Letters, Friday, September 5, 2014

Have your say

No excuse for Rotherham abuse

THE scandalous revelations of grotesque abuse of young, vulnerable children in Rotherham that has come to light, although belatedly, by the publishing of Professor Alexis Jay’s report, casts grave doubts upon any standards of moral decency that we thought existed in those who hold high and low office in this country.

 For the past sixteen years the systematic grooming and following sexual abuse of young, vulnerable children has been ignored by the very authorities who were created to protect the young and old.

 In this instance, I refer to those who are currently being held to account by the revelations of the Jay Report and their departments, who should have acted much earlier.

 Those who should have acted to stamp out this unspeakable outrage, and who held responsible positions now say, ‘they knew nothing!’.

 There are some, one in particular, a former Labour MP, who according to one newspaper did know but was reluctant to upset the leaking ship of multi-culturalism that has developed in this country over the past fifty years as different migrants bring in their cultural baggage.

 But as they say, that is another part of the story which is as yet to unfold in present day Britain.

 There can be no doubt or reason why it has taken sixteen long years for these horrible revelations to be made public. The blame, without a doubt, sits at the door of those officers in prominent positions in Labour-controlled Rotherham, who have said that they ‘knew nothing’ even though they held highly paid positions of trust.

 In truth, they betrayed that trust by shameless buck passing. But this is by no means just the tip of the iceberg, there are many other revelations below that have yet to be officially revealed, especially in light of the Jimmy Savile affair and other abusers of vulnerable people.

 Those who occupy a positions of trust and the obligation to protect the vulnerable have a duty to speak out when such issues arise or face the consequences.

 Simply stating that they do not accept it was through their own incompetence or neglect that this terrible crime was allowed to thrive for sixteen years,is not enough to excuse the their culpability.

Coun George Howe,

Fulwell Ward.

Leaving EU would hurt working class

THE people participating in the Scottish referendum are receiving information from both sides of the argument. I hope the same situation is available for the proposed EU referendum.

 The only point of view until now is one-sided, anti-European propaganda from the likes of Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader.

 He sits in comfort, riding first class on the EU gravy train while exploiting the concerns people have on immigration. However, is Mr Farages message to leave the EU good advice? Definitely not say our leaders of industry! Three million jobs would be at risk.

 The foreign firms stationed in Britain, (including Nissan) have said they would have to consider their position. There would be a big disadvantage for British firms when trading with the EU.

 In retrospect, a quota for the number of EU immigrants entering Britain should have been agreed before the UK signed up to the Internal Market.

 Britain was in a strong negotiating position as the last stumbling block round the table.

 Instead, not only did the UK capitulate, but it was done in style.

 In 1985 the Conservative European Commissioner, Lord Cockfield and Mrs Thatcher, presented the then European Community with a white paper on the subject of completing the Internal Market.

 This resulted in the harmonisation of national law being based upon four freedoms; of people, goods, services and capital.

 The single market allowed all EU citizens to live, work and study in other member states. Also the free movement of goods at national border crossings. The single European Act introduced majority voting and conceded to the EU greater power of regulation and intervention.

 For Farage, Cameron and their ilk, withdrawing from the EU would make no difference to their lives. But how would it effect the living standards of those already suffering? I am talking about the working class!

W Quinn,

Via email.

Healthy food for school children

FROM this month, every child in the first three years of school will be able to enjoy a free, healthy school lunch and we applaud the Government for their support of universal infant free school meals and the School Food Plan.

 With one-in-five children leaving primary school overweight and obese, ensuring a healthy, nutritionally balanced school lunch has never been so important.

 Childhood obesity is one of our greatest public health challenges – overweight and obese children face numerous health risks including diabetes and asthma and these risks increase as they enter adulthood.  Only 1 per cent of packed lunches meet the nutritional standards which apply to school food and there is evidence that children who eat a healthy school lunch consume more vegetables and fewer fizzy drinks and crisps.

 Providing a free, healthy school lunch is a simple and effective way to improve children’s diets.

 What we eat in childhood affects what we eat as adults and providing each child with a free healthy school lunch, as part of the wider School Food Plan, offers the opportunity to transform a generation of diets and halt the rising tide of obesity and ill health.

Professor Terence Stephenson,

UK Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

Football puts our city on the map

ONCE again homeowners around the SOL are complaining about parking issues.

 They did the same when the stadium was built years ago.

 Quite frankly it’s not on. The football club is bigger than anything or anyone in the city.

 It brings in more revenue than any attraction at Seaburn, the Airshow or any illuminations.

 Any town or city which has a football club knows that the one positive thing it does do is put the area on the map.

 When anyone mentions Sunderland down south they do not think of shipbuilding or mining, but football.

 So why do these people complain? Why do they buy a house near a football stadium? It’s beyond me.

 Can these moaning Minnies just accept what a privilege it is to have a Premiership football team on the doorstep instead of turning it into negativity?

 It’s not as if people are parking outside their homes every day, it’s only once a fortnight and a couple of pop concerts, so what’s the big deal? Some folk just like complaining!

Mick ‘The Pen’ Brown,

Via email.