Letters, Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

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Time for a U-turn on foreign aid

MICHAEL Dixon wrote recently that pressure from the media and the public forced the Government to do a U-turn on the pasty tax.

No, Mr Dixon, the U-turn occurred when the Chancellor realised his brainchild was so complicated even the tax collector couldn’t understand it.

Mr Dixon went on to say U-turns could create a financial shortfall which would place foreign aid in danger and he blamed the masses for protesting.

It seems Mr Dixon would like the nation to have a moral obligation to accept these vicious Tory cuts without a murmur.

No doubt that would make him and his Government happy.

In his outrage, Mr Dixon appears to have forgotten that the overseas aid budget is protected, and if there hasn’t been a U-turn on this matter, is in a better financial position than it ever was.

In 2010, George Osborne cut public spending to the bone while simultaneously increasing overseas aid by 37 per cent. This means, Mr Dixon, that the foreign aid you are worried about will grow from £6.3billion to £9.4billion by 2014, and Osborne stated it will be protected from cuts.

In comparison, Mr Dixon, the U-turn will only cost the Treasury £750million over five years.

So with our own people struggling to keep the roof over their heads and many depending on soup kitchens/food parcels, how can Osborne justify increasing foreign aid?

Under normal circumstances I give my support to overseas aid. However, when the Chancellor considers our poverty is so severe that he has to grab the benefit from the blind and amputees, then I cannot condone his extraordinary behaviour.

In these dire times a Chancellor with any sense would ensure charity begins at home.

W Quinn, Duke Street, Sunderland

Diamond weekend

THE parish of Dalton-le-Dale had a splendid Queen’s Jubilee celebration. We had a children’s party on the Saturday afternoon with face-painting by Angela Sandwith. There were painting and poetry competitions. There was a treasure trail through the village. Graeme Morris our local MP came along to open the event and to bury the time capsule.

On the Saturday evening there was a delicious supper in the Parish Hall hosted by the Community Association. Entertainment was provided by the talented Anthony Stringer.

On the Monday we had the Big Lunch, which was a shared table. Liz Harwood, who catered for the supper, also made a spectacular Union Flag cake. The cake was cut by Mr and Mrs McCallum who were celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary.

Monday’s entertainment was provided by children of the village who played and sang for us.

We ended with community singing and volunteers in the stocks.

I should like to thank AAP of DCC for the donation towards events. Dalton-le-Dale Parish Council, the Community Association, the Jubilee Committee and all who helped or contributed to make this trio of events a successful celebration.

Out competition winners were: Fancy Dress – Olivia Chinhengo, six, and Isobel Chinhengo, three; Treasure Trail – Ellie Baxter, seven; Painting – Six years and under, Olivia Chinhengo, seven years and over, Madelyn Elmer, eight; Poetry – Ellen Wilkins, 12.

Marian Oliver, Chairman of Jubilee Celebrations

Keep flying flag

It’s strange but it’s a fact that not a lot of people fly the Union Jack every day. It’s one of the flags of Britain, but yet it offends people when it is flown. I cannot understand that.

Yet when there is a royal wedding or a jubilee, people come together and fly the Union Flag. So what is the difference?

Does flying the Union Flag during these celebrations not offend some people when this happens?

If people fly the Union Flag, why not do it all of the time and not just for a special occasion.

It’s supposed to represent everything British all of the time, not just some of the time, or is Britain just Britain when the mood takes us?

I wouldn’t fly the flag just for a celebration, I would fly it because I was proud to be British.

Mrs B Crute, Cleveland Road, High Barnes

Cold queues

well done to Coldplay for a great night on Thursday. Sorry for the weather and the Metro strike.

People were caught out, but as taxi drivers, we tried to get to pick up concert-goers, but we couldn’t get to the stadium until 11.30pm. Common sense says, as the gig finished at 10.55pm, taxis should’ve been allowed to get to the public.

We were met with rude traffic management people and unhelpful police.

There were queues at station and Green Terrace. It was utter Bedlam.

For the next gig, why not use Kier Hardie Way to get all the taxis in then it would work better and we wouldn’t have the farce we had on Thursday night?

Gary Davis