Letters, Friday, December 5, 2014

Have your say

Fears for jobs if we leave the EU

IN reply to Marjorie Matthew’s letter (November 27), please remember that the North East, and the City of Sunderland especially, benefits significantly from our membership of the European Union and European money.

 If we leave the EU my fear is that Nissan will relocate to mainland Europe (where it already has factories) and this will have a domino effect on the closure or down-sizing of its supply chain firms within Sunderland and the wider North East.

 UKIP supporters and right wing Tories will no doubt deride my fears. In that case let me make this challenge: let’s hear a solemn pledge, from UKIP and the anti-EU Conservatives that in the event of Nissan closing following Britain leaving the EU, UKIP as a party and every anti-EU Conservative MP and Councillor will come together and pay each and every employee made redundant (from Nissan direct or any of the supply chain firms) for the loss of salary.

 If UKIP and the anti-EU Conservatives truly believe that my fears are unfounded then they have nothing to worry about.

 We will read letters from party activists (please note I am not a member of any political party) making this promise.

 If no such promises are made then you can conclude that the North East does indeed have a lot to fear if the UK leaves the EU.

 Let me just conclude by saying that my nephew works at the Nissan plant and I, for one, am not prepared to gamble with his livelihood and future.

Rod Hepplewhite

Hastings Hill

Immigration is no benefit to masses

DID anyone listen to the debate on this week’s Any Questions?

 Much of the discussion was inevitably taken up with the question of immigration.

 One questioner asked: “If we do not have immigrants from Eastern Europe who will pick, grow and package our vegetables?”

 The question I would ask is: Is it acceptable to have a significant amount of people using cheap air-flights going back and forth, between Britain and their own country in order that they can make some much-needed money and in turn the British public can go down to the nearest supermarket and pick-up cheap vegetables?.

 The reason I would ask this question is, because what effect can all this air travel have on our environment?

 Also, surely, we should pay more for our vegetables so that people would be willing to do these jobs on a living wage, and not on a minimum wage possibly on a zero-hour contract.

 Also, if we were really concerned about diversity – which is the argument usually used to justify mass immigration – why then would we not welcome to our country people who have dire need, such as those from Syria or Haiti?

 No, the current debate on immigration is about supporting free movement of people in order to support a free market economy on behalf of the few as against the benefits of he masses.

Lesley Aitch

Free movement is trade benefit only

THE current debate about immigration is not about immigration in its widest sense, but is about whether people should allow the free movement of people in order to support a free market.

 Support for that is only in the interests of a select few, such as corporate and shareholder interests.

 If this were not the case then workers, British or European immigrants would be paid a decent wage for the work that they are apparently needed to do.

 The argument that is endlessly put to us defending mass immigration is that we need a ‘diverse population’ – but what is really meant here is that we need a diverse workforce, diverse meaning the lowest possible wage paid to European immigrants, and, obviously, British people understandably do not want to work for the minimum wage on a zero-hour contract.

 If we really cared about a sensible approach to immigration we would be considering the plight of the people of Syria or Haiti and such places on the basis that these people have a dire need because of war or ecological circumstances. But we are not prepared to consider this approach as there is no benefit to corporate and shareholder interests.

 As long as we care more about economics than humanity, other people’s problems will eventually end up on our doorstep.

Euan Tipe,


Working class are often conservative

IS the Labour Party alienating its core supporters?

 Should a champagne socialist like me poke fun at white van man for hanging flags outside his home?

 The white van man was always a Thatcherite.

 Anyone who flies the national flag from their window is either a chav, a fascist or a neighbour from hell – possibly all three.

 So what will Labour do if the working class abandons them for Nigel Farage?

 There has always been a contradiction about Labour and the people it claims to represent.

 In many ways working class people are conservative with a small c (maybe with a big C too).

 On many issues they are strongly right-wing such as immigration, capital punishment and gay issues.

 There was always an unspoken pact between Labour and its supporters: We’ll look after your interests if you turn a blind eye to our progressive legislative programme.

 But I know one elderly ex-miner who still foams at the mouth when he recalls the liberal reforms of Home Secretary Roy Jenkins in the 1960s.

Henry Whipple,