Letters, Friday, June 20, 2014

Have your say

General Election will test strength

DISILLUSIONED by the Government’s ineptitude, thousands of Tories have switched their vote to Ukip, which is the image of the extreme right of the Conservative party.

 Nigel Farage boasts how he keeps the flame of Thatcherism alive and in power, he would scrap the legislation on weekly working hours, holidays, overtime, redundancy and sick pay.

 Nigel makes no bones about privatising the NHS and withdrawing Britain from the European Union.

 This would endanger the jobs of 3.5million British workers, including the lads at Nissan.

 The strength of Ukip support will be measured by the number of Parliamentary seats its members win at the next General Election.

 If the Tory supporters continue to desert the sinking ship, it would be good news for Labour.

 In the local election Ukip got the headlines. Yet it never won control of a single council.

 Labour topped the polls in Carlisle, Lincoln, Hastings, Enfield, Ipswich, Peterborough, Harlow and many more.

 The election figures show Labour gained 324 council seats, Ukip 161, Tories lost 238 and the Libs lost 310.

 If this trend is repeated in the General Election, Labour would be returned to power.

W Quinn

Encouraged by vote

ON behalf of the UKIP Wearside Branch I would like to thank those people of Sunderland who voted for UKIP in the local and/or European elections.

 In the local elections, we fielded 23 ward candidates. In many of those wards this was the first opportunity Sunderland voters had to vote for Ukip. You certainly took that opportunity and nearly 17,000 votes were cast for Ukip.

 Sunderland set the national trend in delivering a huge turnout for Ukip and that certainly encourages us to try to give every ward the opportunity to vote for a Ukip candidate in 2015. We came second in 16 of the 23 wards we contested. In the European Elections our vote in Sunderland exceeded 20,000, which was an astonishing return. To those who voted for the “old” parties or perhaps were so disillusioned with politics, didn’t vote at all, I can only ask that you keep an open mind and give Ukip the chance to persuade you to vote for us in 2015. We are all unpaid volunteers in UKIP. Just normal men and women who are passionate about Sunderland and we want the opportunity to serve you.

 Thank you once again for the many thousands of votes you gave us.

Tony Ormond,


UKIP Wearside Branch

Make it green

ON behalf of myself, Sunderland Green Party and all of the local Green Party Candidates, I would like to thank the good folk of Sunderland who voted Green in the local and European Elections.

 We want you to know that we will continue to fight for the things that matter to us all; save the NHS, the fight for a Living Wage, scrap the bedroom tax, affordable housing for all, no to austerity, no to fracking and many other issues for the common good of all.

 To join us or for further information, please see our website or Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @slandgreens.

Caroline Robinson


Sunderland Green Party

Stop the torture

ON August 7, 2012, Claudia Medina Tamariz, a married mother-of-three children, was woken up at 3am by marines who had broken into her home in Veracruz City, Mexico.

 Her hands were tied, she was blindfolded and taken to the local naval base where she received electric shocks, was beaten and kicked.

 She was accused of being a member of a violent criminal gang, which she denies.

 When her case came to court the charge was dropped. A judge has ordered an investigation into her claim that she was tortured, but so far nothing has happened.

 Amnesty International has designated June 26 as a global day of action to stop torture, which is still practiced routinely by security forces in Mexico, and in many other countries.

 Readers who wish to help people like Claudia by joining Amnesty’s campaign to stamp out torture should visit www.amnesty.org.uk/ torture .

Steve Newman,

Secretary, Wearside Amnesty International Group

Treatment fears

YOU may be aware that the Richardson Eating Disorders Service (Reds), in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, is set to close this autumn.

 The reason for this change is to create a few specialist centres across the country for eating disorder care.

 Although, it does seem to be a highly pragmatic solution to the NHS’s financial crisis, as someone who is currently experiencing the treatment for Anorexia Nervosa at Reds, I truly believe that the decision is a huge mistake in reality.

 Eating disorders have the highest rate of mortality of any other mental health illness, yet sufferers – who are genetically prone to the disorder they suffer – may have longer waiting times for treatment and be sent as far afield as Norwich, Manchester and Leeds for professional care. 

 In addition, the number of people with eating disorders is steadily increasing each year.

As you can see, there is a real problem developing in our local area and it is imperative that the community is made aware of the situation.

Name withheld

Arrogant celebrity

HENRY Whipple’s letter concerning Winston Churchill expresses a view with which I heartily concur.

 Churchill was an arrogant aristocrat, who believed he had a divine right to rule by virtue of his ancestry and family connection with the Duke of Malborough, who was also a swashbuckling opportunist.

 Apart from the examples of the Dardanelles and Narvik, which were both military disasters, I would also point out that in 1940 Churchill wanted to send more RAF fighters to France, a proposal Hugh Dowding, the then C-in-C of Fighter Command, rightly resisted.

 Churchill never forgave him, and even though Dowding was the chief architect, together with Keith Park, of our success in the Battle of Britain, he was never promoted to Marshal of the Royal Air Force and was replaced by the ambitious Leigh Mallory shortly after the battle.

 His treatment of Bomber Harris was just as bad, and after inciting him to take the war to Nazi Germany and rubber-stamping area bombing at the cost of 15,547 RAF bomber aircrew lives, at wars’ end Churchill promptly turned his back on Harris and the lost aircrew because it was no longer politically expedient after Dresden to acknowledge their heroic contribution to victory, one which has only very recently been acknowledged by a medal and a memorial.

 This is to Churchill’s and this country’s undying shame.

 His treatment of the Poles was just as shameful, leaving them out of the victory parade in 1945 in order not to upset the Russians and after so many had fought so bravely for this country on land, sea and especially in the air.

 Churchill was nothing more than a dyed-in-the wool political opportunist, who was almost as bad a wartime strategist as his opponent, Adolf Hitler.

 He does not deserve to be held in such high esteem or praised as being the greatest of all Englishmen.

 During the Second World War this country was run by a coalition, which included the highly-competent Clement Atlee and other members of the Labour Party. Their contributions have been largely ignored because Churchill was a “celebrity”, who cultivated the physical image of dogged determination – the British bulldog spirit.

Sqn Ldr David Fryett,

RAF (Retd)