Letters, Monday, August 15th, 2011

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Have your say

Don’t give the vote to 16-year-olds

NOW, would you allow bairns (16-year-olds) to run their local education department or school? Most people would laugh at the idea and, wanting a good education for their children, most parents would not agree with it.

Anyway, taking it one step further, Newcastle North Labour MP Catherine McKinnell, has added her name to the “Votes at 16” campaign so she must think “kids rule” is OK.

Well, she does not represent her constituents on the issue, but that’s not unusual with MPs who tend to represent themselves, or a party directive rather than the people who voted for them.

Ms McKinnell does mention supporting groups such as Children’s Rights Alliance, the National Union of Students, British Youth Council and the Scottish Youth Parliament, but that says little for the idea. It’s like asking a group of Europhiles if they want to stay in the European Union (and that’s a crazy idea too).

I’d ask Catherine McKinnell, and other MPs of her kind, to take a consensus of opinion among people she represents and not just the small and rare number of very young, aspiring politicians with the gift of the gab. I’m sure she would get a resounding no to the proposal.

The vast majority of 16-year-olds don’t care one jot who runs the country. At that age, it’s usually raging hormones that govern the brain not economics. Teenagers want to enjoy themselves not govern a country.

Besides, the way Britain is run at present there is a good case for taking the voting age back to 21 or even older. Or, as my pal said the other day: “Wot, vote at 16 ya auld – weeell tha kna nowt!”

John Richardson, Nelson Street, Hetton

Right decision

A RECENT edition of the Echo featured the story of a young woman who was longing for a baby. She told of disappointments life had put in her way and the heartache felt by her and her partner at the refusal of the NHS to provide the funding for IVF treatment.

The editor of the Echo offered the opinion that the young woman concerned was a special case and urged the NHS trust to rethink its decision – as have a couple of contributions to the Letters Page.

I believe that the decision of the NHS Trust was right and totally justified. Not being able to conceive is not an illness. The role of the NHS is to treat the sick as well as it is able, nothing more.

Not a day goes by that we read and hear of very ill patients not able to receive the treatment they need or lifesaving drugs being denied to patients because they are deemed to be too expensive. Those who seek IVF treatment should be prepared to save and pay for it.

To the couple: count your blessings, you don’t know how lucky you are. Believe me, you are not the only ones to have suffered from the hard knocks life can throw at people when they least expect it. I speak from what I experienced twice over at a very early age.

Mary Metcalfe, Warwick Drive, East Herrington

Stopping rioters

I FEEL that I have to write about the looting and rioting in London. How was it allowed to get so out of hand? When it kicked off the police should have had it under control.

These people, if you can call them that, have no respect for people or their possessions. It is ludicrous that they can do what they want and get away with it. The police should be out there with water cannons and try and get law and order back. If they can’t, get what army we do have on the streets.

There is nobody taking command of a problem that is out of hand. What happens next? Do they work their way up north when they have had enough? It’s obvious that from the start this came about because they wanted to do it. What about the people who have had buildings burned down or been looted? Who is going to pay for all of this?

This could only happen in this country, that’s for sure. I went to London late in 2003. It was bad then. The tension was really horrible. There is no way I would say London is safe.

The police in this country have had rings wound around them. How much are people going to put up with? If this country doesn’t go down through the economy, it will go down through these mindless acts of violence because no one wants to stop it.

Mrs B. Crute, Cleveland Road, High Barnes

Cricket reseacrh

I AM trying to obtain any information on Sunderland and District Cricket League for seasons 1969 and 1970. If any readers can inform me of the teams in the league, any results or tables, it would be appreciated.

Any information could be copied and returned. I can be contacted on 548 8955 (message 1571). Thank you.

Keith Goodwin, Marina Avenue, Sunderland