Sunday 18 August 2019

Letters to the Editor: '€1bn broadband bid needs Leo’s interest, not sarcasm'

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Leo Varadkar's response to Eir’s assertion regarding the National Broadband Plan was quite telling.

The fact is that the current proposal is set to cost €3bn, is riddled with controversy and suspicion, and has been beset by doubts expressed by advisers about its long-term viability.

Nonetheless, Mr Varadkar was still happy to wholeheartedly defend the programme and its immense cost to the taxpayer.

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Yet when Eir suggests – as many already suspected – that the project could be done substantially cheaper, Mr Varadkar responds with sarcasm.

One would be forgiven for inferring that Fine Gael would like the current “preferred bidder” to retain that status.

I’d have thought the prospect of saving the taxpayer a potential €2bn would be something the Government would be more than happy to explore.

However, based on the Taoiseach’s

less-than-enthusiastic response, it would appear that fiscal rectitude is something that Fine Gael only applies to low-paid public servants.

Simon O’Connor

Crumlin, Dublin 12

Trump’s signature wave needs to be simplified

I wish US President Donald Trump would stop waving his signature around after having signed legislation into law.

To me it appears like the reading of the Richter scale after a major catastrophe. As he is the patriarch of the family, surely the letters Don would suitably suffice.

John Finegan

Bailieborough, Co Cavan

As democrat and republican, I would vote ‘Leave’ again

I wish to assure A Leavy (Irish Independent, Letters, June 27) in his response to Dr D R Cooper (Letters, June 26) of one sure thing – I, too, am a Brexiteer and voted to leave the EU in 2016.

However, I also support Scottish independence (and a republic for that nation as well), ditto Wales.

There should be no hard Border on the island of Ireland but, preferably, reunification at the earliest opportunity. I consider the Republic of Ireland more democratic than the UK as it has an elected head of state.

I am happy to live in an independent (republic of) England, with good neighbourly relations with Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the rest of Europe, and the world.

I have no objection to a second EU referendum – at which I’d vote to leave again – but would accept the result if it meant remain as I trust others would if it meant leave.

Dominic Shelmerdine

London, UK

Johnson reaching for prime minister’s hollow crown

Is Boris Johnson the best Britain can do? Much is being written and said about this man who is tilting for leadership of the Conservative Party. But why does he want to be the leader? Why does anyone want to lead?

The hunger for power can be equivalent to the hunger for adulation; the need to quiet that frightened younger voice inside; the need for the unconditional mother love you knew at birth.

We all have a younger voice, and none of us can escape our past, but some of us have been luckier than others with the parental lot we were dealt.

Pain will fester like a wound where grief is unexpressed, and grief has five well known stages: denial, bargaining, anger, depression/sadness, acceptance.

Those stuck in the bargaining stage are always looking to the horizon, bargaining with themselves, needing a hit to avoid the pain.

And the hit can be anything from alcohol or drugs, to winning a debate, to lifting the trophy on the sports field; from making a million to becoming the prime minister.

That hit feels good momentarily; but, you’ll need another very soon if you aren’t prepared to face your loss.

What has this got to do with Boris Johnson?

He doesn’t want to talk about his private life, but we know quite a bit from what is in the public domain: he and his siblings were largely raised by his mother who had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalised with clinical depression not long after the family had moved to Brussels when Boris was just shy of 10 years old.

The following year he and his siblings were dispatched to boarding school in Sussex, and at 14 his parents divorced. The usual baggage, you might say.

But if he gets the prime ministerial job, one with extraordinary responsibility in this time of political turmoil in Britain, will the hit ease his pain? Will it change his character? Unlikely. The solution is never external.

For Boris, the crown has never looked more hollow.

Alison Hackett

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin

Irish Independent

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