient. Take smart meters, for example. With 2G and 3G signals being turned off, thousands, perhaps millions, of the first generation of smart meters won’t work unlike the super-reliable analogue meters made in Britain by companies such as Ferranti which last for decades. And smart meters contain a switch which can turn off your electricity. The fact that GCHQ were called in to assess the vulnerability of the smart meter network shows that hacking either by state actors or criminal blackmailers is a real threat.

It’s not just smart meters in the home that are asking to be hacked, it’s smart wall-boxes for charging battery cars. These are also connected to the internet and again can be switched off remotely. The ‘internet of things’ is asking for trouble.

This Conservative government seems to be divorced from reality as it pursues its Green agenda which true conservatives don’t like at all.

William Loneskie 

Scottish Borders

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