Letters to the Editor: 'Government must ditch its obsession with spin and tackle our real crises'
Having listened to the news and read reports in daily papers over the past nearly eight years since the Fine Gael-led Government came into power, each year saw a marked disimprovement in our health services. Despite three different health ministers, it has deteriorated even further recently, so it appears pointless continuing with the present Government.
It is clear Fine Gael cannot manage health, housing, climate change, broadband, rural burglaries, our stance on Ireland's neutrality, etc, not to mind the costly water fiasco.
It is scandalous to see the entourage of Taoiseach, ministers and TDs at so many photocalls or anywhere a camera is likely to be. All these Government people trying to squeeze into a photo, instead of the Government being represented by the relevant minister and the rest doing a bit of work on problem areas listed above. The hasty rush to get the abortion amendment through to the exclusion of, and detrimental effect it will have on, existing patients, whereby a doctor gets €50 a visit, means the Government is trying to get the abortion work accepted by doctors and is bribing them with €350 for three visits. Our health service is bursting at the seams already and now our doctors will have this extra work with possible extra loading on hospital A&Es. Very bad timing on the Government's part.
Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.
I would be very disappointed in Fianna Fáil if it continues to prop up this Government. Surely everybody must see by now our unsustainable hospital crisis. If this Government has any hope of staying in office, it will have to cut out all this spin and PR, be more realistic and buckle down to doing more practical work on the problem areas mentioned, and cut out pie-in-the-sky announcements on five and 10-year aspirations that most likely will never happen. This could be the Government slogan: 'Very little done, an awful lot to do.'
Address with editor
UN and EU can't stand by over Serbia and Kosovo
Serbia has threatened military action against Kosovo because its parliament approved the creation of a new army.
This move has been described by the US as historic and supports Kosovo's 'sovereign right' to maintain forces.
Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic, who visited his troops near the Kosovo border, denounced the US for its support of a Kosovan army and praised allies Russia and China for their opposition
During his life, President Tito was able to keep the lid on the tensions ruling Yugoslavia with an iron fist, thereby controlling ethnic grievances. When he died in 1980, the ensuing break-up of old Yugoslavia formed the crucible in which the tragedy of Kosovo developed.
Of the six republics formed, only Slovenia is a member of the EU, leaving an ethnic mix of Croats, Muslims, Serbs and other ethnicities who were not separated by neat borders.
When Dinamo Zagreb played Red Star Belgrade in 1990, 1,500 Serbs and Croats engaged in a pitched battle. The presidents of Croatia and Slovenia stood by as they knew they stood to gain from the likely war which became infamous for its atrocities. The worst horrors were however inflicted on the Muslims through killings, rape, beatings and destruction of property. This was all part of the effort to ethnically cleanse some areas of Muslims. The Muslim women and children were moved to death camps. By the end of the war, the number of deaths had risen to 100,000, of which 60pc were Muslims.
The single greatest atrocity was inflicted on the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica, where fleeing Muslims went. The town was placed under UN protection as a safe area protected by 400 Dutch UN forces. The town was attacked by the Serbian army. The city was taken and the women were separated from the men and boys, of whom 8,000 were massacred in the woods. All this happened with the UN and the EU as spectators. The Americans joined the war, prompted by US reaction to the slaughter. Will the UN and the EU be spectators once more should hostilities break out between Serbia and Kosovo?
Cleggan, Co Galway
Let's all give peace a chance this Christmas
While recently admiring a Christmas card with the words 'Peace on Earth' emblazoned on the front, I recalled that those were the first words the shepherds in Bethlehem heard announcing the birth of Jesus. When we speak of peace, we often think of the lack of it in far off countries like Yemen or Syria.
But peace starts in our hearts and in our homes, in our workplaces, at school, on the sidelines of a football match, on Twitter and Facebook. Peace leaves no room for racism, holding a grudge, bullying, backbiting, name-calling, vengeance or insults.
What a different world we would inhabit if we all made this idea of peace a concrete reality in our lives. Two thousand years after those words were first heard, wouldn't it be great if we all really tried, in the words of John Lennon, to "give peace a chance"? A happy and peaceful Christmas to everyone.
Anne Marie Kelly
Sobering thoughts on buying paracetamol
What strange laws and strange rules. I was told at the supermarket I could not buy two products containing paracetamol, so I bought one. However, the customer in front of me bought 10 cases of lager, four of stout, six bottles of spirits and a dozen bottles of wine.
It doesn't make sense restricting paracetamol when it is clear whose shopping trolley contained the most potential liver-damaging products.
Drogheda, Co Louth
Brexiteer logic highlights hypocrisy on sovereignty
As I witness the pantomime of Brexit from afar, one cannot ignore the hypocrisy of British Conservatives and other Brexit supporters. They don't want to be ruled by foreigners. They want absolute rule of their land. Fair enough.
But what about the people of other lands who desire the same rights?