Letters, Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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PM has no rights to criticise Chinese

THE Prime Minister was criticised for failing to confront China over its human rights abuse record.

 He must have realised the Chinese knew of the inhuman Tory policies imposed on the vulnerable in Britain and decided he wouldn’t give China the opportunity of calling him a hypocrite.

 Mr Cameron was wise to be diplomatic, otherwise the Chinese leader might have asked about the contents of a letter sent by academics from the Medical Research Council to the British Medical Journal.

 They wrote that the effect of Government policies on vulnerable people’s ability to afford food needed to be “urgently” monitored. A surge in the number of people requiring emergency food aid, a decrease in the amount of calories consumed by British families and a doubling of the number of malnutrition cases seen at hospitals represent “all the signs of a public health emergency”.

 Yet ministers maintain “there is no evidence” of a link between welfare reforms and the use of food banks.

 Publications of research into the phenomenon, commissioned by the Government itself, has been delayed amid speculation that the findings may prove embarrassing for ministers.

 Meanwhile, consumer group Which? has revealed millions of families are struggling and can only afford to eat by racking up credit card debts.

 Incredibly, the man who caused all this misery, George Osborne, has proved we are all in this together by spending £10.2million of taxpayers’ money on a posh revamp of his Whitehall office.

 The mind boggles.

W Quinn

Give city a chance

LET’S knock Sunderland seems to have become a local pastime.

 I am aware that parts of our city centre are certainly not looking good at the moment, but that is because things are happening at last and as my mother used to say, “you can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs”.

 I was not too sure about the building of the new Primark store, but now have to admit it is an improvement to The Bridges.

 The problems we face are not just happening in Sunderland, cities and towns all over the country have similar problems.

 We are going through tough times with Government cuts that affect the North East in particular.

 Of course, I would be the first to say we all have the right to voice our opinions, but let’s not just rubbish Sunderland, give it a chance.

Gillian Galbraith,

East Herrington

Beyond call of duty

I AM not equipped to give St Chad’s voters any advice, but after reading Frank Johnson’s letter regarding the deputy mayor, I thought they may be interested in in this story. Earlier this year, on a miserable, damp evening, I received a phone call from Councillor Stuart Porthouse.

 He had a call from an elderly, confused, and very frightened resident, who was convinced that someone was in their flat and was threatening them.

 Since I didn’t know this resident, I said I would speak to our chairman Mr Braithwaite.

 He knew the person well and offered to go and sit with them – problem solved.

  However, Coun Porthouse chose to leave his home and go with Mr Braithwaite to comfort and reassure this resident.

 I believe a more rounded picture of what our deputy mayor does may be helpful.

M Cassap,

secretary, Lakeside


A fab fund-raiser

A BIG thank you to all the models, customers and staff who took part in the Macmillan fashion show at Bonmarche in Sunderland.

 Also, thanks to the Edinburgh Bakery in Fence Houses for supplying mince pies and Maplins for providing the sound system.

 It was a fab night and we raised another £100 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

 A big thank you again to the local community. We couldn’t do this without your support.

Rita Richardson,

manager Bonmarché, Sunderland