Letters, Friday, February 18th, 2011

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Legacy of problems left by Labour

THERE is no doubt that the country is in a serious financial situation brought about the previous Labour government’s massive borrowing over a 10-year period from 1999 (they followed the sensible financial policies of the Conservative Government during their first two years in office) until Gordon Brown and Tony Blair removed Bank of England spending controls from the country’s banks.

What followed was years of easy money, huge government spending, culminating in financial meltdown. The Labour opposition continues to bleat about evil bankers, blaming them for the current national debt of £1.26trillion. While it will take extreme measures of belt tightening to get the economy back into the realms of indebtedness, there are other Labour-generated problems that are just coming to light which are equally problematic to Britain.

Firstly there is the European Court of Human Rights, an unelected body that is making a mockery out of common sense. It is interfering with the legal systems of member states and, as one of Britain’s senior judges commented, is “answerable to no one”. The decision by that body to force countries to allow prisoners voting rights is just one of the many incomprehensible decisions being handed down to sovereign states.

If Parliament ultimately throws out the court’s ruling, then a possible blackmail threat against the British government and the British taxpayer will come into effect. This will allow lawyers to claim compensation for thousands of prisoners, prisoners who have committed crimes and have been punished through a long-standing principle of British law that prisoners lose their right vote when convicted and jailed.

Getting back to Labour’s governance, more facts are coming to light about the connived war with Iraq and the weapons of mass destruction myth. They (Labour) persuaded Parliament to back the war based as it was on misinformation and lies. The Government connived in the return to Libya of the Lockerbie bomber after advice by a British official as to how to go about repatriating him. Labour’s duplicities are numerous.

There are those who believe that it may be possible to “repatriate” our law of human rights. There are also those who believe that we should do that immediately and if it means, as some suggest, that we leave the EU, then so be it.

Coun G.E. Howe, Fulwell Ward

Coalition in trouble

THE Tory councillor for St Chad’s letters get more desperate in his forlorn attempt to justify the Tory-led Coalition Government’s devastating spending cuts (that is, devastating to ordinary people, not, of course, millionaire cabinet members who say “we are all in it together”).

The St Chad’s councillor must be blinkered or does not want to know Labours’ policies. They have been laid out often enough on TV in the press and in Parliament (If Labour have no policies why do the Tories keeps referring to “if Labour were in power they would do this or do that”?).

Talking about mantras, the Coalition’s mantra of “it’s all Labour’s fault” is hollow when everybody (except the Tories) knows that a world recession caused by the world banks collapsing has meant that every country in the world is suffering from deficits.

The Tories, with the help of the LibDems, seized an opportunity to inflict their ideology on the country, inflicting deep cuts that need not have been made and those cuts that did need to be made need not have been made so quickly or deeply.

The Tories, so quick to condemn the banks in opposition, have capitulated to them in Government. I wonder why. I will let the readers make their own mind up on that one. Just another Tory-led Coalition lie and U-turn to go along with promise of no VAT increase, abolishing EMA, university fees increases.

This Tory-led Coalition is in trouble both inside the Coalition and with the population. You know the saying “If in a hole, stop digging”? Nobody has told the Coalition and they just keep digging. I love it.

AB, Durham

Simple parking tip

I READ the letter from “Shopper” (February 11) and couldn’t believe what I was reading.

Although this reader may not have realised, all supermarkets employ staff to monitor the car parks. Not all enforce the rules, but my view is if you can’t afford to get a ticket, be careful where you park in the first place.

This letter writer claimed to have been given a £50 fine for being in a “pick up” point. The clue is in the title. It’s called a pick up point because it’s there to allow you to pick someone up and then get out of the way.

At Sainsbury’s in Silksworth there are always cars parked there while their lazy drivers shop. I can’t believe that you’re given 10 minutes to use a pick up point – it should be fewer than five.

The advice is simple: don’t park in places where you may get a ticket. I felt the same reading the main story in the Echo last month about people moaning when getting a ticket for illegally parking. If you’re not sure and can’t afford a penalty, park where you know you won’t get a ticket.

D. Alanson, Herrington

Ambulance team

MANY thanks to the rapid response team for their professionalism on February 7 when dealing with my emergency.

Joan Aslett, Midfield Drive, Sunderland

Laughs all round

I WAS recently taken to task by one of the Tory councillors for suggesting that Conservatives have no sense of humour. A little research has revealed in fact that I was wrong. So herewith an apology..

My research revealed the following japes and rib tickling one-liners from various Tories:

First there was the one about the NHS being “safe in our hands”. Oh how we laughed the first time we heard that, although nobody seems to laugh at that one now. I wonder why?

Then at the Tory conference, David Cameron cracked that one about “caring Conservatism”. That had everyone in stitches. It’s as well Mrs Tenebras was wearing her corsets otherwise her sides would have split. When she eventually stopped laughing she remarked that “caring Conservatism” has got to be the ultimate oxymoron. I had to agree.

What about the one when David Cameron stood straight-faced and said: “We have absolutely no plans to increase VAT”? I can just imagine the roars of laughter as, off camera, he shouts: “I had my fingers crossed all the time”.

And who can forget the rows of millionaire Tory MPs howling with laughter and screaming for more as George Osborne announced half a million job cuts. Mrs Tenebras said: “Ee Post Lux, pet, ah thought you said the Tories had no sense of humour. Look at them MPs, they’re in hysterics.” I said: “Ah know pet, Ah was wrang.”

Anyway I’ve saved the best till last. It was cracked by George Osborne a few weeks ago. By the way, have any of the older readers noticed the uncanny resemblance between George Osborne and Archie Andrews? Spooky or what? Mrs Tenebras said: “Mebbies both their heads were carved from the same block of wood.” She could have a point.

Anyway, I digress. Back to George’s brilliant one-liner when he said, wait for it ... “We are all in this together.” Talk about laugh – I thought I’d never start.

Post Lux Tenebras

Why the gloom?

THE Echo’s Editorial of February 7 was somewhat baffling. It referred to the news that 250 new jobs were being created in Sunderland. However, it ended: “It’s great news for the city where jobs, unfortunately, have been at a premium in recent months.”

This is somewhat at odds with an article printed in the Echo a few weeks ago (December 31). This stated: “Overall, vacancies in the region are up 26 per cent compared to the same time last year.”

It is also at odds with the Echo’s Portfolio Weekly article published on January 10. This is headed “End of year shows good times returning”. It went on: “North East businesses look like having a happy New Year after domestic sales in the final three months of 2010 hit their highest level since 2007.”

Since this Echo Editorial appeared, the area’s morning newspaper published a piece which stated: “permanent and temporary jobs have increased at the fastest rate for several months”.

It further reported that The Recruitment and Employment Confederation stated: “As anticipated, this month’s report on jobs shows that economic activity accelerated in January with employers increasing their hiring. Employer confidence, which up until now has been fragile, is finally starting to harden.”

Yes Labour’s mess has ensured times are tough, but one has to wonder why the Editorial is so full of doom and gloom in the face of such good news?

Coun Alan Wright, Conservative, St Chad’s Ward

Great show

WELL done to the Trinity Players, of South Hetton, for their performance of The Little Nut Tree. Ten out of 10 for acting and music.

Derek Atkinson, South Hetton