Letters, Thursday, July 17, 2014

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Football has lost some of its magic

MANY correspondents have been very critical of our overpaid England footballers and their failure in Brazil.

 I believe the Premier League is a rotten competition too.

 Roy Keane talked about a glass ceiling which Sunderland will never break through. I use the phrase treading water.

 So many clubs in the Premier League are just treading water with no ambition apart from avoiding relegation and collecting the television revenues.

 It’s astonishing to think there must be young people who think only the Manchester clubs, Chelsea or Arsenal can win the League title.

 Teams only win prizes if they are bankrolled by Arab sheiks or Russian oligarchs.

 The days when Brian Clough could bring Derby or Notts Forest out of Division Two and win the League and then the European Cup are long gone.

 We won’t see that ever again, and we’ve lost something precious – a bit of the romance has gone.

 Remember the television experts who praise the wonderful football in our Premiership are employed by organisations such as Sky, BBC, BT, who have paid vast sums to show the product, so they’re unlikely to rubbish it.

 The Premier League stinks.The days when there was some excitement in the Championship race are in the past.

 However, I suppose come April, we’ll all be praying that SAFC stay up again.

Henry Whipple,

Washington

Over-rated player

SO Connor Whickham is hanging out for a better deal from SAFC, is he?

 I’ve got one for him: “Get on yer bike.”

 If ever there was an over-rated player, it’s him.

 He has the physique and a certain amount of the ability required to become a top level striker. Unfortunately, he lacks at least two of the other attributes required to reach that level.

 One is the hunger or desire to really achieve his true potential; how much did his application wane, even after his short spell of good performances at the end of last season?

 Secondly, his inability to rid himself of the playboy image he has been accused of by more than one previous manager – Bruce, O’Neill and De Canio can’t all be wrong.

 I would love to know what Poyet really thinks about him.

 Let him go and under-achieve at some other club’s expense.

Alan Jackson,

Prudhoe

Hard to believe

THIS Tory Government is extracting billions of pounds from the northern economy with council cuts.

 The consequence is a continuous drop in our living standards, and food bank hardship for the vulnerable are the order of the day.

 Bearing this in mind, I am cynical of the announcement by David Cameron concerning an award of £289million to the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

 Obviously, it would be fantastic for Sunderland if this scheme ever left the ground. It would, hopefully, provide thousands of much-needed jobs.

 However, I am sceptical of a Prime Minister who has a bit of a record for U-turns and broken promises.

 I understand that the whole scheme depends on the Tories winning the General Election, which takes place next year.

 The deal won’t start until 2015/16.

 This whole thing could be a pre-election scam. Even if the Tories win, they could find plenty of excuses to cancel.

 I have been suspicious of Tory promises since the year dot. Even more so since David Cameron stood before the nation and sincerely told the British people that the NHS would be safe in his hands.

 What a whopper.

W Quinn

Little sign of boom

AT a time when more than a million public sector workers are reluctantly taking industrial action against a Government who insists that the economy is in such dire straits that it cannot afford to pay its own workers a decent pay rise, up pops Alan Wright to claim that the economy is booming. If that is the case, why are more people using food banks than ever before and why are more than half of 13million people classed as being in poverty even though they are working.

 The office of national statistics also states that under this Government, real wages have been falling for the longest period for at least 50 years.

 If the economy is booming, why are the people who care for our sick, risk their lives for us and teach our children treated by this Government with such disdain?

 Why are millionaire ministers, who will shortly be accepting a 11 per cent pay rise, queuing up to castigate unions for trying to fight for a decent standard of living for their members, many of whom earn less than £20,000 a year and are forced to take two or three jobs to make ends meet.

 The economy may be improving for some but the vast majority of ordinary working people are not feeling the benefit, and you can rest assured this will be reflected in May 2015.

R Scott

An inspiration to all

A NUMBER of readers have praised Clement Attlee, and how he was a far better politician than Winston Churchill?

 Though he rose to become leader of the Labour Party, Attlee’s early life was far from that of a working class hero.

 Margaret Thatcher is often derided for her “privileged” upbringing, while Attlee has escaped similar criticism.

 Born into comparative wealth, he travelled down the now well trodden route of public school, then on to Oxford, before taking up law as a profession.

 It’s certainly true that Churchill concentrated on military matters while head of the wartime coalition government, but how different things might have been if politicians such as Attlee hadn’t been so reluctant to allow Britain to modernise and re-arm its forces in the years leading up to the outbreak of war?

 Churchill’s stubbornness, his bloody mindedness and his ties to the States, gained much for Britain, not least the enormous range of vehicles, ships and armour given to us by America under the lend-lease agreement.

 Countless members of the public and armed forces, have cited Churchill as their inspiration during the Second World War, including members of my family who served in North Africa, the Far East and the liberation of mainland Europe.

M Brown

Such a kind deed

ON Saturday, July 5, myself and a group of friends went to Newcastle for a night out.

 We had been watching and following the World Cup games.

 We travelled back to Sunderland in the early hours of Sunday morning to end the night in the pubs of Sunderland.

 I realised at Sunday lunchtime that my driver’s licence was missing. I use my licence as a form of ID to get into the pubs (I am 24).

 I was devastated, knowing that a replacement would cost me £20 or more.

 However, on Monday night after returning home from work, I found my licence intact on my doormat.

 I was elated to think someone from Sunderland, or maybe even Newcastle, had found it and had taken time out to come to my address and return to me.

 Thank you so much to the person who went to all this trouble. I wish you all the very best.

 My faith in humanity is restored.

 Once again, thanks.

Peter Ward,

Millfield