Letters, Friday, January 28th, 2010

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Rivalry shouldn’t turn to violence

FORGIVE me for being a mere female, forgive me for not being a football fan, but what on earth is all the violence for at a match between Sunderland and Newcastle? Both cities separated by a few miles. Residents of both probably work in or at least visit the rival city at some time in their lives.

I understand the passion, but save it for more meaningful purposes. The players are well paid. The spectators pay a lot of money to “enjoy” the game. Life at the moment is so hard for a lot of families. They should be able to go to a match using their hard-earned money. They should be able to have fun, enjoy the tension, pleasure or pain together.

These families should not have to put up with anger and hatred from some “fans”. For the public who don’t attend or follow football, our city should not be a place of fear because of two teams playing a game. The beautiful game? I don’t think so.

Likewise, fans who cannot afford to go to the match have a right to enjoy a drink and watch the game in a pub. There is nothing wrong with arguments and criticism in a friendly environment with a party atmosphere.

I used to go to Roker Park many years ago, when the crowd could be anything between 60,000 to 70,000. I vividly remember walking across Wearmouth Bridge with hundreds of fans – men, women and children. No traffic, no fights, good-humoured banter, no alcohol.

Is alcohol the difference or do some individuals have such sad lives that they get their excitement out of causing trouble? There is too much hatred in the world, too much pain and suffering. To the individuals responsible: don’t bring this anger and hatred into football. Enjoy the beautiful game in peace (but not quiet).

Pauline Robinson, Merryfield Gardens, Roker

Keep the car park

SURELY the council is aware that people don’t want to lose Tavistock car park, the only decent car park in the area?

Why can’t the “wonderful” hi-tech centre be built on the Tatham Street car park? It surely can’t make any difference to them where they are situated. In fact why do they need to be in the town centre at all? Can’t they be housed in some of the numerous empty offices on the outskirts of the town or even Rainton Meadows, or, dare I say, even the Vaux site? After all it’s only stood empty for nearly 10 years!

Why are the opinions of local and visiting people never taken into account when something like this is decided? I have yet to talk to anyone who is in favour of it.

Where will the people park who are to work in this hi-tech centre? Will they have something specially built just for them beside or underneath the centre? I bet they don’t get shoved round to Tatham Street with its broken glass everywhere and dodgy security.

J. Ayre, Irene Avenue, Grangetown, Sunderland

Age-old problem

THE letter by No Strada Mus about prolonging our lives was very interesting. I personally believe in euthanasia, with the discretion of two doctors. Naturally there needs to be plenty of safeguards in place.

True, many may live to be 100, but at the same time as medicines are being trialled to keep bodies alive, drugs to delay dementia and Alzheimer’s are also being invented.

Up to now I have said that we should all be shot on our 70th birthday – but maybe there is hope for all of us after that date. I sincerely hope that they hurry up with these dementia drugs before it gets too late for me.

Marjorie Matthews, Aiskell Street, Sunderland

Pensions link

MISS T. Childs states that it’s “not before time” that the pension’s link to earnings will be restored (Letters, January 18).

I could not agree more. After 13 years of indifference by a Labour Government I am pleased that it has taken a Conservative Government to introduce this measure.

Terrence Docherty, Zetland Square, Monkwearmouth

Messy back lanes

IN reply to the Animal Lover (Letters, January 20), yes, I have seen the back lanes in Roker and Fulwell and, yes, I quite agree with you about the cans and bottles, not to mention the dog fouling.

I am not picking on the dogs, the owners are to blame. Not only does it look disgusting, but it could give you a disease which can actually make you blind.

I can remember reading an article in the paper about a young child playing outside in the grass and ending up partially sighted.

So pick it up and bin it. I certainly would not want that on my conscience.

A. Neil

Writer in denial

BOB Price continues to be in denial over the record deficit left by the last Labour Government (Letters, December 21). You can only fool the people so much of the time. They know the terrible state the economy was left in.

However, is Bob Price so naive that he believes all politicians or is he just being very selective in reporting broken promises? He could have mentioned the following broken promises by Labour over the last three elections: there will be no need for tax rises; there will be no tuition fees; there will be an end to mixed-sex hospital wards; we will close the gap between rich and poor; and there will be a referendum of the Lisbon Treaty before it is adopted.

They criticise jobs lost in the primary care trusts but say the Conservatives are wrong to protect the NHS budget. They say of course the deficit needs tackling, but then say it’s not a problem and we should borrow even more.

His letter also peddles the Labour line that there will be 1.6million job losses due to the Coalition Governments’s spending review. This is nothing but dishonest, shameful scaremongering. No mention is made of the private sector jobs that have and will be created in this time, often in manufacturing industries and often making things for export.

Malcolm Vardy, Railway Terrace, New Herrington

Time to write

IT is becoming increasingly common that when contributors to the Letters Page can’t argue or counter any points raised in a letter, they try to discredit the writer.

This is tried by Jan de Vries (Letters, January 22). He suggests that I must be neglecting my council and ward duties because I have a letter in the Echo each week. Well, the residents of St Chad’s are not fools. They know a letter would take about 10 minutes to write.

Actually, letter writing does not impinge on my time as a councillor at all. Letters are written in my own time at home.

He then becomes confused as he suggests I take a walk instead of writing letters. Well, which activity would cut into council time the most?

As for the contents of my letters. These in the main counter the doom and gloom being spread by some regular writers.

The writer urges Bob Price and other “Labour nerds” – his words, not mine – to stop winding me up. They could not do this even if I had a key in my back.

Coun Alan Wright, Conservative, St Chad’s ward

Popular knitting

I WOULD like to respond to the letter “Cast off kniting” by Mick “the Pen” Brown. I think Mick should get his facts right before he writes such letters.

A lot of people actually knit in this day and age, including a lot of celebrites – Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, S.J. Parker and Lisa Kudrow, to name just a few. I am sure you will agree, not old boring people but young, vibrant actresses.

I knit for all ages and I can assure you everyone I knit for is very proud to wear my garments. If Mick took time to look at the fashion at the moment he would see that hand knits and Arans in particular are very “in”.

I work in a wool shop and also attend a knitting group full of lovely young women who are very intelligent and our conversations are not just about knitting.

So, Mick, get your facts right before making such comments in the future and leave people to do what they want to do without criticism from people like you.

A football fan and avid knitter

True supporters

IN response to SAFC Supporter’s letter (January 25): First of all, you refer to yourself as SAFC. However, in your letter you call us Sunderland Football Club. Are you aware that the “A” in SAFC stands for “Association”?

Secondly, you state that everytime SAFC has a big crowd the team don’t perform, which leads to falling attendances. The examples given are Blackpool and Newcastle. Against Blackpool we had nearly 30 attempts on goal and it turned out to be one of those days, but no one can say it was a poor performance or lack of effort from the players.

Newcastle had a game plan of stopping play at every opportunity as we are the better footballing team. Unfortunately, the ref fell for their tactics and gave freekicks against us all afternoon.

Being sixth in the best league in the world must mean we are doing something right.

Instead of fans coming to one match and making a judgement, why not invest in a season card and show you are are true supporter?

M. Cassley, SAFC season card holder