Letters, Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Have your say

How many miners went to Nissan?

WITH reference to Tim Brown’s letter (Echo, Jan 28), I would like to point out he has made some glaring omissions about Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister.

 Like all Tory leaders she was anti-working class, only interested in those whom she knew would vote for her party.

 Mr Brown states she did sterling work in bringing Nissan to Sunderland. He omits to tell us she also did sterling work in closing down the two major industries in our region, namely coal-mining and shipbuilding.

 I wonder if he ever did any lobbying with Mrs Thatcher to prevent those two industries closing? The death of these two industries have left their mark in all of the pit villages to this day.

 Nissan has been a good employer since it came here.

 It too has been subsidised by central government, and as far as I know, it still is. That, and the city status were the two sweeteners Sunderland got for the closures.

 Incidentally, I always thought the steelworks that closed were in South Wales.

 Strangely enough, I do not know of any worker who lost their jobs in mining or the yards and were then employed at the car plant. It would be interesting to know how many did get a move there.

 Finally, when Thatcher was present at the launch of a ship in a Wear yard, she was asked by a senior shop steward if there was any truth in the rumour that her Government intended closing the yards, her stark answer was to say: “I think you build the finest ships in the world here in Sunderland.”

AA Kelly,


Our Royalty isn’t as British as it seems

IN his letter about foreigners (Echo, Jan 30) Mr Watson writes that Queen Victoria married one – Prince Albert.

 But I’m afraid that although Queen Victoria was born in England, she was German too – as German as sauerkraut and dumplings, a stein of Rhine wine, my aunt Mabel’s dachshund or Angela Merkel’s moustache. If your ma and pa are German, then you are too.

 After George Ludwig of Hanover came to the British throne in 1714, he was followed by a number of King Georges who all took wives from their old fatherland. It was only when the Queen Mum married into the Windsor family in 1923 that a bit of British blood was reintroduced into the Royal line.

 Then what happened? Princess Elizabeth goes and marries Phil the Greek – only he’s not really Greek, of course, but another German. It’s just after the war, so we decide not to mention he’s descended from families with names like Glucksburg and Battenberg. At least Kate Middleton is a royal bride who is 100 per cent British!

 PS: I may have made a mistake saying Mutti Merkel has a moustache. Maybe I was thinking of another German Chancellor.

Henry Whipple,

Coach Road Estate,


Charity should begin at home

ANOTHER day, another advert on TV from yet another charity, begging for money from the good old, big-hearted British public – this time for terminally ill children.

 I find it utterly disgraceful that charity organisations in this country have to continually beg for aid when this Government continues to dole out billions of pounds to foreign countries.

 Don’t get me wrong, I believe that children in need deserve help wherever they live in the world. However, I also firmly believe that it should not be at the expense of our own children in need – after all, charity begins at home.

M McArdle,


Why stop with Chinese New Year?

I CAN’T understand why Chinese New Year has become such a big deal in this country for people outside of the Chinese community.

 I can understand people wanting to learn about other cultures, but if that’s the case, why not celebrate the countless other festivals that take place around the world as well? There are lots of interesting ones.

Andrew Purvis,