Tuesday 17 September 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Johnson not the only leader yet to face the electorate'

Phil Hogan. Photo: Reuters
Phil Hogan. Photo: Reuters
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Phil Hogan says that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “unelected” (Irish Independent, September 7).

One supposes that he means that Mr Johnson has not yet won a general election as he was (as even Mr Hogan must know) elected by his party members the other month.

I can think of another head of government of an EU state who has yet to face the electorate and who was chosen by just 3,946 members of his party. Unlike Mr Johnson, he did not have the support of most ordinary party members as the rules gave greater weight to the votes of councillors and parliamentary representatives.

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If my arithmetic is correct, this person was chosen by an even smaller proportion of his country’s voting population than his British counterpart.

In case Mr Hogan has not yet worked out who this leader is, I will tell him that it is Leo Varadkar.

It is odd that Phil Hogan – who is himself unelected at present – appears not to know these inconvenient facts. Is he not a former TD for the Taoiseach’s party?

CDC Armstrong

Donegall Road, Belfast, Co Antrim

We Brexiteers aren’t always dancing to the same beat

Alan Fairbrother (Letters, Irish Independent, September 10) states I use the same “Brexiteer tactic of disinformation”.

However, I am rare among Brexiteers – and especially Conservative ones – insofar as although I voted to leave the EU and would do so again, I have consistently called for a second referendum on the issue because of all the concern about a ‘no deal’, the Irish backstop, and those who were too young to vote in 2016.

I have also stated that as Northern Ireland and Scotland voted Remain, there should be a second Scottish independence plebiscite and an Irish reunification one, too.

Furthermore, I have consistently called for an elected head of state in Britain based on the Irish model, preferably in an independent republic of England. 

For those views, I have been ostracised by some and called a traitor by others.

Ireland and other EU countries may have willingly adopted the euro but I, for one, recall with fondness the Irish punt and the French franc, etc. I trust Mr Fairbrother doesn’t see me as a typical “Tory Remainer” come what may.

Dominic Shelmerdine

London, UK

Syria buffer zone plans reveal the true attitude of Erdoğan

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president, whose army spent more time fighting the Kurds in Syria than fighting Isil, is continuing his journey in the folklore of fascism by seemingly creating a “buffer” zone on Syrian territory between Turkey and the areas that the Kurdish fighters cleared of Isil domination, by referring to the Kurdish forces as “terrorists”.

Seemingly, because the buffer zone, with the help and agreement of the indifferent United States, will be used, on the one hand, to expel the 3.6 million Syrian refugees currently in Turkey, for which Mr Erdoğan is given a handsome payment by the European Union.

One refers to Mr Erdoğan rather than Turkey for obvious reasons, having in the past built a 300-bedroom mansion on the salary of a prime minister.

The other reason being having control of an area from which to launch attacks on Kurdish forces, which have courageously fought against – and suffered significant casualties by – Isil, whose barbarity seems only to be a few decibels short of Mr Erdoğan’s.

Allow me to finish by quoting Mr Erdoğan, when he vetoed the political administration in Turkish-occupied Cyprus from agreeing to “give back” Famagusta to the Republic of Cyprus, by saying that far from giving back any territory invaded by the Turkish Army, Turkey should be taking steps to take back its territories in Thessaloniki and Bulgaria.

George Dalzell

Stillorgan, Co Dublin

PM could learn style and substance from Taoiseach

The Chinese curse wishing that the recipient live in interesting times is taking shape in the current British/EU political debacle.

Boundaries are flung aside with reckless abandon and sacred cows are slain.

Monday saw the stereotypical image of the bumbling Irish buffoon shown up by the sleek, articulate and superior British gentleman completely reversed.

We frequently use the terms “style” and “substance” to describe, among other things, our politicians’ performance.

Yesterday, our Taoiseach showed both, while the Honourable Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip had neither.

No, Dorothy, we are not in Kansas any more.

Dr Mary Gilvarry-Rogan

Anach Cuain, Co na Gaillimhe

Irish Independent

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