Letters, Friday, April 8th, 2011

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These are changing times for public sector

WHO is this man who signs himself Ed Waugh who has recently begun inflicting half-baked Marxist garbage on readers in the Echo’s Letters Page?

His defence of the recent TUC organised in March in London showed him to be an individual trapped in a time warp with no connection whatsoever with the 21st century. He doesn’t appear to understand that with more than 85 per cent of the millions employed in the private sector believing that trade union membership is not for them, the TUC is left holding the reins for a bunch of whinging malcontents known as the public service sector.

Let’s not forget that, apart from a tiny minority, the demonstration in London was a show of strength by Unison and the rest of them, marching to defend the indefensible.

Not before time, those of us out in the real world who produce the wealth of the nation, have woken up to the fact that the public service sector, in spite of billions thrown at it by successive Governments, does not deliver the quality of service we should expect. Dinosaur unions rule the roost in every single part of a monumental jigsaw, with no exceptions. They are overmanned, overpaid, and totally self-seeking, but at long last the chickens are coming home to roost.

Workers of the private sector are standing up to be counted and we are advising Unison and the rest of the dinosaurs, demonstrate you may, but your days of milking us dry are drawing to a close.

Robert Graves, The Croft, Thornholme Road, Sunderland

Parents’ duty

HAVING read the the latest letter on EMA grants from Sunderland MP Sharon Hodgson, I begin to wonder if she is living on the same planet as the rest of us.

It is the job of parents or guardians to provide breakfast for their offspring before sending them off to school. If they are not exercising what is the basic duty of any parent at the start of the day, they are failing in their duty.

I came from a very poor family, my dad having died when I was 10, but poor as we were, my mam always ensured that I was provided with the most important meal of the day before I left for school. I fervently believe that nothing is more important both to children and those who look after them.

How times have changed! Here in Sunderland we have a misguided MP who believes that it is the duty of taxpayers to provide breakfast and lunch for teenagers of 16 and over at their place of education.

As for those she described as being estranged from their families: if they lack the gumption to make up a flask and a sandwich before leaving the house, I’m afraid there is not much hope for them out in the real world when their days of an extended education draws to a close.   

Mary Metcalfe, Warwick Drive, Sunderland

Labour in denial

IT seems Labour activists are as frustrated about the party’s lack of ideas as the rest of the country.

They have decided to ignore the countless number of positive stories that have emerged from the Coalition Government over the last year. Despite the claim by AB (Echo, March 31), the Chancellor has not cut the winter fuel allowance for pensioners. This remains at £200 per household.

The £50 discretionary top-up payment received for the last couple of years was never secure.

The Chancellor has secured this payment by consolidating it into the new basic pension rate, which is worth another £4.40 per week per person or an extra £228.80 per year. The cold weather payment has also been increased to £25.

This Government is looking after the elderly and vulnerable while cleaning up Labour’s mess. It’s just a shame that the Labour Government didn’t have the decency to do the same.

Whether its stealing an estimated £100billion from pensioners through a “stealth tax” or giving our children a multi-trillion pound debt to pay, Labour do not have a record to be proud of.

Dominic McDonough, Council candidate, Silksworth

Libya solution

EVEN when they get rid of Gaddafi there will never be peace among the people. It will just become another Afghanistan.

Surely the only answer is to draw a line through the middle of Libya and have a north and south and the people to elect their own leaders.

Mrs M. Wilson, Chester Terrace, Sunderland

Conflict danger

THE Prime Minister’s successful warmongering campaign has led Britain to war with the Libyan dictator Gaddafi. In his rush to push our brave armed forces into battle, David appears to have forgotten just how dangerous and unpredictable these desert wars are. This conflict has the potential for a disaster along the lines of Iraq with ramifications that could spread far beyond the shores of Tripoli.

Our mission, says Cameron, is to protect civilians using a UN no-fly zone. To the outside world, however, this seems to be having the opposite effect. Hundreds of cruise missiles have been fired at Libya. These missiles explode their destructive capability far and wide. The idea no innocent citizens get hurt is a fallacy. Even the Arab League, who gave sanction to the no-fly zone, described the missile assault as the “bombardment of civilians”.

Anyway, it’s ridiculous for David to make a moral stand, bearing in mind he was recently selling weapons in the Middle East to anyone with the cash to buy them. In fact, one newspaper called him Britain’s Carpetbagger-in-Chief.

For Cameron to voluntarily take us into another costly war exposes the lie that Britain is virtually bankrupt and shows there is money for the massive cuts to be done more slowly over a longer period of time. This would protect the social and economic fabric of Britain.

W. Quinn, Millfield, Sunderland

Good path

I JUST want to take this opportunity to thank the council for laying a path in Dene Lane, Fulwell.

Yes, I agree with the letter that it is a danger when the public cross the road from the path. I had to write and make it clear that people walked across the grass before the path was there and stepped on to the road.

It is much better to walk on a

path than grass that is covered with mud and dog’s dirt. Maybe the council could look into this and get a zebra crossing from the path, especially when the children are coming and going from school.

I would also like to see this part of Fulwell a lot tidier, with flowers and the trees trimmed. Since the shrubberies were taken away it has looked bare.

Mrs E.V. Ellwood, Darien Avenue, Fulwell

Family’s thanks

WE would like to thank every one who donated money to the PDSA instead of flowers at my late daughter’s request.

A total of £350 was raised.

Louise died young but never forgot the help from the PDSA when her dog Kizzy needed their help.

We would also thank family and friends for cards and help during this sad time.

Husband Keith Hackett, mam and dad, sister Ann-Marie and brother Darin

Tenpin bowling

I WAS somewhat bemused by a recently published letter about the state of tenpin bowling in Sunderland.

The previous letter, to which this response referred, didn’t say anything derogatory about the Tenpin Alley in the High Street, which I’m sure it’s a wonderful place.

But your reader completely missed the point of M. Snow’s earlier letter. That was simply questioning the Planning Department, which is being difficult in granting the current owners of BKF bowling in Newcastle Road planning permission to relocate at sometime in the future.

Is it possible that the city planners don’t think there is enough room in the city for more than one bowling centre? If that were the case, I would ask why Tenpin was built in the first place? Is there anything wrong with a little competition?

The truth is that BKF under one name or another has been in Sunderland for decades. When Tenpin Sunderland opened a couple of years ago only the Junior League opted to move.

The remaining leagues want to continue to bowl under the current management, but in a different location. The building is pretty old after all, and earmarked for yet another supermarke.

Tony Wallace

Polish history

SURELY the Echo misprinted part of Mr Kazmarek’s letter about his grandfather (March 30). Polish troops did fight on our side in the Italian campaign, then were told not to return home after the war.

Here’s a strange but true story. The Polish government-in-exile came to Britain after Hitler over-ran their country.

While they were here they decided Poland should be a monarchy, and chose King George’s brother, the Duke of Kent, to be their king. Does this make the present Duke the rightful King of Poland?

Next time he visits Sunderland I’ll suggest to him he should turn up at Warsaw Airport in a crown and ermine robes, and see what reaction he gets.

William Crane, Langley Close, Washington

Monster movies

THE 1950s was a great time for monster movies. The Mummy, Count Dracula, Frankenstein – there were loads of them.

The cinemas were packed. You couldn’t get a seat in the ABC or the Odeon as the public waited in anticipation to see the stars of the day.

One of the most famous and popular horror stars was Bela Lugosi who was born in Romania in 1882. He first appeared in the Son of Frankenstein in 1931 and in 1943 he starred as the monster in Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman. This film inspired a host of other actors to pursue a career in the world of horror – Lon Chaney, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee to name but three.

I have always been a fan of these stars who will long live on in the memory. I have seen all the classics. The Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Ghoul and Plague Of The Zombies are among my favourites and I used to leave the cinema in a state of shock and fear.

Most of the actors had the same characteristics – big bulging eyes and yellow teeth – and Lon Chaney Junior could be distinguished by his large flat feet.

They never show these films on the TV these days. In fact, due to the passage of time I had almost forgotton about them then the other day I made a rare trip through a windswept Park Lane Interchange and studied the crowds of shoppers hanging around the bus station, and for some weird reason my memory floated back to the halcyon days of the 50s and the great British horror movie.

Isn’t it strange which way the mind works?

Mick “The Pen” Brown

Until Then

I CAN make happy families crumble,

I destroy and tear you apart,

I can make you shed a tear,

And put an ache in your heart.

My purpose is to kill you,

Even though you are still alive,

It only takes a few words,

For you to die inside.

I take away your family,

Someday I will take you too,

Nobody can fill the empty space,

Not even someone new.

Once you’re gone, there is now way back,

No time to say goodbye,

You won’t see them, hear them, feel them breathe,

Until, you too, will die.

Kate Ward, Aged 13, Sunderland

ON Thursday, March 31, I put bins out knowing the forecast was gale-force winds, but I had an appointment and had to go out. When I got back the bins were all over the place and the paper bin compartment was missing.

Can the cleansing department not go back to days when they used to put bins back inside house fronts?

 Come on – less haste, a little pause, common sense.

Billy Watson

I HAVE just made my monthly visit home. I went to Wilkinson’s. What a posh cafe it has now, a bit different from when I worked in the Lawson Room. The top floor had the accounts department as well.

Just one gripe, why has the nice new railway station got no toilets or bins for rubbish?

M. Crosbie, Acklam, Middlesbrough

LIKE the 70-year-old in the Letters Page. I too am leaving my body to medical reasearch. It’s a disgrace, the price of cremations.

Diane Robson, Hendon, Sunderland

A FEW weeks ago I fell outside Lloyds Bank in Fawcett Street.

I wish to thank the kind lady who came to my aid and also the staff of Lloyds who made me comfortable until the paramedic arrived.

I am now recovering from a broken wrist. God bless you all.

M. Henry