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Dear Jo: Readers' letters.

Heroes sold short

THE Second World War started 60 years ago today and those who fought in it are now pensioners. And we're letting them down.

Nearly three-quarters of them live below the Government's benchmark defining poverty.

The value of their pounds 66.75 state pension declines year-on-year.

There is increasing means testing and those reaching 80 are given just a derisory 25p-a-week age allowance.

On this anniversary, surely the Government will accede to proposals to increase the pension to pounds 75 a week.

This would redeem Blair's promises to pensioners that they would share in the nation's prosperity.

Peggy and Cliff Fuller Churchdown, Gloucester

THERE is an urgent need to question the wisdom of holding the Year 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney because of the abuse of the Aborigines.

Anyone who watched Welcome To Australia on ITV on Tuesday night must have been absolutely appalled.

The indigenous people's plight is completely disregarded, even derided, by their own Prime Minister, government departments and the population in general.

The Aborigines are treated worse than dogs, have no social status and a life expectancy not exceeding 50 years.

Promising athletes and sportsmen are not only discouraged, they are persecuted by corrupt police forces.

How can we allow the Olympic tradition to be soiled by a regime comparable to South African apartheid?

Frank Blake Bicester, Oxon

AFTER watching Welcome To Australia, who cares that the Austra-lians win the Ashes, after seeing their disgraceful treatment of the Aborigines?

I was shocked at their daily suffering at the hands of a supposedly enlightened country.

Elizabeth Jackson Clitheroe, Lancs

Oh, Lourdes, she's pretty!

WHAT a gorgeous picture of Madonna's daughter (The Mirror, Sept 1) - she's so like her mum, even now.

We often hear the children of stars saying: "I'm not going to be like my parents."

I hope Lourdes grows up admiring her mother, delivering songs like her mother did.

A second Madonna! I can't wait.

M Thompson,

Dewsbury, W Yorks

WHERE IS CHRIS?

CHRISTOPHER Gillam, aged 6, has been missing since March 29, 1997, when his natural father, Michael Gillham failed to return him to his mother after an access visit. Christopher was then only three, and lived in Erith, Kent with his mother who has full custodial rights.

Michael had a house in Whitstable, Kent, and there have been unconfirmed sightings of the pair in and around the Kent area. Michael has since phoned Christopher's mother and says he does not intend to return her son. She says: "It is unbearable not knowing where Christoper is. I miss him so much". If you have seen Christopher ring the National Missing Persons Helpline on Freefone 0500 700 700.

GRAN GESTURE

WHAT a wonderful gesture and refreshing news about the Lottery- winning grandmother Joan Woodland who is giving all her money away.

She is so right when she says money does not mean everything. I lost my sister at Christmas and my brother in March and would exchange all the world's money to have them back. I wish her joy.

Patricia Bassi, South Woodford, East London

PLEA FOR WAR VETS' LAST TRIP

OUR Veterans Association has been making annual pilgrimages to Dunkirk for almost 60 years.

Next year we will make the final journey to a battlefield which has, perhaps more than any other, become synonymous with British bravery. We're holding an appeal for funds for the trip for the veterans - who are mostly in their eighties - their wives and widows.

Those who fought in Dunkirk in 1940 belong to an elite band of mostly pre-war professional soldiers. On their return they trained the armies who defeated the foe in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and north-west Europe.

Maj R H Medley Pant-y-Goitre House, Abergavenny Monmouthshire

Donations should be made payable to "1940 DVA Pilgrimage Appeal Fund" and sent to Maj Medley.

Soured by milk cuts

TONY Blair is living up to his nickname `Tory Blair' - and has gone one better than Maggie Thatcher.

Thatcher took milk from schoolchildren but now the `People's Leader' has taken it from babies and pre-school kids.

The benefits agency has just stopped the milk tokens for my son's two children.

They put him on hardship benefit when he missed a job interview after falling from a shed he was fixing for his sick dad - then they stopped his milk tokens.

Snatching milk from babies... that's really caring, Mr Blair.

Mrs V Willetts Norwich, Norfolk

HAVE the big Lottery winners who lost (Mirror, September 1) not got a case to sue Camelot over the stress they've suffered?

However, I suppose if they won they would have even more money!

J Crawthorne, Batley, W.Yorks
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 3, 1999
Words:773
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