Letters, Monday, May 7th, 2012

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Country deserves better than this

THEY say that you get what you deserve in life. As one in millions of retired private sector workers, married, gas guzzler-driving lover of pasties, with a private pension going south, what crime did I commit? What depths of iniquity did we plumb to deserve the current infestation at Westminster?

Was it the years after the Second World War when we all pursued a career simply to make ends meet while the missus brought up the family, cooked, cleaned, held down a part-time job and much more, just to add a little comfort to a tough but satisfying existence? Were we naive to believe that while we ploughed the straight and narrow the politicians would do likewise for the common good?

Now, as the nation nosedives billions further into debt every day, this bunch of self-important, disingenuous, ne’re-do-wells in Parliament suspend expenses fiddling for the time being to address that which they believe to be the critical issues of the day – reform of the upper house, telephone tapping and dethroning the Murdochs.

Immigration capping, energy policy, EU relationship, Afghanistan – all too difficult for our MPs.

Currently each UK household pays about £2,000 tax to cover the £43billion we pay in interest each year, and the figure rises daily.

But Osborne still insists on maintaining foreign aid and volunteering a £10billion loan to the IMF, which we know is bound for the Euro bonfire.

Mindful of the dire state of UK economy and some of the contributing factors, namely the million or so public sector jobs created by Blair and Brown and designed to massage the dole queue numbers, and the regiments of quangos who continue to provide the calibre of advice that brought us to this calamitous juncture, why has so little been done to correct these extravagances?

Successive governments have failed to provide a cohesive or progressive society within the UK. Naked self-interest of politicians, manifested in short-term policies designed to grab votes regardless of the effect on the nation, has created a divided community.

Our grandchildren will still be paying for many a shining new hospital financed by inflationary PFI schemes but recently closed because we can’t afford to run them.

We deserve better.

Denis Gillon, Sunderland

Candidate’s thanks

I AM writing to say thank you to all who voted for me in the recent local elections. I am sorry that I did not win, and offer my congratulations to the Labour candidate, Anthony Farr, who I hope will make a successful councillor for Ryhope ward.

I would also like to thank all those who helped me with my campaign, including my agent Alan Wright and friends Tony Morrisey and Lee Martin.

Special thanks also to the people who make the election happen, from staff who man the polling stations to the staff at the count.

All my thanks.

Shaun Cudworth

Long-running case

I SEE it is in the news and the papers yet again about Madeleine McCann and the leads that the British police have. How much publicity do these people want and when it is going to end?

The police have 195 leads apparently and 100,000 pages to sieve through. How long is this all going to take and how much money is it taking to actually finance it? There are 37 officers working on this case.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge in five years. The first hour or so of that girl going missing was the most important. That mother and father want to face the fact that they left that little girl alone, along with two smaller children, her twin siblings. They were in the wrong. It should be classed as criminal, really.

If that had been two working-class parents or a single parent they would have been lynched. Yes there is a possibility that Madeleine is alive. I hope she is. If she is, where will she be and what is going to happen if it is found that she is still alive? Who is going to finance all of that and how long will it take? She could be anywhere in the world.

People who have lost a child or children through them going missing, how do they feel about all of this? I know what I would be like if it was me. I would be asking why my child is not getting all of this publicity. Why are all the stops not being pulled out for them?

Mrs B. Crute, Cleveland Road, High Barnes, Sunderland

Pull the other one

WHILE in hospital the surgeon said: “I’ve got good news and bad news – what do you want first?” I said: “The bad news”. He said: “We have taken the wrong leg off”. I said: “For God’s sake what’s the good news?”. He said: “The other leg is getting better”.

Yours for a laugh.

Mr P. Jackson, Nelson Court, Hendon