Letters, Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

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Letter ignored bad Tory policies

WE know this is the season for fairy tales and Councillor Wood’s recent letter about what the Tories have done for the city and the region fits easily into this category.

His letter spans a period of about 50 years, but during that time he is able to point to six things which Conservative governments have done for the city and the region.

He forgets what the baddies did to the coal and shipbuilding industries in the area and the effects on employment that this had and continues to have.

He does not tell us that Baron Hardup Cameron promised before the General Election that the North East and Northern Ireland were areas where public spending was “unsustainable”.

The big, bad giant Pickles has proved this is the case by cutting the council grant funding by between 10 and 20 per cent.

Perhaps Coun Wood and his colleagues should get out a bit more. They could travel to the South of England to see the billions which has been and is being spent on the Tory heartlands.

M. Brennan, Ryhope Road, Sunderland

Cats’ successes

MR J. Longstaff (Letters, December 19) states: “We have not won anything since 1973” and ‘Where has he (Mick) been for the past 40 years?” and also that we “have been the longest-suffering fans in the country”.

Everybody is annoyed to read Mick “The Pen’s” latest rant because that’s what he is good at – annoying people, always by picking on trivial issues. However, I must sort of stick up for Mick (again!) by saying that in the last 40 years we were Championship winners in 1976, 96, 99, 05 and 07 and League One winners in 1988. Not top flight, I admit, but we have been winning honours in the years since 1973 and the FA Cup win, where we also came second in 1992, against mighty Liverpool.

Compare this record to our nearest neighbours, who have only won two honours in the last 40 years, and I think we do all right in winning honours, albeit at the expense of going down more often than aforementioned neighbours and, although I’m a wee bit uncertain on this one, there must be quite a few longer-suffering fans in this country, even in the Premiership.

Anyway, Mick, do keep annoying the good folk of Sunderland because it is what you are good at. That’s enough praise for the time being, and I myself shall try to pick on some more trivial things in the future.

Alan “The Quill” Vincent, Old Penshaw

Wrong priorities

AS another year approaches, the “Queen of the Seas” still lies rotting away even more. I read with amusement (tongue in cheek) a recent article in a Sunday newspaper that the south’s revered Cutty Sark renovation is nearing completion, no doubt funded by London Council, and to be rededicated in a special ceremony.

Also amazing that “them” up the road wanted another tunnel under the Tyne. No problem! Signed, sealed and completed. Well, councillors, ignore Adelaide and pat yourselves on the back – the monstrosity of an iconic bridge has come to fruition.

My New Year’s resolution is for you to bring back Adelaide and renovate Hylton Castle too.

Brian Johnston, Rochdale Road, Red House, Sunderland

Problem families

IN his diatribe against David Cameron’s proposals to deal with problem families, Neil McKnight (Letters, December 27) neglects one vital fact: that these initiatives are a consolidation of the strategy initiated by that other multi-millionaire Tony Blair and New Labour, which proved largely ineffective.

These feral families have wreaked misery and mayhem across large parts of Britain, in some cases for generations, without making any contribution to society and without prohibitions laid against them.

The time for a softly, softly approach is over. The emphasis now must be on self-discipline, self-reliance, changing lifestyles and toeing the line and those who won’t or can’t change must accept the inevitable consequences.

This may not appeal to a pseudo class warrior like Neil McKnight, but it has wide appeal and support from millions of hard-working families who know that the status quo is no longer a viable option.

Dennis McDonald, Fulwell

Thanks to hospital

I WOULD like to express sincere gratitude to all members of staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital who treated my mother when she was taken ill with suspected chest pains shortly before Christmas.

The NHS receives a lot of criticism, but in my experience the professionalism and dedication of paramedics, doctors and nurses can’t be faulted.

Their calibre far exceeded their financial reward.

David Schofield, Houghton