Letters, Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Have your say

Greed at root of economic woes

“GREED is good”, according to Lord Sugar when he was asked to comment on public companies’ remuneration packages. “Pay peanuts and you get monkeys,” he went on to say on Newsnight.

Surely, we all know that, as one of the seven deadly sins, greed is anything but good and that has never truer than it is today. If there was one word to summarise the cause of today’s global economic problems it would be greed.

It is becoming such a popular sin, even sexy, as in Cole Porter’s song “Birds do it bees do it even educated fleas do it, let’s do it, let’s fall in love.” Police do it, teachers do it even motivated doctors do it, let’s ...

Our list of sinners is even longer than Cole Porter’s but don’t think that living in a permissive society is an excuse because there is nothing sexy about greed. It is an ugly human trait.

Despite knowing that the nation is in dire financial straits even the most affluent in our society are grabbing what they can while some others hover around the poverty line.

With BT planning to televise football matches, the Premiership will receive a substantial increase in revenue amounting to about £3.4billion. Will that result in cheaper admission for the supporters? Not a chance. Our most ardent sinners, the footballers and the bureaucrats who negotiated the deal, will make room in their opulent nests for a little more lining.

Of course you could be forgiven for expecting that a portion of this huge sum would be spent on school playing fields or be recycled into the pockets of Joe Public via reduced admission prices. After all, we finance the TV companies in the first place. But you would be disappointed . Why? Greed.

Denis Gillon, Sunderland

Vital endorsement

MAY I correct Wesley Crossland on one or two facts in his letter “Time to debate the case for a Republic”. It is obvious that he has never had to live under the constant threat of terrorist violence.

The Good Friday Agreement was devised by the political leaders or Northern and Southern Ireland and her Majesty’s Government and in particular the late Mo Mowlam, MP for Redcar, who devoted most of her political career in making sure that all the political leaders, including Her Majesty, along with the Prime Minister, endorsed the agreement to bring an end to the violence, not only in Northern Ireland but also mainland Britain.

I wonder if anyone would agree with Mr Crossland that anyone, Queen or otherwise, endorsing such an agreement was wrong.

A word of advice to Wesley Crossland when talking about peace agreements such as the Good Friday Agreement. Just remember, how many lives were lost and how many more would have been lost if it were not for the endorsement of such agreements.

He talks about the Commonwealth of Great Britain. In my opinion one of the best systems in modern history. The wealth of the common man. The combination of mineral wealth and a stable economy of membered nations, only to be abused by the privileged classes entrusted to implement the agreement.

F. W. Sheils, Rydal Mount, Fulwell, Sunderland

Caught short

I WALKED my German shepherd Sam along the coastal path from Ryhope to Seaham and needed to use a toilet. Easy, you would think. There are toilets there but I couldn’t use them because they were out of order. One took my money but wouldn’t let me in, and I didn’t get my money back.

Now I know a lot of people would have used the North Sea, which is the biggest toilet in Europe, but I decided to walk to Seaham where, I was told by a nice lady, there were toilets.

Guess what – the toilets were closed. By now I was getting desperate. I was told by a policeman that there were toilets in the Byron Place shopping centre, so I tied Sam to a lamppost and ran inside the shopping mall. I found a sign on the toilet door saying out of order. In the end I had to use the toilets in Asda.

There are loads of bistros and cafes where you have a drink, but you can’t use any of the toilets because they are broken.

Scott Andrews, Wilkinson Terrace, Ryhope

Call to volunteers

IN 1962 Community Service Volunteers placed its first full-time volunteer in a hostel for the homeless. We now help over 140,000 people volunteer every year.

To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we’re reaching out to everyone who’s ever volunteered with CSV. Contact us at csvat50@csv.org.uk, or have a look at “Volunteer Voices” on our website, www.csv.org.uk/csv-at-50

Sir Jon Shortridge, Chairman, Community Service Volunteers