Letters, Friday, November 15, 2013

Have your say

Capitalism puts profit before need

DAVID Cameron, in his Lord Mayor’s banquet speech, called for capitalism lessons in schools.

 He called for a culture “that values that typical British, entrepreneurial, buccaneering spirit”. Well, Dave, you said a mouthful there!

 Capitalism, a system of society that lurches from one crisis to another, like a drunken man on a pub crawl. It puts profit before human need, or the fulfilment of the same. It condemns at least two billion people, one third of the world’s population, to live in the vilest conditions – without clean water, sanitation or sufficient food for survival.

 At the same time, an infinitesimally small section of the world’s population lives in luxury.

 Buccaneer, basically a pirate, an unscrupulous adventurer. Historically, one can understand the wealthy using these as “laudable” examples. Did not the ruling elite make Drake and Raleigh Sirs? They were no more nor less than pirates, or as they liked to be called, privateers.

 So now we know where your inspiration comes from, Dave.

 He went even further, however. To us, the vast majority, he boldly said that austerity would drag on, saying: “We need to do more with less. Permanently.”

 He wasn’t talking about himself and his wealthy mates either.

 Finally, Dave said Britain needed to “support, reward and celebrate enterprise”.

 Free enterprise will lead to even more suffering as the austerity cuts bite, ever more savagely.

 What chance of workers organising to create a society based on “from each according to ability, to each according to need”.

 Now there’s a thought.

Steve Colborn,


A lack of facilities

WHILE chatting to my chum over a few drinks, I let slip a chance remark regarding Sunderland’s oldest hostelry. He mentioned that he had seen the title deeds of The Biddick Inn (other public houses are available). The date it was built, along with a brewery that provided its ale, and subsequently opened was 1600.

 Since Washington was ‘annexed’ by Sunderland and therefore included in Sunderland that makes it the city’s oldest public house by far.

 I believe The Shipwright’s bar was built in the 1500s but only became a pub in the late 1600s – but that is by the by.

 The real reason for my newest missive is based on a conversation I had with one of my other chums, in a totally different hostelry.  

 He asked me to write to the Echo regarding the leisure centre facilities in the town – sorry city.

 He said that Washington already has a leisure centre open and yet a new leisure centre will be built next to the existing centre, which will be demolished once the new facility is opened in 2015.

 Why has this been allowed when the people of Sunderland have no new leisure facilities?

 Crowtree Leisure Centre infamously replaced the, and I quote: “The best example of Victorian streeting in the country.”

 Why was that demolished?

 Well, we could go to Washington for our leisure time...

Alan ‘The Quill’ Vincent,

Old Penshaw

Change will come

ALAN Wright was justified in pointing out the hypocrisy of some Labour apologists who claimed that the Conservatives were the party of zero-hour contracts.

 However, by quoting percentages, he has allowed the same apologists to attack him over what the percentages mean.

 Is it worth pointing out, therefore, that the House of Commons records’ own figures show that under the last Labour Government, there was 225,000 people on zero-contracts in 2000 and there were 200,000 in 2009.

 Furthermore, the last Labour Government did nothing to curtail or restrict the use of these contracts.

 On the other hand, this Government has instigated an inquiry into the use of zero-hour contracts.

 Press reports stated: “Ministers are due to complete the review of zero-hour contracts at the end of the year.”

 Given recent remarks on the issue and the growing clamour for something to be done, changes in employment law may well be expected.

Peter O’Connor,

Durham Road

Great fund-raiser

HOUGHTON Albion under-nines football team would like to thank everyone who supported their recent fund-raising event on November 9 at Silksworth Comrades Club.

 Thanks also go to the following businesses who supported the event: Man Utd FC; Man City FC; Nike UK; Gentoo Group; LH Cars; I Hodgkinson Cars; Park Lane Car Centre; Woks up, Durham; P and A Motor Vehicles; Bridge Street Prestige Cars; Coastline Car Sales; Justin Oxman Cars; Reds Hair and Beauty; Sunderland Greyhound Stadium; AMF Bowling, Washington; Lickety Split Ice Cream Parlour, Seaham; Aaron’s tattoos, Houghton; Keith Hood Photography; Chris Dye, from Premier Race Nights; Staff at Silksworth Comrades Club; The Saltgrass Pub; Energise Weddings; Bake a Wish Cakes and Fancy Flooring.

 The event raised more than £1,300 to help with costs for the team next year.

Mark Pallas

Excellent care

I WOULD like to thank the nursing, ancillary and medical staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital for the kind and professional care I was given during my recent in-patient stay.

 From my pre-op assessment through to my discharge, I felt the care was excellent and I am very grateful to you all.

 Special thanks to all the staff on ward D48.

Eleanor Thompson,

South Shields

Wonderful service

I WOULD like to praise Sunderland Royal Hospital surgeons Mr Obi, Mr Hamza and staff. Also the doctors at Grindon Health Centre, Dr Norton and Dr Konrad, for giving me confidence and help to understand my illness.

 Thanks too to all the staff for their cheerfulness and understanding.

 Thank you, one and all.

 God help us all when they eventually get rid of the NHS.

Doreen Oliver,

Hylton Castle

Tribute to fallen

In Mowbray Park, there’s a granite wall

On which names are etched in black,

Giving the names of servicemen killed,

And never again will come back.

At the cenotaph there is a memorial stone,

With names upon it too,

Of people who were killed in war

Never to come home any more and gave their lives for you.

In terrible condition, these men were so brave,

For our freedom, their lives they gave,

So, go on wear your poppy with pride

For the world we have now, and for all those who died.

Judith Dodds