Letters, Friday, April 12, 2013

Have your say

Let Di Canio do what he does best

I REFER to David Marks’s letter (Echo, April 4) regarding Paolo Di Canio.  

 I too am ashamed of Sunderland, but mine is political, not sport – the two don’t mix.

 Like Mr Marks, I was born in Sunderland, 75 years ago, wearing a red and white strip, something I still do today, through many highs and lows, mainly the latter.

 The sorrows of the first relegation after 68 years in 1958, to the joy of winning the FA Cup in 1973, but unlike Mr Marks, I have never wished relegation on my team.

 Mr Marks used his Jewish religion to put his point, so now we have religion in the mix. So let me pose a question as a Christian. Were you one of the many in 1984 who welcomed Nissan car factory to Sunderland, forgetting 1930 to 1945 and what happened to countless British, Anzac and American troops at the hands of the Japanese, or are these atrocities of no consequence? If so, tell that to the families of those who suffered.

 Let me end with this though, yesterday has gone, there is no reincarnation. All there is, is today and tomorrow, who knows what that will bring. Live for what you have. You cannot live for what you have lost, and let Paolo Di Canio do what he does best – football.

A Genther,

Hylton Lane

Deplore confusion

FOR various reasons, I disdain Mussolini’s Fascism. It was totalitarian and nasty; although Nazism and Bolshevism were nastier.

 Mussolini was arrogant, boastful, lascivious and generally unpleasant. However, I share the dismay of a previous correspondent concerning the erosion of free speech, and deplore the confusion which has led many to equate fascism with Nazism.

 To begin with, Mussolini was outspokenly critical of the discriminatory measures taken against German Jews. Furthermore, he scorned Hitler’s theories of race and blood, claiming that Italy knew of no anti-Semitism. This was not strictly true, as was shown by the ravings of the fanatically anti-Semitic editor Farinacci.

  Nevertheless, thousands of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany found a haven in Fascist Italy.Anti-Jewish legislation was promulgated in July, 1938. Jews were excluded from the professions and suffered other humiliating deprivation. The legislation was enacted not because of pressure from Hitler, or because Mussolini was anti-Semitic, but because Mussolini convinced himself that cosmopolitan Jews had loyalties that conflicted with Fascism. His decision was purely pragmatic and was not inspired by racist sentiment.

 Roughly one in three Italian Jews were members of the Fascist Party, and Fascist Party members were vociferous in opposing the legislation, which was applied with nothing like the severity with which it was applied in Nazi Germany.

 While Mussolini was in power, no Jews were deported to death camps, despite Hitler’s repeated demands.

 In Vichy, France, and in Yugoslavia, Mussolini’s generals were under orders to prevent the deportation of Jews. In Croatia, Italian troops routinely intervened to avert massacres. In every country under Axis occupation, Jews flocked into the Italian zone, where they were protected by the military.

 It doesn’t bother me unduly if Paolo Di Canio is an admirer of Mussolini. He is entitled to his beliefs. I doubt there would have been so much hysteria if he had declared himself to be a Communist.

P J McPartland,


Insult to people

SEVERAL weeks ago I wrote about visiting relatives in Sunderland during the Second World War.

 I was only eight years old, and walking down North Bridge Street, I noticed the picture hall had been bombed and that scores of picture-goers were killed

 Many thousands of people were killed in the North East with Sunderland taking the brunt of the bombing raids.

 The scene of the demolished picture hall has been implanted in my mind ever since.

 In 1945, fascism was successfully crushed and we would not, hopefully, allow its ugly head to surface again.

 The arrival of a fascist sympathiser to take over as manager at the Stadium of Light is an insult to the people of Sunderland.

 Many citizens volunteered to fight in the 15th International Brigade against Fascist dictator Franco in the Spanish Civil War during the 1930s. Paolo Di Canio said Mussolini was misunderstood during his reign of terror, but he had many thousands of Italian partisans rounded up, imprisoned and murdered.

 I am sure there are many good football managers around the country that are not only capable of keeping Sunderland in the Premier Division, but who can build a strong squad for the seasons ahead.

Les May,


Awaiting salutes

JUST when we thought we were on the moral high ground after our neighbours insensitively giving allegiance to Wonga (given the high numbers of poorly off in their fan-base), we pick an untried in the Premier League as team coach with (whatever the truth) allegations of Fascism.

 What was the chairman thinking of?

 If nothing else, Wearside is old Labour Socialist – the very anti-thesis to Fascism.

 I am just waiting for the taunts to begin and the Fascist salutes which will be aimed at both the team and the town.

 Keep the red (and white) flag flying.

Peter Monaghan

Funeral cost anger

AFTER hearing all the sycophantic tributes to the person that decimated this area, the only upsetting thing about Mrs Thatcher’s demise is that she didn’t have to spend the last 20 or so years of her life, struggling on a state pension or low income, like the rest of us.

 Also, as a taxpayer, I object to the state using our taxes to pay for her funeral.

 I’m sure her family are well able to fund it themselves.

J Ingram

Facist fears

THE national newpapers have been dominated by two right-wingers.

 After the media uproar, I hardly need mention the first. While the second, The Iron Lady, is apparently the only thing which the majority of Tyne and Wear agrees on.

 Into the ring enters Red Ken Livingstone – trust him to look nostalgically at the late 1970s, and our illustrious manufacturing past, but forgetting New Labour’s failure to resurrect or rebuild in shattered areas.

 If anything, did Blair not follow Thatcher’s lead?

 Only last week, concerns were highlighted for the political future of the North East. But it’s the far-left Fascists I worry about most.

G Engel,

High Barnes

Justice not done

I THOUGHT arson was supposed to be a bad crime and that it was recognised as such in the sentencing you got.

 How can three people who set fire to a house while six children were in it, then die as a result, get sentenced to just a number of years? It is only their word that it wasn’t meant to go as far.

 How can you believe a man, especially a father, who had no morals whatsoever? He lived off the kids financially and the women were there for his convenience.

 Petrol is a flammable liquid that can do untold damage. That is why you turn your car engine off in a petrol station when filling up and you don’t smoke.

 Those three evil people should never get out of prison. It was murder, not manslaughter. The children died because of their greed.

 The parents lived their lives the way they wanted, doing what they wanted and having more kids into the bargain.

 They didn’t care what happened because if they had, that fire would not have happened.

 Justice has certainly not been done for those children.

 The same thing will happen again, with someone else doing what they want and getting away lightly.

 The father was just as nasty after he got sentenced. He put his two fingers up at relatives when they shouted at him.

 Nothing bothers that man, not even the death of his six children.

Mrs B Crute,

High Barnes

Government u-turn

I WOULD like to correct some of the remarks made by Alan Wright appertaining to my previous letter regarding the bedroom tax.

 Mr Wright said I had misquoted councillor Robert Oliver when I ended his sentence with the words the “bedroom tax” instead of equalisation of benefits. Both these things mean the same thing.

 If Mr Wright had focused on my previous correspondence, he would have noticed I had dealt with the matter then. I wrote: “The councillor should realise that whatever it is called, or the reason it was implemented, is secondary to the fact it is an inhumane policy which will drive the poorest into further poverty.”

 That is a fact.

 I had previously written that a mother with two children in the forces, living in a three-bedroom house, would have to pay tax on two bedrooms. Mr Wright stated a BBC report on March 12 “clearly quashes this”. He appeared to be insinuating I was wrong on this issue. At the time my letter was posted the information was correct.

 During the few days before it was published, the Government did another u-turn. Pressure groups forced it into waiving the “tax” for parents of severely disabled children and people in the armed forces.

 Mr Wright also went on about Labour-supported think tanks – he never mentioned the Tory ones.

 Think tanks comprise of so-called experts who give advice and ideas to political parties. They have no power and are harmless to the public.

 Unlike our right-wing, unsympathetic Government, which is grinding the welfare state into the ground.

W Quinn