Tuesday 27 September 2016

Electorate learning the cost of voting for issues, not policies

Published 25/03/2016 | 02:30

A water protester at the Dáil. Photo: Tom Burke
A water protester at the Dáil. Photo: Tom Burke

It appears from the recent General Election that the Irish people have delivered a "right mess" for the country.

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The problem is that a large number of the 158 elected representatives want to remain in Opposition rather than take on the responsibility of participating in government.

The media and political commentators continue to insist that the responsibility to put a new government together rests with the two largest parties, namely FG and FF, to negotiate a grand coalition or some form of minority government supported by a group of Independents/small parties.

What about the candidates who espoused the Right2Change movement prior to the election? Where are they now? Is it good enough for SF to stand back when they could be putting together a minority government?

The answer is these individuals and groups are waiting until 'someone else' puts a government together.

Then they will 'hop' on to the Opposition benches for another term to continue with criticism of everything and contributing as little as possible.

It is time for us as a people to address the matter of continuing to vote for Independents standing for single/narrow-based issues and no policies.

Such decisions made without due regard for how a collective of Independents/small parties could run the country lead to instability and political chaos.

Witness the current 'impasse' where many Independents/small parties are sitting on the sidelines waiting for others to do the work.

What are the chances of 158 Independent TDs forming a 'stable' government?

E Brennan

Kilkenny

Reimagining the 1916 Rising

"What's in the pot?" says the brother skipping in from the field with a bee in his bonnet. "Salad for the stools," says I, "and a bit of bacon and cabbage for the day that's in it."

"By Jaysus, we're gonna be in the silk," he says, rubbing his paws together like a March hare. "And how's that?" says I, cutting the heel off the loaf.

Well, declare to God, he upends the place and fires a tomato and a handful of boiled cabbage at the kitchen wall with a bang and a wallop that sends the auld dog across the lino with a yelp.

"Get me the camera from the top of the wardrobe," he roars. "Be God I will," says I, thinking to meself I'd make the call on the way and get the man seen too once and for all.

So in the hall I pick up the phone but had to put it down again on account of him roaring from the kitchen about hypocrisy, revolution and the history of auld Ireland.

"Have you lost your bearings man?" says I. There he was scratching his chin and contemplating the spattered tomato and broken cabbage dripping down the stone, as if he was looking at high art up in the big smoke. "Whisht," says he, taking the camera, "you know nothing of history! Put your paw on the wall there by the tomato for a bit of scale." Says he, "I'm going to sell this picture to the post office for a 1916 commemoration stamp." "Ah," says I to meself, "the poor craytur is gone."

"This little piece of ballistics," says he pointing the crooked finger to a vein of cabbage on the wall, "this here, me boyo, is a piece of our history that has been conveniently forgotten! Washed and hosed clean from the record like dung from the floor of the milking shed," says he.

"How do ya mean?" says I, with one eye for the telephone.

"Well," says he, "when the founding fathers of auld Ireland were hauled from the GPO, 'twas the tomatoes, the cabbages, and the consumptive spits fired at them by the good people of Dublin that encouraged the Brits to give the lead penny to each and all of them. 'Twasn't Britannia's Huns and her long-range guns that put an end to the Rising and sent the leaders to the firing squad, 'twas the tomatoes and the cabbage.

"If it wasn't for the first and more important firing squad of spits and rotten fruit, sure enough Ireland wouldn't be as free and as happy as she is today. Make no mistake, 'tis the tomato and the cabbage that are the heroes of the story.

"With all the shiny uniforms, the marches, the parades and the 1916 speeches, there should be a statue of a cabbage put outside the GPO and a stamp with a tomato on the front of it.

"That would remind us all that in Ireland a sure sign of a good idea is that the whole country will be against it from the start, and a sure sign that someone is telling the truth is the length of the queue that is lining up to give the craytur a hammering!"

Dr Marcus de Brun

Rush, Co Dublin

******

Pádraig Pearse wrote in 1915 that, "like divine religion, national freedom bears the marks of unity, of sanctity, of catholicity, of apostolic succession".

But as a good Catholic Pearse should have known that Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, did not approve of violence and would probably have viewed the leaders of the 1916 Rising as brave but very flawed in what they did.

Sean O'Brien

Kilrush, Co Clare

Aftermath of Brussels attacks

In the wake of the horrific attacks in Brussels, I would like to take the opportunity to remind people of a very important distinction that is lost far too often on people.

Contrary to widespread belief, we are not at war with Islam.

Rather, we are at war with an ideology - the brutal jihadist ideology of Isil and their supporters.

An ideology, lest we forget, that calls for other Muslims to be murdered for simply following the wrong type of Islam.

Moderate Muslims, at home and abroad, should now take this opportunity to condemn these vicious attacks and stand in solidarity with us against the dangers of extremism.

Sean Slattery

Newport, Co Tipperary

******

What ever one's take on religion, and given the many different faiths and creeds there are quite a number; all agree that love and humanity are better pillars to build a society on than death and destruction.

Christians and Muslims have done terrible things in the name of religion, what God or the Prophet makes of this is not difficult to guess.

One can not invoke the name of a deity to do evil, to slaughter the innocent or take life.

To do so means one is blind to one's innate humanity and this blindness is achieved through "radicalisation".

The most radical thing of all is to love one's fellow beings.

Name and address with editor

Irish Independent

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