Letters, Friday, August 9, 2013

Have your say

All this talk about fracking is a con

LORD Howell said (Echo, July 31) the shale gas industry should be encouraged to develop in a sustainable way, where it is appropriate to do so and in a way that ensures communities benefit.

 Where was Lord Howell’s voice when the coal mines were being shut?

 Why would communities want to benefit from shale gas? Aren’t people on benefits classed as scroungers by the Government?

 What happened to the “benefits” of North Sea oil and gas? North Sea gas was going to cost people one penny per annum. Since North Sea gas was discovered, how many OAPs have died of hypothermia in the winter?

 When the Americans go to their ‘gas stations’ for petrol they always use the same phrase to the pump attendant, which is “fill her up buddy”.

 What phrase do we use in this country? “I’ll have £10-worth, please” – that’s what.

 Water falls free from the sky regularly to the point of flooding, but how many people are having water meters fitted?

 All this spin about fracking is just another con.

 Thatcher said we need competition between the energy companies, and that’s what we got – competition to see who can charge us the most.

 Should anything go wrong, the company will just leave and then it will be our problem.

 No thank you – frack off.

R Tomlinson,


Havoc in the NHS

A RECENT judgement by the High Court means it would now be unlawful for the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to close the high-performing, financially sound A&E and maternity services at Lewisham Hospital.  It was a victory for NHS patients and common sense.

 I’m not sure whether the decision by the court will halt the current reorganisation, which is creating havoc in the health service.

 The financial cuts imposed by David Cameron means operations are cancelled, hospital units closed and badly-needed nursing staff are shown the door. Meanwhile millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money has found its way into the private consultants’ pockets, who are planning the botched NHS reforms.

 Every time the Tories are in power, the quality of patient care seems to worsen. Even the NHS medical chief blamed the chronic lack of nurses for the high death rates in 14 hospitals. He singled out dangerous staff shortages on nights and weekends. He also criticised the reliance on sub-standard agency workers being used to cover.

 Patients, he said, had been left unmonitored on trolleys for excessive periods.

 Of course, Mr Hunt tried to blame Labour. The medical chief did not agree. He said “between 2000 and 2008 the NHS was rightly focused on rebuilding capacity after decades of neglect” (by the Tories). It doesn’t stop there.

 The cuts have also reduced the standard of hygiene.

 Joyce Robins, of Patient Concern, stated: “If these infestations were found in a restaurant, it would be closed down.”

 Patients should not have to share their hospitals with rats, mice, fleas and bedbugs.

 Who was the smug face who said the NHS would be safe in his hands?

W Quinn

Overblown rhetoric

IN response to my letter about free meals for primary school children, Sharon Hodgson MP (Echo, August 1) talks about compassion as if it were an emotion exclusive to the Labour Party.

 This without addressing the reality of the financial state of the country, and, in particular, the need to reduce public spending.

 As for tax cuts for millionaires, people like Tony Blair, it was the government that she supported who abolished the 10p tax rate which did so much to harm hard-working families.

 In the unlikely event that she ever becomes Children’s Minister, we will see if her overblown rhetoric is matched by action.

Dennis McDonald,


Still awaiting justice

IT is said that Stuart Hall tried to have his sentence reduced because at the time the offences were committed, the sentences for such perversions were less.

 Many victims’ families would love that because then all those murderers who killed before hanging was stopped, but were caught after, could see the perpetrators hanged, instead of having a cushy life in jail with all mod cons and the possibility of a new life after 10 or 20 years.

 Hall got 15 months, increased to 30. He should have got five years at least.

 At 83, even a little remorse might help. He probably laughs inside – like Jimmy Savile.

 Justice has still not arrived in the 21st century.

Mr J A Stott,


Generation game

NOW my grandson has started work as a paperboy, he’s become the latest in a long line. Over the years, five generations of my family have delivered the Echo.

 My grandfather had a paper round on Hendon Road over a century ago. My father was a paperboy on Villette Road in the 1930s.

 Every evening you’d find him hanging about outside the newsagents with the other lads, waiting for the delivery van to arrive with the 6pm edition of the Echo.

 When I was a boy I worked at Pells, on the corner of Hylton Road and Sorley Street. I would buy The Eagle and Charles Buchan’s Football monthly there too. These publications have long since gone, just like Pells.

 My own son worked for Trenholms on St Luke’s Terrace, Pallion.

 Despite the rain, hail, sleet, snow, thunder and lightning, we made sure the Echo got delivered.

 Let’s hope there’s a future for paperboys in the age of the internet.

William Crane,


Stop immigration

AS any sensible person knows, the UK is massively overcrowded and we have five months to stop Bulgarians and Romanians from coming here at will.

 We are unfortunately tied to the EU at the moment and it will be a long time before the public can have a vote.

 We need to say now to the EU that we must be exempt from the free movement of any other countries to the UK because we have no room or services for any more immigrants.

 The BBC says the NHS is challenged now because there are so many older people using the service but don’t mention future immigration numbers.

 The so-called Bedroom Tax has only come about because, thanks to the EU and Labour, we desperately need spare rooms for the massive number of immigrants that we expect.

 We must act before it is too late.

Marjorie Matthews

Who is footing bill?

IT appears the cost of Mrs Thatcher’s funeral works out at two pence per person in this country.

 I do not begrudge this amount.

 Mr David Hopper appears, from behind his large cigar, to blacken Mrs Thatcher’s name again.

 Are his cigars paid for by miners’ contributions, which, no doubt, will be more than two pence?

Name and address supplied

Slowly recovering

I WOULD like to thank those concerned when I recently tripped on uneven paving in Sunderland city centre, especially Louise from Greggs, and the ambulance men.

 I have several injuries, including a hairline fracture, but I am slowly recovering.

Name and address supplied

All change on buses

IF there is a shake-up of bus services, does it mean that passengers in the south of Sunderland will now be able to get a direct bus to Newcastle and Gateshead?

 The north side now has three: X3, X36 and the 56.

Name and address supplied