Wednesday 26 October 2016

Irreparable damage to a bloc of nations

Published 06/07/2016 | 02:30

UK Prime Minister David Cameron
UK Prime Minister David Cameron

The media, political brain-pots, financial and economic wizards through their lack of guidance did cruel and irreparable damage to a comparatively happy trading bloc of great nations.

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The consequences of Brexit, that have reverberated throughout the entire EU bloc, should have been fully explained by media, heads of state, economic and social experts and given the same vast coverage it is getting now, long before Brexit.

The outcomes were as obvious then as now. It was a tragic result for Prime Minister David Cameron because he only intended it as a clarion cry to the administrative powers of the Union that he wanted changes and certain conditions he hoped would bring better understanding and benefits for all. Unfortunately the gamble came unstuck. I agree 100pc with John Bellew (Irish Independent, Letters, July 4). That such a marginal vote should be allowed cause such chaos and uncertainty to the lives of millions is reprehensible.

A 52-48 percentage win for Brexit, when one considers the protesters and abstainers, is not a sufficiently conclusive result for the mammoth repercussions it could wreak on so many nations. A two-to-one decider should have been necessary for such a crucial decision. Even closing the stable door at this late hour when the horse has bolted leaves hope.

The electorate now has the raw facts and real knowledge. Article 50 is not invoked and Mr Cameron's office will not be filled sooner than October.

No real action has as yet been taken anywhere, apart from daft predictions and scary headlines. Like a voice in the wilderness, I would suggest that for God's sake and the betterment of the true majority, the British government should "Give Brexit another vote in the interval that still remains".

James Gleeson

Thurles, Co Tipperary.


Birds of a feather

I should like to address the unwarranted national odium engulfing Michael Gove following his efficient dispatch of Boris Johnson from his quest to be boss of Britain.

Michael is a keen birdwatcher who has a particular interest in the cuckoo, inspired by the way it cleverly lays its eggs in the nest of other birds, disposing of the host bird's offspring when they emerge from their shells, providing easy pickings for the already corpulent cats.

This return to nature has been brilliantly replicated in Mr Gove's handling of his hapless friend, Boris Johnson.

Though the etymology of the word 'politicians' comes from 'poly', the Greek for 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'blood sucking parasites', this may apply to the politicians of other countries but not to their Irish counterparts.

My mother regularly provided us with the comforting assurance that there was none of that in our country. The plain people of Kildare Street are a race apart, guided mainly by the works of Flann O'Brien, being given to regular retreats into the privacy of their own minds, so rarely haunted by the practical realities of living.

They too have been inspired by bird life, spending hours watching their feathered friends through the windows of the Oireachtas library, rarely corrupting their minds by contributing significantly to the Dáil and Seanad debates; that's for the birds. The innocence of Irish politics is the envy of the world. Its defining feature being its inclusiveness, never letting incompetence or a penchant for skulduggery be seen as a barrier to the exercise of power.

Our rulers find particular inspiration in observing the reed warbler feathering its nest, whilst the cuckoo looks on, waiting to make good use of the luxury provided by the warbler's efforts.

This has been a significant lesson for our politicians, expressed in the moral principle: 'Never feather your own nest, get others to do it for you.' Thus providing worthwhile employment for people less fortunate than oneself.

Philip O'Neill

Oxford, UK



Battle of the Somme

I agree with 99pc of James Woods's comments on the Somme and the First World War. It was an Imperialist war. The generals, in particular Haig, should be vilified. But the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme is not venerated as a heroic national struggle of the British, it is remembered as a killing ground of innocents for the maintenance of the power of the ruling classes.

Mr Woods chastises Irishmen who joined the British army while at the same time he acknowledges that they volunteered due to the use of propaganda of the British government.

I would go further and say that they did so for the same reasons as the English, Scottish and Welsh working class: poverty and hopelessness. This was not a nationalist war.

Unfortunately, whatever the result, those on both sides who were responsible for mass slaughter stayed in power.

Perhaps not the Kaiser or the Austrian emperor in name, but their bankers and industrialists. In the UK, nothing has changed.

Surely Dan Breen, Tom Barry and all of our fighters during the War of Independence are, and should be, venerated. But where are we in the dreams and aspirations of James Connolly and James Larkin?

Let us not denigrate those who took decisions through lack of opportunity; let us give our people the opportunity and knowledge to decide their destiny for themselves.

Ciarán Clarke

Co Fermanagh



Fit for office?

John Halligan accepted office as a Minister of State as part of the Irish governmental system. In so doing, he accepted the responsibilities of an officer of the State to comply with the Constitution of Ireland.

Now he says his ideology is so strong that he simply does not care if proposed legislation on the termination of the lives of babies is unconstitutional: he will vote for it regardless.

Such action is not just irresponsible for a legislator but it is nothing short of very serious dereliction of duty. If his ideology is so strong and opposed to stated government policy, why does he not resign his office?

He has demonstrated his real values as a legislator, but that illustrates the vulnerability of the Government that is dependent on support from him and comrades like Deputies McGrath and Ross.

History shows that Deputy Ross is not a collegiate operator as Government Ministers are supposed to be. His support for draft legislation that the Attorney General deems to be unconstitutional, and the Chief Medical Officer deems to be inoperable, shows how unfit for office he is.

Should we be surprised at the current rating of Independents in the latest opinion poll? Perhaps the electorate is getting wise to the solo runners that independent deputies really are. They do not understand collaboration with others.

Matt Moran

Waterfall, Cork


Irish Independent

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