Friday 22 February 2019

Letters to the Editor: Hogan's arrogance reveals EU wish to kill a people's democratic choice

Theresa May has defied calls for a second referendum. Photo: BEN BIRCHALL/AFP/Getty Images
Theresa May has defied calls for a second referendum. Photo: BEN BIRCHALL/AFP/Getty Images
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

In typical, arrogant fashion, EU Commissioner Phil Hogan called for UK Prime Minister Theresa May to row back on "her red line" of leaving the customs union (Irish Independent, Comment, January 19). It is not Mrs May's red line but that of the British people that the UK leaves the European Union and with it the customs union.

Perhaps he assumes that, like here in Ireland, the British government will simply ignore or seek to bypass the express will of the British people when it comes to European referendums.

Indeed it is to Theresa May's credit that she has stood firm against calls for a second referendum on EU membership. The tenuous justification EU fanatics spout to support such a measure is that it's been two-and-a-half years since the first vote and in a democracy, the people have a right to change their mind.

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Well on that basis perhaps every country in the EU should give their citizens a vote on whether they want to remain part of the organisation.

After all, some of them have been in the EU for a very long time without that mandate having been refreshed or updated. That's not going to happen, however, because that's not how EU "democracy" works.

The British people may well find that despite their decision - explicitly expressed at the ballot box - to leave, the EU is a bit like 'Hotel California': you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.

Simon O'Connor

Crumlin, Dublin 12

Words of wisdom that outshine Trump bluster

I have a book at home, 'Speeches That Shaped The Modern World' by Alan Whiticker. The 50 or more speeches from the 20th century would be familiar to most, or certainly their authors would be.

There is Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream', looking to a better world where all are equal. There is Neil Armstrong's 'One Small Step' recognising what the world's people can achieve. Winston Churchill inspired his nation with 'We shall fight on the beaches'.

These and many others, inspired people to achieve more, to stand against great odds, to unite all people or to strive to do the hard things in life.

None of these speeches threatened to destroy other countries; accused refugees of being rapists and drug dealers; offered temporary refuge so that a permanent boundary could be built; criticised a war hero, John McCain, because he was captured; caused a lolly company to state that their product, Tic Tacs, was not meant to be used to disrespect women.

Speeches should not be offensive, inaccurate or provocative. They should lead, inspire and encourage.

Those who read the next edition of speeches from the 21st century will not need to look for the Trump name in the index.

Dennis Fitzgerald

Melbourne, Australia

Vegan message has a strong whiff of hot air

So, what will we eat instead of meat? Vegetables? Vegetables such as beans and lentil will make the human race fart more. Methane (C1), a gas lighter than air, when emitted from humans is every bit as toxic as cow's methane.

A human with only one stomach has less efficiency to process the gas than a cow with many stomachs and therefore will expel more methane.

Anyone who has ever lived with a vegan can verify this. They make the Battle of Austerlitz sound like a quiet morning in a rural setting.

Bill Griffin

Beara, Co Cork

Brexit should be taken to extra time and a replay

Here's a question. Should Northern Ireland and Scotland's elected politicians respect the Remain vote in their constituencies?

In England and Wales, Brexit means Brexit so it must also be acknowledged that in Northern Ireland and Scotland, Remain means Remain.

If each nation in the UK had been given one vote to determine the in-out question then the results of the referendum would have been a draw, 2-2.

Extra time or a replay needed. As it stands, politicians endlessly scoring penalties against each other is not working.

Alison Hackett

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin

Lest we forget, the Church was also rightly chastised

In reading the headline to P O'Keefe's letter (Irish Independent, January 17) 'Constant bullying of the Church is disgraceful', one realises that not so long ago many headlines to 'Letters to the Editor' in newspapers would read 'Constant bullying by the Church is disgraceful'. Lest we forget.

Brian McDevitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

GAA hymns belong to all supporters, not just Dubs

In response to Tom Farrell's letter ('Dublin anthems belong at Croker, not the RDS', Irish Independent, January 14), I would like to point out a grave editorial error.

Tom refers to himself as "a visceral Dublin GAA supporter". I strongly feel this should have been edited to say "a complete clown".

I'm a Kerryman and I lived in Dublin for years. I've a great bunch of Dublin supporter friends who I keep in touch with and with whom I enjoy the healthy GAA banter.

Tom, I'm afraid, is one of those fans who would embarrass the majority of his fellow Dublin supporters.

We joke here that a lot of Dubs get lost as soon as they pass the Red Cow, but it seems like poor Tom goes haywire when he ventures to the south side of Dublin.

Should we also ban the Munster-rousing 'Fields of Athenry' from Thomond Park, Tom? You may be shocked to hear that Athenry is in Galway.

No anthems belong to Hill 16 or any stadium. They belong to the supporters and fair play to those supporters who travel and roar those anthems in difficult away fixtures to drive on their teams.

Please, Tom, if going south of the Liffey has this effect on you, I urge you not to venture north on the M1 on your doorstep, giving your solutions to Brexit.

Kieran P Cremin

Killarney, Co Kerry

Irish Independent

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