DUE to politicians cutting public services and making a virtue of anything for profit, this country is rapidly going to hell on a handcart.
All things American are embraced by all politicians and imported, so now we are seeing the lowest levels of American life appearing on our streets - as illustrated by the fatal shooting of 11-year-old Rhys Jones while playing football with friends in Liverpool.
The Prime Minister appears on TV to make nothing but sound bites about how horrible the shooting was, while his Home Secretary, after expressing sympathy with the boy's parents, claims gun crime is dropping overall even though 18 young people have been killed so far this year.
On the same day as Gordon Brown's TV appearance, an equally serious aspect of present day life in Britain, the paedophile, also made the news. This time a judge has released, instead of imprisoning, a man who even his sister says should be locked up.
With gun-carrying thugs and paedophiles running the streets we have goody, goody judges looking for ways not to jail them, and present day politicians letting those already locked up, out - leaving the rest of us to stand by and watch.
Peter Dolan, Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham.
REGARDING the senseless killing of 11-year-old Rhys Jones in Liverpool and the news that the murderer of the headteacher Phillip Lawrence is not to be deported back to Italy when released from prison as it would infringe his "human rights".
Has anyone ever thought about the "human rights" of the victims and those that are left behind?
It is high time the Government took action to create a sense of law and order. For a start, it has been in power for ten years feeding a culture of people who live off the benefits system and crime, rewarding antisocial behaviour, allowing local government to employ nambypamby social workers who continually feed the cycle by providing unacceptable excuses for the anti-social behaviour.
It is high time the people who commit these heinous crimes and anti-social behaviour were made to accept the consequences of their actions, no questions asked.
I call upon politicians to now speak out publicly and bring some sense of order back to our society.
They can make a good start by ditching the Human Rights Act in favour of social and sensible justice.
Colin Telfer, Darlington.
FOLLOWING the unnecessary and pointless 20 deaths this year so far, the gang culture question rears its head.
The media and politicians concentrate their efforts on the black youth in this country. Pundits say this problem stems from the fact that these youths have no father figure in their lives to guide them.
What a shambolic excuse.
How many readers had a father who was killed in military action or, more appropriate for this part of the world, killed in a "pit" accident. I know personally of many men who lost their fathers thus and have grown up to be sound, responsible members of the public.
The problem lies in the absence of two words being implemented in society, they being punishment and responsibility.
For every victim of murder several "experts" are wheeled out to explain the actions of these lawless thugs, yet how many are wheeled out to explain the emotions of the victim and the effects on the family left behind? You can count them on one hand, the Phillip Lawrence case being one in point.
Society must stop pandering to criminals, ensure that punishment fits the crime, and leave excuses to defence counsel.
Colin T Mortimer, Pity Me, Durham City.http://www.thisisthenortheast.co.uk/mostpopular.var.1646476.mostcommented.violent_britain.php