Letters, Wednesday, January 18th. 2012

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An alternative type of economy

IT was interesting to read Allan Rowell’s letter (December 26). Capitalism is indeed increasingly seen not just as unfair, but chaotic and crisis-ridden.

Capitalism is based on encouraging some of the worst features of human beings, including greed and selfishness. While it has arguably raised living standards, the financial crisis shows that without strong regulation it will wreck the economy. And, as Allan is quite right to argue, you cannot have ever increasing consumption and production without wrecking the basic life support systems of the planet.

The Green Party is committed to creating practical alternatives. We believe in an economy where businesses are run co-operatively for the benefit of all, not for a greedy elite. While this might sound impracticable, co-operative and mutual forms of organisation are growing fast – for example, the John Lewis Partnership is effectively owned by its workers not shareholders.

We could make goods to last longer and provide better public services to combine prosperity with protecting the environment which we and future generations depend upon.

In the North East thousands of jobs could be created in a green economy through renewable energy, but what is even more important is that instead of being controlled by distant corporations the economy is democratically owned by the population.

Above all we need an economy that respects future generations, but to achieve this means making political changes. From fighting government cuts to opposing the drive to war in Iran, we need to unite with others. Personal change as outlined by Allan is important, but not enough.

Incidentally, it’s funny how there is always enough money for the Government to spend on war but never enough for the NHS or to support those who are weaker in society.

Emily Blyth, Sunderland Green Party

Give us a voice

I WOULD like to refer to the letter on December 10 from Councillor Derrick Smith who signs himself the Independent councillor for Hetton and Houghton.

I thought Coun Smith was the representative for Copt Hill Ward. In this letter he talks of unadopted roads in Hetton and cites money used in Shiney Row, out of their small ward budget. Well, as the Independents have the majority in Copt Hill why have they not done this for Copt Hill?

Coun Smith assures the people of Hetton and Houghton that he will play his part in getting their voices heard. Should he not be getting the Copt Hill electorate’s voices heard instead as they elected him to the council?

A. Owen, Copt Hill resident

Views on Forces

IT seems that I own an apology to your readers and Mr Brown of Washington if, in any of my views on H.M. Forces, I recently mentioned about joining the armed forces of today.

I do support the sound training given but I know about conflicts, since I did serve in 1944 and 45 Belgium, Holland, and the Battle of the Bulge, and a couple of years in Egypt and Palestine.

What I do deplore within the charity field is the need of residents to help us man Royal British Legion Poppy stands on a rota system in Washington for veterans returning from Afghanistan etc. After all, the Legion motto for volunteers is “service not self” – my record for over 50 years.

Bill Craddock, Donvale Road, Washington

City’s decline

THERE is no doubt that Sunderland as a location and place to live has deteriorated over the past decade. Results from the council are nothing short of appalling – filthy streets lack of modernisation, facilities reduced. There is no positive.

But unbelievably Coun Watson says that the council activities have brought in investment and thousands of jobs. Well let him detail those. Let the people of Sunderland evaluate how much of that claim would have occurred without any council involvement.

As a Labour voter all my life I have to say that the Labour council have let the people down badly. The place is a tip, education results are poor. What I would like to know is how much investment has gone elsewhere because of the council performance? A damn sight more than they have attracted.

If the people of Sunderland want a better place to live and bring up a family they must use their powers to bring about change.

David McKeever

Special thanks

TO Chris Fullard and staff of the New Derby, Roker.

On behalf of myself and all the volunteers, who put on a lovely meal for all the girl and gentlemen for free, a big thank-you for a lovely day.

Joy Dimmock and friends, Rowan Close, Pennywell