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Readers' letters - April 30

Gone are the days of the test card
Gone are the days of the test card

Have some light relief ... with daytime television

With politics and politicians of every persuasion in every corner as the local elections approach, I suggest we have a bit of light relief... with some daytime television.
No matter how much there is to do, or to occupy you, it has a tendency to permeate your life if you have young kids, are a pensioner, a carer, unemployed or in poor health.
So, what’s on offer? Firstly there’s Lorraine Kelly’s show. She always politely concludes interviews with celebs with ‘always a joy’, no matter how monosyllabic or arrogant.
Then there’s Phil and Holly
presenting This Morning, whether or not they’re the worse for wear
after a heavy night at the awards.
How about some bargain hunting with the guy who was first (or nearly first?) out of Strictly? Or antique analysis with the perma-tanned David Dickinson? Oh, and Loose Women, or should I say ‘Loud Women’? There’s the house, garden and beauty makeover shows, too. In my case, where would they start with all three?
To challenge the brain cells, there’s Tipping Point, and ‘Noddy and Big Ears’ presenting Pointless.
Oh, and mustn’t forget the Jeremy Kyle show, whose participants are not noted for their finesse or intellect.
Mustn’t leave out the acid-tongued Judge Rinder either. The way he bellows “Talking” at an unfortunate who dares to interrupt him must’ve woken many a snoozing pensioner with a start.
Still, at least gone are the days of the test card featuring the girl playing noughts and crosses with the daft clown that looked like he must’ve been on something. This was accompanied by the kind of piped muzak that even the bank would reject outright when putting you on hold.
Suddenly wall-to-wall politics is starting to look preferable.
Still, I’d be the first one to moan if the telly conked out or the ‘leccy’ went off, sad though it may sound.
Oh well, such is life. Happy daytime viewing.
CM Langan
Address supplied

Be realistic
over energy


Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Business and Energy Secretary, recently told anti-fracking protestors that a future Labour government would ban shale gas and deliver 60 per cent of energy from renewables by 2030.
Total energy in the UK includes electricity, heat for homes and businesses, and transport – incorporating cars, buses, planes and trains.
Like it or not, most of that energy is supplied by fossil fuels.
The earliest we could see a Labour government would be 2020.
It’s not feasible to suggest that, in just 10 years, it could totally transform the UK’s energy systems to run on 60 per cent renewables.
In fact, it’s not even all that likely that we’ll be able to get 60 per cent of just our electricity from renewables, 100 per cent of the time, by 2030.
It would require not only enormous additional onshore and offshore wind capacity and much more solar, but also vast arrays of giant batteries to give us some way of storing power when it’s generated for use later.
I’m a big advocate of renewables but I’m also a realist.
Ambition is great, however, if it can’t be achieved, it risks turning people off.
The basic fact is that while we continue to build renewables and start to think about grid-scale battery storage, we’re going to carry on using a lot of
gas.
It’s better if that’s British gas, instead of imported
gas.
Phil McVan
Independent
energy consultant

We can help after long, hard winter

Many farmers are facing fodder shortages and flooding, problems that impact on their ability to feed animals and plant
crops.
In some regions, persistent and heavy rains have followed on swiftly from extreme snowfalls – and to make matters worse, the current weather-related problems come whilst many are in the midst of lambing and calving.
The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) has been around since 1860 and is farming’s oldest and largest welfare charity. In 2017, we gave out grants of close to £2m to people in financial need.
We have welfare officers across England and Wales who understand the current difficulties. We know from our welfare team on the ground that many in the industry are anxious about the effects of weather-related problems.
During a crisis, RABI can help those in financial hardship by providing grants for domestic and household expenses.
While we cannot help specifically with business costs, if the harsh winter has left you, or someone you know who works in farming, unable to pay household bills, call our confidential freephone number 0808 281 9490.
Paul Burrows
RABI
Chief Executive