Letters, Thursday, November 15, 2012

Have your say

Building is death of democracy

I READ with great interest the letter by Tahir Khan (November 12). Yes Prime Minister Cameron received a great welcome from the Saudi people, and yes it was all in the name of commerce for both sides with an agreement to improve wealth and future prosperity.

 I figure Human Rights issues were also on the agenda.

 I and many others of my fellow countrymen received a medal from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia awarded for defending the kingdom against a Muslim dictator and another medal for the Liberation of Kuwait.

 Some years after we got a UN medal for protecting Bosnian Muslims from the tyranny of Serbian and Bosnian Christians.

 Our brave men and women in the services are now defending normal Muslim people from the Taliban.

 I ask Mr Khan not to put all my countrymen in the BNP/NF box and for him to admit Islamist extremists have harmed the people of this and other countries in the world.

 It is a fact that Muslims in this country are defended more than any other country in the world, including their country of origin.

 Mr Khan was very vocal during the Millfield Mosque protest. All I saw was the death of democracy after the majority voted against the building but it will still go ahead.

Keith Powell

President’s legacy

AS many are aware, part of Washington enjoys a great heritage thanks to Washington Old Hall, the birth place of the first American President.

 George Washington is a celebrated hero in the US, as one of the founding fathers.

 I have begun to wonder how much of this region rubbed off on him or manifested in his genes?

 As stories of the English Civil War have suggested, Sunderland was on the side of the Roundheads, or as some people may today recognise, the side of Revolution and Republic.

 George Washington became the first American President as he was the celebrated General who defeated the British to claim independence.

 However, the details of his tactics are conveniently skirted over, but we’d call it guerrilla warfare today.

 Historically George Washington is among the names of America’s greatest presidents. But it is all about how these men are remembered which doesn’t always tell the full story. So how will we and history remember the 44th US President, Barack Obama? A fine orator, with more style than substance, or can he now refresh his legacy and turn the tide to be remembered as one of the greats?

G. Engel,

High Barnes

A bad decision

ON return from a weekend break it was with great sadness that I read about Sunderland AFC’s decision to allow a player to refuse to wear the remembrance day shirt.

 Having followed the team for over 50 years this must be one of the worst management decisions we have witnessed.

 Never mind the club saying that it has distanced itself from the player’s decision. It is the club who should select players and appoint staff at whatever level, who are not only proud to be represent the club but also be respectful to the country’s traditions and history in which they are employed and amply rewarded.

 While I accept that different cultures prevail, the most common culture of respect and especially for those who gave their lives and have defended this country should not be insulted.

 The freedoms we enjoy because of such gallantry should not be tarnished by a club of Sunderland’s stature making such a disgraceful decision and then having the audacity to imply that they had no power or authority to prevent such actions occurring.

 Our support, so readily given over the years, is now regretfully withdrawn.

Phil and Roslyn Danby

Made a difference

IT’S such an honour to say thank you to the tens of thousands of people in the UK who took part in this year’s CSV Make a Difference Day at the end of October.

 Although we are still doing the number crunching, it looks like we’ve beaten the 70,000 who took past last year to strengthen communities and share their skills and passions to benefit others.

 Activities were both large and small from litter picking parks, rivers and streets and talking about sexual health to young people in Wales through to the world’s biggest magic show and packing shoe boxes filled with presents for children.

 Elsewhere more than 100 MPs and MSPs showed support, many inspiring volunteers in their own constituencies or volunteering at local charity shops.

 If you’ve caught the volunteering bug and want to continue helping others then there are lots of other ideas for people of all ages to volunteer all year round at www.csv.org.uk/difference.

 Hopefully we’ll be welcoming you to the 18th Make a Difference Day next year!

Pete Waterman

CSV Make a Difference Day