Letters, Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Have your say

I WOULD like to know what planet Marjorie Matthews is from (October 4)?

I WOULD like to know what planet Marjorie Matthews is from (October 4)?

 In fact, I think she must inhabit a parallel universe.

 I would like to make a few responses to some of the claims she made in her latest letter.

 She says welfare gives you more money sitting at home than going to work. I think I will resign from my job if this is the case, and urge every other person working to do the same.

 I guess she’s never been out of work.

 Unions helped bankrupt the country with their impossible wage demands. Did they? I thought it was the banking industry with their reckless risk taking – you know, the type of risk taking championed by the Tories.

 I can only presume she has been living on the moon for the last six years.

 Unions don’t like people to own their own houses as it gives them too much power. The cynic in me would think Tories like working class people to be mortgaged up to the eyeballs because you are much less likely to go on strike if you could lose the roof over your head.

 To me, this gives workers less power, not more. Thatcher knew exactly what she was doing with the right-to-buy policy.

 It is better to be in the material world, just look at Russia today. Is this the same Russia where one or two individuals, like Roman Abramovich, can take control of the country’s oil reserves and keep all the profits for themselves, instead of the profits being used for the good of the country?

 Enjoy living in cloud cuckoo land, Marjorie.

Stuart Oliver

A case for Europe

I SEE that the anti-Europe brigade are out in force at the moment.

 No doubt buoyed up by their recent TV ratings success, where they told women to clean behind their fridges and beat up reporters with their manifesto, if you know who I mean.

 Nobody seems to be putting the case for staying in Europe, so let me have a go.

 I could tell you all about how Nissan might have to rethink its position, if it couldn’t sell cars in Europe.

 Although, I don’t think it would have to give back the £189million in funding it received recently from the EU to produce the Leaf.

 Other groups have also received pots of cash from Europe, like Sunderland Council which received £5.4million for the A19 enterprise zone and £2.25million to finally start work on the Vaux site.

 Yes, cash is nice, but seriously, if we left the EU, the police wouldn’t be able to arrest criminals in other parts of Europe who scam us on the computer, or sell drugs or horsemeat or dodgy electrical products.

 Did you know that thousands of things we use have a European standards EN number on the side, which guarantees they’ve passed the EU’s stringent safety tests?

 And how about all of those human rights we’d lose, like the 48-hour working week, or anti-discrimination law?

 It’s a good job Nigel Farage and his cronies like beer, because if we come out of Europe, wine will become a lot more expensive – no more booze cruises and big “personal allowances” on the duty free. If you can’t fit it in a small bag, forget those duty free goodies.

 No more nice French perfume for me!

 Ah well, I’d just have to stay at home and clean behind my fridge.

Meg Crosby,

East Herrington

Wasting money

I REFER to the report entitled £3.6million wasted on axed Wear bridge” (October 2).

 Conservative Councillor Robert Oliver says that the new link road (Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor, SSTC) from the A19 to the port is the most important factor.

 I cannot imagine why any town planner would want to build a road, via a tortuous route, to encourage heavy goods vehicles through the city’s commercial centre when there is the south radial route from the A19 to the port. Neither can I imagine why HGV drivers would actually prefer to leave the A19 at the junction of the A1231 to arrive at the Sunderland docks.

 The SSTC is an unnecessary (and would be if it was ever completed) road traffic diversion presently under construction at a wasteful cost of £13.4million in St Mary’s Way.

 Also, land on the Vaux site is being wasted at a cost of £4million.

 To date, there are no council staff who are able to define how a super pedestrian crossing actually works without stopping the cars, HGVs and buses by which pedestrians can gain access to the Vaux site when the work is completed.

Ron McQuillan

Stifling debate

IT will have astounded – and alarmed – many readers to find out that the decision to close libraries in the city was made by only six councillors.

 I was one of the 67 councillors denied a vote on the future of Hendon and other libraries at the end of the second round of the public consultation exercise.

 For several years there has been an annual State of the City debate – as provided for in the city council’s constitution – at which city residents have been able to question council leaders.

 There is no sign of this debate taking place this year. Why? Is it because Labour’s council leader, Paul Watson, feels unable (as well as being unwillling) to answer the questions city residents would undoutedly have asked about libraries – the state of the city centre and the “iconic” bridge? It is not healthy for democracy in the city to have debate and discussion stifled in this way.

Coun Peter Wood,

Deputy leader, Sunderland Conservative Council Group

A very British star

MICHAEL Holliday, Britain’s answer to Bing Crosby, was signed to EMI records by the producer, the late Norrie Paramot, and scored two Number One hits with The Story Of My Life and Starry Eyed, from 1955 to 1964.

 The follow up hits included Old Cape Cod, Catch Me A Kiss, The Steady Game, Palace Of Love, For You For You, I’ll Always Be In Love With You, Dream Talk, Stay In Love, Dear Heart, My Last Date With You, Drums, Can I Forget You, Skylark, Little Boy Lost, Iron Fence, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, Sentimental Journey, Between Hello And Goodbye, The Miracle Of Monday Morning, Wishin’ On A Rainbow, Love You Darlin’, In Love, Stairway Of Love, She Was Only Seventeen, Moments Of Love, The Rose Tattoo, My Years Of Love and Always Is A Long Long Time.

 His most famous LPs were Holiday Mixture, To Bing – From Mike, Hi, Happy Holiday, Four Feather Falls, Mike And The Other Fella and All Time Favourites. Mike’s TV and radio shows included hits like 6-5 Special, Midday Music Hall, Worker’s Playtime, Follow The Stars, The Saturday Show, This Is Your Life with the late Eamonn Andrews, Stars At Scarborough, Record Roundabout, Crackajack, Off The Record, Melody Hour, Hippodrome, Take It Easy, Parade Of The Pops, Blackpool Night and Saturday Club.

 He mixed with stars such as Joan Regan, Ruby Murray, Alma Cogan, Anne Shelton, Edna Savage, Clinton Ford, Ronnie Hilton, David Jacobs, Pete Murray, Alan Freeman, Brian Matthew, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Shane Fenton and The Fentones, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Adam Faith, Frank Ifield, The Who, The Hollies, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Johnny Cash.

 Sadly, nearly 50 years ago, on Tuesday, October 29, 1963, he passed away at the age of 38 in Croydon General Hospital in Surrey.

 I won’t forget the British, original entertainer and singer icon from the Fabulous Fifties and the Swinging Sixties, the late Michael Holliday.

Terry Christie,

East Herrington