Difficult for any of the newspapers to print a balance with the letters pages being deluged with the No perspective.
Our prediction of 65% No is starting to look under threat...indications from some areas are that it could be even higher.
I AM North-East born and bred. Yet, why I should need this qualification to express an opinion on regional assemblies, I fail to see.
I can understand why many Scots want more self-government. They were, after all, a nation state until 300 years ago. The Welsh, too, have a distinctive culture and a language. A Welsh Assembly makes sense for many.
But the North-East? Where does it begin and end? Where some bureaucrats have decided, that's where.
Has it a distinctive culture which marks it off from the rest of Britain? No. Darlington has as much in common with York or Northallerton as with, say, Bishop Auckland or Gateshead.
Major decisions involving big money will always be made centrally in London, our capital city and seat of our elected government.
We are English, are we not? One of my grandfathers came from London, the other from Gateshead. I support the Boro and not the mighty Arsenal of my Granddad Roberts.
Ray Mallon clearly has political ambitions which drive his reasoning.
I write as a fairly disinterested old fellow who wants what is best for my town, my local area and my country.
The case for a regional assembly is not proven.
- Brian Roberts, York.
REGIONAL government is the brainchild of the pro-EU cabal which comprises of non-elected, well-paid bureaucrats.
The proposed assembly will end up creating more bureaucrats, combined with the proposed Constitution for Europe and the loss of our veto that our PM is presently advocating.
The Government and the yes campaign say an elected assembly will result in a decentralisation of power. In fact, the opposite will happen.
Existing county councils will disappear and their decision-taking powers will be centralised in Durham. No significant powers will be devolved from central government.
In addition, Tony Blair intends handing over a raft of new powers in the near future to the European Union. He wants to pass the European Constitution into law.
The carving up of the UK into regions must be seen within the context of the EU's plans to bypass national governments and to create regional structures across the Union that will deal directly with Brussels.
The overall effect of this two stage power shift - power taken away simultaneously from county councils and Westminster and transferred upwards - will be to make government less accountable to the ordinary voter.
- Roy Makin, Esh Village.
BEN Ord's suggestion (HAS, Oct 29) that we should have a Minister for the North would only work if governments were concerned about the needs of our region.
In the 1990s we had Ministers for the North. Due to the policies of the presiding Conservative government, all they did was oversee the rundown of our regional economy as opposed to representing our case in the corridors or power.
That is why we need a regional assembly as a permanent champion to represent the needs of the North regardless of the political colour of those in power at the time.
The reorganisation of councils associated with the assembly has captured people's attention. I know many constituents who voted yes to an assembly because they want the shake-up of councils that goes with it.
Most people I have spoken with disagree with Councillor Ord's comments about a single unitary council. They are drawn to council shops and contact points in local communities and especially to the community-led decision making which would go with a single unitary.
One council would cost considerably less to run than our present system and I hope that we eventually see such a council in County Durham.
- County Councillor Bill Blenkinsopp, Durham County Council.
ENGLAND should just have country and urban local councils.
A lot of us hardly see our own councillors, so what chance do we have to see and tell those in county and regional councils what we would like done?
Too many politicians listen to themselves today and not the electorate.
It took us 20 years to get rid of the county of Cleveland and while we had it Middlesbrough got favoured with everything. They still have police and fire rescue services over us all. - C Beedle, Stockton-on-Tees.
IT seems to me that the Chancellor's accusation (Echo, Oct 26) that the No campaign is being run by Conservatives from London is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
I thought the No campaign was chaired by John Elliott, a businessman from Bishop Auckland, with Graham Robb, a Teessider, as his spokesman.
The Yes campaign seems to be run by London MPs, many from Scotland, with the help of Ken Livingstone.
If this confirmation is anything to go by, the North-East regional assembly will cost a fortune and council taxes will rise annually as they have done under Ken Livingstone in London. - Lillian Trotter, Staindrop.
AT a public meeting in my village I asked a platform Yes spokesman why the U-turn had been made on holding simultaneous voting in Yorkshire/Humberside and the North West, as well as the North-East.
But I got no better than the reply I expected, which only confirmed further the guinea pig-cum-gullible tag with which the whole Yes campaign have, by means of fog, spin and glitz, sought to justify our North-East being allocated the short straw in a desperate last throw of the dice by this Government to regionalise (ie Europeanise and fragment) this country, England. They must not succeed.
What is not good enough for Yorkshire/Humberside and the North-West must surely not be allowed to be foisted on our region by the equally astute thinking North-East electorate, who hopefully will see through much of the spin and presumption which is about all that underpins the outpourings of those advocating a yes vote. - Eamonn Murtagh, Sedgefield.
IN the Brendan Foster propaganda letter, presumably sent to every house in the region, I noted that all the celebrities paraded there are wealthy people.
So it won't bother them to pay increases in council tax year after year for their regional assembly.
The yes brotherhood admit that a regional assembly would have to increase council tax year on year to continue paying for it.
As a pensioner, a sixth of my total income goes on council tax already. I am opposed to anything that would increase the council tax even more. So for this reason alone I and many other unwealthy pensioners will be voting no to a regional assembly.
Incidentally, they must have spent thousands on all that yes propaganda, therefore the obvious conclusion is that a regional assembly would look after the wealthy at the expense of the unwealthy. It must seem curious to them that we, the unwealthy, do not want to be forced to subsidise them in their power games of self-interest.
- A Hall, Darlington.
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- The real criminals
- ...from an East of England Assembly member
- Grim Reaper spotted on Newcastle Quayside...will t...
- Epping Guardian...the clans are gathering...
- North East Assembly employees frantically check th...
- 'Smokescreen for his failures'...oh Mr. Younger!
- Order Your Copy of the European Constitution
- PERLEEEASE! Mr. Knapman, did you not blush?
- North East Assembly Members
- From the North East Assembly Website
- But will they withdraw funding?
- Show me the money!
- Director of the Assembly fails to answer the quest...
- Ooooh...Sticks and Stones!
- Can we go for a double on the next referendum?
- Now a personal view of Mr. Frayne's 'personal view...
- It was a racing certainty from day one
- Complaint to the Audit Commission...Ministerial Vi...
- Just what we expected...
- Keeping the pressure on...
- Contemptuous arrogance of the Government over asse...
- Answers required from the North East Assembly Dire...
- Our Wonderful North East Assembly
- Spotlight will keep shining on North East MP's
- Net closing. Assembly staff should start scanning ...
- Less talk and more action...we are waiting.
- A Bonfire? We have just the Guy.
- Prescott still doesn't get it!
- Observations from abroad
- Kick Ass and Kill Bill...Haskins admits idea is fi...
- The beginning of the end for regions?
- The academics got it wrong as well...
- One of over a thousand!
- The Suspects...paid for by you and I. How long wil...
- Prescott in Drag? An Assembly in disguise.
- BBC and an Assembly agenda? Surely not
- Northern Echo Round-up
- "Stick your ******* Barnett Formula"
- Europe of the Regions...Not here mate! Booker in t...
- BBC Coverage...Suits you, Sir? Funny Guy tho'.
- Will Prescott Survive this?
- Yorkshire Vote? Statements of punch drunk Minister...
- Raynsford and Prescott tainted forever
- Nice one my Sun
- MP Calls for referendums to scrap Scottish Parliam...
- The 'confusion' of politicians during the campaign...
- Awesome! But Mummy, "What is that man for?"
- No to Politicians...a new dawn?
- The Times...Plan C?
- A debt of Gratitude? The pleasure was all ours, Si...
- ...let's see what the Conservatives are made of. S...
- ...and his face looks well slapped!
- Penny For The Guy...Bonfire Special
- Pressure Grows on unelected assemblies...Prescott'...
- The attacks start on the unelected Assemblies...fo...
- Press Release: "The People Have Spoken"
- Congratulations start to flood in to the real camp...
- Result from the North East...the People have spoke...
- The people speak
- Our democracy is precious...Electoral Commission w...
- Today's News Bulletin
- And now another mention in Hansard...
- When a No vote is achieved then the unelected Asse...
- Prescott's Job on the line when his 'pet' dies
- No Letters in the Papers...
- Three Parties agree on something!
- A No vote is the beginning, not the end.
- Kennedy... "Blame Blair for the defeat."
- The final countdown...
- Letters to the Times
- Oh Mr. Anderson...and we thought you were a gastro...
- Labour fight Labour...amazing what a dose of self-...
- Recent Letters...
- Bloated white elephant deflated...no hot air left!...
- The Market Trader and the Businessman face down th...
- Prescott take notice of purdah? Electoral Commissi...
- Scottish drum banged with wet hankies in the North...
- Sunderland Still Says No...even as the goalposts m...
- Middlesbrough ignores Mallon this time as he insul...
- Too late to matter...most who will vote have voted...
- Prescott not quangos will end up on the bonfire
- "Scottish example great for No Campaign" says Neil...
- Daily Telegraph predicts No vote
- President of the Liberal Party attacks Yes Campaig...
- Ladbrokes frightened off by No Campaigners bet
- Referendum news round up... North East No Campaign...
- ▼ November (86)