Letters, Monday, July 16th, 2012

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Claims of greed were misguided

I SHOULD like to take issue with Denis Gillon concerning his letter “Greed at the root of economic woes” (Letters, July 11).

I have no problem with the main argument of Mr Gillon’s letter, which was that many of the world’s financial problems can be attributed to greed. I also wholeheartedly agree with him that greed should not be glorified. However, his assertion that police, teachers and doctors are greedy was so unbelievable I had to read his letter twice just to make sure that I had not made a mistake.

For your information, Mr Gillon, policemen and women and teachers do a valuable and

difficult job for moderate remuneration – so moderate that many of them cannot even afford to buy their own house in some areas of the country.

Please don’t forget that teachers train for four years and many of them are highly qualified, while policemen and women risk their lives to protect the public. Both of these professions have been subject to a pay freeze for three years despite increasing demands being made upon them. Hardly rolling in it!

Doctors are reasonably well paid, but we are talking about some of the most academically gifted people in society who have trained for up to seven years and make life-or-death decisions on a daily basis. I for one would find it very difficult to accuse a doctor who earns less in a year than a Premiership footballer earns in a week of being greedy.

Far from being the purveyors of greed, as you seem to be suggesting, teachers, policemen and women and doctors are the victims of greed. They are not asking the Government for anything extra but are having to try and protect their pensions which are being raided by this government to reduce the country’s deficit caused by their fat cat friends in the city.

In the case of the police, their argument with the Government is not even about money but about the need to maintain an adequate police force to deal with crime.

I cannot believe that in a week when a chief executive of a bank has just received a £2million pay-off for presiding over an organisation which has been found guilty of serious malpractice, Mr Gillon has seen fit to level the charge of greed against a group of public sector workers who are simply trying to protect their living standards from a government which has no concept of public service.

Shame on you, Mr Gillon.

Mr R. Scott, Peterlee

The Olympics

THE Olympics are coming to England

From countries far and wide.

How proud we are to have them here on this our treasured isle.

Athletes and swimmers are but a few,

Training years and years on end to prove they are worth their due.

Flags of many nations blowing in the breeze

Entrance waving in response for everyone to please.

A happy time is had by all as we gather in unity,

Cheering on our country with pride for all to see.

Greta Skelton, Westheath Avenue, Grangetown, Sunderland

City misses out

I SEE Sunderland missed out on gaining new financing and greater powers from the Government, to be used to stimulate the city’s economy.

Not a huge surprise. When reading the names of the six cities chosen ahead of Sunderland, which included Leeds, Birmingham and Newcastle, is it any wonder?

At least those cities have undergone some genuine regeneration of their city centres. They had reasonable or even booming economies before the financial downturn. Can Sunderland claim that? No, unfortunately it can’t and I think it summed the situation up nicely when the leader of our council made an attempt at positive spin at another missed opportunity.

He suggested Newcastle’s deal would indeed be good for Sunderland, which shows a council prepared to settle for a few crumbs our neighbours offer us.

Perhaps that’s the point. The winners of these deals for new economic powers are for positive, well-led and visionary cities. Something the greatest optimist can’t claim of Sunderland’s current situation.

There were a few words which encouraged a glimmer of hope on this matter with expectations that Wearside would be next to attain such economy-boosting measures.

Before then our council will have to show initiative and improve its vision for Sunderland’s future. I also believe that once there is a sharp economic upturn in this country’s fortunes there could well be two or three medium-sized cities which receive a complete overhaul. This would be aimed at particularly depressed city centres.

If we are to become one of these “cities of the future” our leaders will have to be a lot more ambitious for its people, who are sick of settling for second.

G. Engel, High Barnes, Sunderland