Letters to the Editor

From Nicholas Kerr – 25 September 2023

In response to Mr Tim Evans (see below)

The perils of software updates

First, I am delighted to assure Mr Evans that the software problem was finally sorted out, and I and my beloved Renault Arkana are joyfully reunited. But it took a week.

To answer some of his objections, I shall start by pointing out that in the very first line of my article I state, in bold, that the vehicle in question is an e-tech hybrid. Nowhere did I claim that it was an ev. The fact that ‘e-car’ and other, incorrect terms crept in is, perhaps, an indication of the current misunderstanding of the electric technology.

People are constantly asking me how often I have to plug my car in to recharge it.

My suspicion is that Mr Evans read and reacted to the title, then skimmed the rest of the article.

Second you are quite correct to assert that all modern cars need software updates. And I am glad for you that you have had nothing but good experiences of upgrades.

[However, it is interesting – though exceedingly annoying – that the DfT (I assume) does not permit a software change which would allow all units to be converted to metric. It’s doable on my wife’s 2008 (petrol) Twingo, and it was possible on my first (petrol) Kadjar, but now I am forced to read distances in miles, and consumption in mi/gal.]

I have no worries about the car’s reliability. Of course, as a hybrid with a petrol engine, it faces the same danger of the wrong fuel being poured into the tank, but that would be human error, not a software glitch.

Meanwhile it delights me to watch how the electric motor – which appears on the dashboard display as “EV” – stretches the petrol consumption enormously, sometimes to between 50 and 60 mpgs. If that’s not reducing my CO2 I don’t know what would.

Finally, I have to say that I am more than a little offended by the use of the terms ‘populist’, ‘climate-change-denying’ and ‘click-bait’. The article is a factual report of an actual event, which affected cars all over Kent and doubtless beyond; there is nothing ‘populist’ about it.

I love my hybrid, and invested in it precisely because I accept the reality of calamitous climate change; nowhere in the article is there any hint of climate crisis denial.

‘Click bait’ is downright insulting and has no warrant at all. There is nothing in the title or in the featured image which lures the reader in with unrealistic and unfulfillable promises.

Come on, Tim Evans, admit that the article does indeed deliver according to your three criteria of ‘objective, factual and forward-thinking’.

From Mr Tim Evans on Facebook – 20 September 2023

In response to a recent article:

More EV scaremongering. Didn’t expect this in a Bylines article

A few points if I may:

  1. The car is not an EV
  2. It’s either a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) or it’s a self-charging Hybrid Electric Vehicle
  3. Looking at the online brochure, it looks like the latter with a tiny battery capacity
  4. Hardly an Electric Vehicle (EV) or a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
  5. All modern cars require software updates from time to time. This is not a preserve of BEV, PHEVs, EVs or “e-cars” as you call them
  6. All software updates in all modern cars have the potential to fail or cause other issues
  7. I run a fleet of 7 BEVs and one PHEV and colleagues at work have a further 7 BEV. We’ve had them for almost 3 years and have had software updates (there’s hardly anything else required by way of servicing) from time to time. We have never had any problems.
  8. If you’re worried about the reliability of EVs “e-cars”, see how you get on when you put petrol in a diesel car or diesel in a petrol car. 
  9. Don’t forget to think about your CO2 emissions whilst you’re doing it.

Come on K&S Bylines, objective, factual, forward thinking is what I thought you were set up to deliver. Not populist, climate change denying click bait.

From The Revd Canon Nicholas Kerr – 20 October 2022

Dear Editor,

At your suggestion I subjected myself to the experience of watching Britain First’s video of their ‘Flash Demo’ at Napier Barracks in Folkestone.

As you say in your response to their press release, there is a notice at the end inviting viewers to share the video with others.

I have to say that I am unwilling to do so, not because I disagree with their views, although it goes without saying – I hope – that I do, but because the video itself is execrable. As I watched, I had more and more sympathy with the man whose voice could be heard in the background constantly repeating “Enough is enough!”

It hardly supports their cause when we are shown, through holes in the builders’ netting, a sparsely occupied parade ground with young men playing ball games, while being told in the commentary that it is “heaving”, and “like a Butlins for migrants”. I’ve been to Butlins, and it wasn’t like that!

From a technical point of view the video is dreadful. The sound is barely tolerable, and the camera work is short of amateur. The only thing to be said in its favour is, that at least the shot was taken in landscape view. It is overlong, repetitive, big on opinion, but short on facts. I could not bear to watch the whole of it, so I skipped to the end. I thought that I’d gone back to the beginning by mistake.

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Kerr

Letter from Dr Norman Phillips – 28 September 2022

With reference to the article about migration:

In principle, I think those who want to work and also have some English language command, a temporary visa makes sense. After a period, providing they are working (6 months) and have no serious crime convictions (say 5 years) then it can be made permanent or sported. Of course, there will need to be monitoring to ensure they are not treated as slave labour.

I am sure this is more complicated but just a thought. 

Kind regards

Norman Phillips, Dr

A Queen who inspired – 20 September 2022

From Sarah Gleave and others

To Kent Bylines

This paper has covered very many treasured memories of our Queen and her steadfast sense of duty, a great comfort in times like these. May we also remember her words last year when she welcomed world leaders to the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow on 1 November 2021. She said, “It is a source of great pride to me that the leading role my husband played in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet, lives on through the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William. I could not be more proud of them. Indeed, I have drawn great comfort and inspiration from the relentless enthusiasm of people of all ages – especially the young – in calling for everyone to play their part. In the coming days, the world has a chance to join in the shared objective of creating a safer, stabler future for our people and for the planet on which we depend.”

In King Charles, thankfully we have a head of state who understands the climate crisis. Her Majesty’s  call to remember our duties to people and planet, will always be dear to our hearts. It refreshes our determination to work for a better future.   

From Sarah Waite-Gleave, Peter Findley, Beccy Sawbridge and Mike Eddy

Dover and Deal Green Party

This is evidence https://www.itv.com/news/2021-11-01/cop26-read-the-queens-climate-speech-to-world-leaders-in-full

Protests against recreational airfield at Mongeham near Dover – June 2021

From Nick Mylne, pilot

It is always distressing to read exaggerated and ill-informed criticism of projects such as the proposed airfield at Mongeham.  After all it is a truism to say that it is easier to destroy than to create.

One of the most exciting and innovative facilities included in the plans envisaged is electric charging units for both cars and aeroplanes.

This is scathingly dismissed by one critic as a “disingenuous greenwashing” and that “aircraft have only capacity for very short flights”.

Neither statement is true.

Electric aeroplanes are very much here. Already on the market is a product that has a range of 738 nautical miles with a seating capacity nine passengers. Next year will be the first commercial test flight from Exeter Airport to Newquay Airport.

A huge reduction in running costs and noise pollution together with a 92% reduction in pollution-related deaths due to aviation ensures that electric aircraft is the star of the future. It is not surprising that there are currently over 81 types of electric aircraft either in production or development on 15 different countries.

With so many airfields disappearing throughout the UK, it is encouraging to hear of a project that will :

  1. help the many, many pilots who have lost their jobs to keep flying currency
  2. encourage tourists to take advantage of the beautiful Kentish countryside
  3. contribute to the economy of the county
  4. allow the youth of Kent to acquire a practical and lasting skill
  5. open a facility for the Flying Ambulance and emergency services to utilise
  6. demonstrate that the Kentish Authorities have looked to the future and have shown unique foresight

Yours sincerely,

Nick Mylne, pilot

see also review of “Life in a Spin” a book by Nick Mylne




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