Letters, Monday, March 23, 2015

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Time for action not more studies

AFTER reading that the Gentoo chief is looking for ex-forces personnel to discuss their experiences upon leaving the military on behalf of Prince Charles, I have got to ask how many more times are we going to have people look at this issue?

 The problems have been recognised for literally decades, but successive Governments have failed to deal with them.

 If our Government had to compensate all those who have developed issues from their service the country would be bankrupt.

 Numerous organisations, universities, colleges, and the NHS have done countless studies and projects into how our service personnel are dumped once discharge.

 Luckily, many manage to start a new life without any issues but too many do not.

 Some of the national organisations charged with looking after the ex-service members fail miserably, being more interested in funding and jobs than helping those in need.

 I don’t know what Prince Charles intends doing with the information gathered but I know that the time, money and effort involved would be better spent helping those in need and not on more investigations into the already known facts.

John Malloy,

Ex Army

Tories just don’t like the BBC

TORY peer Michael Grade, the man who tried to kill off Doctor Who, hit out at the BBC in the row over televised election debates.

 He says it’s arrogant of the Beeb to demand David Cameron accepts their terms and threaten to “empty chair” him.

 Conservatives don’t like the BBC. Maybe they don’t like impartiality and political balance in news and current affairs. Denis Thatcher claimed it was full of “pinkoes and traitors”.

 Christine Hamilton said BBC stands for “B******s Broadcasting Communism”.

 During the General Strike of 1926, Winston Churchill was furious the BBC was not on the Government’s side. It was pointed out to him that many strikers paid the licence fee and were entitled to news reports that were fair to both sides.

 I have a theory about this. Much of the press is right-wing, so when Tories read their favourite newspapers they see their own opinions reflected back at them. Confronted with the output of an independent broadcaster, however, they get bewildered and indignant at anyone presenting a different point of view.

 When John Humphrys interviews a Labour MP and gives him a hard time, he is a champion of free speech and democracy, but when he roughed up William Hague on the Today programme, they complained angrily about him.

 I suspect they’d like our television to be like Murdoch’s Fox News in the USA, or even Putin’s state-run television in Russia.

 If the Tories win the election, look out for more threats to the BBC.

Henry Whipple,

Washington

Thumbs down to the ferry idea

WHAT a pointless waste of money and time reintroducing the Wear Ferry would be.

 It may look quaint, but it’s simply not required and would hardly be used.

 Everyone uses cars buses and the Metro. The ferry was abandoned in 1958 so why wait 50 years to bring it back.

 It’s only because of the Tall Ships race that it’s been thought of.

 I just cannot understand why we have to go back in time to look for ideas for the city.

 If the ferry had been so popular in the past it would never have been dropped in the first place.

 The ferry gets a thumbs down from me.

Mick, The Pen, Brown