Do strikers want to be just like Greece?

People have been defending Gordon Brown in your columns of late but in my opinion he was the head of, or the financial manager of, successive administrations which caused the public sector in Britain to balloon to levels we can no longer afford.

True, allowing cycling officers and outreach workers to proliferate at public expense, looked good in terms of job figures but the result was a bloated public workforce that would become a burden when the economic bubble burst.

It is as plain as a pikestaff that the goalposts have to change with regard to early retirement and final salary pensions.

The unions can’t win because there is no longer any money in the kitty.

Most of the people who are on strike as I write this email, will recognise this. They need to tell their trade union bosses that they want no more disruption and that they accept the inevitable.

The alternative is following Greece into the economic wilderness.

J Lowe, via email

Butt out of their lives, nanny

EVERY stage of life has its advantages and disadvantages, but I fear that old age has more of the latter.

There are compensations, of course – grandchildren, not having to get up early for work and not being bullied into doing things one doesn’t want to do.

Oh hang on a minute, I’d forgotten about the all-pervasive nanny state which we now inhabit and the the latest directive for over-65s – drink no more than half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine a day.

If pensioners want to sit at home having a couple of tots or cans or even drink themselves under their table, that’s up to them.

And going to the pub to see friends and have a couple of pints, heck even three or four, is one of the few pleasures that many pensioners look forward to.

Being sociable is recommended for mental well-being and someone who has made it to their mid-60s and beyond is more than entitled to enjoy themselves how they want, be it with a cup of tea or a glass of bitter.

They have seen enough of their freedoms eroded over their life time without redress. Leave them alone to enjoy themselves as they choose while they still can.

Paul Nuttall, North West MEP and Deputy Leader, UKIP

Nuclear pledge is welcome

We are used to U-turns from this coalition government, but Energy Secretary Chris Huhne need not be embarrassed that he is now a supporter of building a new generation of nuclear power stations, one of which has been confirmed for Heysham.

Much as natural sources of energy are important they will not be enough to power Britain into the second half of this century and beyond. Nuclear power is the cleanest, most efficient answer.

The doomsayers who fear a nuclear catastrophe might one day result, should take comfort from the fact that we haven’t had one yet and, as technology and expertise improves, nor are we likely to.

Name and address supplied