THE government has taken back control of the rail service formerly operated by Northern Rail.

Privatisation of the railways was never a good idea, and this particular service has certainly failed passengers; some of whom consequently lost their jobs.

However, Arriva, who operated the service, have with some justification in my opinion, implied that the blame for the failure of the service does not lie with them.

It does seem that austerity is largely to blame, with drawn out electrification work and delays in delivering new trains having undermined Arriva’s ability to run a better service.

The government have deflected the blame for this outcome onto Arriva; just as the blame for the cuts in council services in both County Durham and Darlington was deflected onto the councils. Does anyone see a pattern here?

The Conservatives have won seats they had not previously won for years in the General Election.

I must warn people who voted Conservative this under this government, if you suffer some bad luck you will be crushed.

I learnt that the hard way when my previous employer in Essex failed at a time when I had £20,000 negative equity on my mortgage; the latter caused by the Conservative government’s mismanagement of the economy.

So, what is more attractive about voting Conservative than voting Labour? One view I suggested in a meeting and others backed me up, concerns compassion in society today.

For years I was used to looking after myself, which I did quite successfully.

Then in early December 2010 I was diagnosed with cancer. I couldn’t have managed throughout my illness without help from people at Great Lumley Methodist Church and North Durham Constituency Labour Party.

I wasn’t as indestructible as I had thought, and that really applies to all of us. We need compassion in our society, concern for one another.

I am sick and tired of having to walk past homeless people in the street, on my way to work every day.

The Government should have been tackling homelessness; instead their policies which facilitate draconian benefits sanctions have been causing it.

How can Boris Johnson look at himself in the mirror; judging by his hair maybe he doesn’t!

I read that Jacob Rees–Mogg has been quoted as saying that this government is the “Lamborghini of governments.”

Well, I hope that one day he will be proved right, for most Lamborghinis only have two seats.

Jeremy Whiting, Great Lumley, Chester-le-Street