Saturday 21 September 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Brexit vote was fatally flawed as public was not properly informed on what was at stake'

Blood-red lines: Arlene Foster’s DUP has a fantasy of having its cake and eating it. Photo: Reuters
Blood-red lines: Arlene Foster’s DUP has a fantasy of having its cake and eating it. Photo: Reuters
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

"To be or not to be" - the Shakespearean Brexit saga is now in full swing with Theresa May, in an effort to please all of her flock, being at a critical crossroad. Not only is she accused in some quarters of having resorted to a half-cooked plan to leave the EU, or of not knowing what she wants, equally her dissenters do not know what they want.

Take the DUP in Northern Ireland, for example, whose despicable stance not only has hindered the restoration of the Stormont Assembly but also has shown utter immaturity with regard to the so-called Brexit backstop, expecting to have the cake and eat it.

The few most senior and wise politicians left in Britain suggest that the only way all this Brexit mess could be stopped is by putting it to the vote with a second referendum.

And those who say that this would be anti-democratic should consider that democracy demands that voters are properly informed about the issues they are voting for, something that was definitely not the case for the first Brexit referendum. So if there ever was a flawed referendum, that was it.

Hopefully, if there is going to be a second referendum, voters should be given a full and comprehensive list of all advantages and the disadvantages of leaving the EU.

For there is more, much more at stake for all citizens of the UK, other than immigration, fisheries, agriculture, EU Court of Justice and financial independence issues.

Concetto La Malfa

Dublin 4


RTÉ let us down in its coverage of Brexit deal

I sat in front of the television last evening, transfixed by the door of No 10 Downing Street. The world press corp waited for the British prime minister to emerge with the news of a Brexit deal.

This decision would have incalculable consequences for the island of Ireland. It could be perhaps the most historic decision of the century. I flicked over to watch our 'national broadcaster' to see an on-the-spot reaction to this historic moment. What did I see? 'Fair City' on RTÉ One and 'Atlantic Salmon: Lost At Sea' on RTÉ 2. In desperation, I tried TG4, only to be met with 'Junior Eurovision'.

This can only be seen as a massive failure in public broadcasting on the part of RTÉ. If it considers a soap opera and a documentary about fish more important than a life-changing historical moment, then it is a complete failure in terms of public broadcasting.

Billy O'Riordan

Clonmel, Co Tipperary


No man is an island... except maybe Mr Raab

Former UK Brexit secretary Dominic Raab seemed to note with some surprise recently that Britain is an island.

I don't want to frighten the honourable gentleman, but I wonder has he also noticed that one part of the UK is part of a different island, known as Ireland? And part of that very island is - hold onto your horses, Dominic - part of the EU! And we haven't even got started on the 14 British overseas territories, remnants of the empire, all geographically part of different islands and continents. Dear UK, in the name of democracy, let the people have another vote.

Alison Hackett

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin


Kelly's gender piece very brave in these PC times

Michael Kelly's analysis of the plan for female-only professorships was brave given the extraordinarily PC times we live in ('Who wants a job based solely on gender? The glass ceiling has to end but talent must be the deciding factor', Irish Independent, November 16).

Apart from the obvious concern that this proposal seems to promote discrimination instead of seeking to eradicate it, we also saw the alarming appearance of an article in another daily paper penned by a "Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion", attached to one of our high-level educational institutions, supporting the plan.

We are in a bad place when persons holding such qualifications and charged with the responsibility of educating others cannot see the discriminatory nature of this cack-handed proposal.

Jim O'Sullivan

Rathedmond, Sligo


We should be proud of our diversity of culture

Ireland is a diverse nation with a rich and vibrant past and present, an island with an ancient, but living, landscape.

What defines being Irish has developed and expanded throughout history. It is important that we allow that to continue. Culturally, it will be of great benefit to our little island with a large influence. It is so important that we don't restrict these views of what can be Irish.

Traditional or contemporary, pop or classical, the music created on or inspired by this island should be seen as Irish music. One ensemble that transcends those boundaries of genre is vocal ensemble, Anúna.

By the end of this year, Anúna will have performed in Belgium, China, Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands, as well as multiple sold-out concerts in Ireland.

Ireland's cultural champions don't necessarily have to fit in one particular view of what is Irish. Irish culture is a diverse community of expression.

Gavin Brennan

Clontarf, Dublin 3


Franno tells it like it is on those cynical All Blacks

I've waited 30 years but finally Neil Francis tells it like it is regarding the dark side of New Zealand rugby ('All Blacks are the most cynical team in rugby', Irish Independent, November 15 ).

The fact that last year they suffered their first red card in half a century is also one of modern sport's great mysteries.

Gerry Kelly

Rathgar, Dublin 6


Commonwealth bears no comparison to the EU

Cal Hyland writes: "With the backing of the British Commonwealth (population 2.25 billion), it is more widespread than the EU (population half a billion)," (Letters, November 16).

Mr Hyland is erroneous in his thinking, as are the "pining for the motherland" Australian Tories, who dream the British Commonwealth can be a trading union, akin to the EU. WTO rules will apply when the UK leaves the EU.

The British Commonwealth is nothing other than a sports and pretend-cultural grouping, and a vehicle for the Mountbatten-Windsors to swan around the member nations to meet and greet grovellers.

The right place for the Republic of Ireland is in the EU.

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia


GPs won't be bought by HSE's abortion contracts

I had to reread it again and again. Did the HSE just offer us GPs double the financial incentive to end the life of one of our patients compared to what it currently pays us for the privilege of caring for a pregnant woman and baby?

The contrast is as black and white as you can get; two or three visits to end life compared with approximately eight-10 visits over nine months to care for a woman and her baby all through their pregnancy and up to their six-week check-ups post delivery.

Abortion is not part of general practice anywhere else in the world. Yet here the social experiment attempting to mainstream abortion amongst the acute care of general practice, vaccinations, travel medicine, chronic disease management, etc, powers on towards the January 1 deadline.

This attempt to buy GPs is quite incredible and tells us where the HSE's priorities really lie. The majority of GPs (according to a recent Irish College of General Practitioners members survey) will ignore the proposed contracts to be posted out to us. There remains some things that money just can't buy.

Finally, on the money, I must ask where is this funding "ring-fenced" for abortion being diverted from? Is it from the winter planning for trolleys in emergency departments? Maybe this year it can be taken from the children's scoliosis surgery pot?

Dr Patrick McSharry

Enniscrone, Co Sligo


Modern leaders ignore all the lessons of WWI

On this, the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, what are the lessons of the war to end all wars?

We now know that it is fools who lead us into war for no good reason, and these people are glorified forever after.

For example, take friendly Tony Blair and George Bush, who illegally invaded Iraq.

Or nice David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy, who did the same in Libya.

Or happy Barack Obama, who supported the misery in Syria.

Or assertive Donald Trump roundly supporting military action in Yemen, and trying hard to stir it up in Iran.

All fools, but happy and oh-so assertive.

Peter Kennedy

Dublin 13

Irish Independent

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