LETTER: ‘Mr Angry’ should get his facts straight

I DON’T know why, but I am continually drawn to the regular letters from Michael Sutcliff, alias Mr Angry of Brierfield, the last one being “Get rid of non-jobs” (January 13th).

In his latest moan, he quotes from a Dr Adrian Rogers, who to be honest I had never heard of, but his words fascinated me by their stupidity, so I checked him out on the internet.

To my surprise, I discovered he was a Baptist minister in the southern states of the USA and was quite infamous for some of his outrageous quotes. However, Mr Sutcliff is incorrect when he writes that the quote he mentions was made in 1931, as the doctor was only born in 1931 and died in 2005.

As Mr Sutcliff will know, I am one of the nasty “lefties” he refers to, using the word “left” as if it was a dirty word. I am also a practising Christian, so I was very surprised to learn this Dr Rogers was an ordained man of God, i.e. a so-called follower of Jesus Christ.

I am therefore even more surprised the holy doctor didn’t know, or had forgotten, what Jesus thought about wealth (he didn’t have any) and the poor and how he instructed his disciples when he sent them out alone.

Can I remind Mr Sutcliff that another American, also in the 1930s, did the exact opposite of what the clearly extreme right-winger Dr Rogers advocated? The then newly-elected President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, faced with a much greater depression than we face today, and with more than 13 million unemployed, introduced the “New Deal”. This involved large-scale federal programmes across the US to kick-start the nation’s flagging economy.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? But it worked ... and quickly. So popular were his actions that President Roosevelt went on to be elected four times, so some Americans must have liked him and his actions.

I would suggest Mr Sutcliff change his bedtime reading and maybe pick up a Charles Dickens just to remind himself (because he seems to have forgotten) just how bad it was 150 years ago for the majority of people - and who improved things? The left, once they achieved a voice and a vote.

Finally Mr Sutcliff is at least correct on one point when he says people like me will not agree with the sentiments of someone like Dr Rogers. He was an extreme right wing conservative who used his position as a pastor/priest to indoctrinate his congregation and others to his own political agenda.

In my humble opinion, that is very wrong, and dangerous.

GERRY McCABE

Colne Town Councillor (Labour)