Letters to the Editor: 'Irony of Brexit is how ‘taking back control’ has brought UK such chaos'
‘12 RULES for Life: An Antidote to Chaos’, Jordan Peterson’s book published by Penguin Random House, is as relevant to political conflicts like Brexit as it is to the individual to whom it is addressed.
In Rule Seven, “Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)”, Peterson describes his own search for meaning: “I was truly plagued with doubt. I had outgrown the shallow Christianity of my youth… After that I could not distinguish the basic elements of Christian belief from wishful thinking.
“The socialism that soon afterwards became so attractive to me as an alternative proved equally insubstantial; with time I came to understand through the great George Orwell that much of such thinking found its motivation in hatred of the rich and successful, instead of true regard for the poor.
“Besides, the socialists were more intrinsically capitalist than the capitalists. They believed just as strongly in money. They just thought that if different people had the money, the problems plaguing humanity would vanish.”
Equally insightful are the words by Dr Norman Doidge in his foreword: “Ideologies are simple ideas, disguised as science or philosophy, that purport to explain the complexity of the world and offer remedies that will perfect it. Ideologues are people who pretend they know ‘how to make the world a better place’ before they’ve taken care of their own chaos within. (The warrior identity that their ideology gives them covers over that chaos.)”
Other parts of the book discuss how strong our need is for order and principle. How we need rules, standards, values – alone and together; the importance of routine and tradition and walking the fine line between creative chaos and ordered structure so as to live a meaningful life.
Whether in the workplace or in the home it is a feeling of being out of control that is most stressful.
What an irony that the tag line of the Brexiteers was “Take back control” when the truth is that the act of leaving the European Union means Britain losing control and entering the realm of chaos.
I hear their tag line, if there is another referendum, is to be: “Tell them again.”
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, take note.
Crosthwaite Park East, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin
In these Orwellian times, who will be most equal?
To parody the great commandant of ‘Animal Farm’, all European citizens are equal, but from now on some European citizens will be more equal than others. But will it be EU or UK citizens?
Athlone, Co Westmeath
Second vote would put the detractors in their place
Boy, would I like to see a second Brexit referendum. If for no other reason than to shut up British politicians who regularly point to the Irish as being sheepish after we rejected two EU referendums and were promptly sent back to vote again until we gave the answer they wanted.
Of course, they may have a point, but at least we will no longer have to put up with that superior attitude from the so-called home of democracy.
Kingswood Heights, Dublin 24
Why we must remember such a life-changing strike
There is an inverse relationship between the numbers involved and the coverage given to three important historical events in January 1919 that are to be commemorated this month.
The one that has received most publicity so far is the Soloheadbeg ambush in Tipperary, which involved no more than a dozen people.
The next is the founding of Dáil Éireann, which involved a few hundred, and the last is the Belfast engineering strike, which involved some 40,000 workers in the city and saw another 20,000 laid off.
The Belfast engineering strike was the start of a wave of industrial unrest across the UK, including Ireland, that would see the length of the average working week reduced by an average of 6.5 hours, the largest cut ever.
It laid the basis for our current 39-hour week.
It may lack the drama and controversy that surrounds its more famous historical counterparts, but arguably it has had a far greater and more beneficial impact on all our lives, confirming the old Irish saying that eaten bread is soon forgotten.
The Messines Association is commemorating the Belfast engineering strike event on Friday, January 25, in the ICTU headquarters in Belfast.
US self-serving with the Saudis over Khashoggi
Congratulations on the timbre of your report on Mike Pompeo, US Secondary of State’s (no error intended) visit to the exulted friend of Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia (‘US ‘will press’ MBS over killing of Khashoggi’, Irish Independent, January 14).
In a determined effort to show the world America’s continuing commitment to truth and justice, Pompeo insisted that he would press Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the universally accepted prime suspect in the murder, mutilation and dissolution in acid of ‘Washington Post’ journalist Jamal Khashoggi, to ensure that Khashoggi’s killers were brought to justice.
Meanwhile, it will be interesting to learn which of his own entourage MBS will throw to the wolves, as he will do without even thinking, to paper over the huge cracks in what Saudi Arabia continues to insist is itself being the moral centre of the Muslim world; God help all of us.
It will be equally interesting to observe how the USA, the Christian equivalent of Wahabi Muslim Saudi Arabia, will try to disguise its own self-serving lies in the face of the overwhelming facts of its own calumny.
Stillorgan, Co Dublin