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Fiver for your thoughts.

Once again our southern rulers are forcing their prejudices on the North.

I refer to the removal of that pioneer of the railway, George Stephenson, from the nation's pounds 5 notes (The Journal, Friday).

Now, some may say the North has had its hour in the sun with this native son on the fiver for the last 10 years.

However, during Stephenson's reign, the Bank of England had a deliberate policy of printing as few as possible of these Geordie fivers.

How often have you gone into a shop and received a handful of coins with the reply "Sorry, we're right out of fivers"?

Why? Because the independent but still southern-controlled Bank of England has always resented having a northerner on its currency.

Now that a "Norfolk Quaker" is safely installed on the lowest common denominator of our printed currency it will be all change.

The presses will roll once this southerner becomes the face of the fiver - there will no more shortages, you can be sure.

I say, enough is enough. If everyone - Joe Public, publicans, shopkeepers alike - hangs on to their Stephenson fivers and agrees that this is still legal tender, ie "that which must be accepted if offered in payment of a debt", we can retain this North hero in his rightful place on the nation's currency.

ROBERT HANDYSIDE,

Sharks are small fry in this cruel sea

DENISE Robertson's article about loan sharks made me laugh.

She talks about those nasty people trapping poor souls into taking out over-priced loans to which, through no fault of their own, they find themselves unable to keep up with the payments.

But those loan-sharks are small-fry compared to the real monster's of the monetary deep.

Denise's column would be better served addressing the real culprits who have this country spending like there is no tomorrow.

The so-called financial institutions and `responsible' lenders, the banks, building societies and credit card companies, all do their utmost to entice us into their web.

Almost every day among the junk mail lurks yet another fantastic deal, regardless of your ability to pay.

At the end of the day, it's down to us to police ourselves with regard to our levels of debt.

A task so easy for the chosen few and so very hard for the many.

A SIMPSON,

Eyesore is unfair on city folk

RESIDENTS of the new housing development on Windmill Hills in Gateshead have panoramic views of Newcastle and all its splendid architecture.

Why should residents of Newcastle have to view a new housing development which is bland and without character in design?

It appears to me that they have demolished a large housing estate in the Teams and rebuilt it using the same design but placed in a more prominent position.

Gateshead Council should be ashamed of themselves for granting planning permission for this eyesore.

TONY SCOTT,

Ryton, Gateshead.

Wilkinson's squad sets standard

ALTHOUGH not previously a rugby fan, I just had to watch every minute of the Australia and England World Cup final match.

But please, can someone out there explain why football is not played in the same spirit of sportsmanship, where the decisions of the referee are accepted without question, with no yobbos among 40,000 fans, or players.

Why do football goal scorers (apart from Alan Shearer) run like headless chickens? What a contrast Jonny Wilkinson shows.

KEN DOYLE,

Brunton Park,

Will Jacques be in on the snaps?

NOW that French President Jacques Chirac has claimed the English Rugby World Cup is really Europe's World Cup, will President Tony be inviting him over for the inevitable photo call with the victorious English team on their return? Then maybe Cherie could wear a number 10 shirt the same as her house number, for the time being!

ROBIN THOMPSON,

Amble, Northumberland.
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Article Details
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 24, 2003
Words:633
Previous Article:Britain today.
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