Letters, Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

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Exhibition ignored much of our city

DESPITE the need for an amount of secrecy around the royal visit, I was very disappointed that the numerous active heritage groups were not invited to participate in the creation of a stimulating exhibition about our area during the Queen’s reign.

The royal party and the general public were viewing sparsely decorated areas with little evidence of a Sunderland slant. Surely we could have made an effort to promote the positive aspects of Sunderland during the decades.

Our shipbuilding heritage was totally ignored despite us achieving worldwide recognition for the tonnage produced in Sunderland and receiving a Queen’s Award. Prince Phillip could have visited the nearby Dunkirk boat “Wildora”, presently being restored by a group of volunteers.

Our glass industry could have been used to display the various eras as well as clothing to include our local trade of Jacksons, Burtons etc.

I did not hear a local accent from any of the staff who were on duty in the marquees, and their lack of knowledge re the photos, exhibits etc on display may have been due to their youth or lack of knowledge of the Sunderland area. The use of sheets as backdrops for the cine film clips on show was a good idea, though watching interviews of various people with an overlay of background street noises was irritating and pointless.

I dread to think of how much money was wasted on this event. The transport costs of the coach journeys to the docks from the civic centre during the days must be colossal – a tally of the visitors may show the plush coaches were OTT and minibuses were a more realistic mode of transport.

The expected number of visitors was 6,500 and an accurate figure will be available due to the monitored transport arrangements.

I hope there will be an open review of this event and its costs to help improve the decision-making processes of council staff for future events/activities. There is very little chance of us being able to impress the Queen at a future return visit Sunderland but we could improve our planning for other notable visitors who may come to our city.

I hope there was some roadside viewing of the royal party for school groups etc, but TV coverage seemed to be showing her visits elsewhere in the area with large public support and adulation.

Pam Tate

Impossible dream

STEVE Colburn calls for a society of equals. If we looked the same, thought the same, had the same morals, and all had the same range of abilities, then quite possibly we could aspire to have a society of equals.

Unfortunately, like most other species on this planet, mankind is a collection of imperfect beings, therefore, the world Mr Colburn desires will simply never exist.

Many forms of socialism, including the two extremes, fascism and communism, have been tried in many countries, and failed miserably.

Totalitarian and extreme religious states have often brought order to a troubled region, always at the expense of personal freedom and usually marred by brutality.

So what does that leave? Capitalism favours those with wealth and ability, but does anyone in their right mind begrudge those with a particular skill, even if it’s only the desire to work hard?

Wealth per se isn’t a bad thing, surely?

What rankles is the way it is earned, and how that manifests itself into the accumulation of power for an out of touch and sometimes corrupt elite.

As it stands, Britain is rotting from top to bottom. From those who believe the world owes them a living, to the few who simply never have enough. From the petty jobsworths, to the career politicians in Westminster, from those who reward the criminals to those who pursue the law-abiding, and, of course, those who despise everything this country once stood for.

Until we make a clean sweep of these individuals and get more fair-minded people into power, nothing will ever change.

M. Brown, Hendon Road, Sunderland

20/20 hindsight

LABOUR MP Margaret Hodge said that the problems with security for the Olympics were “predictable”. I can’t recall her predicting problems before the event. Can you?

This is a classic case, endemic in Labour, of 20/20 vision in hindsight.

Alan Wright, Barnes View, Sunderland

Fantastic day

WE would like to thank Sunderland City Council for the wonderful treatment as VIPs, as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour. We were one of the couples celebrating our Diamond Wedding in 2012 and selected to meet Her Majesty and Prince Phillip on July 18.

We were overwhelmed by the first-class treatment by the staff of the city council. We thank you for a wonderful day.

Jane and Frank Hind, Dovedale Road, Seaburn Dene, Sunderland