21/10/2013 Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire


21/10/2013

Is lax enforcement and testing leading to the spread of bovine TB? Could energy shortages see the resurgence of coal? Why was JB Priestley sacked from the BBC during WWII?


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Transcript


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Good evening and welcome to Inside officers come into

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Good evening and welcome to Inside Out, I'm Toby Foster and tonight, we

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are in the Yorkshire Dales. This week, with energy bills on the rise

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and wondering if the lights would go out, could we return to coal mining

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to bridge the gap? We speak to the energy producers trying to plan for

:00:39.:00:42.

an uncertain future. The energy policy that we do not have in the

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UK, that means the decision has been taken away from the UK and there is

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a lack of investment. Also tonight, I threat to our

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countryside ` we discover evidence that enforcement measures to combat

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bovine TB are not working. It took 174 days between our fun getting its

:01:01.:01:06.

first instance of TB and my neighbours having to be tested. That

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is a ridiculous timescale. And a war of words, why the

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broadcaster JB Priestley incurred the wrath of Winston Churchill.

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Yorkshire is home to one of only three deep coal mines left in the

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country at Kellingley. It seems that coal`mining might have been

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consigned to the history books but it still produces the biggest

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percentage of electricity we use so could a return to coal`mining be on

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the cards for Britain? And if not, do we risk the lights going out and

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even bigger energy bills? Most of us don't question where it comes from,

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only how much it's costing us. But as winter approaches, experts warn

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electricity supplies are at dangerously low levels and any surge

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in demand could lead to blackouts. It is not scaremongering, it is

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scary as a matter of fact. I personally believe there is a risk

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of lights going out in the next decade. The Government is searching

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for ways to produced low`cost renewable energy and these things

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aren't easy. In the last ten years, energy costs

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have spiralled amid the rising cost of fuel suppliers as they battle to

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meet emission targets, replacing dirty fuel with cleaner, greener

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energy like wind, wave and solar. For single dad Robin, it's made life

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harder. Like many families on low incomes, finances are balanced on a

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knife edge and price hikes or cold snaps hit him hard. As Orton has

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turned I have been loath to put the heating on `` as Orton has turned ``

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autumn. And I said to my children, shut the door, keep the heat in. The

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fact that energy prices are going up, that will make it hard. I have a

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token meters so I have to buy it as I go, I am trying to buy more than I

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need so that come winter time an the cold months, I have something there.

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Are you OK? Come on, sweetheart. Last winter it was appalling.

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His is a familiar story but what may surprise you is where the power he

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uses is actually coming from. Even on this Monday night in October,

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about 40% of our electricity is still coming from burning coal.

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I've come to Kellingley colliery on the edge of the old Selby coal

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field. 900 tonnes of coal hurtles upwards every hour, supplying nearby

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Drax power station and there's plenty more where that's come from.

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Our coal industry has been allowed to decline because greener energy

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was supposed to take over, but it's not there yet. In fact, over the

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last seven days on average it accounted for less than 5% of the

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UK's electricity and the chief executive of UK Coal fears there are

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no easy answers. Decisions in this country are getting close to the

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edge, frighteningly so. About 80% of all ownership of all energy

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decisions in the UK are in some form of foreign ownership and frankly the

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energy policy that we do not have in the UK, that means that the decision

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is all too often are being taken away from the UK and there is a lack

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of investment and that is worrying, we should be worried about that.

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That uncertainty has seen two deep mines close this year alone

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including one owned by UK Coal. It's a far cry from the industry's heyday

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and there's no getting away from the fact that coal mining in the UK is

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on a precipice but here they say a commitment to coal's value, even in

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the short term, could allow for pits to reopen. For some other them that

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have closed, they have got to the end of their economic life but we

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have within UK Coal, Highworth colliery is capable of opening and

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we are not saying to reopen them all but we should not let it pass away

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quietly. But the brutal truth is it's cheaper

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to ship it in than harvest what's still plentiful beneath our feet,

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even if that means adding a carbon footprint to carbon itself. Today

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around 70% of the coal we use for our energy needs is imported. The

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vessels docked here at Immingham today have come from as far afield

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as Russia and Colombia. And why invest when many of the power

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stations here that burn the stuff are coming to the end of their

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lives? In fact the National Grid says today there is 20% less power

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available from coal`fired power stations than last winter. That's

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why there's the increased talk of blackouts and it's a situation some

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saw coming years ago. This government and previous governments

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have all been told that we would run into this sort of situation by 2014,

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2015 as various power stations, old ones which are 40 years old, close

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down for various reasons and they are not being replaced and the

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governments have sat on their hands and not done anything about it and

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now, surprise, surprise, they are worried about it all.

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Elsewhere in Europe ` in Germany and the Netherlands ` they've built new

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coal fired`power stations to bridge the gap while green energy plays

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catch up. Professor Fell's preference would have been nuclear

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but whatever fuel, power is needed now and he fears there is only one

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answer to the immediate crisis. Frankly, I think we will have to

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keep the coal`fired power stations going and in theory, if we do that

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and we break European rules we could be heavily fined for doing it.

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And of course those fines, those low carbon targets have been set for a

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reason ` to encourage us to embrace green technology. The importance of

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renewables like this wind farm in North Yorkshire was highlighted by

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recent scientific evidence that man's reliance on fuels like coal

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have impacted on our climate. And moreover green energy, once it's up

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and running, is powered for free. If we have the right investment in the

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renewables we can keep the lights on with them. Some fossil fuels but

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mostly gas will enable us to have an affordable, secure and low carbon

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energy system. But in Germany and the Netherlands, they are building

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more coal`fired stations, are we missing a trick? The way you do not

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get cheap energy is by continuing depending on fossil fuels. The cost

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will go up, 50% on the cost of gas in real terms over the next ten

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years and that is what is really driving energy bills up at the

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moment. Investment in renewables will bring more stability to the

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energy market and provide cheaper affordable bills for energy

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consumers. What is clear is that there are no easy answers. But here

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at Drax, they are positive about the future. Not only have they switched

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one of their coal units over to burn biomass, they're also working with

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the Government and the National Grid to deliver a greener way to burn

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coal. If it gets the go`ahead, it will build a brand new coal`fired

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plant like this where carbon emissions would be captured and fed

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through a pipeline. The CO2 would zip through Yorkshire and out into

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the North Sea where it would be stored under the sea bed. We are

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very positive about the project and the Government are as well and

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nothing the Government can see the sense in using carbon capture and

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storage technology and particularly because it helps transition to a

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fully low carbon future so we can get the technology right and then it

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is cost`effective, renewable energy. Nobody from the Government were able

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to give us an interview that they provided a statement saying that the

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lights are not going out and that it intended to reopen mothballed gas

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power stations which would mitigate the risks in the middle of the

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decade. That may solve the issue of supply and gas does burn cleaner

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than coal but it does not address the real issue for consumers like

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Robin, that of price. The continued rise in the cost of whole sale gas

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is one reason why suppliers say they are having to put up prices right

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now. I have to buy in of electricity to last me a week and then food and

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then other things. Is the amount of money you have got left getting

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smaller? Yes, definitely. My daughter is starting to notice that

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the fridge is not as full as it used to be. They will eat and get what

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they need. The question comes to me. I may not have a hot meal. For

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Robin, like many people, cost is everything.

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If you have got a view on that story all know what a story we should be

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covering, you can contact us on Twitter or e`mail. Coming up `

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winning the war, why Churchill wanted JB Priestley taken off the

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airwaves in World War II. It is the biggest challenge to our

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farming industry, bovine TB is spreading fast across central

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England are now threatening the borders of Yorkshire and

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Lincolnshire. This month, measures were put in place to try to stop

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this happening but Inside Out has discovered alarming evidence of Miss

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testing and poor enforcement. We have been investigating.

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From a few isolated cases in the 1980s, bovine tuberculosis now

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affects large areas of England. And it's been steadily moving north and

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east. The number of herds affected by the disease in North Yorkshire

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more than doubled in the year to this June. In Lincolnshire, it

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trebled. How to tackle the disease is controversial. But what is agreed

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is it must be stamped out in an area known as the Edge. An area between

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high`risk counties where there's an epidemic and low`risk counties where

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cases are rare, an area where the disease is steadily spreading. I'm

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standing in Cheshire on the Edge which also includes counties like

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Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. If the disease can't be controlled

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here, it could reach Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Lincolnshire

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and Yorkshire by 2022. DEFRA is so concerned about the Edge, it

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introduced measure like tougher cattle tests here this month. But is

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that enough? Phil Latham farms on the Edge and in a high risk TB area

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in Cheshire. Until a year and a half ago, he'd never had a case of bovine

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TB. This year 89 cows were slaughtered. Emotionally and

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financially, pretty tough. We are clear now but we have not adapted

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the business. We have decided to go down to 300 cows, making people

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redundant. A chap is leaving today, actually. Phil hasn't bought in a

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cow in 16 years. He's certain badgers infected his cattle and

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welcomes the cull, but believes farmers are also at risk because of

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problems with the AHVLA, the body which manages cattle testing. It

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took 174 days between our farm getting TB and our neighbours being

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tested. A ridiculous timescale. Their paper systems seem to be out

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of control. We were told to get our cattle tested after they had been

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shot. I have one neighbour who wasn't tested for 20 years because

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the AHVLA forgot to allocate him the test and in order to do his test, it

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took 40 visits. It's a ridiculous waste of resources and way to

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control a disease. When bovine TB was discovered in Phil's herd, his

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farm was closed down. No cattle could be moved on or off it.

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Restrictions crucial to stop the disease spreading. But some farmers

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are breaking them. Anthony Kirkham is a cattle dealer who farms a few

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miles away. He's been prosecuted twice for moving cattle illegally,

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while his farm was shut down with TB. Nearly 200 offences. We asked Mr

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Kirkham why he repeatedly broke the law, but he hasn't replied. Despite

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those convictions he has a licence to transport cattle around the

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country. Issued by the AHVLA again, the same body that put TB

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restrictions on his farm. But it doesn't refuse a licence for

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breaking TB rules. Its interest is in making sure transported animals

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are well treated. What's happening in Cheshire and the Edge is alarming

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farmers further afield. It's about 40 miles. It's creeping closer all

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of the time. Mark Goodall has 200 cows in the Tong Village in

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Bradford, a low`risk area. His herd's free of the disease but he

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fears that could soon change. It's a major concern. It is getting so

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close. We have had isolated incidentplu`mac about five miles

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away. It is getting closer and closer. Most farmers, like Mark,

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farm within the rules and do all they can to prevent TB spreading.

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But are the rules strict enough? They are trying to make the cattle

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worth more money. They are moving them from a dirty area to a clean

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area. I have come to meet a farmer who claims the law is being broken

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for profit. We have protected his identity. You often see wagons from

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down south pull up late at night. The next morning, they are loaded up

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by a different wagon and taken to auctions. On paper it never

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happened. How do you feel about that? It is disgusting. We are TB

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free. It is hard to sort it out. They are trying but they need to be

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more ruthless to stop it. Every week tens of thousands of animals are

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bought and sold at auctions. I've come to a new auction in Cumbria,

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used by farmers across the north. On the screens here, limited

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information about the animal you're buying. Auctions don't have room and

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aren't forced to provide more. So, how confident can a farmer be in

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what they're buying? There is not enough information. You could buy an

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animal which you think is of a Cumbrian farm, but it could be from

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a high`risk or anywhere. The government wants to introduce a new

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system. But it is only voluntary not under a tree. What do you think of

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that? We have played around with this disease for too long. We have

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got to do some thing about it. That is not the only bit of legislation

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Trevor wants to see changed. In low`risk areas, the neighbours of a

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farmer who comes down with TB have a 28`day window before they have to

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shut down their own farms. For the 28 days, they can move and Selby

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livestock. All of the rules have to be tightened up. So will that

:18:03.:18:08.

happen? The Government is reviewing how to tackle TB to stop it moving

:18:09.:18:13.

north. But it doesn't believe farmers should be made to provide a

:18:14.:18:20.

TB history for their animals at places like auctions. We do not

:18:21.:18:26.

believe it should because we need to get all of the information and let

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people think about what they are doing. It applies to other endemic

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diseases as well. And the 28`day window that Trevor wants to see

:18:43.:18:48.

removed? A low`risk area has very low risk of TB so the risk is

:18:49.:19:02.

minimal. And that farmers who do not record cattle correctly risk losing

:19:03.:19:03.

a subsidy. Back in Cheshire, Phil Latham hopes

:19:04.:19:11.

enough will be done to halt the spread of TB but he says he is yet

:19:12.:19:17.

to be convinced. The inexorable spread of TB across the country

:19:18.:19:20.

through all the couple areas will continue unless a better policy and

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properly resourced policy is implemented. There is an awful lot

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of work to do, otherwise we will have a situation in the country

:19:30.:19:32.

where a lot of the badgers throughout the country and a lot of

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the cattle and further north than here will have TB and that is an

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appalling vision of the future. The Bradford born writer and

:19:39.:19:48.

broadcaster JB Priestley is buried near here. He started broadcasting

:19:49.:19:56.

during World War II on Sunday nights in an attempt to raise spirits but

:19:57.:19:59.

there came a point when his message did not suit the powers that be and

:20:00.:20:02.

that was bound to lead to a clash with the man at the top.

:20:03.:20:09.

They are synonymous with winning the Second World War, the speeches of

:20:10.:20:13.

Winston Churchill. The British Empire and its Commonwealth will

:20:14.:20:18.

last through a thousand years, men will still say, this was their

:20:19.:20:27.

finest hour. But there was another voice, now almost forgotten which

:20:28.:20:33.

rallied the spirit of the country. After the evacuation from Dunkirk,

:20:34.:20:37.

the author and broadcaster JB Priestley was hired by the BBC to

:20:38.:20:40.

write and present the postscript programme broadcast every Sunday

:20:41.:20:46.

night. When they learn how we began this war by snatching glory out of

:20:47.:20:50.

defeat and then swept on to victory, they may also learn how the

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little holiday steamers made an excursion to hell and came back

:20:56.:21:02.

glorious. If Churchill was the voice of the nation, JB Priestley was the

:21:03.:21:08.

voice of the people. He was from Bradford and by the start of the

:21:09.:21:11.

Second World War, he was rightly regarded as the nation's favourite

:21:12.:21:16.

author. `` widely regarded. Who better to rally the national spirit?

:21:17.:21:24.

In the autumn of 1933 he did a tour of England and Wales will stop he

:21:25.:21:28.

had quite a strong point of view about the way in which the

:21:29.:21:30.

controlling forces in society had allowed big cities to become pretty

:21:31.:21:37.

rough places to live. I think he was seeing as being of the left. We

:21:38.:21:43.

could fight and fight these Nazis until we broke their black hearts.

:21:44.:21:47.

At first it seemed that Churchill and Priestley were doing the same

:21:48.:21:52.

thing ` using the power of language to stir hearts and unite the British

:21:53.:21:56.

people but after a while it became clear that the two men wanted very

:21:57.:21:59.

different kinds of written after the war. And that was bound to lead to a

:22:00.:22:06.

clash. The two men were on a collision course according to the

:22:07.:22:10.

avid historian, Doctor Richard North. He says that over 20

:22:11.:22:16.

programmes in 1940 and a further six in 1941, Priestley grew increasingly

:22:17.:22:20.

critical of Churchill's government until he was fired. The BBC and the

:22:21.:22:25.

information minister at the time blamed each other for the decision.

:22:26.:22:30.

But Doctor North believes Churchill himself approved. The question is,

:22:31.:22:37.

who fired him? Whether it was Mr Cooper or Churchill had his

:22:38.:22:42.

fingerprints on it. I think they thought he was rather leftish and he

:22:43.:22:52.

was quoted as saying that public opinion was a very fine instrument

:22:53.:22:53.

and he proposed to use it. It's pretty much fixed in the

:22:54.:23:08.

British psyche, the story that after the little ships brought the army

:23:09.:23:11.

home from Dunkirk, the country stood on the brink of invasion. German

:23:12.:23:14.

forces were massed on the other side of the Channel and the only thing

:23:15.:23:18.

that stopped them was Fighter Command winning mastery of the air.

:23:19.:23:22.

Dr North claims that Churchill's glorification of the few, in other

:23:23.:23:26.

words, Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain, excluded the massive

:23:27.:23:29.

contribution of the many to the war effort. He says it was this kind of

:23:30.:23:35.

language that led to a political standoff between Priestley and

:23:36.:23:44.

Churchill. The idea of an elite few rescuing the people was very much

:23:45.:23:50.

more in accordance with Churchill's political vision than it was of the

:23:51.:23:59.

Labour view which had turned the people's war into a campaign issue.

:24:00.:24:05.

But Dr North's view isn't shared by many other historians But on the

:24:06.:24:08.

question of Priestley, what do now ancient documents tell us? Do you

:24:09.:24:13.

think there is a danger that the book is actually going to do a

:24:14.:24:19.

disservice to Churchill and the men in fighter command? I believe he

:24:20.:24:25.

is. Definitely. I think in a way he is doing a disservice to the people

:24:26.:24:30.

who forgotten because they are not forgotten. On the question of

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Priestly, what do ancient documents tell us? I am at Bradford University

:24:35.:24:40.

to find out. Let us take a look at the evidence. This is an article

:24:41.:24:47.

from the Sunday cat litter express. You begin to suspect we are not in

:24:48.:24:52.

the same war. You find yourself day off today being obstructed instead

:24:53.:24:56.

of being encouraged. What about this one? This is 1941. A year later.

:24:57.:25:04.

This is a letter from Priestly to his American publisher. Apparently I

:25:05.:25:08.

offended too many influential reactionaries. What about this one?

:25:09.:25:14.

This is a sort of autobiography which came out 20 years later. He'd

:25:15.:25:18.

been mulling over the sink for 20 years. What he says about the

:25:19.:25:22.

postscript is a little paragraph about why they stop. I received two

:25:23.:25:28.

letters, I kept them for years. One was from the Ministry of information

:25:29.:25:32.

telling me that the BBC was responsible for the decision to take

:25:33.:25:36.

me off the air and the other was from the BBC saying that a directive

:25:37.:25:39.

had come from the Ministry of information. Blaming each other, I

:25:40.:25:43.

think both of them were concealing the essential fact that the order to

:25:44.:25:49.

shut me up had come from elsewhere. That elsewhere should be in capital

:25:50.:25:53.

letters. Who do you think he is referring to? My feeling is that he

:25:54.:26:00.

is implying that Churchill is somewhere at the heart of this. And

:26:01.:26:09.

that's where the trail might have ended but for information we

:26:10.:26:12.

uncovered in Cambridge. The city is home to the Churchill College and

:26:13.:26:18.

Archives. It's here that Inside Out has discovered that, far from

:26:19.:26:21.

standing aloof, Churchill took a keen if not obsessive interest in

:26:22.:26:24.

Priestley's broadcasts and was eager for his removal. Some of the

:26:25.:26:31.

documents in here are astonishing. Look at this one. This is from

:26:32.:26:34.

Churchill himself to the information minister. He says, "I'm very sorry

:26:35.:26:38.

that you've got Mr Priestley back and that his first broadcast should

:26:39.:26:41.

have been an argument utterly contrary to my own views. How many

:26:42.:26:45.

more has he got to do? Have you any control over what he says? He's far

:26:46.:26:49.

from friendly to the government and I should not be too sure about him

:26:50.:26:53.

on larger issues." And then we have this written the same day from Duff

:26:54.:26:57.

Cooper, straight back to Churchill, obviously written with some urgency.

:26:58.:27:00.

Then we have this written the same day from the information minister

:27:01.:27:05.

straight back to Churchill. It says, "He is due to give five more talks.

:27:06.:27:15.

I will see the scripts and will suppress anything I think should not

:27:16.:27:18.

be said, but subject to your instructions, I would not propose to

:27:19.:27:21.

delete all criticism of His Majesty's government. It would be a

:27:22.:27:25.

pity if it were thought that the increased control which we're now

:27:26.:27:28.

assuming over the BBC was designed to suppress the free expression of

:27:29.:27:30.

opinion." This correspondence is extraordinarily revealing. While

:27:31.:27:34.

it's not a direct order to sack Priestley, Churchill's intentions

:27:35.:27:38.

are crystal clear. Within weeks, Priestley was history. Even so,

:27:39.:27:44.

Nicholas Hawkes is still not convinced Churchill sacked his

:27:45.:27:46.

stepfather, as Priestley himself suspected. I presume to know better

:27:47.:27:55.

than him because I have been through all the records in the BBC archive.

:27:56.:28:02.

I think that looking back on it he recognised that his contribution to

:28:03.:28:06.

Britain's morale and steadying of nerves had been very great and he

:28:07.:28:11.

could not understand why the BBC wanted to terminate. Arguably both

:28:12.:28:14.

Priestley and Churchill were vindicated by subsequent events and

:28:15.:28:18.

the writings of both men are now part of our national heritage. What

:28:19.:28:22.

remains is the mystery of what happened in those dark days of 1940

:28:23.:28:26.

and '41 and whether we shall even know the true history of that time.

:28:27.:28:40.

That is all for tonight from here in the Dales, make sure you join us

:28:41.:28:45.

next week. We will be finding out about the possibility of a new mini

:28:46.:28:49.

ice age. We will be following the officers trying to stop illegal

:28:50.:28:52.

cigarettes entering the country and hearing from an explorer who thinks

:28:53.:28:55.

children should get out more.

:28:56.:28:58.

Toby Foster presents stories that matter in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. This week Abbie Jones investigates whether lax enforcement and testing is leading to the spread of bovine TB in the north of England, Danni Hewson asks whether energy shortages could lead us full circle back to coal and Lucy Hester looks into the wartime intrigue behind the sacking of writer and broadcaster JB Priestley from the BBC.


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