Letters, Friday, June 21, 2013

Have your say

Sentencing system is seriously wrong

AS with Stuart Hall because of age, infirmity etc the sex attacker, Richard Donavan, now 82, is given a get out of jail free card.

 Isn’t justice supposed to be all about being blind – that is no discrimination.

 What about the life sentence that his victims have had to suffer?

 There is something seriously wrong with a system that jails a pensioner for missing council tax payments but not one that carries out a sexual crime.

 I think Judge Roger Thorn should be made aware of how Richard Donavan’s actions have affected the lives of his victims.

 There is no comfort for his victims as their suffering lives with them every day.

Bryan Foster


A bid for change

BECAUSE New Labour has died of embarrassment, old Labour cannot find a pulse in Milliband’s policies and Cameron is still searching for another earth shattering cause to follow his gay marriage triumph, I have tried to scatter a few crumbs of encouragement for change, on these pages. In so doing I have extolled some virtues of Nigel Farrage and UKIP.

 Some readers viewed the offerings for what they were, merely crumbs upon the water, but Mr Johnson seems to have found them laced with booze because on June 14, he bracketed me with UKIP member Mr Elvin, whom I have never met, and named us as the risible Chuckle Brothers.

 On the plus side he has given me the opportunity to express my view of Britishness.

 It is common for Mr Johnson, and the like minded, to mock UKIP with the one policy party label, which is like accusing Andrew Lloyd Webber of being incapable of anything outside of music or Churchill of being able only to make speeches or Brian Clough of merely being a goal scorer.

 Be that as it may, if immigration or efficient border control and the independent sovereignty of this country were the only two planks in any government’s manifesto, I would vote for it.

 Policies are the details of government and evolve as needs dictate but who dispenses it and how democracy is delivered, along with the power to remove a government with the ballot box are of paramount importance to the people of any nation.

 Of course, it is Britishness to believe that our laws should be decided by a government elected solely by Brits and it is ludicrous that current agreements allow the EU to dictate, along with so many other important facets of our lives, who may or may not enter or leave this country. By the same token you cannot be truly British if you are prepared to accept the Brussels-Strasbourg fiasco indefinitely. Who in their right mind would join a club that intrudes on their business and social life to the extent that they can make you play host to unwanted guests at your own expense – and pay for the privilege to boot?

 More immigrants have entered Britain since 1997 than did throughout our history. Traffic is nose to tail on almost every road. Hospitals are near to collapse. Schools try to teach in 100 languages. Thousands are sleeping rough with many more Eastern Europeans due next year. Meanwhile, we pay poor unfortunates who know no better than to live on benefits.

 Amazingly, in the face of all this, you think I’m pious and laughable for wanting change.

Denis Gillon

Put this city right

I READ with interest that Councillor Watson claims we have come a long way since we became a city.

 How? A desperately needed car park is to have a road built through it, the leisure centre has been torn down and the seafront is crying out for investment.

 Of course, we have Nissan but that was Thatcher’s sweetner after killing the pits.

 Our city is on its knees. We need to bring back the illumations, build a wet and wild on the seafront instead of those two pods – and what are they all about?

 We need to lower parking rates, lower business rates and have more police in the city centre so people feel safe.

 We have become a flossy centre and there are restaurants all over but they are empty.

 I picked up a fare (I am a taxi driver), who had not been in the city centre for a night out in three years, he said where are all the people? I said: “Good question – probably Durham or Seaham.

 Coun Watson do your job – put this city right.

Kevin Stoker

Empower young

I WAS a family planning nurse more than 30 years ago, so had direct contact with young clients whose method of choice was invariably the contraceptive pill.

 In addition, although, I both supplied and gave advice about the use of condoms, I knew fine well they would rarely be used.

 This is where ongoing sex education in school should be essential.

 The last 10 years of my career I worked as a school nurse and was involved in a programme in one of my primary schools (I wasn’t at that time involved with a comprehensive school) making children aware of how their bodies were growing and changing. The occasional girl had even started menstruating by the age nine, a scary happening.

 Although it is sad that young women have lost their lives as a result of cervical cancer, do we really help by not being more forceful in our message to all those who are sexually active, often at a very early age?

 We let young people down very badly by not trying to empower them about their bodies.

 We should be helping them to take ownership of their own health needs.

 Children are like sponges and want to learn from an early age. Ideally, we would hope this starts in the home. However, should we not be incorporating these life skills in the national curriculum at school?

Name supplied

Tell it like it is

WHILE sitting in the pub enjoying a few well earned pints, we were chatting about where we were brought up.

 All the estates around Sunderland were mentioned and the mickey taking was mighty.

 One lad, Wardy, told the story about the time he went to price some work. When he asked for the address, the bloke on the other end said Broadway village, Wardy thought it was some where in Durham. He checked the post code and was amused to see there’s no such place as Broadway village – it is, in fact, Grindon – those houses built on the old Broadway comprehensive.

 When he went up there, he was greeted by this bloke in his tweed jacket, flat cap and green wellies getting ready to walk his gun dog.

  What’s happening to people? Embrace where you are from don’t deny it.

Ged Taylor