Letters, November 23, 2012

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Tories shamless in their duplicity

GEORGE Howe continues to rail against the EU – and with some justification.

 But I remain mystified as to why he continues to belong to the Tory Party, which has done more than any other to integrate us into the institution. From Mrs Thatcher’s flag-bedecked sweater in 1975 to Maastricht and beyond, the Tories have been shameless in their duplicity on this issue, all the while claiming to be defending Britain’s interests.

 And slippery Mr Cameron is the most recent example of this dissembling and duplicity.

 I seem to recall Cameron’s promise, in the run up to the last election, that he would repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, and Michael Heseltine (whose Europhilia dominates the higher echelons of the Tory Party), looking distinctly uneasy at such a proposal.

 The cynics among us now wonder if Mr Cameron knew all along that he would not have to honour this bold pledge, in light of the fact that the Tory Party was never going to win a majority. Thus, it would either have to quietly shelve the promise when it entered into a putative coalition agreement, or a Tory minority administration would never get such a measure through the Commons anyway. But it looked good at the time, didn’t it?

 Cameron’s latest blustering concerns that alleged terrorist mastermind, Abu Qatada. Mr Cameron professes to be hugely frustrated by our chinless judges, but he knows full well that it is the European Courts of Human Rights (ECHR) that prevents Qatada’s deportation. And yet, if pressed, does anyone think that he would agree to Britain abjuring the ECHR?

 It has also been pointed out that it was in 1993, under a Tory government, that Qatada came to Britain on a forged passport. At this, one finds it difficult to suppress one’s mirth.

 So I really think that Mr Cameron and poor old embattled Theresa May should stop their posturing and that Mr Howe ought to take my advice and join UKIP. He’ll find it a much more congenial setting.

Wesley Crossland


Saga rumbles on

SO the Millfield saga continues.

 This may rankle the residents for many years to come. My relatives and I resided in this area most of our lives, so I can appreciate the anger and frustration some resident are experiencing. I am lost as to why the Mosque supporters do not appreciate the residents’ obviously strong objections to a Mosque installed in a predominantly built-up Christian area and not consider other available sites?

 There are acres of spare ground at Pennywell and an ideal site is adjacent to the half-million-pound roundabout at Seaburn, with ample parking space.

 Should the wishes of the residents continue to be ignored, it would appear that the only solution is to move elsewhere. According to published statistics, nearly a quarter of a million leave this country every year, although Mr Cameron has promised to reduce this figure.

 The council is aware that people have left Sunderland in their tens of thousands in recent years, so what is a few hundred more?

F W Davies

Get your facts right

IT was with interest that I read the letter from G Engel (November 15).

 It’s always good to point out the links between our city and the old USA. It’s even better if the article bears even a resemblance to the actual facts.

 Me thinks that someone, at some time, has told G that George Washington was born within the sound of Ye Olde Makeye’s Korner – and he believed it!

 I, myself know of a George Washington born in Marley Potts but I don’t think it was he who went on to be the first president of the USA either.

 The facts are that George Washington’s ancestors once lived in cosy little Wessynton (Washington to you G) but left as long ago as the early 1500s to eventually settle at Sulgrave Hall in Northamptonshire. It was from here that our George’s great grandfather John, who was obviously addicted to the tabs, emigrated to Virginia in 1656.

 It wasn’t until 1732 (or 1731 if you still use the Julian calendar) that our hero George was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. The rest, as they say, is history.

 So, G, please attempt to get things right otherwise we will have a generation of Echo readers believing that the first president of the USA was really a mackem.

 I realise that there are not too many G Engels about but could it really be you who recently castigated Neil Moxley for factual errors in a Daily Mail interview with Steve Bruce?

 The article was headed “Get Your Facts Straight”. The words “glasshouses, stones, people, throw” spring to mind.

Brian Matthews,

(Low) Barnes

A first class con

AM I the only person who realises we are being ripped off by the Post Office putting up the price of stamps.

 There is no more second delivery now therefore all the mail – first class, second class and junk mail – all go out at the same time.

 A few years ago there were two post boxes in The Bridges, one for first class and one for second class and junk mail, then low and behold there was only one, which goes to prove there is no so such thing as first class mail.

Les Morrell,

Plains Farm