Letters, Monday, January 10th, 2011

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New year bringing financial misery

WELL, a new year just begun and yet again more financial misery for people. As if people didn’t have enough to contend with.

Everything is going up – petrol, gas and food, the three main things people need in life. We also need money but, alas, it’s in short supply to the mere mortals of this life. It’s a fact but the Government and big companies seem to forget we can’t do a lot without it.

VAT is going on to virtually everything. That’s a problem in itself, but what annoys me the most, as if things can’t get any worse in life, shareholders have to be looked after before anything or anyone else, with these greedy, self-obsessed companies. They have a nerve to say they have made a profit through the normal people using or buying their products and yet they want to make more and more and more. What is enough for them to be satisfied?

The Government won’t help to stop this ludicrous thing because, let’s face it, they are just as greedy. They don’t know what it’s like to have to either eat or be able to put the heating on to stay warm.

They would rather waste millions of pounds on things that don’t benefit us at all in any way. Then they want you to make a donation when you use your debit or credit card to buy things. Why is this? Who is it for, more to the point? I wouldn’t make a donation if I was a billionaire for the principle of the thing. I didn’t help to create the problem in the first place.

Ask the rich to chip in or the big bankers to put their bonuses up for donation. They wouldn’t miss them.

It’s an absolute disgrace that, yet again, Joe Public is put into a position where people are playing with their lives through money.

Students came out on marches for what they believed in, all about being left in debt before they get a job with tuition fees being so high. It’s crazy being in debt and having to pay it back when you get a job earning over so much. So if they don’t get a job over so much, is the debt wiped off? You tell me.

There is no satisfaction in this life and it will only get worse the longer this greed continues. There has to be a cut-off point somewhere. It’s about time people stood up together and said no more. Enough is enough. We need solidarity in this country. Not one man and just his one voice.

B. Crute, Cleveland Road, High Barnes, Sunderland

Thanks for support

I WISH to thank the good folk of Seaham again for their generosity when they donated £301.09 for Grace House when I collected in Byron Place on December 18.

It was bitterly cold sitting in my wheelchair for eight hours, but the warmth of the public, plus the thought of the children who will use Grace House, made the situation bearable.

Over the last 16 months such generosity, wherever I have collected in the North East, has allowed me to hand over more than £5,000 to Grace House on behalf of the North East public.

However, in 2011, I aim to raise £10,000 if I can. I am doing a tandem parachute jump from 10,000 feet on April Fool’s Day. Grace House has set up a website already if anyone would like to sponsor me now. The website address is www.justgiving.com/jeff-coxon. Please help.

Just because I am a 66-year-old wheelchair-bound amputee, my daughter thinks I’ve “lost the plot”, but my grandchildren think it’s great. Since I calculated 10,000 feet is nearly two miles up, I’m beginning to think I have lost the plot.

Thank you for your continued support.

J. Coxon, Lawnside, Seaham

Cards question

IT seems ironic to note that shortly after receiving a card from Royal Mail, for a charge of £1-plus underpayment I can collect what is obviously a card which has taken more than two weeks to cross Sunderland. I hardly think I shall be collecting the card.

The Royal Mail card states that items not collected within three weeks will be returned to the sender. However, as return addresses are rarely shown on envelopes and it is a criminal offence to destroy mail, just what do they do with all these cards?

Doug Pearson

North history

FOR over two centuries there was a unified kingdom of Northumbria stretching from the Humber to the Forth. In 866 the Danes invaded, seized York and killed the King. (These events inspired the plot of the Kirk Douglas film The Vikings).

But the people of the Tyne rebelled. The Danish leader Halfdan decided the best settlement would be to allow them to have their own land – English Northumbria – while he established a kingdom at York (which is why Geordies live in Northumberland, not North Tyneland).

Then the Lindisfarne monks arrived in Chester-le-Street with the remains of St Cuthbert. In 883 the Bishop supported the claim of Guthred to be the next King at York. In return he gave the lands between the Tyne and the Tees to the monks.

This is how the North came to be divided into the three countries of Yorkshire, Northumberland and Durham, but it wasn’t the Vikings who created Tyne and Wear.

Peter Thornton, Partridge Close, Washington