Letters - July 10, 2017

POLITICS'˜Weary' doesn't '¨describe experienceOnce more we have yet another politician using weasel words to obscure terrible truths and realities.

Monday, 10th July 2017, 3:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:35 am
Chancellor Philip Hammond has backtracked on National Insurance contributions for the self-employed.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has backtracked on National Insurance contributions for the self-employed.

This time, Philip Hammond has been telling us that the Government just now, recognises that the British people are ‘weary’ of the seven years of Government-enforced austerity measures which they have imposed upon the public and voluntary and community sectors here in the UK, despite the fact that decent public services are the underpinning to a robust economy and a cohesive, fair, just, inclusive and thriving society.

However, it is fact that the British people are not merely ‘tired’ of the enforced austerity impositions but they are sick to the back teeth of them and have been devastated by these enforced measures.

The British people have been suffering and are still suffering. The word ‘weary’, seeks to tone down and debase, in a calculated way, this suffering and these experiences and still the legacy of detriment endures.

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When we are told, by Cabinets filled with millionaires that ‘we are all in it together’, when we are told by moneyed people that they are not averse to making hard decisions to cut funding and support from the most vulnerable, as if it’s a virtue to be proud of, those espousing these ‘clichés’ have sinister intentions, in their deployment of subtle changes to meaning, seeking to reshape perception.

It is not just nationally that misleading phrases occur. Even in the north, we hear the buzzword’ of local authorities conducting ‘conversations/consultations’, with the people about some policy issues.

This includes the reorganisation of special educational needs services, including integrated resource units and special educational needs schools.

In practice, it reinforces the local people’s awareness that they are about to be diddled again by a phoney sense of participation, when really the real decisions to ‘reorganise/cull/slash’ services, even to some of our most vulnerable disabled children has already been made behind closed doors.

Chrissy Meleady MBE

Via email


Not an economic 
illiterate as you say!

I write in reply to Barry Clayton’s letter on July 6, when he wrote that people, including myself, are illiterate in understanding economics.

Well I like many know the economy is stagnating again and the Bank of England is warning interest rates will rise soon. Reminds me of my time working in the public sector between the 80s and 90s, when public servants were restrained in pay increases for years.

The theme for any government’s credibility in fiscal terms is to keep a strong manufacturing base, which pays good wages. I was contracted to do 35 hours work per week but in reality this always turned out to be between 50 or 60 hours per week, with no overtime pay. To keep on top of the increasing work load I struggled to pay a mortgage like many others in Thatcher’s free market economy. In reality this saw the decline of our manufacturing base in a country that once held its own in manufacturing. Now a high number of public sector jobs are privatised.

We have never taxed the rich enough, though PAYE earners are always paying more than their fair share of tax, while the rich still shift their profits to off shore accounts. The folly of the past Thatcher government and present government though is to put so many people out of work, whereupon no taxes can be paid into the treasury. Very few rich businesses pay their full share of taxes as the government fears they will move elsewhere! Most will anyway when the Brexit effect kicks in. So Mr Clayton time for a reality check on whatever your view of economics is? With 10 million now in zero hours unstable work, there is no reason for austerity to continue!

Marjorie Nye

North Shore


The Highway Code is now just an option

Is it me?

Just this past week I’ve been subjected to rude gestures from a tailgater for slowing down at a roundabout to check nothing was coming from the obscured right (good idea having overgrown grass on roundabouts so you can’t see what’s coming, by the way - nice touch, that), angrily waved at by some other motorist overtaking me on Gatso road markings while I was doing 27mph in a 30mph zone - they must have crawled past, in their urgency, at 29mph - and had exasperated arms lifted aloft at me from behind while I stopped at a RED light (!).

I must have missed the Act of Parliament that rendered the Highway Code optional and made impatience and stupidity compulsory.

T Ithebarn

via email


Better to rejoin EU sooner not later

The arguments over Europe seem to have been going on for ever.

Perhaps we should now let the dust settle and see what sort of a deal emerges.

Of course we all want the country to prosper but the picture of glorious opportunities awaiting is unconvincing. I am amazed that supposedly hard-bitten politicians should swallow and promote this guff so enthusiastically, given these factors:

1. Our economy is unbalanced and weak in manufacturing.

2. Devaluing the currency is resorted to frequently and irresponsibly to boost exports.

3. The workforce is short of vital skills.

4. Other countries can undercut our production costs in many areas.

5. Vast number of immigrants are required for jobs that our own people can’t or won’t do.

I still think we may rejoin the European Union at some stage, which would be better late than never.

Don Burslam

Via email