Letters, Friday, February 10th, 2012

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Suffering in a world of greed

WE now live a in a world of greed. From time immemorial greed has caused suffering and wealth, but with modern technology it has become hugely prevalent. I say this because our lives are run by no-face, no-name individuals. There is no face-to-face conversation, which is the easiest and best way of sorting out any queries or grievances.

Any government ought not to rely on facts and figures thrown up by computers and polls set up to give them excuses for actions in favour of their convictions. If they actually went out among the people perhaps the country would be a better, balanced and fairer place to live, not a state where wealth and power are the main attributes.

Typically the bonuses of bankers and company leaders have been brought to the fore. Anyone on a wage these people are on must really lead a comfortable and satisfactory life. Why do they demand these extra fortunes? Greed, that’s why. If they are doing their jobs and are an asset to their employers, then surely they ought to get satisfaction from this and not need to expect such rewards.

This Government in power now is so one-sided, so pro-money, so down on the ordinary people in the street. It’s unbelievable how many attacks have been augmented against the most vulnerable. How many firms are going bust? How many people are getting thrown out of work? Why do they pretend there are jobs for everyone and condemn unemployed people as lazy and withdraw help in regards the welfare of citizens who have no chance of getting another job in the near future?

Britain is no longer an industrial nation. The Thatcher years started the decline, destroying some of our traditional industrial companies, the murder of Sunderland shipbuilding is a typical example, especially when you realise all the subsidiary firms involved in manufacturing. Surely giving a subsidy to compete, as did France and Germany, would have been cheaper than putting all the thousands on benefits, and perhaps shipbuilding would still be a world attribute and the workers would not be treated as scroungers and lazy people as by the greedy Tories and cronies.

Colin Wasey, Zetland Square, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland

Parking eye

IN reply to Mary Begg’s letter (February 4) regarding the hospital’s Parking Eye system: first, let me say sorry to read that your brother passed away.

You say in your letter that you drove round to the Chester Wing end of the hospital to pick up a prescription and that you drove into the car park but did not park in any bay.

You drove into the car park, regardless of where you did or did not park, the Parking Eye read your vehicle registration number on entry, and you were there for 45 minutes.

When you left, the Parking Eye read your vehicle registration number again and because it had no record of you paying and entering your vehicle registration number in the ticket machine it knew you were in the car park area for 45 minutes and did not pay, that’s why you received the fine.

You may have not been parked illegally but you were in the pay for parking area, bay or no bay.

I know it’s a hard lesson to learn from and maybe next time you will know to pay, as the Parking Eye is only doing its job.

Mrs B. Johnson, Sunderland

Driving too close

AT the moment I am a regular user of the A19 and I am appalled at what some drivers consider to be a safe distance to keep from another vehicle.

No wonder there are as many accidents as there are on the A19 when drivers are literally 10 feet from the vehicle in front while traveling at anything up to 80mph. They have no chance of stopping in an emergency.

No matter what speed you are doing, at least you give yourself a chance if you keep a good distance away from the vehicle in front.

Beware the Hawthorn service station slip-road – it is an accident waiting to happen every day as it is so short. Drivers cannot get out so they end up pulling out in frustration, causing other vehicles to brake very sharply so that speeds can go from 70mph to 30mph in seconds. If you’re too close to the vehicle in front you have no chance of braking. Stay safe, keep your distance. You have been warned

Paul Harris

Crazy world

RE the article in the Echo of February 2: can this be right? Convicted criminals Maurice Allen and Damien Cobain receiving £40,000 and £28,500 lump sums and pensions respectively. Has the police disciplinary system gone mad or become a cosy club? Talk about looking after their own.

What next – the prison service paying prisoners attendance money and pensions to boot when they have served their sentences?

What a crazy world we live in – just another burden for the taxpayer.

Thomas Brown, Gleneagles Road, Sunderland

NHS investment

IN his response to my earlier letter Bob Price displays once again his reliance on Labour spin over fact (Letters, February 2). His letter on the NHS refers more than once to cuts in the NHS. Which cuts is he referring to? The Conservative-led Government ring-fenced (guaranteed) NHS funding, something Labour refused to do. The Government is increasing investment in the health service by £11.5billion over the next four years – investment opposed by Labour. This will pay for improved services such as 4,200 more health visitors – to give every child the best start in life – and the Cancer Drugs Fund, which has helped over 2,000 patients get access to the drugs they need.

Labour has opposed the Government’s increased investment in the NHS. The Shadow Health Secretary has called an increase in NHS funding “irresponsible”. He said: “It is irresponsible to increase NHS spending in real terms” (Andy Burnham, The Guardian, June 16, 2010)

Labour’s plans of raising NHS spending by the level of inflation would cut £28million from the NHS budget over the next four years.

The spin Bob is applying to claim cuts in the NHS budgets relates to the £5billion efficiency savings required by the Government. This is aimed at reducing back-room costs on administration and management. Every penny saved on these items is to be ploughed back into front-line medical care. These are not cuts, they are efficiencies.

Perhas it is Bob who is only telling half the story. There is no mention in his letter of the millions of extra pounds put into boosting cancer treatment. No mention either of the North East being given £21million to boost medical research. All part of the record £800million being invested to fund advances in disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Shame on Bob for trying to down play the impact of 2,500 extra doctors.

Come on, Bob Price, let’s have less spin and more honesty.

Coun Alan Wright, Conservative, St Chad’s Ward

There is no debt

POLITICIANS keep talking about the debt we owe but they never mention who we owe it to or the fact that it doesn’t really exist since it was created out of nothing and is backed by nothing.

Private banks (The Bank of England, IMF) “lend” governments money created out of nothing, backed by nothing, and we the people have to pay back the principal sum plus interest, which is where all our taxes are going. The fact is that no government ever has to borrow since government can create the money itself and issue it into the economy debt free.

This could also be used to pay back our so-called debt. The truth is no politician will go there because they work for the banks and not the people.

Try to find out who owns the Bank of England and you wont get a answer. Strangely enough none of the so-called “axis of evil countries” were in debt to the IMF, ie they were printing their own money so therefore were in a different monetary system. One of the first things installed in Libya after the takeover was a central bank.

Mark McQuillan, Canon Cockin Street, Sunderland

Match-day venue

NIALL Quinn, God bless him, rants at length about the evils of watching home games in the pub instead of attending the stadium, with good cause, some might say.

On the morning of the home cup game against Middlesbrough, I went to the stadium for a ticket, as I usually do, and was promptly informed by stewards that there were “no tickets for sale today”.

Guess where I watched the game. You couldn’t make it up!

Steve Stores, South Hylton

System’s failed

IN his reply to the Green Party’s Emily Blythe, J. Young derides her party’s commitment to creating a practical alternative to the type of capitalism we have now. He cites the demise of the Co-ops in Sunderland and Gateshead as proof that there is no alternative to a system in which one million youngsters have no future and where those at the top are are paying themselves obscene salaries and bonuses. Yes, the Co-op has gone, but by the same token, so too have Binns’, Jopling’s, Liverpool House, Blackett’s and Kennedy’s

Look at the disastrous privatisations of the gas, water and electricity industries. We are buying our gas from Russia via a German company, our water from the Indians and our electricity from the French, and prices have quadrupled since privatisation. The shambles that is the railway industry is a perfect example of the complete failure of private enterprise.  

I also think J. Young must have switched off his TV and radio, cancelled his papers and locked himself in a darkened room for the last four years. How else can he have failed to notice the collapse of his beloved capitalist system in Britain, Western Europe and the United States – a system that was only rescued from total disaster by a Socialist Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

E. Royal