Friday 14 December 2018

Letters to the Editor: 'Horses for courses as bets on politics end with a loss'

Power conflict: Wind turbines are seen behind Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station in West Kilbride, Scotland. Photo: Reuters
Power conflict: Wind turbines are seen behind Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station in West Kilbride, Scotland. Photo: Reuters
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Reading some election discussions in the newspapers, I found that you could bet on election results in most countries. I, however, am more familiar with betting on horses and wonder what comparisons could be made between these two betting types.

In horse racing, some horses are doped whereas, in politics, there are too many dopes.

Horses are checked for illegal performance enhancement whereas there is no need to check politicians for this, based upon their performances.

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With racing, there are only thoroughbred horses, but in politics there are some donkeys.

Perhaps the only sure bet is that no matter who you vote for, you will still get a politician.

Dennis Fitzgerald

Melbourne, Australia

Claims in Keane's article are lacking any evidence

As A regular reader of your paper and also a final-year college student, I am writing to express my disappointment at the article by Billy Keane on Saturday ('Parents, if your son or daughter is at college, there's more than a 50pc chance they're on drugs').

I understand it is an opinion piece, however Mr Keane makes no attempt to support his wild claims around drug use other than stating "believe me this is happening".

The headline itself is misleading, using the term "on drugs", as this draws no distinction between a person who recreationally uses a drug and someone who may have an addiction to a substance.

The article is nothing but old-fashioned fearmongering regarding the use of drugs in our country.

Once Billy has finished his wild claims about drug use in our universities he then shifts focus to the Maurice McCabe case while speaking about gardaí being under-resourced. Perhaps his readers would be better served if he discussed speaking to their children around sensible drug use. Perhaps Mr Keane should look at the success of the drug policy in Portugal where the decriminalisation of drugs freed up police time while treating addicts in a medical setting rather than a criminal one. The rates of overdose have plummeted since this change was made.

Instead, Billy writes from his ivory tower about how your children are "on drugs" and have done irreparable damage to their health. This article should never have been published without Mr Keane displaying some evidence for his statements.

Name and address with editor

How Northern Ireland could win the World Cup

I READ with interest Jim Bennett's letter (Irish Independent, November 23) in which he says the Northern Ireland football team should be disbanded as an all-Ireland team would be better. I agree that it's silly and out-dated for Norn Iron to have their own team. There should only be one international team per country, so they should join up with the rest of their country and form one United Kingdom team.

Imagine the England team at the last World Cup, with the aid of Gareth Bale, they might have won it. Or over the decades how a UK team could have succeeded with the likes of Best, Jennings, Giggs, Rush, Dalglish or Law.

With Brexit, maybe it's time for the UK to stand on its own two feet, with only one team.

Peter Cosgrove

Wellington Bridge, Co Wexford

Braced for another kick in the teeth from the EU

FROM what I understand of the Brexit deal, I think it is inevitable our goods and people will be custom checked arriving from Ireland at European ports at some point in the future. If there is a border, it will be as porous as before, so Brussels will insist goods or people coming from the south will have to be checked.

If there is no border, again anything coming from the south into Europe will have to be checked. If this comes to pass our so-called friends in Europe will again be giving us the same kick in the teeth we were given with the bail-out deal.

Anthony McGeough

Dublin 24

Investing in wind and solar damages economy while nuclear is carbon-free

In Friday's Irish Independent business section there was a full page devoted to burgeoning employment in the renewables sector. Is this a surprise to anyone? The renewables sector is one of the most subsidised parts of many economies with misguided governments virtue-signalling by supporting it. This distraction deflects from the abysmal reduction in emissions with this headlong splurge on wind and solar.

They must divert attention away from the intermittent power, dubious economic viability and increasing public resistance to the carpeting of the countryside with their machines.

Instead they will talk about the employment they provide. Surely, the priority is to reduce emissions, or am I missing something here?

By continuing to invest in wind and solar, we are damaging our economy by making electricity more expensive and putting the country in line for fines of €100m-plus from 2020.

Will this strategy not steal jobs from other more worthwhile sectors in the economy? Warren Buffett is on record as saying investing in renewables is pointless without subsidies.

Our new minister with responsibility for these issues, Richard Bruton, should figure out which way the wind is blowing, if you'll pardon the pun. South Korea and Taiwan have both recently had public decisions (a citizen's jury and a referendum respectively) on the retention and development of nuclear power, which passed in both countries. Here in Europe, the Dutch and Polish parliaments have committed to developing nuclear power which is the only scalable, base-load zero-carbon power source that is proven to reduce emissions. Compare France with Germany, for example. They will join other European countries currently building nuclear plants (France, UK, Finland and Hungary). Poland's plan is quite detailed and was unveiled before the upcoming COP to be held in Katowice this December.

Show us, minister, that you can step out of the shadow of your predecessor and make educated and effective decisions in the interest of Ireland and the world.

Dr Pat Morrissey

Adare, Co Limerick

Irish Independent

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