Letters, Thursday, January 9, 2014

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Tories are trying to change history

THE publication of the Cabinet Minutes for 1984 has generated headlines implying that Mrs Thatcher fought to bring Nissan to the North East.

 It has always been the case that Mrs Thatcher played a major part in persuading Nissan to come to the UK, and the new information makes clear that tax incentives were promised to the company in 1980

 The letter of March 8, from the Budget Secretary to the Prime Minister, makes clear, however, that no site was being given preference, and, although Nissan qualified for assistance, “they (Nissan) will not decide on location until the end of this month, all the sites they are considering are in Development or Special Development Areas and it is a condition of the selective assistance offer that they go to such an area”.

 At no point in the published correspondence is there any suggestion that Mrs Thatcher was promoting any specific location and it was down to the efforts of the local authorities and agencies that Nissan was persuaded to choose the Washington site.

 Local Tories seem to be clutching at straws in their efforts to change history.

 Mrs Thatcher did not go to war on behalf of the North East

Edwin Robson

UKIP confident of even more success

LAST New Year, I was asked: Will 2013 be the year UKIP breaks through?

 One year later, I can confidently say – yes it was.

 Our incredible second place in the South Shields by-election (hot on the heels of the second place in Middlesbrough in November 2012), and the terrific successes in the May County Council elections, signify the beginning of the sea change in British politics that I predicted last January.

 This year will be very significant. We start the year with some opinion polls putting Ukip on nearly 30 per cent – twice as high as the same time last year.

 With the Euro elections and many city council elections taking place in May, we can expect even more success.

 In the North East, there are 121 council seats up for re-election, and we will be contesting them all.

 UKIP leader Nigel Farage recently said: “January 1 is a pivotal moment in British politics. From that day, millions of people from Romania and Bulgaria will have free access to the British labour market, thus putting a squeeze on the wages and working conditions of many British people, whose families have paid and contributed to our welfare system for generations.

 “The EU system is unfair on working people because it leads to lower wages and higher youth unemployment.”

 We have all witnessed the severe problems caused by mass EU immigration on jobs, health care, schools and housing.

 The EU elections in May will give us the opportunity to expose the myths and scaremongering regarding jobs and trade.

 A huge thank you to all who supported us last year and for their contribution to our success.

 I wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

Richard Elvin,

Chairman UKIP North East,

North East MEP candidate

Transport should operate every day

ISN’T it time all forms of public transport operated every day of the year in the UK?

 Currently, only the taxi operates 365 days a year.

 In our region, buses and the Metro do not operate on Christmas and New Year’s days. Trains do not run on Boxing Day either.

 Particularly on Boxing day and New Year’s Day plenty of people are on the move – going to the sales and football matches.

 Buses and trains used to run on Christmas day in the UK. In other countries they still do.

 It is interesting to note how well people seem to manage without the bus, Metro and train when they have to.

 It emphasises the importance of both the private car and taxi to keep Sunderland moving.

 Public transport should be available to the public every day of the year.

 Perhaps one day – again – it will.

Coun Peter Wood,

Conservative transport spokesman

Was George my woodwork teacher?

I WAS interested to read your shipyard article of December 16 about George Pearsall.

 Was this the same Mr Pearsall who taught woodwork at Monkwearmouth School from 1973 to 1974?

 The description in the Echo matches what he told us about himself.

 This might interest other former pupils from that time.

P Rylance,

Sunderland