Saturday 24 September 2016

We must pool resources in fight against terror

Published 25/11/2015 | 02:30

As an exasperated David Cameron put it yesterday, it is frankly ridiculous that more valuable information is coming from outside the EU than from within.
As an exasperated David Cameron put it yesterday, it is frankly ridiculous that more valuable information is coming from outside the EU than from within.

Terrorists operate on the basis that there are no dimensions to fear, thus terrorism cannot be removed by boundaries nor borders.

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With Belgium facing lockdown for another day and Paris burying the Bataclan victims, it is time to look at threats and responses and confront the dangers and risks realistically.

The initiative must not lie with the perpetrators of random slaughter, but failures in sharing intelligence and extending full cooperation rights across the globe are costing innocent lives. As an exasperated David Cameron put it yesterday, it is frankly ridiculous that more valuable information is coming from outside the EU than from within.

The fact that six separate police forces operate within Brussels, where the EU is headquartered, tells its own story.

Yesterday, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald was put on the spot as to how our gardaí were prepared for a possible attack.

Have they been trained to deal with suicide bombers and the mass slaughter of civilians?

We have had many vague reassurances about commitments to security but given the levels of threat, more is required. Much more. A show of resolution and unanimity across the EU is overdue; at the very least, there must be consistency, and complete cooperation across the continent.

Elsewhere in these pages there is a call for a world conference on the war-torn regions of the rapidly disintegrating Middle East, along the lines of the 1945 San Francisco conference, where true statesmen first put together the United Nations.

For all its considerable limitations, the UN has helped prevent more world wars. The refugee crisis must also be engaged with meaningfully and with proper intent. Only by acting in concert and with a clear unified approach can we summon the correct combination of political will and concentrated force that will make the difference.

Big earners have a duty to make their pay public

The L'Oreal "Because I'm worth it" slogan came alive during the declining years of the Celtic Tiger. It epitomised a premium put on self-regard and indulgence, and the pampering and preening that ultimately ended in ruin. It also left us with a tendency to scrutinise the pay of those in prominent public positions.

A legacy of the excess meant that forever more a sharp distinction would be drawn between "earning" and income.

Thus if someone was generating great wealth through their honest endeavours, then they should be rewarded accordingly.

There was genuine shock that former IFA chief executive Pat Smith was on a salary of €445,000. The organisation's president Eddie Downey said farmers were "absolutely right to be angry". Today, we reveal the salaries of many of the country's top representatives in trade unions and other bodies.

There is no good reason to keep the remuneration of those who represent hundreds of thousands of workers secret.

Many benefit from government assistance and State grants.

In such a context, transparency and accountability should be mandatory. The way in which Mr Smith's pay package was revealed has rocked the farming community.

Union leaders and representatives have a duty to disclose what they earn. Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear from full disclosure.

Irish Independent

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