Lord Howell’s insulting gaff raises issue of perception

The reactions to Lord Howell’s ‘howler’ is fully justified and I too feel just as outraged by his ill-informed comment, however his insulting gaff raises the critically important issue of the perception of the north east by those who do not know it.

The sad truth is that we are perceived by too many people in the UK and abroad as militant, socially inept and less patriotic than those living in other parts of the UK, which is completely absurd because we all have friends and family making a huge contribution here in north east and across the world in business, banking, commerce, the armed forces, sport, science, medicine engineering and many other disciplines, yet the perception in some quarters remains.

Perhaps if some of our political representatives at Westminster and elsewhere became ambassadors for the region the absurd and unjustified perception as expressed by Lord Howell would disappear.

Alan Thompson

Newbiggin-by-the-Sea