Letters, Friday, January 21st, 2010

Have your say

What did Labour achieve in 13 years?

IT never ceases to amaze me that nearly every night on the Letters Page there are Labour activists and supporters preaching the gospel on what the Labour Goverment has done for the people of this country.

Well I for one don’t share their views, and the reasons are quiet clear. First, they were in power for 13 years and what did they achieve in that time? Well, Mr Blair took us into a war that should never have been and we are still fighting a war that history has taught us we can never win in Afghanistan. My heart goes out to our brave men and women who have given their lives for someone who could not tell the truth to the people of this country and Parliment.

We then signed up to the Human Rights Act, so now any person who has committed a crime and is going to be deported back to their own country, you get the same old complaints saying his human rights are being abused.

Then we had a unelected PM in the shape of Mr G. Brown and his words were there will be no more boom and bust. I wonder what happened next. He also raided people’s pensions pot and left them worse off.

They then left the country in so much debt that we will be paying for it in years to come.

If Labour were such a good party, why did the country not re-elect them? It proves that they were not good.

Then we they had a leadership election and the wrong man was elected. It was the unions who elected the leader, not the people, and in doing so it will take a long to get back into power as Red Ed has not the same stature as his brother David.

To close, then, the best part is all the MPs (Labour)explaining what is right/wrong that the Coalition Government is doing. Yes they have made mistakes, but given time they will correct this and bring this country back to its rightful place in the world. It is the first time that a Coalition Government has ruled in a long time, so give it chance.

Mr Clegg has made some huge mistakes, I will accept that. He needs to learn about being in government, stop beating about the bush and help the government to govern,

The future of the Labour Party can only be resolved by having David Miliband as leader. They need a man with knowledge and a greater understanding of the world and what is going on in it.

So the moral of the story is the Labour government created the problem and now the party are saying how they would fix it. I think they should write to Jimmy Savile – he might help them.

George, Sunderland

Ladies’ workout

ON my way to The Galleries in Washington I have to pass the sports centre. At various times of day, from morning to night, one hears the loud, incessant thump of electronic music as dozens of women (who, naturally, drive there) undergo a form of masochistic torture known as aerobics.

These women, seekers of eternal youth, are shouted at by some gadgie via a microphone to “get yer knees up!” or “work them arms!” and so on. If their husbands spoke to them like that there would be hell on, but said women actually pay for this dubious privilege.

Afterwards, these gently perspiring ladies can be seen mustered around the vending machines consuming cups of hot chocolate and crisps.

I ask you.

Aaron A. G. String, Washington

Disgraceful effort

W. QUINN launches another of his unintelligible attacks “Tory lies over NHS” (Letters, January 12). In this he accuses me of “trying to blur the line between fact and fiction” (he should know this tactic by heart) and makes a vague claim of me “using political idle gossip”.

He rounds off with a statement that I would be “better off dealing with facts and stop trying to peddle insignificant hearsay”. Truly a classic example of the pot calling the kettle.

It is quite telling that he does not refer to a specific instance or try any logical argument.

He then goes on to attack what he claims are lies by Cameron over the NHS. Why does he not address Labour’s refusal to confirm they would have ring-fenced NHS spending?

He closes his letter with the worst piece of hypocrisy I have ever read in a letter to the Echo, even by Mr Quinn’s standards. This is when he peddles the ultimate lie of “Driven by ideology, the Tories intend to privatise the NHS by the back door”.

What kind of twisted logic was brought into play on this one? Or is it, like so many other claims by Mr Quinn, merely designed to scaremonger?

Another disgraceful effort.

Coun Alan Wright, Conservative, St Chad’s ward

Dog rescuers

I AM writing to thank the two gentlemen who helped to save my dog Poppy.

I had just collected her from the vet’s at Whitburn. As I approached the steps opposite the Marriott Hotel, she was frightened and as I tried to fix her special dog collar she took off towards the steps leading to the sea and was just about to go in the sea.

She had just had a major operation and if it hadn’t been for the two men who managed to get hold of her she wouldn’t have survived in the sea.

So I must thank them for their help. I gratefully thank you both for coming to my aid and rescuing my dog.

Mrs E. Miller, Hartington Street, Sunderland

River memories

DOWN the riverside one day, I was sitting reminiscing about the prize asset that made Sunderland such a great and prosperous town (as it was then).

I closed my eyes and remembered all the noises of the shipyards and the different smells, although some of these were not so pleasant when the sewers used to deluge into the river. The tugs busy up and down, the old ferry backwards and forwards, every berth taken by a vessel loading or unloading trade.

There were also the fishing boats with each vessel’s skipper having his own stall at the fish quay where, if you got there near the end of the day, you could get a lot of fish for your money because they wanted rid of it.

Other people with skills on the river were the foyboatmen and the river pilots. All these skills are gone now except for a couple of pilots kept on.

I remember when the shipyards closed down. I lived in Southwick, and I couldn’t get to sleep properly. The reason was because there was no noise like there used to be with the nightshift in the shipyards and engines running on trial at Doxfords.

When the colliery stopped producing, that was it: no more full buses on a morning and tea time (or trams). People were traumatised, the death knell had been sounded far too quickly and I reckon the city is still coming to terms.

I opened my eyes and all that was to see was a lonely river, some students around, a few visiting the Glass Centre, a couple of boats tied up at the fish market and a couple of hopeful fishermen drowning a few worms in hope. Other than that nothing. Very sad!

Some people reading this may think it’s just a doddery old codger looking back, but the thing is when looking back and remembering it brings back the feeling of pride and belonging to a hard-working, proud society, a society with a great community spirit.

Now looking forward, it’s a question of to what? We’ll have to see what the future brings, eh?

Colin Wasey, Wayman Street, Monkwearmouth

Scouts’ store

AS a young Boy Scout in the early 1930s, I was familiar with Reynolds Store in Crowtree Road.

I remember buying a sheath knife for 3/6. In those days a sheath knife was an essential item of a Scout’s equipment. I still have that knife, which has seen a great deal of service in Scout camps and expeditions.

I have known Peter Reynolds for many years as a friend and as a supplier of essential equipment for Scouting and Duke of Edinburgh’s activities and expeditions. Peter has always encouraged young people to take part in outdoor pursuits and gave his time freely.

Jim Otterson, Retired Scouting and Duke of Edinburgh leader, Staveley Road, Seaburn Dene

WHY spend £6.5million on advice from “specialists”?

Can councillors not do the jobs that they were elected for? All that wasted money could have repaired all the potholes in Sunderland.

Well I for one won’t be voting in any councillors who can’t get their head around they job they’ve applied for.

Mrs V. Eastick, Falkland Road, Ford Estate, Sunderland

JUST to say a big thank-you for all the toys that were donated to my family this Christmas.

It was very much appreciated and helped a lot. My children are really enjoying playing with them and it’s nice to know that there is so much generosity and Christmas spirit in others.

So to all who donated, have a wonderful 2011 and thanks again.


I WOULD like to give a big thank-you for the generous gifts my grandchildren received at Christmas. Due to my circumstances they were very much appreciated.

Thank you to the Sunderland Echo Toy Appeal.


I AM writing to express my thanks for the presents my family received at Christmas. My daughter appreciated them very much.

It made a big difference to her Christmas this year. She would have had very little if it hadn’t been for the Echo Toy Appeal.

Once again, thank you very much.


ON Tuesday, January 11, I dropped my purse in the vicinity of St Mary’s Car Park. I was delighted to discover that some honest person had found it and handed it to the car park attendant.

He or she left no identification, so this is just to say thank you from a very grateful owner.

Mrs P. Allison