Letters, Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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Have your say

Equality doesn’t equal all the same

MR Whipple’s letter about Eton (November 1) reminded me of a conversation I overheard many years ago.

 I was enjoying a drink when a loudmouth at the bar began extolling the virtues of comprehensive schools.

 I believe in equality, he said, that’s why all kids should go to comprehensives.

 You don’t start arguments with a man who has a pint glass in his hand, so what I didn’t say was this: We all believe in equality don’t we? And we all believe that no one should be condemned for life for failing the 11-Plus exam, but equality doesn’t mean everyone sinking to the same bog-standard level, or that children who want to learn should be terrorised by the D-steam bullies.

 Grammar schools were established so ordinary working-class children could have an academic education and go on to university and into the professions.

 Oh no, said Labour politicians, we can’t have that. Let’s create comprehensives as an experiment in social engineering. Though, of course, we haven’t the courage to abolish public schools for the really privileged few.

 And before any Tories write in agreeing with me, please remember it was Margaret Thatcher who oversaw the abolition of more grammar schools than any other Education Secretary. Let’s just be glad city academies have replaced failing comprehensives.

William Crane,

Washington

Turning in his grave

WELL said, Michael Dodds, a straight to the point letter in Saturday, November 8.

 It is a myth that the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, but every war since was won for the playing fields of Eton. The thousands of brave men were sacrificed to maintain the life style of the establishment.

 In 1943, Nye Bevan said controlled poverty is what the Tory’s want, not the abolition of poverty, and here we are in 2014 with the same scenario.

 After his election victory in 1945, Clement Attlee, the best Prime Minister this country has ever had, embarked on a programme of social reform.

 Nationalisation – housing, and the NHS. He wanted to eradicate poverty and want. This was a forward thinking Labour Government who’s priorities were for the majority of the country, unlike the Conservatives who were, and still are, for the minority.

 Michael is correct the traitors of the Labour Party would have the great Clement Attlee turning in his grave.

Ged Taylor,

Barnes

It’s in the bucket

I SEE the Met Office is spending £97million on a new computer so that it can forecast the weather better.

 Lots of gadget shops are selling personal wireless weather stations for your very own forecasts.Don’t waste your money. For several years now there has been a building in Sunderland City Centre which can do the same for nothing.

 If you walk from St Mary’s car park down the steps and along the passage between Marks and Spencer and BHS, you will see a long line of buckets down the centre.

 If there is rainwater in the buckets it’s raining outside as the roof leaks.

Michael Hafferty