Wednesday 21 August 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Here’s what Corbyn needs to say to the British public to win general election and become PM'

Jeremy Corbyn: The British Labour leader at a community garden project during a visit to Macclesfield this week. Photo: PA
Jeremy Corbyn: The British Labour leader at a community garden project during a visit to Macclesfield this week. Photo: PA
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The reality is that only a British Labour government will have the policy plan, the will, and the confidence to address the social and economic problems facing the UK after years of vulture capitalism.

Only a Labour government will address the gulf between the wealthy and entitled and everyone else; or, as Marx would have called them, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

And where are we with that? A daily diet of self-promoting soundbites from leading politicians followed by outrage, glee and schadenfreude as the media salivates: another Trump gaffe; another Boris blunder; another Corbyn cop-out. So much more fun to watch politicians crash and burn than to grapple with their boring policy proposals which might make the world a better place.

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There's an easy way for Corbyn to pull in the popular vote and get himself elected as PM.

Here's a speech for him to use - he will be heard as being both honest broker and inspirational.

He will be giving power back to the people: "Yes, I do want Brexit. But I also want to listen to my base, to you, the people who care about social democracy (call it Marxism if you want) and I would want you to have the right to vote on any deal I might bring to the table regarding Brexit.

"I also want to give the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and the Brexit voters that opportunity. Because I am a democrat, because I am a socialist, because I am a Marxist, I will bring the Brexit deal back to the country for your approval.

"If enough Brexit believers are still out there, you will vote for it again, and the United Kingdom will be doubly sure it is the right thing to do."

Alison Hackett

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin

Populist rhetoric will not pay off our national debt

The stark warning from the NTMA that the "chance of a recession in Ireland is 100pc" is deeply worrying.

We are well aware that the causes of the economic crash were developers, bankers, inept and negligent oversight, bad decision-making and greed.

Our national debt in the past decade has increased exponentially. The fact that we've paid €60bn in interest alone should give us all food for thought.

We owe €205bn and it's costing each household an average of €35,000.

Not every household is paying their fair share of tax, or any tax at all. So the average to those of us who are paying tax is a lot higher and looks like getting even higher as the debt increases, as do Government borrowings.

The demand by the public sector for the restoration of pay due to Fempi legislation will add to the pressures, no matter who's in Government.

The constant need by the HSE to plug a hole in its ever-expanding budget is a thorny bush we have to grasp.

Then we have those who are on homeless waiting lists and those young professionals who cannot afford to buy a home. The cost of housing is ever increasing and developers who were once declared bankrupt are now back in the game and exploiting the market.

This at a time when the US is placing tariffs on certain EU products and on other global economies, while the spectre of Brexit looms large.

Ireland is a small nation with an open market economy. We will do well not to hit another economic buffer before the end of the year and see our take-home pay and standard of living reduced even further so that others can live lives of luxury while we pay for their indebtedness.

Populist rhetoric will not pay off our debt, but sacrifice and hard work will.

Christy Galligan

Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Orphanage was my home and the nuns my parents

As a former orphanage resident, I can't see what the controversy is about the name of a former children's home in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin ('Owners of The Orphanage co-living accommodation apologise for 'insensitive' name', Irish Independent, July 7).

Without the loving care of the Sisters of Mercy, I would most likely not be here today. My own mother and father had the primary responsibility for my care and upbringing and duly abdicated.

The 'orphanage' for me was my home where I was nurtured and cared for until I was 16. The dear nuns were my parents, as they were for thousands. Let's all continue to accurately reflect our history when naming the built environment.

Peggy Lee

Castleknock, Dublin 15

Taoiseach's stereotyping of priests was bigoted

I read your report of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's comments in the Dáil about Micheál Martin. Mr Varadkar said: "He kind of reminds me of one of those parish priests who preaches from the altar, telling us to avoid sin, while secretly going behind the altar and engaging in any amount of sin himself."

This blatant, bigoted stereotyping of Catholic priests is one example of the adage that the last acceptable prejudice is anti-Catholicism. We have become so inured to groundless attacks on the faith that scarcely an eyebrow is raised, whereas if such a statement were made about any other religious leader, there would be loud calls for Mr Varadkar's resignation.

Substitute 'imam' or 'rabbi' or 'vicar' for 'parish priest' and see how offensive the statement becomes. Now ask yourself what is the malaise underlying the establishment's attitude to the Catholic Church that permits such diatribe to pass as legitimate political comment?

Colm Fitzpatrick

Castleknock, Dublin

A sad day for civilised discourse in this country

Following on the ruling from the BAI on Ray D'Arcy's intemperate language regarding the 'Angelus', one wonders what next?

To say that Mr D'Arcy has 'previous' regarding anti-Catholic comments would be a gross understatement. Where will the line be drawn? If he had made similar comments pertaining to any other religion, I am sure the BAI decision would have been different. But it seems as far as anti-Catholicism is concerned, there are no boundaries.

My fear is that the BAI has effectively established a 'bigots charter' and that Mr D'Arcy and others will only be emboldened to raise the level of offensive commentary even further.

A sad day for civilised discourse in our country. And we are funding this with our licence fee. You couldn't make it up.

Eric Conway

Navan, Co Meath

Use GDPR rules to get to bottom of high premiums

In relation to the rise in cost of insurance premiums which is in the news at the moment, the following might help individuals who want an explanation for an unexplained high increase in their renewal premium, or for non-renewal.

Ask the insurance company and/or the comparison site for a copy of their data and the algorithm used to calculate the premium. I understand you are entitled to this under the new GDPR regulations.

Getting this information on an individual basis might help people understand why they are being charged that premium. Whether the premium is correct or not is for the person to decide but could possibly be challenged with the Ombudsman or Consumer Protection Commissioner if you feel justified in doing so.

John Healy

Liverpool, UK

Dan is the voice of reason in debate on EU beef deal

It was such a relief to hear the voice of sanity in Dan O'Brien's column ('We should be singing the praises of a beef deal that highlights the huge benefits of a free-trade model - and offers the choice of cheaper prices for those in need', Comment, July 4).

The complaints against Mercosur are as ill-informed and backward-looking as the case for Brexit in the UK.

Tim Johnson

London, UK

O'Leary offers insights on our housing obsession

I heard an excellent quote from Olivia O'Leary this week on her RTÉ Radio One 'Drivetime' slot, with regard to the housing crisis in this country as follows: "Our obsession with ownership will give way to the need to survive."

As usual, methinks this lady makes great sense.

Brian Mc Devitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

Irish Independent

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