Letters, Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Have your say

Members dancing to a Tory tune

WITHIN the Parliamentary Labour Party is a right wing group named Progress. This group is a limited company. Its members and supporters are not socialists and militate to break the link between unions and the Labour Party, despite the party being formed by the unions more than 100 years ago.

 Chief donor to Progress is Lord David Sainsbury, contributing some quarter of a million pounds annually. Lord Peter Mandelson is a prominent member, as is Lord Adonis and several other high fliers in the Labour Party.

 How Progress is wealthier than the Scottish Labour Party or the Green Party or, indeed, Plaid Cymru is not explained in their accounts – one of the benefits of being a limited company.

 Progress is nothing more than a Blairite gang. They are pink Tories. They support in principle the austerity measures of the Coalition Government.

 Why, then, in a working class city like Sunderland, whose people have suffered for decades at the hands of various governments, do we have all of our three MPs linked with Progress?

 When I wrote to my own MP, Sharon Hodgson, asking if she was a supporter of Progress and which members of the Northern Group of Labour MPs also supported it, I received a reply from her secretary referring me to the Progress website.

 May we assume our Sunderland MPs are loathe to admit their association with this frightful, mischief-making coterie?

 I repeat my call for MPs to be paid only the average wage of their electorate.

 The Labour Party itself must form policies favourable to ordinary working people and cease genuflecting to the middle class and big business. The present leadership seems absurdly willing to dance to the Tory tune.

 There is no election victory along that road.

Bob Stothard,


A healthy outlook

I RECENTLY attended a conference, No Health Without Mental Heath, in association with World Mental Health Day at Sunderland’s Winter Gardens.

 The opening speech was made by the Mayor for Sunderland, Councillor Heron.

 Next was the update for the work so far by Paul Johnson, from the North Mental Health Development Unit, with Helen Clay, from Mental Health Matters Service Users Voice.

 Then came service users personal stories which incorporated a film on carers’ perspective, which I thought very considerate and touching.

 The next speaker was Dr Johannes Dalhuijsen, from Sunderland’s Clinical Commissioning Group, a very well presented speech covering wide scoping topics on mental health. A question and answer session followed. Later there was a quiz presented by Jacqui Reeves and Jackie Nixon, from Washington Mind and the Wellbeing Network, promoting your five-a-day for health and happiness. It was very well done, creating some humour and interesting facts.

 Then came the Sunderland Health Champions programme of being or becoming a health champion, presented by Sunderland’s City Council Public Health Consultation Gillian Gibson and Rob Brains, which was very well presented.

 Finally, but not least, came an exercise demonstration and a personal story by representatives from Sunderland’s Age UK, proving what can be done by certain aged people.

 I would like to thank all the people who presented this wonderful conference for their excellent performance, also Jacqui Reeves and Jackie Nixon, Helen Clay and The Wellbeing Network for their time and collaboration. Phil Bradford,


Sunderland Headlight

Changes happen

IN reply to Kay R (October 11), global warming is a political myth.

 Climate change is caused by the change in position of the equinoxes of the earth in its position during its orbit around the sun and its effect and of the moon on the earth.

 It is described in the book Aspects of Heaven by Kenneth Maddison. It is Bible Studies, just published, United PC Publisher.

Kenneth Maddison,