Letters, Friday, April 2, 2014

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Immigration fears are not racist

I THINK Mr Kelly was wrong to insinuate in his letter (April 30)that those of us who are in favour of limiting immigration are of that mind because we are racist.

 Indeed, many ethnic minority groups are also concerned about the current high levels of immigration, into their newly adopted country.

 Beyond commenting on your neighbour’s expensive holiday tan does anyone in Sunderland really attach any importance to skin colour these days?

 To compare our concern about immigration levels in 2014 with the policies of Nazi Germany in the 1930s could be seen as inflammatory were it not so utterly ludicrous.

 It is to the credit of this great country that there are countless charities, Government initiatives and associations in Britain today, exclusively dedicated to helping non-white people.

 From theatres to football matches and hospitals to old folk’s homes, a full house is a full house so when you see people living on the street in London, Lincoln and most points between, the chances are it’s a full house.

Denis Gillon

Never too young

DAME Helen Mirren has decreed that children should not read Shakespeare’s plays until they are 15.

 She’s been in a lot of Shakespearean drama in her time, and I remember her in a BBC Sunday play as Titania falling in love with Ronnie Barker’s Bottom. That was in the days before the Beeb chased ratings, it put on classic plays every Sunday night and your only alternative was Bruce Forsyth at the London Palladium.

 When I was a boy we had an old copy of Shakespeare’s plays. It was presented to my grandfather at Hendon Board School in 1907 for never having taken a day off throughout his time there. Queen Helen would be astonished – what a strange gift for a boy from Emma Street, who would spend his working life in the shipyards.

 The book had reproductions of paintings like the drowning Ophelia by Millais, and photographs of famous actors like Henry Irving, who every Mackem knows got his first acting job at Lambton Street. It also had a picture of Titania and Bottom, which always made me wonder why she was kissing a donkey.

 When we got our first TV set, I’d take this book and try to follow the dialogue whenever one of the plays came on.

 What’s happened to Grandad’s book?

 It began to disintegrate, and like a lot of things it just disappeared when we moved house.

 I feel it did me good to read Shakespeare at that age. My English teacher Alan (Plob) Smith would blow a fuse at Queen Helen’s remarks.

 You don’t have to be Michael Gove to realise there’s been a lot of dumbing down in schools since the 1960s, and stopping children from studying England’s greatest writer is crazy.

 As the Bard would say, methinks the lady doth protest too much.

William Crane,

Washington

Cast in the shadows

It was reported on the local news on April 28 that Redcar had completed a £75million redevelopment of the town.

 This puts Redcar on a par with Gateshead, which has recently completed the multi-million Trinity Square redevelopment.

 As if this was not enough to cast Sunderland’s efforts into the shadows, a comment by a leader member in Redcar was most telling.

 She said that the final £50million rebuilding phase includes a leisure centre which will bring people into the town.

 I bet it does.

Alan Wright,

High Barnes

Ruled by chancers

THE events in the past few months, in the Ukraine and Crimea in particular should send alarm bells ringing to any sensible and prudent nation about the intentions of Russia.

 Communism is not dead, only disguised as a free Russia, but ruled by threat and coercion by ex-KGB thugs.

 It has brought to light the ineffectual influence of the so-called United Europe – what a laugh.

 These people are so far up each others backsides, they are like ostriches with their heads in the sand.

 If ever the case for us to leave this, bunch of sycophants, it is now and get out and be our own amateurs again.

 You will have the squealers, whose good life is under threat, but the only ones they are looking after are themselves.

  It would do these people well to read their history, a certain person did the same with the Sudetenland etc.

 Freedom and its trappings are all very well, but you need a big stick to back it up with (armed forces etc), but over the past decade this has been eroded by the so-called peace lobby.

 Wake up Britain, before it is too late. Vote for UKIP, they are the only ones with British interests at heart, the rest are just chancers.

Mr IW Pallace,

Ford Estate

City needs ideas

HAVING read S Johnson’s letter (April 25), I fully endorse what he wrote.

 I to have been a Labour voter over the past 60 years, but enough is enough.

 The gradual decimation of this once proud city over the last 40 years by this well-paid council means it is time for change. There are 25 positions to be contested in this month’s local elections so if everyone voted for any other party rather than labour this would take away the dominating power it has at the moment and possibly a cross party management could produce ideas that would create a Sunderland we can be proud of once again.

GR Brewis

We are christians

IN response to Lesley Aitch (April 23) – christianity has underpinned this country and its institutions for more than 1,000 years.

 Even the Queen in her Coronation Oath swore to rule according to God’s Laws.

 The christian church established the country’s first schools and hospitals, and a host of organisations, including the Scout movement and Salvation Army can thank it for their very being.

 Sadly, Labour and the liberal bigots have done their very best to destroy traditional society and age-old allegiances to the point where there is little or no morality, discipline or respect for authority.

 Secularism, like multiculturalism, is often divisive and intolerant towards “non- believers”.

 You only have to look at countries which have a purely secular society to see how restrictive and hostile they are.

 I sincerely hope this country never sinks to that sickening level.

M Brown