Letters, Friday, November 8, 2013

Have your say

People only strike as a last resort

I HAVE not forgotten the financial state of the country at the end of Labour’s reign in power, Mrs Matthews (October 26), but I think she has forgotten the reason for this.

 It was not because Labour gave in to unions and awarded high pay rises, it was because the banks needed to be bailed out by £141billion.

 Mrs Matthews then goes on to state that Mrs Thatcher was highly praised for taming unions and letting people become home-owners. Highly praised by whom exactly? Not the people who now find their employment rights eroded or the people who now have to pay sky-high rent to private landlords because of the lack of social housing.

 She makes the comment “What about the strikes on offer now, teachers, postal workers and others threatening?”

 Does she think people go on strike for the sake of it? Going on strike is the last resort for workers who will lose pay. These people are only trying to protect their terms and conditions, which are being eroded by the Government which has decided it must pay for the bankers’ bailout.

 She then makes a comment about the benefit system and goes on to state a family with 12 children gets £52,000 per year in benefits. These cases are the exception, not the rule.

 Then Mrs Matthews says politicians want Turkey in the EU. In my opinion this is not some left wing conspiracy, but quite the opposite, as this will increase the amount of cheap labour available to big companies in the UK, many of whom our MPs have links to.

 The whole world wants to live here and use our health service? Well, a report in October of this year, by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and University of York, showed twice as many foreign patients pay for treatment as got free care, generating £42million for NHS trusts. Mrs Matthews says she is a great lover of logic – well she certainly doesn’t let the facts get in the way of a good rant.

Stuart Oliver

Liberal with truth

THE recent, long awaited, alterations to the traffic lights at the junction of the Blue Bell public house, which has concerned many residents using the crossings, has been completed.

 However, the problem that has not been addressed, as yet, is the lack of priority traffic signals allowing vehicles to turn right into Station Road from Dene Lane, together with traffic wanting to turn right from Fulwell Road into Sea Road. Needless to say, your councillors are campaigning for these additional measure to be introduced.

 Julie Elliot MP has stated in her latest leaflet that her big victory has been the replacing of traffic lights at the Blue Bell road junction. Alas she has forgotten, or perhaps was unaware, that Fulwell Ward Conservative councillors have been campaigning for at least four years for alterations at that point but due to budgetry pressures in 2009, the project was put on the back burner untill now.

 Perhaps the MP was guilty of being prudent with the truth. The leaflet contains other concerns too, thinly guised, poorly researched, and laced with a good dose of rhetoric. Meanwhile, in keeping with the need for road safety, your ward councillors brought about the new road crossing opposite Ebden Lane, which allows children and parents better and safer access to the infant school.

 Earlier road safety measures, again following the efforts of your local councillors, persuaded the council to provide crossing refuges in Dykelands Road. Finally the new traffic controls on Fulwell Road are progressing and will, when fully completed, provide added safety for children and other pedestrians alike in an area that has seen several near accidents occurring over the past number of years.

 Revamping the seafront has started and, in the second stage of the programme, motorists travelling down Dykelands Road will be able to turn right at the junction with Whitburn Road and, hopefully, it will stop the rat runs along Kings Avenue and other affected streets in that area.

Coun George Howe,

Fulwell ward

A credit to school

ON November 6, pupils from Farringdon Academy and Plains Farm School visited Lakeside and took part in the planting of 10,000 bulbs.

 They later stayed for refreshments provided by Lakeside Residents’ Association.

 It was an absolute pleasure to have these young people visit us. All were happy, enthusiastic and very well mannered. They were a credit to themselves, their parents and their school.

 We look forward to having them visit with us again next year so they can view the results of their hard work.

 The Residents’ Association would like to thank the Deputy Mayor, Coun Stuart Porthouse, and all the teaching staff for their help in arranging this visit.

Mrs M Cassap

secretary, Lakeside

NHS is invaluable

I WOULD like to thank Sunderland Royal Hospital, Ward D48.

 I was a patient recently having a knee replacement and would like to thank the surgeon Mr Krishnan, nurses and all the ward staff for their care, kindness and dedication.

 I am pleased to say I am making a good recovery with no problems whatsoever.

 Had I paid thousands of pounds to the best private hospital in the country, I could not have received better treatment.

 May we never lose our NHS, it’s invaluable.

Elizabeth High

Feeling confused

SOME regular correspondents to the Letters page get very worked up on the subject of illegal immigrants.

 I wish they’d tell me what attitude I’m supposed to take towards the people who drowned off the coast of Lampedusa, and all those who died of thirst in the Sahara.

 Should I rejoice because they failed in their bid to reach Europe?

Henry Whipple,


Lack of discipline

I’M a 66-year-old pensioner and I have followed the fortunes of Sunderland’s football side since I was around four years of age.

 I would be obliged if anyone can tell me if Sunderland has ever started the second half of a football match with nine men?

 It’s not for me to tell Mr Ellis Short, the owner, what he should be doing about the lack of discipline within the current first team squad.

 But I will say that Paulo Di Canio didn’t get it all wrong.

 He didn’t want anything to do with Lee Cattermole. Ever since he has been at the club, he has let every manager, fan, team mate and the club itself down by his awful disciplinary record.

 He’s played one and a half games for Gus Poyet and he’s let him down like every other manager.

 My opinion is Mr Cattermole should not be allowed to play for the club again. He is a liability – one red card after another, season after season.

Mr M Breen,


Ban all products

THE European Union has banned Israeli products coming from the Occupied Territories.

 I do not think that this is enough. When not occupied with kidnappings and assassinations, the Israelis blockade the Gaza Strip and lob the occasional explosive into Syria.

 All Israeli products should be boycotted whatever their provenance.

 At the very least this would annoy the Zionists of New York.

Brian McGill,

South Bents

Post office missed

IT’S a year since the Ormonde Street Post Office closed.

 I stood in the queue for many years and I certainly miss the regulars – a mixed bunch.

 The blue rinse brigade, who if they were discussing anything risky or talking about ‘women’s problems’ would always mouth the topic to the lady behind so I couldn’t hear.

 Meanwhile, the old men talked about the war and Sunderland’s team of all talents in the 1950s.

 I met the 1960s pop star Kathy Kirby when she was posting a parcel in that very place.

 She was boarding nearby as she was performing on the local club scene.

 We got on very well and kept in touch for a long time – nothing in it, of course.

 The point is Post Offices are the hub of the community where young and old can meet each other.

 It’s a shame so many are closing.

Mick The Pen Brown

Date mystery

IN his History of Sunderland since 1945, Neil Sinclair stated that the lighthouse, now in Cliff Park, was moved there in 1973.

 However, in their recent book The Architecture of Sunderland 1870-1914, Michael Johnson and Graham Potts state that this happened in 1983.

 As both dates are within living memory, can anyone confirm which is the correct date?

Douglas Allen