No trust

THE D&S Times main comment headlined "Simply indefensible" (D&S Times, May 27) exactly describes the quagmire of the current leadership inhabiting not only Westminster, but also sadly many of our local politicians who fail to understand what a sad example they are setting.

Where there is no truth, there is no trust and without trust there is no democracy.

The ministers sent out to brief on TV and radio that it is time to move on from "partygate" are part of the same rotten cabal, not understanding or caring.

I am reminded of the poem by Adrian Mitchell entitled Remember Suez? which he wrote to remind us of the shame of a 1950s government:

England, unlike junior nations,

Wears officers' long combinations,

So no embarrassment was felt

By the Church, the Government or the Crown.

But I saw the Thames like a grubby old belt

And England's trousers falling down.

How can we expect other nations to treat this country seriously? How sad that it has come to this.

Ian Woods, Richmond.

True career

RECENT events remind me of the title of a book on the crimes of Stalin's Soviet Union, "It was a long time ago and it never really happened", detailing the rewriting of history.

Post the Sue Gray report, we are now being told that the events of "partygate" are now historic, and while regrettable, we need to move on.

Sorry to disappoint you, Prime Minister, but many of us will not be moving on until the Metropolitan Police explain their bizarre antics in fining minor attendees at these parties and ignoring the glass-raising Prime Minister, caught on camera "bang to rights", as they say.

I am waiting for the Prime Minister to resign, and step out of politics altogether, to resume his career as a clown and joker, a role to which he is well suited.

Tony Robinson, Romanby, Northallerton.

Dubious past

NOW what can be said about Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson? Well, let’s take a look at his past.

Sacked by The Telegraph for lying, sacked by The Times for inventing a quote and lying, sacked from the Tory front bench by Michael Howard for lying about an affair.

So we have a pathological liar in charge of us and the problem is he just can’t help himself and we can’t believe a word he says.

Will he survive? Probably for the moment.

But when all these Tory MPs rushing to his defence at the moment realise he could be a liability when it comes to keeping their seats on the Westminster gravy train they will drop him, the same as they did with Maggie Thatcher and Theresa May. Then let’s wait and see what happens.

Terence Fineran, Darlington.

Windfall U-turn

AN announcement of £650 cash to those claiming benefits, £300 to pensioners, £150 to those on disability and £400 off every energy bill in Britain, regardless of your wealth.

Welcome to the bank of Boris.

But can this be called compassionate Conservatism? Or does it just smack of pure desperation aimed to prop up a disgraced walking wounded Prime Minister?

It's been five months since Labour called for a windfall tax in oil and gas profits. Tories just sat on their hands.

Their MPs voted against it three times, demanding it should never be introduced.

Now, suddenly the windfall tax is the best thing since bread came sliced.

This sudden U-turn was made more favourable because of Sue Gray's rather unfavourable report on Boris Johnson's partying antics.

So Boris and his mob live to fight another day. But just how much damage has already been done?

From the Red Wall to the Tory shires, people will never forget the culture of criminality inside Downing Street during lockdown, and will still feel that anger when they step into that polling booth come the next election.

A recent poll suggests the Tories would lose all their new Red Wall seats in the North East,

No surprise there: these local MPs are 100 per cent loyal to party animal Boris, zero per cent loyal to their constituents.

Stephen Dixon, Redcar.

Cost of living

HOW I agree with everything that Geoff Cousins says (D&S Times letters, May 27), regarding what is being described as a cost of living "crisis". At long last a bit of common sense and I hope people heed his advice – although judging by the tens of thousands who travelled to London and Paris to watch a game of football or rugby and the tens of thousand caught up in travel chaos at Dover and some of our airports, I very much doubt that they will.

Robert Carter, Brompton.

Walking together

I WANTED to make your readers aware that Bowel Cancer UK, the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity, are calling on everyone to Walk Together this June.

Complete a five mile walk on Saturday, June 11, or another day in June that suits you, and ask friends, family and colleagues to sponsor you. All you need to do is raise a minimum of £100, which will go towards their vital services and lifesaving research.

Walk Together is a great way to show your support for those undergoing treatment and also remember loved ones. My mum sadly died of bowel cancer when she was only 54, which had a huge impact on my life. Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, but it shouldn’t be as it’s treatable and curable, especially when diagnosed early.

Bowel Cancer UK are entirely reliant on the generous support of people like you. Your fundraising will help them save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by bowel cancer.

To find out more about Walk Together and sign up, visit Bowel Cancer UK’s website:

Sean Fletcher, Bowel Cancer UK ambassador and TV presenter.

Transport solution

IN order to restore European unity on oil and gas sanctions against Russia, oil and gas consumption has to be radically reduced in the immediate short term right across Europe.

The quickest easiest cheapest and simplest way to achieve this is a cap on all bus and train fares across Europe.

This will radically reduce the use of private cars.

A maximum £5 rail fare and a maximum £1 bus fare, metro tram or underground fare will increase the use of public transport and reduce the use of private cars.

We are in the middle of an undeclared war. Can we start acting as if we are at war, please?

Cllr Nigel Boddy (Lib Dem), North Road Ward, Darlington.

Grateful thanks

MY husband and I came to Darlington for a holiday, but he suffered a stroke.

The ambulance, with a paramedic, arrived within 25 minutes and he was taken to Durham hospital stroke unit.

We would both like to thank the ambulance crew and the paramedic and all the staff at the stroke unit for their for their dedication and quick response. They were so kind and caring.

We will always be grateful to each and every one of you. Bless you all.

S Drake, Cornwall.

Inflation triggers

RUNAWAY inflation. Runaway energy profits. A runaway Chancellor.

The 40-year high has formed an almost unprecedented consensus among charities, progressive MPs (yes, there are some), unions and poverty campaigners.

With one voice they are calling on the Chancellor to come out with an emergency budget to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

Workers are refusing to take any more hypocritical lectures from City bankers demanding pay restraint.

Pay rises do not “cause” inflation. Real wages are going down yet inflation is set to hit ten per cent.

This Conservative government has deliberately chosen to hit the living standards of public sector workers, including nurses and teachers.

The biggest single inflation trigger is the energy price cap hike of 54 per cent, yet even that "bible" of Toryism, the Daily Telegraph, admits 80 per cent of voters back a windfall tax on the oil and gas profiteers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, seemingly unable to remember what was in his own government's last budget, says he doesn't support tax increases.

Working people are now saying enough is enough. If the Tories won't tackle the problem then we'll do it ourselves, on the picket line.

When they do they should have the support of every reader.

C Walker, Darlington.

Food banks

FOOD banks are the modern equivalent of a 1930s soup kitchen – they are a shameful indication that the UK has had decades of incompetent governments.

When are you going to educate readers regarding the USA food stamp system which guarantees folks food, to a certain value, from supermarkets?

The cash value goes into one’s computer social security number and folks queue up at USA supermarkets at 11.45pm as their entitlement activates on the store computer at midnight. Booze and cigarettes are prohibited purchases. There can be no valid reason for the UK not running something similar, instead of off-loading all social provision onto charity.

We are in a similar position to the Irish during the 1840 Potato Famine.

There was no food shortage, yet a million died of starvation and a vast number were forced to emigrate.

The problem was lack of cash to buy the available food and the government refused to emergency feed – do readers see the connection?

Endless, uncontrolled, price increases are today’s equivalent of the Weimar Republic’s constantly devaluing money during the late 1920s – and everyone knows where that led.

Desperate situations justify desperate measures. The UK is never going anywhere without self-sufficiency/economic nationalism policies, and Labour need to wake up.

G B Butler, Stockton-on-Tees.

Backwards step

DESPITE all the modern technology we have these days in all aspects of our lives, I sometimes think we are taking a step backward rather than forward in some cases.

How frustrating it is to have to listen to up to five or ten minutes drivel when making a telephone call – press option one for this, press option two for that etc etc. The options seem to go on for ever, then a pre-recorded voice says you are number (whatever) in the queue, then after all that tedious palaver another voice quite often says they are taking no more calls and please try again later.

It reminds me of a recent visit to the doctor. "Doctor, doctor, I keep thinking I'm a telephone." The doctor replied: "well go home and if you have any problems give me a ring."

Name supplied, County Durham.

Response times

I HAD to smile when I read that the police take longer to arrive at an emergency these days.

My dad was in Durham Police for many years, all he had was a whistle, a truncheon and a Mini van he shared with six other officers.

When you consider all the modern equipment the police have today, they must have forgotten how to use their feet.

GO Wright, Sadberge.

Happy reader

JUST a thank you to all at the D&S Times for the news, features and content – we moved here just over three years ago and have found the local news, what’s on, walks and historical articles of particular interest. The content and makeup of the paper has something for everyone.

Name supplied, Sowerby.