If you don’t like it, be a councillor
WE, as citizens of Sunderland, are a real funny lot.
In the kind of democracy we have, freedom of speech, freedom of action, have been well portrayed on this letters page on the merits and non-merits of the proposed mosque in an area of Millfield.
The democracy we have includes, from at least 1974, elected councillors that we put in and put out.
We all have to remember a big special event takes place in our city on September 12, at 6pm, which is “Your Say”.
Even if you are not interested in attending you can always be a council candidate. You do not need to be a political party member, you do not have to spend any money, put out any written material to 4,000 or 5,000 houses in the area you wish to represent. What you have to do, providing you do not have a criminal record or be bankrupt, is obtain from the electoral office a simple form, have a proposer, seconder, and the legal number of neighbours, friends from the public electoral roll, and in May 2013, stand to put right the concerns you have now, or may have.
Full council meetings are held in the civic centre at 6pm, usually on a Wednesday. Experience over the years has shown the public gallery full, and other times one or only two residents.
Not a way forward
WITH regards to the Millfield mosque, my letter to the Echo last September said my primary concern was not the building itself, but the traffic problem it could create, and in my opinion the council never gave the question of traffic the consideration it deserved.
While writing this correspondence, I can hear the sound of the National Front demonstrating outside the mosque site.
It’s simply amazing how strange organisations and individuals, some with ulterior motives, and crying crocodile tears, can latch themselves on to controversial matters.
These thoughts remind me of a letter from D J Wright (Echo August 9). Mr Wright bombarded the council on the mosque decision and he advised people to vote for the Tories.
He then went on to say how well the Government was moving Sunderland forward.
Fortunately the public doesn’t swallow the likes of Mr Wright’s codswallop any more.
They can see for themselves the economic mess this unholy Coalition had created, and the suffering it has caused. The poor paying for the sins of the rich bankers. The dismantling and privatisation of the NHS. The long dole queue with a Government that makes no attempt to create work, removing the rights that protect working class people and forcing the seriously-disabled to seek jobs that are not there.
Mr Wright should know that Sunderland will never go forward when the Government continues to reduce council funding by millions of pounds, cut the benefit of the vulnerable, and increase VAT.
The rich get tax cuts which are funded by Osborne robbing new born babies out of Baby Bonds, maternity allowance, child tax credits and child benefit.
Mr Wright should realise that the Tory-led Coalition has no compassion and is intent on destroying the very structures of the welfare state.
Better than lottery
THE Olympic Games 2012 must surely have been the greatest event in Britain’s history.
Some 204 countries competed in complete peace and harmony. 85 countries won medals and wow, Britain came third.
If that hasn’t put the ‘Great’ back into Britain, which everyone thought was gone, nothing will.
Just goes to show folks, that winning the lottery is not the happiest thing in the world; winning a gold medal is.
I say, let there be peace on earth and let it begin with sport.
It’s a ‘job for life’
THERE used to be a saying “jobs for life” for a particular line of work. “Councillor” was never mentioned in this saying.
Now, thanks to folk doing what their fathers did and their fathers before, the “Sunderland councillor” must top of the list.
They don’t even have to canvas for votes, their foreign holidays are always assured, expenses paid. Wish my pension was as secure.
Join the writers
COALFIELD Writers are looking for new members when we meet on Tuesday, September 11.
We are a small, friendly group of creative writers who meet in the Library, the Hetton Centre, the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, 1.30-3.30pm. For more information contact me.