THERE has been much talk of patriotism recently, what with Brexit and the debates surrounding it. It seems to me that patriotism to many people consists of little more than singing certain songs and waving a flag around.

But surely real patriotism runs more deeply than that?

Real patriotism has to be concerned with caring about the people of a country.

That means caring about the 280 000 who were homeless in this country on Christmas Day last year.

It means caring about the 5.1 million children currently living in Britain in poverty.

It means being concerned about the fact that there were 1.6 million foodbank users in our country in 2018.

It also means being concerned about the poorest and most marginalised members of our society.

And this is where it gets even more worrying, as a council like Newcastle’s has faced cuts of up to 300 million between 2010 and 2019.

This has led to cuts in the social fabric in the city, which will take years to heal.

Similar has happened in Sunderland, Gateshead and many other parts of the North-East, Newcastle City Council is now being forced to start cutting its social care budget, so hurting the most vulnerable people in the city.

Despite pronouncements from Boris Johnson, austerity is continuing to grind on, with no end in sight.

It is surely time we saw some real patriotism in this country, where we looked after each other, especially the most vulnerable and marginalised.

Peter Sagar, Newcastle.