Tuesday 20 August 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Johnson's 'do-or-die' spirit could defeat European Union'

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement to MPs in the House of Commons, London. Photo: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement to MPs in the House of Commons, London. Photo: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

It is somewhat ironic the phrase “do or die” from the Alfred Lord Tennyson poem ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ – first used politically by Mahatma Gandhi in the early 1940s to encourage Britain to “go” from India – should be used in 2019 by a British prime minister to encourage Britain to “go” again, this time from the EU.

There is a huge paradox in the present “do or die” attempt as in reality the chance of “dying” is much more applicable to the EU than it is to Britain.

If Britain fails in its attempt, things will revert to something like they were before the Brexit vote of 2016. There will be a lot of animosity and political chaos but Britain will continue as a somewhat chastened, humiliated and intensely disgruntled member of the EU.

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If however Britain succeeds with the “do”, the consequences for the EU will be enormous and the prospect of “dying” will become a reality for Brussels. There is likely to be a stampede by Eurosceptic parties to follow Britain’s lead.

That is on top of possibly the greatest slowdown and stagnation modern global economics have ever encountered because of a failure to adapt from “growth” to “sufficiency” economic ideology brought about by technological ability to overproduce practically everything.

It is interesting to note the main tactic used by the EU to bludgeon Britain into submission. During 30 years of terrorism in Ireland, the EU was scant help. It fell to the US to provide stimulus to bring about peace at which stage the EU was only too willing to sign up and bask in the success of others.

When the economy crashed in 2008, the EU had scant consideration of how peace or anything else might be affected as it threatened to detonate “an economic bomb” in Dublin if Ireland did not agree to underwrite vast speculative losses confronting European banks.

When, however, one of the “willing” partners of the EU wishes to depart as is their right, EU bureaucracy together with Irish naivety concocted the “backstop”. If Britain persisted with the foolishness of “going” it would leave that once proud country – as laughingly boasted by an EU negotiator – a colony of the EU for ever more.

If Britain “goes” it will be the EU which will insist on a physical border between Ireland North and South, erected and administered by a compliant government.

The end game has begun.

Padraic Neary

Tubbercurry, Co Sligo


Ireland should follow Boris on to lifeboat away from EU

Being a member of the European Union is like being a passenger on board the Titanic.

Well done, Boris, for showing the way down the gang plank before she sets sail for deeper waters. We in Ireland should take our cue and follow suit.

Imelda Kearney

Dublin 16


UK’s new prime minister can’t pull off the trick he promises

As a keen observer of Irish and British political life I watched the first speech of the new prime minister with as much detachment as I could muster.

It was the same old twaddle, well written and presented but only reinforced the fact this man is a complete chancer. I cannot wait to see his reaction come late October when he realises that he does not have a rabbit, much less a hat.

It might be noble to try to do what the electorate seemed to want in 2016 but can a proper case be made for this when we all now know that the voters were lied to by, in the main, the Leave campaign.

David Ryan

Co Meath


Off with the royal prefixes in a truly democratic nation

I totally agree with Tom Cooper (Letters, Irish Independent, July 25), all royal prefixes should be removed from usage in the Republic of Ireland.

I want a vote to decide my head of state based on ability, not have it automatically foisted on me from a dysfunctional family.

Dominic Shelmerdine

London, UK


Ignore the hairdos and let’s listen to these clever leaders

Boris Johnson may act the clown, but a clown he is not. He is a clever man. He has a high IQ, as has Donald Trump. Cute hoors we call them in Ireland. They have a goal and they know how to reach it. They do know how to get media attention.

Now would you trust Boris to deliver Brexit – probably. Do I think Brexit a good idea? Not really; for Ireland a disaster as we don’t have strong leadership. Did the British people vote for Brexit? Yes. Did Theresa May deliver? No! Was UK Labour divided on Brexit? Yes.

These are the issues we should discuss rather than deriding these leaders’ hairdos.

Nuala Nolan

Bowling Green, Galway

Irish Independent

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