Letters, Friday, July 6th, 2012

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It’s good to hear different opinions

TWO people I enjoy listening to on discussion programmes are Peter Hitchens and Kelvin McKenzie. Both are highly articulate right-wing spokesmen, but very different. I like hearing what they’ve got to say even though I’m an old Leftie who usually votes Labour.

So why do I like Messrs Hitchens and McKenzie? Well, it’s good to hear the other side of the argument, and it interests me to know how their minds are working. Peter Hitchens sounds like an arrogant posh boy, but I heard him give a good explanation of why he is a Conservative. He talked about home ownership, a stable society, consumer capitalism and the free market. He almost had me convinced until I thought, hang on why are they called the “nasty party”?

Kelvin McKenzie is a different character altogether – a feisty populist with a hang ’em, shoot ’em and flog ’em mentality. He was once editor of the Sun, which I’ve always thought of as a comic for those who are too old to be seen with the Beano or Dandy. But it’s refreshing to know what the ordinary man in the street is thinking, although he’d be pretty scathing about my soft left-wing views.

When I get my Echo on a Friday, the first thing I turn to is Keith Newbery’s column – for the same reason. I might not agree with what the old so-and-so is saying, but he has every right to say it.

Henry Whipple, Coach Road Estate, Washington

Lovely article

I WOULD like to thank the Echo for publishing a lovely article on my late father, Ray Storey, on Friday, June 22. My phone never stopped ringing after the publication and the kind words written touched a few people, to say the least.

After the service at the crematorium, I stood at the exit door and shook hands and thanked everyone leaving. As the last person shook my hand, I was introduced to an elderly gentleman who didn’t give his name but said he had to attend my dad’s funeral to show his respect to him for what he had done for him in changing his early life.

He recounted a tale of when he was 15 and was stabbed in the street and was brought into the police station by his father, covered in blood. He said he did not know what frightened him more, the police station or the stabbing.

He said Ray took control, took him to the hospital and got him sorted out with calm authority, then proceeded in arresting and prosecuting the attacker and assuring him and his family that was the end of the mater, which it was.

He never forgot my dad or that day and went on to join the police force, met Ray a few times and served till his retirement.

My dad never told me this story but it made me a very proud son on a very hard day.

I would also like to thank everyone who attended the funeral, Hogg Funeral Services and the staff on Ward E56 at Sunderland Royal Hospital and at Glenholme House in Roker for all the kind and professional help they gave Ray.

Graham Storey

Grateful candidate

MAY I take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported me in the recent ballot for the Labour Party candidature for the position of Police and Crime Commissioner.

I was both humbled and

overwhelmed by the encouragement and the hard work of those Labour Party colleagues who toiled on my behalf. Even though I was not successful, I will not forget the contribution and support so freely given by your kind selves.

My unreserved congratulations go to Vera Baird for an excellent and well-run campaign and to her subsequent candidature success.

Vera, I am certain, will work closely with the many established partnerships and organisations in our police force area and be a very capable and professional candidate in the forthcoming PCC election.

That election will take place in November, and I would urge everyone to support and campaign for Vera when that time comes.  

It is absolutely essential that we work towards securing the best possible turnout in that election, thus ensuring Vera is returned as our PCC.

I would also like to thank everyone for their support during my years as a councillor and as vice-chairman of the Northumbria Police Authority.

Once again, thanks to all and let us make sure that Vera is elected as our Police and Crime Commissioner for the Northumbria Police area.

Tom Foster

Thanks for help

A BIG big thank-you to the two women who helped my neighbour Mary in the floods on Thursday, June 28, when she had to get off the Metro and wait for a bus. I don’t know their names but one lived at Fulwell and the other in the Ashbrooke area of Sunderland.

Mrs B. Plumpton, West Price, Cleadon