Letters - October 23, 2017

Rt Rev Julian Henderson

Thank you to all clergy, yours isn’t the easiest job

I was an active member of my local parish church in County Durham, until my move to Blackpool in 1988.

Since then, I have not been able to become a regular member of a particular local parish church.

So, when I read ‘Take the time to say thank you to a vicar’ (The Gazette, October 14), not being a practicing church member, I would have to send a card to every single member of Anglican, Methodist and Roman Catholic clergy as well as leaders of every denomination who also deserve thanks.

Clergy of all denominations have a lot of duties seen and unseen and don’t just officiate at weddings, funerals, baptisms, Sunday and festival services throughout the church’s year.

They are advice councillors, therapists, psychiatrists, assist in solving problems, have knowledge of professional bodies for anyone that needs them, and are good listeners. They answer phone calls 24 hours a day and attend to someone in trouble at short notice, day or night.

They also listen to any claptrap they prefer not to and are tolerant to any threats, disrespect or aggravation. They visit the bereaved, and troubled, organise services and devise sermons (with a different theme every week).

Apart from leading groups within their parish, Christian teaching or socially, most church members expect personal attention even when their clergy/leader doesn’t have much time. Apart from their ministry team (some don’t have) whatever problems others impose on their parish priest, it stops there and clergy have no one to turn to except their spouse, Deanery and Bishop, but they probably don’t wish to bother them.

So may I through the Gazette say ‘Thank you’ to all clergy of all faiths and denominations for all the hard work they do for the good of those they lead and communities around them.

Regardless of their ‘calling’ it’s not an easy life they chose, to be at the beck and call of parishioners and anyone needing their help and yes, they too like to be appreciated.

Clifford Chambers



Universal credit should be scrapped

Regarding the recent 299 to zero vote on pausing universal credit, a pausing is not enough.

Welfare benefits need to be increased and universal credit scrapped.

It is a disgrace how the official opposition before September 2015 and May 2015 were a bunch of oppression colluders instead of a proper opposition.

The opposition can do a lot better for the poor and vulnerable than simply calling for a pause in universal credit Scrap it full stop.

The gulf between rich and poor in the United Kingdom since May 11, 2010 is too wide. It is not the poor who are the scroungers but the MPs on the Westminster expenses gravy train and those involved in corporate tax evasion.

Robert Lee Shipley

Via email


Top tip for your 
old toothbrush

Don’t throw your old electric toothbrush away, keep them charged up and use your old heads to clean round bathroom taps, shower units etc.

Anywhere you can’t get into the crevices then when putting a new brush head on your toothbrush change the old toothbrush with your old brush. It makes a lovely little cleaning tool.

Ann Machen

Via email


You can’t live

on credit alone

If politicians and economists had anything between their ears, the present trend for mortgages beyond 25 years would be banned.

All this is doing is pulling more debt money from even further into the future and feeding the present house price bubble, which the young are suffering from.

Is it any wonder we are in an economic mess with such stupidity?

I was brought up in the 50s and 60s when people didn’t need telling you can’t live on credit.

Banks didn’t throw it at people like confetti at a wedding and maximum mortgage lending was two and a half times income.

Since deregulation became the fashion under the excuse of “freedom to innovate”, all economic hell has been allowed to break loose. What banks have actually created is a gigantic debt parasite. Who gave private banks the right to create money in the first place?

Certainly not the public who have been kept in the dark and who still don’t know that banks lend money they do not have and which is effectively stolen from the future.

The generation from the 80s on has been brainwashed into believing they can live on credit and encouraged to binge on it.

I particularly remember the TV advert with the housewife on the phone telling the grinning idiot holding a football that they could borrow £25,000 to blow away on any self-indulgence they fancied, “no problem!”.

Well, credit is not just a problem for the borrower and lender, it feeds the whole system with false money, because credit is nothing but the promise of future payment.

The economy is full of bubbles of promise masquerading as real money, giving false appearances and statistics based on money that is nothing but a promise that has been given a numerical value.

I would say it does not become crystallised into real money (theoretically real) until the promise has been fulfilled and the debt paid. Before then, there is always a risk it may not be paid.

Any that isn’t disappears back into the dreamworld it was created from by banks, and the volume of money in the system then shrinks. When this happens on a large scale, it starts bursting other bubbles and the whole system is in danger of collapse, especially when a large proportion of money in the system is the froth of credit. This was the case in 2008.

Economists might call credit “leverage”, but it is only leverage when it is supporting a sustainable system.

And it is clear to me that nobody on this planet knows what a balanced and sustainable system looks like.

Human life and real human need is not a priority of economic thinking and never has been.

Gordon Sanderson

Address supplied

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