Letters, Saturday, March 23, 2013

Have your say

No reason to gloat over rating loss

THE letter “let’s put an end to this nonsense” (March 2), suffered from unfortunate timing.

 While the writer waxes lyrical on purely party political lines about “recession” in the UK, independent economists were commenting on the fact that the UK economy grew during 2012 rather than flat lining as first thought. While growth was only at 0.2 per cent is was not negative.

 Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: “the economy would narrowly avoid a triple dip with growth of 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2013”.

 Simon Ward, chief economist at Henderson Global went further. He ruled out a triple-dip recession altogether and said “there had not even been a double-dip.”

 Much of the North Sea oil and gas production has slowed due to large scale maintenance and drop in demand. He went on to say “once North Sea oil and gas production was stripped out the economy (manufacturing, services and financial) grew by 0.6 per cent.”

 Douglas McWilliams, chairman of the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said the handling of the economy in the build-up to, and during the financial crisis “messed up public finances so badly that it will be 2020 before austerity policies could be relaxed”. He added that “excess deficits built up since 2000 will have cost the economy £1.5trillion by 2015”.

 Professor McWilliams said: “It is time to stop pretending that all the problems were caused by bankers. Gordon Brown cost the taxpayer more than 10 times as much.”

 As for gloating over the loss of the AAA rating, this loss is little more than personal and political embarrassment to George Osborne. Since the rating loss the UK’s borrowing actually cost less. This was reflected in France and the USA who also lost their AAA ratings.

 While the UK is increasing trade with the wider world our main trading partners are in the EU. With the EU suffering stagnation or negative growth it is difficult for the UK to expand its economy by a significant amount.

Terrence Docherty,

Zetland Square,


Mystery of mum

I HAVE been researching my mother’s family tree. Her maiden name was Harriet Isabella Thompson, but I wanted to find out what happened to her mother Ada Thompson, nee Atkinson, who disappeared without trace in about 1918. Her daughters were Harriet Isabella and Ada and were five and four years old respectively at the time.

 Ada was married to Thompson Stephenson Thompson in 1912. Harriet’s last memory was that she was working as a housekeeper for a professor in Newcastle.

 Her father was Henry Atkinson and her mother was May Hannah Atkinson. She had a sister Harriet and brothers, Joseph Henry and William, and they lived at 74 Victor Street at the time of the 1911 census. Her sister Harriet married a Athur Percival Jefferson in 1919.

 Could any of the descendants of the Atkinson’s that have any information or photographs to share, or shed any light on Ada’s disappearance, contact me?

 Harriet Isabella Thompson is my mother and is 100 years old in May. It would be fantastic if we could solve this mystery after all these years.

 I am Ann White, tel 0191 516 0975 or 07816 679928.

Ann White,

54 Ambleside Terrace,




Who are enenmies?

IN the 1970s the coal miners were accused of holding the country to ransom because they had come out on strike.

 Who is holding the country to ransom now? The “banksters”? Brussels? The energy companies? The Government?

 The miners at the time were also accused of being the enemy within.

 Who is the enemy within now? Who will stand up to and crush our new enemies? Anyone?

Mr R Tomlinson,

The Avenue,