Letters, Thursday, February 20, 2014

Have your say

EU is to blame for shipyards’ dimise

REGARDING the letter from Tim Brown (January 28) with its headline Mrs Thatcher took interest in our city, the A&P shipyard at Southwick was competing very well against far east countries – and without any UK government subsidies.

 It was successfully building SD 14 ships, replacing the wartime Liberty ships.

 In the early 1970s, the government of the day decided that A&P was worth a grant of £9million to convert its shipyard into one of the most modern factories in the world.

 And Austin and Pickersgill invested a further £6million towards the the building of two “float-in” berths.

 The two new building berths enabled the pre-fabrication of larger parts of the ships to be assembled with greater efficiency.

 The opening ceremony was performed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, accompanied by US President Carter.

 Many of the workers turned their backs as a mark of disrespect for Tory political policies. This event probably resulted in the demise of shipbuilding in Sunderland – the fury of a woman scorned.

 The real villains, of course, are the European Union. The EEC ordained that there were too many shipbuilding facilities and that some would have to go. It is now accepted that the demise of Sunderland shipbuilding industry was a political decision.

 The downfall of industry and manufacture in the UK, and especially in Sunderland, is due to the lack of diversity in employment.

 Natural laws of evolution apply and over specialisation leads to extinction.

Ron McQuillan

Reward our loyalty

HAVING attended the home match against Southampton, I noticed that the attendance was once again extremely low.

  I bet my bottom dollar, however, that should we get to the semi-final at Wembley, the demand for tickets will exceed our attendance at any of the other cup games.

 We should have a loyalty scheme for season ticket holders who support the team during these games.

 There could be a phase one as it stands, but phase two should acknowledge the fans who have supported the team during the run-up to these prestigious finals.

 They could have the first couple of days to secure the better seats, thereby reducing queuing time. The remaining time could then be allocated to the rest of the season ticket holders.

 While my husband and I both have tickets for the Capital One Cup Final, we did have to endure a nine-and-a-half hour queue to secure them.

 We have attended and supported our team at all the Capital One Cup and FA Cup home games, but yet we have had no recognition for our loyalty.

 We were queued with fans, who hadn’t been to a single Capital One game.

 To add further insult to injury, I know of people who have never been to a game and aren’t season ticket holders, but yet they are selling VIP tickets at extortionate prices. How can this be?

 I appreciate that it is difficult to please everyone, but I and other supporters like myself, feel that the club should acknowledge and reward these supporters first.

Julie Galley-McCabe

True independence

I HAVE no problem if the Scots decide to vote for independence.

 However, I am frustrated when I hear Alex Salmond going on about bullying by the UK Government. He’s supposed to be a politician, therefore this sort of ‘bullying’ is a natural part of politics.

 If the Scots want independence, they have to accept their own currency, border controls, passports, work and residence permits.

 People in Scotland need to understand what independence will mean to them.

M Micky