Letters, Saturday, July 30th, 2011

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Brown’s 24-carat costly blunder

THE awesomeness of the world’s financial situation becomes more apparent as investors scramble to switch to gold bullion as a safe haven for their cash.

The price of gold has soared to a fabulous amount of $1,600 a troy ounce. The latest boom in gold bullion triggers the memory of 1999 when gold was worth $300 an ounce and at a 20-year low. It was at that low price that Gordon Brown, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, decided to offload 400 tons of gold.

New Labour had just been elected and had inherited a stable economy and a prosperous future thanks to the outgoing Conservative Government. Brown was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer and – surprise, surprise – two of his advisers were Ed Balls and Ed Milliband.

With a rising economy and the country’s finances healthy, there was no need to sell half of Britains gold reserves and yet Gordon Brown, presumably with the aggreement of Balls and Ed Milliband, gave the go-ahead for 400 tons to be sold at the knock-down price of £2.3billion. If the same amount was sold now it would raise £13billion. What sort of businessman would make that incredible mistake?

However, in the field of politics, or in anywhere else, there is a saying “let’s draw aline under it”, no matter how big the mistake and cost. The point that seems to escape people is we now have Ed Milliband as leader of the Labour Opposition and, low and behold, Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor. If that doesn’t ring the alarm bells nothing will – unless Labour gets in next time.

We can only be glad that Gordon Brown, together with his arch rival Tony Blair, are out of the picture, although Tony Blair, having conned Parliament into allowing Britain to go to war against Iraq using the phony weapons of mass destruction as an excuse, is doing very nicely thank you as a Minister of Peace to the Middle East.

Who can forget Tony embracing General Gaddafi in 2006? So much for the integrity of political leaders having left office now strutting around the world making a fortune in lecture tours and advising big business conglomerates. How they manage this having brought the country to its knees beats me ... how about you?

Coun George Howe

VIP tent cost

IN this time of cutbacks and increasing taxes and soaring fuel bills, I still see the VIP tent going up at the airshow. Could the money for this luxury for the councillors and chosen friends be put to better use?

I wonder how much this tent costs the taxpayer.

Maybe the council should publish in the Echo the full cost of this little venture. Maybe they could make do with pop and crisps like everyone else.

Christopher Wilson, Sophy Street, Sunderland

They won’t listen

READING Coun Howe’s letter of July 19, I have to agree with him regarding the Labour council’s refusal to listen to the opposition and their suggestions.

They don’t even listen to the people who put them in office. The majority of those people think the word Conservative is a nasty dirty word, not to be spoken or even mentioned in case a spell is cast upon them.

I have in front of me a book with the title Sunderland Street Atlas, price 50p.

I will write a few quotes from that book. You may find it interesting – or think that it’s from a fairy tale.

“Seeing a dragon on your holiday might be something of a shock but the Lambton Worm is not the only surprise you’ll find when you visit Sunderland.

“Sunderland’s lively centre offers something for everyone. It’s Europe’s largest town where the seashore and countryside combine to make it an exciting attraction which caters for all tastes.

“The resort is full of energy with top-class entertainment, seafront activities, attractive beaches all within reach of a wealth of historical sites and beautiful countryside.

“Sunderland is a town of constant surprise where the bright lights attract millions of visitors to revel in the biggest brightest tourist attraction in the North of England.

“Sunderland illuminations, six miles in length, making it the largest seaside attraction on the east coast.”

I could go on, but who apart from children wants to read fairy tales?

I suggest to Coun Howe: change your party’s name from Conservative to New, New Labour.

I would bet you would get more votes than that Labour bunch now in.

J. Coates, Zetland Square, Sunderland

Thanks to finder

I WOULD like to thank the person who handed my wallet into the police station at The Galleries, Washington.

It was a pleasant surprise.

Also it was the first time I had been to The Galleries and I was very impressed.

William Rowe, Simonside Road, Springwell