Letters, Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Have your say

Immigration is still our biggest issue

LIB Dems are so thin on the ground that the next party conference will be held in The Rovers Return, Coronation Street, and if they continue in the same vein, Cameron’s crew will be sharing the same venue.

 They do nothing to enhance their popularity by insisting that there is still plenty of room in good old Blighty.

 It looks like we will soon face the spectre of Messrs Milliband, Balls and company in charge – the firm that made us bankrupt in 2008.

 During its last term, New Labour’s strategy of flooding the country with immigrants who would become Labour voters, devious and disastrous though it was, at least represented a plan.

 Now more than 10million non-UK passport holders can vote in any and all UK elections or referendums.

 Can you imagine voting for a party who shared such a plan with you in their manifesto? Of course not.

 A recent survey showed that one in four born nationally has at least one foreign parent, but in parts of the country the ratio is nine in 10.

  The Coalition’s refusal to halt or control the flood of EU citizens compounds the situation, but it will not buy immediate votes in a General Election because initially, EU citizens can only vote in their native state, which begs the question why do Cameron, Clegg and co buck public opinion and ignore these logistical and highly political problems?

 It really wouldn’t surprise me if they had not quite thought it through yet.

 Mr Cable reminds us that there have been complaints about immigration since Enoch Powell dealt with it in the 1960s, so when, pray, do we reach the three into two does not go equation?

Denis Gillon

In praise of stone

I AM always going on about the loss of our beautiful, old buildings, but today I shall deliberate on the buildings that are still standing.

 One peculiarity I have perceived is that, apart from the obligatory churches, banks and, of course, public hostelries, there are very few buildings built of stone in Sunderland.

 In fact, apart from the Almshouses at Bishopwearmouth there is no domestic housing, social or otherwise, until you get to the outskirts of villages such as Penshaw and Houghton, built with stone.

 Every domicile that I can recount is made of bricks, ranging in colour from a pale flesh like hue, through pinks such as salmon and indeed cerise to an exceptionally deep blood shade of red, wonderfully blackened with soot from heartily, warming coal fires that have sadly now been consigned to the dustbin of time – but, hey, we are all healthier if not colder and indeed poorer, are we not?

 I affectionately remember in the 1970s, and undeniably in the 1980s, individuals tried to rectify this lack of stonework by using stone cladding to hide the bricks and thus bringing a bit of character to their homes.

 Some folk just plastered over the bricks, painting them in all manners of shades from white to deep purple and every colour in between. Nevertheless, should you wish to see authentic stonework houses, I heartily recommend you jump aboard the ‘ye olde charabanc’ that travels though Springwell Village, not the estate I hasten to add, and you will glimpse whole terraces of stone built homes, which are technically in Sunderland, as in the borough of.

 On the other hand, as I drift back to the issue of cladding, I have observed that after a period of some years that cladding is making a comeback, but in these times, the cladding I have seen is brickwork – I kid you not.

Alan ‘The Quill’ Vincent,

Old Penshaw

Thanks for help

LAKESIDE Towers has a small group of hard-working men and women whose job it is to make sure the towers always look their very best.

 Several members of the team are also fully trained in first aid.

 Whenever any incident occurs on this small estate, all members of the team immediately respond and as such are always the first dedicated help to arrive on the scene.

 This year, unusually for Lakeside, they have dealt with several distressing and often traumatic incidents.

 On behalf of Lakeside Residents’ Association and, I am sure, all the residents of Lakeside Towers, I would like to thank all the members of the team for their hard work and wish them a happy and peaceful new year

M Cassap,


We are no better off

MACKEM Loyalist and D Swann (December 23) appear not to be able to see the wood for the trees?

 Those of us who regularly complain about the lack of vision, and the ever wasteful years spent under local Labour politicians, aren’t all Tories, nor do we enjoy putting Sunderland down.

 Those who I know to be Labourites also believe the city is going backwards, but come the next election they’’ll do as they’ve always done – vote Labour.

 Why? If you don’t like what is happening to the city, change it by way of the ballot box.

 As for kids going without breakfast, how much does it cost to provide a bowl of cereal, egg on toast, or something similar? Eighty pence – a pound?

 D Swann should visit one of the many local shops on a school morning and see how many parents are only too ready to hand over good money for crisps, pop, and other rubbish.

 The odd occasion is fine, but, surely, it doesn’t take the Government to tell us that to eat like that everyday is bad for both the children and our pockets?

 Sadly, after years of left-wing social engineering, society and moral values are practically non existent.

 We may be modern in terms of technology and thinking, but are we really any better off than say, 40 or 50 years ago? I fear not.

M Brown,


Mel’s back on duty

I’VE had three scarecrows stolen from my allotment at Fatfield and now Mel, number four, is firmly in position.

 Security has been beefed-up, and Mel has been concreted to the ground.

 May I take this opportunity to thank the man who left two bales of straw and the person who left the black bag full of clothes – the trousers fit me (sorry Mel).

 So far Mel has also received five Christmas cards and to date I’ve only had two.

 Mel has also had one marriage proposal, which has been turned down (there are some funny people out there). I must also confirm that Mel will not be putting up for the club committee this year.

 Mel has become quite famous since my last letter, and he will shortly be opening a Facebook page – Mel de Crow.

 I hope for the sake of Mel’s many admirers that he is left in peace to do what all good scarecrows should do – keep the foxes and pigeons off the allotment.

 Finally, from Mel the Scarecrow and his creator Jim, we wish you all the best and keep smiling.

James Wilson Todd,

North Biddick Social Club

Great ambassador

MICHELLE Collins was born on Monday, May 28, 1962, in Hackney, East London.

 She is my favourite actress as the Rovers Return landlady, Stella Price, in ITV’s Coronation Street, which she has starred in since June 2011.

 She has also appeared in Eastenders, Real Women, Sunburn, Two Thousand Acres of Sky, Morgan’s Boy, Daylight Robbery, Perfect, The Last Detective, Rock Rivals and Loose Women.

 Michelle is a great supporter of the Labour Party and is ambassador for Oxfam and Barnardo’s charities as well as Heroes for Autism.

 She is friends with Coronation Street stars such as Jane Danson, Lisa George, Sue Cleaver, Barbara Knox and Alison King.

 Michelle Collins is the great actress icon.

Terry Christie