Monday 23 September 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'As we move towards no-deal Brexit, a big dose of cop-on is badly needed'

Reality check: UK health secretary Matt Hancock revealed how is department is spending a large amount of money on fridges. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images
Reality check: UK health secretary Matt Hancock revealed how is department is spending a large amount of money on fridges. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

We have learned in recent days that Brexit is already costing the British people £500m (€556m) a week, with the economy estimated to be up to 2.5pc smaller than if the referendum result had been different (Colette Browne, Irish Independent, December 19).

We also heard that the UK government was finally pulling the trigger on its no-deal planning by splashing out £2bn in contingency funding among different departments.

According to UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, a large portion of this money is being spent by his department, not on the NHS or on homecare for the elderly, but on fridges. The UK health department is now the biggest buyer of fridges in the world because they are urgently needed to stockpile medicines in the event of a no-deal crash-out.

Perhaps before they are frozen out by the EU in a calamity that will affect all of us on this island too, what the Brexiteers need most is a large dose of cop-on. Spending vast amounts of capital and injecting money into services as if there was no tomorrow will eventually bring the ordinary people of the UK to their knees.

If the no-deal scenario goes ahead, it will have untold consequences for a great many people.

The old saying that it is better to be inside the tent peeing out than outside the tent (in the freezing cold) and trying to pee in should apply to all right-thinking people in the UK at this very critical moment in time.

Otherwise they could find themselves in a very large deep-freeze that might take many generations to thaw out.

Tom Towey

Cloonacool, Co Sligo

May and Corbyn can both learn from Forrest Gump

The UK is hurtling towards an unplanned hard Brexit, yet the House of Commons seems to think it more worthwhile to debate whether or not to condemn the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, for muttering "stupid woman" about Theresa May. (He says he muttered "stupid people.")

Seriously? There are fewer than 100 days to go to Brexit. Theresa May called a general election and lost her majority. That was stupid. She then got into bed with the DUP (and paid over £1bn to do it). That was stupid. She then ran around Europe to drum up support from EU leaders for her deal, but refused to give MPs a say so she would know where the deal stood. That was also stupid.

On balance, Theresa May has been stupid, and she is a woman.

However, Jeremy Corbyn said he was going to put down a motion of no confidence, then it was a motion of censure, and then he pulled away. That was stupid, and he is a man.

As Forrest Gump says, 'Stupid is as stupid does' and the British people would be stupid to put up with this behaviour from either leader. They deserve better.

Killian Brennan

Malahide Road, Dublin

Good Friday Agreement must be protected dearly

As the UK anguishes over its efforts to negotiate its exit from the European Union, I wonder why its government is so reluctant to be open about its position regarding the Irish Border, the customs and regulatory union and its future trading relationship.

Of them, the Irish Border remains a stubborn issue. The Border that had once symbolised divisions and animosities has come a long way to personify mutual co-operation and harmonious co-existence between communities scarred by violence. Efforts must be marshalled to not sabotage the fragility of peace and to uphold the tenets of the Good Friday Agreement, a template for peace-building.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob

London, United Kingdom

Pope's stance on abuse needs not be complex

I am not sure what the right metaphor is - 'putting the cart before the horse' or 'shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted' - but we need some horse sense to be applied to a very difficult situation: sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis is going to convene an abuse prevention summit and his bishops will speak to victims first so that they can understand what has happened. This seems like a good idea but why hasn't it already happened, as the problem has been going on for decades?

The Pope should simply state that sex abuse is wrong, criminal and unforgiveable, and that anyone involved through action or inaction is not welcome in the Church in any capacity.

This is not a complex concept - sex abuse is wrong and must be stopped and the first step is to call it out and disown the offenders.

Dennis Fitzgerald

Melbourne, Australia

A second vote is only way for informed decision

German newspapers are this week reporting that there are over 300,000 vacant positions in workplaces (30,000 more than in 2017) which politicians are tasked with filling through increased immigration.

Many UK politicians, meanwhile, insist that perhaps the only benefit from Theresa May's 'soft' Brexit deal would be keeping out needed foreign-born workers earning less than €33,000.

Is it not time to realise that more co-operation in Europe, not less, is what will benefit the UK economy, and call a second plebiscite based on deciding if the population, having seen the bleak alternative to strong EU membership, have changed their mind?

Fergus M Jordan

Co Wicklow

Easily offended should focus on worthy causes

Much has been made lately of the term 'faggot' in the song 'Fairytale of New York', with most of the noise coming from people offended on others' behalf.

In the same song, the man refers to the woman as "an aul slut on junk", yet there is no offence taken. Maybe, as this term refers to 50pc of the world's population, the group is not niche enough to be offended on behalf of. Perhaps you could take up the mantle of the minority group of women drug addicts? Maybe if the song referred to people of non-specific gender association on opiates, you could be offended on their behalf.

Enjoy the song for what it is and focus your attentions on more worthy causes.

Ray Dunne

Enfield, Co Meath

Irish Independent

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