LINDA COLLING: Sunderland IRA bomb joke councillor only has herself to blame

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SILLY woman and so self righteous. Florence Anderson has opened her heart on how she was almost driven to suicide after saying she “liked” a comment on Facebook that called for the IRA to bomb a Conservative conference.

She only has herself to blame. No doubt she wishes to invoke our sympathy. I may have felt some for her if she had said sorry and shown some remorse. She hasn’t. Only for herself.

Like so many politicians, the former deputy leader of Sunderland City Council chose to not hold her hands up, apologise and admit she was wrong. If she had I would have thought more of her and no doubt so too would plenty of others, including perhaps those who have vented their spleen in such vitriol and hatred to leave her shocked and wondering if the abuse would only stop if she was dead.

I bet it would have stopped if she had admitted she had made a mistake.

Now the Hetton councillor, with over 40 years in the Labour Party, who was suspended, but has disgracefully not been thrown out, says she intends speaking her mind and standing up for what she believes in. Fine principles. But they come with a price of accepting responsibility for what you say.

That’s something which Florence has lacked throughout this sorry episode from the day she clicked her mouse.

She bewails the venom poured upon her with: “My reputation has been torn to shreds.”

No, you tore it down. And nor will she be the last to do so on Facebook, where sense of perspective is lost by so many, so easily sucked in to what is dangerous, damning and so public.

The fact is the “like” almost two years ago she says she can’t even remember “especially as I do hundreds of likes.” Not remembering something, which in my view was inciting people and which she says was not meant literally.

It was utter stupidity. It is absurd for Florence to think she can redeem herself with this preaching from John 8 verse 7, the judge not lest ye be judged passage or as she said “let he or she who is without sin throw the first stone.”

That will further inflame passions as fiery as Florence’s inflammatory comment in 2010 on a social networking site when she said Margaret Thatcher should “burn in hell.”

As for quoting the Bible story of the woman caught in adultery, just like her, Florence was caught out.

The Axe List

“WATER sports are readily available at Roker,” says the tourist blurb. Indeed they are, as witnessed last Sunday, when with not a netty to pee in on the seafront, one desperate man resorted to weeing in a public bin while holding a bottle of Lambrini in the same hand.

Passersby may have thought he was urinating in the bottle. He wasn’t. But what a joke city we are with no public loos open.

What a farce. And all as this council trumpets “our bright future as a major destination on the international sports and entertainment map.”

That was councillor John Kelly, Sunderland’s Portfolio Holder for Safer City and Culture talking when launching our new visitor guide a couple of months ago at the Sunderland Empire, stressing how crucial tourism is and how much it brings in – £332million and saying: “The Sunderland Empire reflects the standard of attraction Sunderland has to offer.”

Now on the lack of loos, councillor Kelly had this to say: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused.” You could wet yourself laughing.

It’s conveniences that we need or tourists just won’t come if they can’t spend a penny.

What damage this must have done, trippers saying “Don’t go to Sunderland you can’t go to the toilet down the beach.”

It puts Sunderland on the map for all the wrong reasons.

All this talking up of our races round the city and music gigs at the Stadium of Light holds no water, when behind the facade the basics aren’t there. P... poor.

Mind Morrison’s must be happy with the cross-legged spending more than a penny there.

Photographs stir up memories

WHAT sweet memories I stirred up with that snap of a Jubilee party I opened in 1977 in St Stephen’s Church Hall, Fulwell.

The girl next to me in the picture got in touch, Dawn Dunn, who was just 14, when all of Lilac Grove and neighbouring streets weighed in to make it a day to remember. Now life has come full circle with Dawn, of Kings Terrace, Millfield and pal Sue McCormack, laying on a Jubilee bash for 200 in Sorley Street’s St Bede’s Church Hall.

Two years after that party, Dawn’s mam, Maureen died from a brain haemmorhage at just 41, leaving her dad Burnie with the girls and son Ian, 14, to bring up.

Now just like her mam, Dawn wants to do her bit for her daughter Jessica, 14, so she will long remember the Jubilee and says: “We are doing it for the kids. I don’t think they will see anything like this again.”