Letters, Thursday, November 8, 2012

Have your say

Public spending set to turn around

GRAEME Morris MP is right that his Labour Party is offering little more than “austerity lite” as he makes political capital from his taxpayer-funded trip to Venezuela.

 Locally, his own colleagues have also been outspoken, campaigning against cuts which their own party would have more than matched had they remained in power.

 For example, Sharon Hodgson MP objected to what she said was “effectively a cut” to the NHS when plans laid down by Alistair Darling would have seen health spending fall by a fifth.

 On Building Schools for the Future, young people here were led to believe that the local Labour Party would have saved the projects when BSF was in fact due a 50 per cent reduction.

 But Sunderland has fared well when it comes to school building with the Coalition Government’s Priority Schools Building Fund securing replacements to a further five schools.

 And in those schools, the £8million of the Pupil Premium has meant that budgets have not fallen as much as under Labour’s plans but, for some, the charge of “Tory cuts” is irresistible.

 Several Labour councillors pledged to “fight back against the cuts” but went along with preparations for reduced budgets made at the council a full 18 months before the General Election.

 This despite most of the cuts being in spending plans left by their own party, which Labour MPs subsequently complained about and voted against in the House of Commons.

 In the European Parliament, Labour MEPs nodded through increasing budgets and Tony Blair surrendered two thirds of the UK rebate but their leader is now calling for restraint.

 In France, the socialists have been caught out with this trick, Monsieur Hollande having promised “kinder, gentler austerity” only to pass the most austere budget in French history.

 Here public spending is set to return to around 40 per cent of GDP which is where it was in 2007 before the financial crisis and after the rises secured under two Labour leaders.

Councillor Robert Oliver


Conservative Council Group

Leaders needed

IT JUST amazes me how the Labour Party and its supporters are so righteous all the time.

 I am not saying this Government has got everything right but it is doing its utmost to deal with the issues that will help get this country back on its feet.

 On November 2 in The Echo our MP, Bridget Phillipson, raised the question on badger culling by saying this raises further questions about the competence of this Goverment to govern our country effectively. Well that just beggar’s belief, the reasons being as follows:

 MPs have found a loophole in travelling at the taxpayers’ expense, Tony Blair took us into war with Iraq on false pretences and the people are still waiting for a apology for the wrong he made, but, alas, that will never happen and when Labour left office in 2010 this country was on its knees in debt.

 And isn’t it great that ex-labour ministers have all written their memoirs since leaving goverment? So they were more interested in making sure they wrote their memoirs than running the country.

 When Labour becomes a party that can be relied on then it might get the voters.

 What this country needs is a leader who can and will work with and for the people. At the moment they want to be seen in the right places and with the “right people”. This may sound harsh but it is time that all MPs came into the real world instead of courting the celeb culture.

 They are all good at talking the talk but not at dealing with the real issues that affect this country.

 When Labour correct the wrongs I might put an X on the ballot paper. I wait in hope.

George Gibson,


Return the Gospels

THE Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland where it belonged.

 Is it not high time that the Lindisfarne Gospels were returned to where they belong, the North East?

 The Lindisfarne Gospels is one of the world’s oldest books and has a unique place in the culture and heritage of the North East, but apparently not a home in the North East.

 The manuscript has survived wars, vikings, the dissolution of the monasteries and ravages of time, but not the greedy eyes of the British Library.

 I find the sentence “The Lindisfarne Gospels will be on loan from the British Library (The Echo, November 1)” particularly galling, how can they lend us our own Gospels?

 The British Library has a Bill of Sale for our Gospels. If the British Library wants them – make a replica of them.

 Not so very long ago the replica crown jewels of England were put on show in Sunderland. If the people of the North East were happy to accept that the real crown jewels should and did stay in London then the British Library should also accept that the Gospels should stay in the North East, permanently!

Mr R Tomlinson,

The Avenue,