Monday 24 October 2016

Voters are turned off by this mad auction of phoney promises

Published 29/12/2015 | 02:30

Enda Kenny: tax cuts pledge
Enda Kenny: tax cuts pledge

I have been reading the many promises being made by politicians as we approach the forthcoming General Election. Taoiseach Enda Kenny promises massive tax cuts but does not give even one example of such cuts.

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Tánaiste Joan Burton offers old-age pensioners an increase of €25 per week and Fianna Fáil, which does not want to be outdone in this mythical auction, is offering everyone a minimum of €188 per week.

None of this, in the present mess that we are in, can be believed. As voters, all we want is the truth, not promises.

We want a government to eliminate the scandal of homelessness, which sees people living on the streets of our towns and cities and entire families living in one room in hotels.

We want a government to eliminate poverty and unemployment by ensuring - like the government in Finland - that everyone in this country of ours will get a minimum of €800 per month.

We want a health service that affords not just the best in medical care but a basic dignity for each patient by eliminating the 'trollies' on which people may have to wait for days before beds in the hospital are found.

We don't want a government made up of people who promise the sun, moon and stars just in order to get elected.

I pray for this country every day that decency itself will not vanish and that the people of Ireland, which was once a great nation, known for its kindness, hospitality, friendship and its missionaries, will somehow come to themselves and manage to start afresh.

William A Thomas

Craughwell, Co Galway


Scotching minimum pricing

Can we take it that following the EU's challenge to Scottish plans for minimum pricing, our proposal to outlaw the sale of cheap alcohol has now been scotched?

Ted O'Keeffe

Dublin 6


Wiping Slab's slate clean?

If Gerry Adams gets into power, what are the odds on a tax amnesty for "good republicans"?

John P Masterson

Carrickane, Co Cavan


Labour's way is the Soviet way

While Fine Gael has been to London, learning how to win elections, Labour appears to have been to Moscow, learning how to lose them.

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly's plans for social housing in the 21st century are straight out of the Russian Communist Party's manifesto for the 20th century.

In the 1950s, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev discovered pre-cast concrete panelling. He then used the system to fast-track the design and construction of low-cost housing for the proletarian masses.

Sixty years ago, a 'luxury' pre-cast apartment for a middle-class Russian family measured precisely 38sqm. How appropriate it is, then, that over half-a-century later, 'Moscow's Way' has today become 'Labour's Way' in Ireland.

Brendan Dunleavy

Killeshandra, Co Cavan


Miracles really do happen

Luke Lyons (Irish Independent, Letters, December 26) seems to have difficulty with the idea that miracles can occur. Let me reassure him otherwise.

Three of the greatest scientists in history have attested to their belief in miracles. Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur and Gregor Mendel have all affirmed their belief in the existence of miracles.

In addition, the eminent French scientist Alexis Carrel, a life-long atheist, converted to Catholicism as a result of witnessing a miracle in Lourdes. Many of us are much more bemused by the fact that so many adherents of atheism subscribe to the irrational idea that something can come from nothing. It is almost beyond belief in the 21st century.

Eric Conway

Navan, Co Meath


Conor McGregor is not a boxer

I enjoyed reading the article by Tommy Conlon regarding Conor McGregor. It was refreshing as there was no jumping on the McGregor bandwagon and some valid points were raised.

However, for the sake of clarity, the UFC is not a governing body, but a promotional company for mixed martial arts. One of a few, not many.

The '10,000 hours' alluded to in the article relates more to the elite and refers to the notion that the best, who reach the highest level, achieve this because of the 10,000 hours they have dedicated to their discipline.

In fact, most young sports practitioners would be doing well if they were to reach 4,000 hours by the time they are 18.

There is a history with the UFC, albeit a short one, but it certainly is a mixture of very skilful martial arts and boxing (that noble art) and has no roots whatsoever in back alleys or bar rooms.

If the writer had any martial arts or boxing experience, he would know that when you learn how to fight, you learn how not to fight - so you won't find boxers or martial artists fighting in back alleys or bars.

In context, the writer makes some valid points regarding the standard of skill required, compared with other established sports. In essence, McGregor would not make it in professional boxing, Thai boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu or wrestling, but mix them all together and it appears it is his superior boxing ability that has secured him victory in the vast majority of his fights.

Let's not forget that in that 45 minutes of combat McGregor was beaten twice. It is worth asking the question is McGregor that good or is the standard in mixed martial arts that bad?

Certainly, the standard in boxing technique is poor amongst the top combatants. The main area it shows up is in defence, or the ability to have a defence when throwing a punch or a kick (ask Aldo), setting up an opponent, or working on tactics.

There is an attraction to the fight game, especially when it is a joy to watch a skilful exponent, and that seems to be where McGregor steals the show. Aldo is a case in point. He is a ferocious fighter, but give him movement and there is no finesse, no smoothness to the execution.

He is ruthless when involved in a fight, if one wants to engage. McGregor caught him clean when Aldo made the most basic of errors in boxing; he threw a left hook against a southpaw when his right hand was nowhere near where it should have been for protection. If McGregor is to be exposed, it will be by a boxer.

Brian Cullen

Address with editor

Irish Independent

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