Letters, Thursday, April 11, 2013

Have your say

Thatcher must be one of worst PMs

WE hate the Thatcher era because she dragged this country into a deep, dark recession because she was too vain to concede that her policies were hopeless.

 Under Thatcher, the housing market collapsed and caused monumental suffering to countless people.

 Her bloody-minded determination to break the unions led to the closure of the mines and the destruction of entire mining communities. Wages plummeted almost as soon as she picked up the reins while taxes soared. She hiked VAT so dramatically that the increased inflationary pressure led to redundancies, primarily within the industrial base, and in a short period of time unemployment hit the two million mark. From there it climbed until it hit around 3.5million.

 Then there was the poll tax.

 Thatcher was a grade A, dyed-in-the-wool cow and it took this country years to recover from her bull-headed and irrational policies.

 The only thing she did get right was the Falklands issue but a lot of good people were killed over that one.

 She’s got to be one of the absolute worst prime ministers ever.

Kevin Stoker

Loss of shipyard

MARGARET Thatcher was one of the people who saw the development of A&P shipyard in Sunderland worthy of Government financial support.

 The only British shipyard at the time to be making a profit with its SD14 ships without subsidy. A&P was competing successfully with its Far East shipbuilding competitors – and the Conservative government showed its approval by contributing £9million towards the £14million needed for two new “float in” shipbuilding berths as an extension to the yard.

 In effect, A&P shipyard came in pole position to replace the old liberty ships going out of use throughout the world.

 So why was this excellent manufacturing facility destroyed?

 Is it because the European government decided that there were too many shipyards chasing too few orders?

 When Mrs Thatcher and US president Carter arrived to open the new Sunderland shipbuilding facility, it was reported that shipyard workers (trade unionists) turned their backs on Mrs Thatcher (this was expected) – but you cannot expect to insult the president of the USA with impunity.

 So with a bribe from the EU, the closure of the most modern shipyard in the world was the easy option. This is an historical fact.

Ron McQuillan

Such hypocrisy

DAVID Hopper, Durham Miners’ Association, has said that he will take part in a party next Wednesday to celebrate the funeral of Margaret Thatcher.

 With regard to this matter, he clearly stated on the ITV local news that “it’s a free country and we’re allowed to do what we wish and what our members wish”.

 This is somewhat ironic given he didn’t extend the same freedoms to Paolo Di Canio eight days earlier.

 I would cordially suggest that if this party does go ahead, that the flag he wished to remove from the Stadium of Light is promptly returned to the Durham Miners’ Association.

 Do we really wish to be associated with such monumental hypocrisy and bigotry, irrespective of how we feel about either Mrs Thatcher or Mr Di Canio?

T Halliday

Few tears to shed

WE will all have been listening to the tributes by Mrs Thatcher’s ex-colleagues saying she was the best leader since Churchill.

 First, let’s not forget all her colleagues were the ones who kicked her out of Downing Street.

 The lady’s not for turning – when she made her mind up, she stuck to her guns. Great attributes her fans said.

 Ignorance is no attribute in my book.

 Look at her legacy, they cry.

 She deregulated the banks and look at where we are now thanks to that – the country’s crippled.

 Her hatred of the unions created a dole queue of over four million, which spawned an underclass that’s still growing, which in turn creates a welfare budget that has spiralled out of control – all thanks to her policies.

 The reason the country could afford to pay for the millions she put on the dole and into the welfare trap at the time was the emergence of revenue from North Sea oil. And, of course, let’s not forget the sale of our national treasures – British Telecom, British Gas, British Water, British Electric, and many more sold on the cheap to finance her sad and uncaring policies.

 The worst thing her policies created was greed, which to this day is the Conservative mantra.

 Margaret Thatcher knew the price of everything and the value of nothing.

 This is why there’ll not be many tears in our country.

Ged Taylor,


Reaping the fruits

AT the time of the Falklands crisis, Margaret Thatcher was the only “man” in government and did the right thing by standing by our people against Argentia.

She also made it hard for the next bunch of soft incompetents to go back on her stance.

 However, she is also responsible for the destruction of labour intensive industries in this country – mining, shipbuilding and then finished off the steelworks, whose demise was begun by the Labour government.

 Rather than subsidise these industries as our competitors were doing, she put hundreds of thousands out of work, turning tax and national insurance payers into families reliant on the benefit system.

 We are now reaping the fruits of these decisions.

 Give the woman her due with regard to the Falklands but never forget the disgraceful and draconian tactics the police employed during the miners’ strike. Tactics not out of place in a totalitarian state.

 Admittedly, the unions of the 1960s and 70s needed reform and were their own worst enemies. They had alienated a lot of the public with their arrogant leaders and unrealistic demands, but a better solution was required.

Jack Jones

All a press frenzy

NEVER in my life have I heard so much clap trap, or seen so much overcrowded moral high ground since the appointment of Paolo Di Canio as manager of Sunderland FC.

 The media, with its passion for the sensational over the factual, whipped up a frenzy with a barrage of biased and misleading rubbish.

 I opposed the recent censorship of the press legislation but when the press act like this, I can have some sympathy with it.

 Time and time again the press spouts the line that Di Canio said Mussolini was basically a very principled individual, well the full quote is as follows: “I am fascinated by Mussolini. I think he was a deeply misunderstood individual. He deceived people. His actions were often vile. But all this was motivated by a higher purpose. He was basically a very principled individual. Yet he turned against his sense of right and wrong. He compromised his ethics.”

 As you can see, that is hardly the gushing endorsement of Mussolini, the press have reported. In addition, his regular column in the Correla Della Sport regularily condemned the stupidity of racism, something else the press has “overlooked”.

 As for its endless quest for the “truth” about his alledged Fascist beliefs, there is no story, it is an irrelevance. Fascism is not illegal in this country, nor is a person required to reveal their political beliefs when applying for a job.

 What do the press and his opponents want Sunderland to do – sack him?

 What next, don’t appoint a communist, catholic or homosexual – where does it end?

 Surely by hounding him and intimating that he should be sacked because of his political views, the media and the moral high-grounders are turning Britain into a Fascist state.

Ian Powell,


A media circus

IN 2010, at the Boleyn Ground, the former Hammers’ favourite Paolo Di Canio opened a lounge named after him and unveiled a plaque in his honour.

 This members’ lounge is sold out for the season. The West Ham website states: “The Italian was touched by the club’s gesture in providing a permanent legacy in his honour – following in the footsteps of other former Hammers, Billy Bonds, Trevor Brookings and Bobby Moore.”

 Three years later, Paolo Di Canio accepts the position of manager at SAFC and all hell breaks out, with the national media baying for him to denounce his alleged political beliefs. Unless Mr Di Canio’s opinions have changed over the last three years, I was wondering, where was the media circus in 2010?

 Nevertheless, although the former local MP and leaders of the church, council and unions are withdrawing their support from the club, if they donate their freebie tickets to less affluent, true fans, I’m sure they’ll be gratefully accepted.

 And if the mayor decides to abandon the team, can I have his parking space at the Stadium of Light?

Alfie Moon,


An awful mess

GRAEME Anderson (The Echo, April 3) has hit the nail on the head (or found the back of the net) when he describes the furore surrounding the Sunderland AFC debacle as “one awful, massive mess.”

 The Times leader (also April 3) suggested that Ms Margaret Byrne (CEO) was guilty of “heroic naivety” and that she and her colleagues “acted in panic”.

 It beggars belief that Ms Byrne, in the wake of “Leveson”, should not have realised the obvious dangers of mishandling the media. One almost feels sorry for the poor lady, left to trying to stop reporters from asking perfectly legitimate questions.

 Perhaps the entrance to the Stadium should greet us with Dante: Lasciate Ogni Speranza Voi Ch’Entrate – Abandon hope all you who enter here.

George E Brown,

Sanford Court