Letters, Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Have your say

Empty promise leaves us cold

DAVID Cameron went beyond a joke with his empty promise to legislate on energy tariffs.

 He created chaos and confusion among the population and reminded me of the acrimonious times in the past.

 Just like today’s incompetents, Britain was ruled by another repugnant Tory Government, whose main priority was to implement right-wing ideology rather than govern the UK in the best interest of the people.

 Not unlike a callous invading army the destructive Tories lay waste to North East industry, driving everyone to despair and onto the dole queue.

 To make matters worse, they were privatising everything in sight, without question or thought.

 Nobody, however, expected them to hand our gas/electric over to the private sector.

 I mean anyone with a grain of common sense would see this would be equivalent to giving speculators the goose that lays golden eggs.

 Nevertheless those irresponsible Tories stole the public utilities from the taxpayer and sacrificed them on the altar of capitalism.

 This act of betrayal gave energy firms free licence to set any price on fuel.

 As a consequence, foreign-owned energy companies are punishing UK customers with above inflation increases while limiting price rises in their own countries.

 It comes to pass that a senseless Tory Government’s irresponsibility has placed people in a situation where they can no longer afford to heat their homes.

W. Quinn,



All tittle tattle

THE resignation of Andrew Mitchell as a Government Minister, his crime to call a policeman a “pleb”, made me wonder.

 When I first read this news I did not know, or had forgotten, what the word meant really.

 On looking it up in the Oxford Dictionary I found that it was short for the world plebeian, the definition as follows: 1) a commoner; 2) a working class person; 3) of low birth, of the common people; 4) uncultured.

 Surprise, surprise, I qualify on all counts and am proud to do so.

 The word originated in ancient Rome, thus a plebiscite becomes a vote by all the electors of a state, and I assume that means everyone is included as in elections in the UK now.

 So what is this “mess of pottage” all about?

 Apparently among some people, the word plebeian has a derogatory sense, but not to me as I did not realise that pleb was the shortened version.

 When the world appears upside down financially, we may be poisoning ourselves via the atmosphere and thousands starve, what is all this tittle tattle for?

 Political advantage, I presume.

 What a dreadful world we live in. Get a life you press reporters and print us news relevant to important matters or something to cheer us up.

 Do you think that a reporter, on re-reading a column he has just written on the subject for publication, will be proud of his efforts, is that what he was put on earth to do?

 I wonder.

Allan Wilkinson,


Put them to sleep

IF a horse breaks its leg it’s put to sleep.

 If your cat or dog is ill and in pain, the vet will tell you it would be kinder to put them to sleep, but if it’s your mother lying in a hospital bed, dying in pain, she just has to lie there.

 Family sat round, watching, waiting till she draws her last breath.

 Why, why have we to suffer?

  Why have we to be humiliated in the lead up to death?

 Strangers changing you, cleaning you – it’s time it changed.

  It’s time doctors told us it would be kinder to put them to sleep.

Mrs L Lawler,


Neuter your pets

IT is heart-breaking to learn of the growing problem of kittens and puppies being dumped like rubbish, exposing a disturbing new trend of pets being treated like a disposable commodity.

 When dogs and cats aren’t neutered, their unwanted litters are often left to suffer.

 Sadly there are too many unwanted pets and not enough homes for them all, which is why pet charity Blue Cross wants more pets neutered to stop this needless misery.

 I am especially proud to support the Blue Cross Big Neutering Campaign.

 With your help, we could avoid an animal welfare crisis.

Miranda Richardson

To find out more about the Blue Cross Big Neutering Campaign or to make a donation visit www.bluecross.org.uk/neuter

Learn self-defence

FROM what we have learned about the sick behaviour of Jimmy Savile and from what we know of a growing child pornography industry, isn’t it about time we stopped giving children sex lessons in school and provide them with self-defence classes in kicking sexual predators where it hurts?

Gordon Stridiron,



‘Iconic’ toilets first

I SEE little to celebrate in the Echo headline that the Coalition Government has finally given the green light to the new Wear crossing at a massive cost to both national and local tax-payers.

 By all means build a new crossing, but do we need what is likely to be the world’s tallest and shortest bridge, which will cost an additional £30 to £40million extra to make it so called “iconic”.

 This additional funding will come from local tax-payers for a very long time into the future.

 By comparison the Humber Bridge has a single span of 2,220 metres and a height of 156 metres (507 ft), while the new Wear bridge is 336 metres long and is 187 metres (608 ft) high, only 15 per cent of the length of the Humber Bridge, but 20 per cent higher.

 It makes no engineering or economic sense at all.

 Many claims have been made of the benefits this new bridge will bring – new jobs, economic growth and it will generate £4 for every £1 spent on construction.

 A much cheaper and simpler bridge and one which would be much easier to maintain can achieve all of these benefits, although some of the claimed benefits will be very hard to substantiate, maybe that’s the attraction of them.

 For some time now Sunderland City Council has claimed it cannot afford to build public toilets in Houghton Town Centre, yet it can find an additional £30 to £40million on top of the £80million central funding for the iconic bridge, perhaps we need to ask for iconic public toilets in Houghton, then they can be affordable.

Coun Colin Wakefield,

Leader of the Independent Group, Sunderland City Council

Get your facts right

KEITH O’Brien’s letter October 23 accusing St Chad’s Labour Party’s recent newsletter of misleading residents regarding falling police numbers is nonsense.

 St Chad’s Branch Labour Party only used the Tory Led Coalitions Home Office statistics endorsed by the Police Federation figures which are available to everyone.

 Home Office figures released since May 2010 show police numbers down by 10,000 – 13 police officers lost every day, the lowest in the UK since 2003.

 At the last Police and Community Forum meeting held in the Jubilee Centre (July 16) the police spokesperson stated the West Area Command frontline police numbers were unchanged.

 A view not supported by local residents and challenged by Councillors Stuart Porthouse and Darryl Dixon, St Chad’s local councillors.

 Keith O’Brien, a former member of St Chad’s Branch Labour Party and now a failed Tory Local Election candidate, needs to get his facts correct, the public will easily see through him.

Gillian Galbraith,

Chairwoman and spokesperson,

St Chad’s Branch Labour Party.

Help beat cancer

I’M asking North East readers who have secured a place in the Virgin London Marathon (VLM) to run for Cancer Research UK.

 Taking part in this event will be an amazing experience and knowing that you’re supporting Cancer Research UK will make it even more worthwhile.

 Cancer Research UK pioneers life-saving research to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

 The charity relies on money raised through the VLM to fund life-saving research to help beat 200 types of cancer.

 I lost my mum Jeanette to leukaemia eight years ago, when I was 17.

 My Mum died within a year of being diagnosed.

 Her death helped me find the strength to reach the elite level in judo and it’s thanks to her encouragement when I was very young that I now hold an Olympic silver medal.

 That’s why Cancer Research UK means so much to me.

 I want to help make sure that, in the future, families won’t have to lose their loved ones to cancer.

 In the last 40 years, cancer survival rates have doubled and the work of Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of that progress. But there’s still much more to do.

 Every hour around two people in the North East are diagnosed with cancer.

 Everyone who pulls on their trainers and runs for Cancer Research UK will know that every step they take is helping to beat cancer.

 Anyone who has secured a place in the VLM and would like to run for Cancer Research UK should visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/londonmarathon or call 0871 641 2403.

Gemma Gibbons,

Olympic Judo Silver Medallist