Letters, Monday, May 4, 2015

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Still raising glass to Her Majesty

AS people will know from my wittering on about present and, sadly, departed public houses, I enjoy an ale or two of an evening now and again in the few remaining hostelries in the city centre.

 I usually partake in the odd real ale that tends to come from small microbreweries that may, or indeed, will try to authenticate their brew by not filtering it as well as the big breweries and leave the odd hop leaf as a ‘floater’.

 As I checked my glass for an elusive floater, I noticed, to my absolute horror, that the crown of Her Majesty, which has adorned pint glasses since time immemorial, until the introduction of ‘fizzy’ beer whereupon the glass was increased in size to accommodate the gas and the crown was accompanied by a contour and the motto ‘pint to line’, was missing.

 I thought another piece of Great Britain’s history has gone, doubtless due to progress of which I am not a great fan as many will attest.

 As I further inspected the glass, I noticed, etched into the glass, was just two letters –CE.

 It made me wonder if the church is now advertising on ales as CE is most definitely Church of England, but otherwise I will take it as more than likely that it could in fact be the ‘modern’ take of the crown.

 Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is, as every Briton knows, the head of the Church of England and this is the up-to-the-minute version of the sadly-missed crown and serves to remind all men and, of course, women that this is a Protestant country and not just any old religious order that has recently came along.

 So I am proud to say that I can still raise a glass to Her Majesty in an appropriately marked glass. Alan ‘The Quill’ Vincent,

Old Penshaw

Don’t judge us

ALTHOUGH my wife and myself are only in our late forties, my wife has been registered chronically disabled for more than 20 years.

 Her legs were badly crushed in an accident. She struggles everyday but tries to get on with life as best as she can.

 What is really galling is that when we park, quite legitimately, in a disabled bay in a car park you can see elderly people glaring at you.

 You see them sneer “look at those two, wonder what’s the matter with them?”

 We’ve had one elderly man walk over and check the blue badge on display as we were getting out of the car and one charmer who put his head through the open car window and asked abruptly: “So which one of you is the cripple then”.

 Just because you are over retirement age doesn’t make you judge and jury and doesn’t give you the monopoly on disabilities. Try treating people with the same respect that you would expect from the younger ones.

Ralph Arnold,

Seaham

End voter apathy

THE forthcoming elections will, no doubt, see another record low turn-out, which got me thinking of ways we could put an end to voter apathy.

 Here’s what I came up with: Instead of having the parties named on the voting slip, there should just be the a candidate number and 10 promises that the candidate must fulfil during their term should they be elected. If less than three-quarters of the promises are fulfilled, the candidate is jailed for 10 years for deceit.

 The beauty of this system is twofold. First, it’ll stop candidates making promises that they have no intention of fulfilling just to get votes, and second, it’ll see people voting for things they really believe in instead of being guided by prejudice against certain’s parties.

 I think this would provide some very interesting results and put an end to the stranglehold the mainstream parties have on certain areas.

Peter Johnson

Whitburn