Letters, Friday, November 29, 2013

Have your say

Those in command are hypocritical

WHILE sergeant “A” of the Royal Marines awaits sentencing, Blair and Bush increase their property portfolios and rub shoulders with the world’s great and good.

 Decades on, the Chilcot enquiry into the Iraq bloodbath is stymied by Blair’s cronies, but now Sergeant “A” is to be made an example of – rather like the shell-shocked First World War boys, who were shot for running and then pardoned 80 years later.

 Such is the hypocrisy of our so-called high command.

 Sergeant “A” contravened the Geneva convention, which is a set of rules intended to make slaughter chivalrous and conscionable for those who decide that a good war would enhance their political opportunities.

 How many laws and accepted ethical standards, and how many homes and lives have the aforementioned politician’s trashed with complete impunity, in pursuance of crimes arguably worse than those committed by Sergeant “A”?

 Imagine seeing the limbs of your slaughtered friends hanging from trees. Imagine your comrades being gunned down by those with whom you have shared rations. Imagine the feeling that you may be shot or blown up at any moment and then ask yourself: “Could I, in those circumstances, surrender to a moment of weakness and behave like Sergeant “A”?”

 No one could possibly prepare him for such a conflict.

 Surely, the dehumanising effect of surviving in Afghanistan could render almost anyone capable of almost anything.

 Hopefully, some of this will be borne in mind by those sentencing sergeant “A”.

 Strange how an establishment prepared to consign millions of souls to oblivion is so picky about the way it is done.

Denis Gillon

Nothing’s changed

SO Fiona Hall states (November 21) that UKIP’s track record on trusworthiness isn’t great. Isn’t that rather like the pot calling the kettle black?

 Isn’t it just par for the course in politics these days?

 Politicians, police, judges, the clergy are all supposed to be like Caesar’s wife (above suspicion), but are any of them?

 Devious, deceitful practices are regularly published in the press, and these that we get to know about will be just the tip of the iceberg.

 When these people are found out, the law of the land should come down on them, not like a ton of bricks, but like a nuclear strike.

 In 1653 Oliver Cromwell said in a speech to Parliament: “Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation, you deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, and are yourselves become the greatest grievance.”

 So what’s new?

R Tomlinson,


An embarrassment

IT doesn’t surprise me that Sunderland is leading the way as the UK’s bargain basement.

 The council is to blame for screwing up everything – Sunniside, the non-existent Holmeside Triangle, the pointless plaza on the Vaux site but none of the retail and office space as promised. How can big names be attracted to city centre with our Labour council’s track record of sheer incompetence when it comes to attempting to rejuvenate centre? It is a sorry state of affairs.

 Vaux Plaza won’t generate business and income. It will just be one big open space where some people will congregate before going into the nearby Magistrates’ court and where the unemployed will be sitting around with their SportsDirect.com bags after spending their welfare money.

 On a recent trip on the Metro from Newcastle, I observed well-dressed people with Fenwick, John Lewis and some designer shopping bags getting off at East Boldon, Seaburn and Sunderland. By total contrast, people in tracksuits with bargain pounders, Primark and Wilko shopping bags were getting on at Sunderland for their journey towards Millfield and Pallion.

 Says it all, doesn’t it?

 No wonder a lot of people I know head off to Newcastle to the classier shops to buy more decent goods, rather than live with the embarrassment of shopping in Sunderland.

Mark Grimes,

East Herrington