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Commons took running kick at what they see as toffs.

I think John Bourn needs a better understanding of democracy.

His "democratically" elected government instigated an inquiry into fox hunting and the Burns Report found no reason for banning it.

The Commons, out of pure spite, still had to take a running kick at what they see as upper class toffs and go ahead with the Bill.

In my book democracy is a social condition of classless equality.

The House of Lords is there to stop the Commons passing laws that are considered unjust.

They, even with a reduced number of hereditary Lords, repeatedly quashed attempts to ban hunting till the Commons invoked Section Two of the Parliament Act of 1911.

If you take the two Houses together you will find in numbers there is an almost even split of those for and against a ban, with those against slightly in the lead.

This argument is not about Labour and Conservatives, it is about unjust laws and civil liberties.

This government seems hell bent on creating a police state with the Civil Contingencies Bill.

Read Clause 22 Mr Bourn and if the Commons push this through with the Parliament Act, then I hope you never fall foul of it.

I certainly shall, why? Because I cut hazel sticks to make crooks, thumb sticks etc, and if we cannot overturn the Hunting Bill by legal means ( guess what?

LOL DUNN,

Blokes go straight to a shop and get what they want

HAPLESS husbands and bungling boyfriends". Come off it Sam Wonfor! "Husbands saved by presents of mind" (The Journal, November 29).

Every bloke I know can go straight to any shop to buy what they want, that's it, all done and dusted.

Women though know that's a different kettle of fish altogether.

The opposite sex will go to every shop in town only to go back to the first shop they visited four hours earlier.

Ain't that right fellas?

ALAN SAVAGE,

We are told of teenage mums getting pregnant deliberately

I TOTALLY back Robin Thompson's suggestion (November 24).

For at least 20 years teenage "mothers" have been automatically given housing, social security, family allowance, crAche facilities ( as a right and before they or the "father" have put a penny into state coffers ( neither income tax nor National Insurance.

Charities are forever on about affordable housing in spite of the number that are made freely available for underage couples to set up house at the taxpayers' expense.

We will never be told the truth about the number of houses that are handed over.

Quite simply, their "families" should be made to take the responsibility ( we are now being told that most of the teenage mothers get pregnant deliberately so that they can "set up house".

D ELSEY,

We must take great care to guard our civil liberties

THE Queen's Speech includes proposed legislation to combat terrorism, organised crime and unsocial behaviour.

I would exhort our legislators in both Houses of Parliament to scrutinise most carefully this legislation to prevent further erosion of our civil liberties.

Already persons accused of terrorism are being held without trial, an action contrary to Habeus Corpus for which act a king lost his head.

There is a precedent of how a rushed, ill-thought out Bill has an effect long after its original reason has passed.

The Officials Secrets Act passed at the beginning of World War One was repeatedly used to cover government failings and to silence whistle-blowers.

Therefore I urge Parliamentarian peers and public to be aware of its effect on our civil liberties.

TA THOMPSON, Hexham.

Surprised only one in 10 drivers still using mobiles

IN London recently I spotted a van driver using a mobile without hands free.

On calling the police I was told that only a policeman witnessing the offence made it one ( my call was insufficient.

Two police community support workers were walking by at the time, but took no interest.

Which is why I'm surprised only one in 10 motorists are still using their mobiles (The Journal, letters, November 26).

Robin Ashby,

Gosforth, Newcastle.

Closing of First School will result in house building frenzy

I HAVE just read your article in today's Journal relating to the two/three tier debate and the quoted comments from Mr Jim Wright.

When a former education director of Northumberland County Council for 15 years is of a differing opinion to that of the present incumbents he is dismissed as being "out of touch". Not a part of the consultation process, or even entitled to his opinion, just "out of touch" after serving 15 years as education director! What chance has any voice in the county council's version of this alleged consultation process? Is it a consultation process? It is this type of blinkered arrogance which has blighted Northumberland County Council's approach from the start of this fiasco.

If we look at the independent report from Pricewaterhouse Coopers, in there the county council is admonished for presenting the issues in a way which did "create the impression that the council had jumped to conclusions and was attempting to close down debate". There was also the comment that "its (county council) failure to include relevant background information in the options document made it genuinely difficult for any objector to frame counter arguments".

In the Rothbury area the proposals mean that, instead of children travelling to Morpeth and being over the council's own guidelines for travel time, we have the option of closing Rothbury First School (the only school closure proposed, and the only prime building land) and sending our three to 11-year-olds to Thropton, Harbottle or Netherton, or, option two, sending them all to a new three to 16 rural superschool which will be a new build on the site of the existing, and excellent, Dr Thomlinson Middle School. The educational argument for this is beyond me.

There is another aspect: these options and the timescale mean that the community here will not get its community swimming pool re-furbished until 2010, if at all, and the closing of the First School will result in a house building frenzy on the north side of Rothbury as it will open up the whole hillside.

A final quote from the independent report: "We recommend that the council continue to take seriously previous criticisms and any subsequent comments which emerge."

Paul Graham, Rothbury.

Appeal for charity runners

BY now some of your readers will have secured a place in what is undoubtedly one of the greatest running events in the world ( the 2005 Flora London Marathon.

More than 35,000 people will join me and take to the capital's streets on Sunday, April 17, for the most exhilarating and challenging run of their life.

Being an ex-footballer and now coach of Dagenham and Redbridge, I decided to run for the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK. Set up in memory of the ex-England 1966 World Cup winning captain, the Bobby Moore Fund raises money for research into bowel cancer and other cancers that affect men.

Bobby, who died of bowel cancer in 1993, was a friend of my late father who also died of bowel cancer, so the cause is very close to my heart.

If you have a place in the Flora London Marathon but haven't yet decided which charity to run for, why not join me and the Bobby Moore Fund team. With over 100 runners this year, we are looking to almost double that next year and raise over pounds 200,000.

If you don't want to run for the Bobby Moore Fund but still want to raise money for Cancer Research UK, you can join the charity's team of 1,500 runners aiming to raise a whopping pounds 1.5m.

To find out more about running for the Bobby Moore Fund, log onto www.bobbymoore fund.org/running or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/running for more information about being part of the wider charity team, or call 0870 242-7095, clearly stating who you would like to run for.

I look forward to seeing you around the course!

WARREN BARTON,

Ex-England and Newcastle United footballer.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 1, 2004
Words:1349
Previous Article:Party lines.
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