Letters, Tuesday, April 16, 2013

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Let’s have some dignity for funeral

I AM a coal miner’s grandson and can trace my ancestors back to Ireland in the early 1800.

 It is with much pride I note that many became coal miners, but I’m afraid “fings aint wot they used to be”.

 If he were alive today, John Richardson, the founder General secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association in 1869, would be disappointed at David Hopper, the current incumbent’s performance of late. Having threatened to take his banner home because he disagrees with the political views of the Italian football coach appointed by Sunderland AFC, he has, like many attention-seeking, disrespectful miscreants, embarked on a mission to pour scorn on Lady Thatcher’s memory.

 It is one thing for a miners’ secretary to disagree with the politics of a Prime Minister but the vitriol and bile originated by so called political figures, perpetuated by the BBC and much of the media, to blacken the reputation of one who was voted into office for three consecutive terms, shows a mixture of stupidity and sheer bad taste.

 The press publicises young people, who would not know who Arthur Scargill was and probably think “The Winter of Discontent” was a sequel to “Gone With the Wind”, waving banners and scorning the death of the greatest female political force since Boadicea.

 Cast your mind back to the 1970s and 1980s. Inflation was 22 per cent, Britain was in darkness due to power cuts and Scargill declared that he would bring down the government. The stage was set for the disastrous strike which saw Scargill collect funds from among others Colonel Gaddafi, and afterwards be accused of diverting money for personal uses.

 Margaret Thatcher was not the villain, coal is no longer our first choice of energy and how many mining fathers would send their lads and lasses down the pits if they were open? Not many and not me.

 Let us have some dignity for the Thatcher funeral. Don’t go if you don’t want to but why speak ill of some one who did her best to serve the country. A lot more than can be said of many who now speak out against her memory.

Denis Gillon,

Sunderland

Be wary of ‘sons’

SO the Iron Lady is gone, and still her nasty poisonous right-wing politics against the working class are the topic of debate.

 As a school leaver in Thatcher’s 1980s I struggled to find work, watched miners fight for their livelihoods, while pompous fat cats drooled over the cream, and watched my welder father as his 30 years in the shipyards is dismantled and sacrificed on the altar of Thatcherism.

 I can say now I will not shed one tear for this vile woman and what she stood for.

 We can talk until the cows come home of what was right (not much) and what was wrong (lots) of her time in office, but it’s the two loyal sons, David and George, we working class need to be very much wary of these days.

 For Margaret and her family a funeral awaits, for our families I am afraid a Tory crushing mel hammer of the past.

Nigel Kennerley,

Lambton Street,

Chester-le-Street