Letters, Wednesday, April 10

10
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Take up challenge of living on £53pw

I WRITE further to Councillor Robert Oliver’s letter signifying his support for the Government’s changes to the benefits system.

 Moreover, I refer to Iain Duncan Smith’s statement that he could live on £53 per week (after housing expenses, mortgage/rent and council tax, but excluding utility bills) if he had to. This was closely followed by his refusal to prove he could do just that when challenged (at the time of writing this letter, the online petition urging him to put up or retract his statement stands at just over 419,000 signatures).

 In light of Iain Duncan Smith proving himself to be an unprincipled coward, I wonder whether Councillor Oliver would step up to the wire and prove himself by offering to undertake the challenge for a 12-month period.

 He could provide a weekly blog for publication to let us all know how he gets on.

Rod Hepplewhite,

Hasting Hill

Bring it on, Paolo

I AM thrilled Paolo Di Canio has been appointed Sunderland AFC manager.

 Good on him he sacked all the backroom staff in one fell swoop and has put some fire into this dull and boring club, which we have supported, watched and endured humiliation and failure week in and week out.

 Paolo has put his actions straight into effect with no messing, thank goodness he’s had the bottle to do it.

 The media news has been interesting what with David Milliband resigning, then news of the mineworkers’ union and the near removal of their banner from the SOL since the manager’s appointment. While I am a Labour voter and from a family of mineworkers, I myself endured the bitter and terrible year-long miners’ strike, I feel things have been an over-reaction.

 To me the main stay of fascism is this Tory government, who are downtreading the poor, the disabled, the pensioners, the sick – and the list goes on.

 Di Canio has been a footballer in England for some years, having played for West Ham and Sheffield Wed. He went on to manage Swindon, and yes there was a slight protest from a union in that area, but nothing on the scale as here in Sunderland.

 A few weeks ago I returned my season ticket renewal form and stated I will not renew, but after the media news and what I’ve seen and heard from Paolo Di Canio, I envisage an exciting time.

 So bring it on, Paolo, I wish you all the luck in the world and every success as Sunderland AFC manager.

Susan Watson,

Silksworth

Wrong to close

WE are constantly told, and I happily accept that we live in a multi-cultural, multi-faith society.

 I personally have no faith and do not attend church, so why do we have to accept the city closing down for the celebration of a Christian festival? Surely this is a discriminatory practice.

 I understand that workers enjoy a break from work or the pleasure of double pay, but this can be worked around so nobody loses out.

 Caffè Nero was one of the few places open on Easter Sunday. It was interesting to see the dismay on people’s faces when they realised The Bridges was shut.

City regular