Thursday 17 October 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Leo outclasses Boris on the art of grown-up communications and negotiation at top level'

Meeting: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Thornton Manor Hotel in Cheshire, UK. Photo: PA Wire
Meeting: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Thornton Manor Hotel in Cheshire, UK. Photo: PA Wire
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in a marriage are: criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling. Boris Johnson is guilty of all four.

During the last 10 years (with the help of some influential media outlets) Mr Johnson continually criticised the EU; showed contempt for the EU; was defensive about how great the UK is (and always would be).

And, more recently, he stonewalled his own electorate, and 27 electorates of the European Union, by closing down and proroguing the British Parliament.

Like a sulky child he left the room and slammed the door. No wonder the relationship was doomed.

But joy on the horizon - it seems a skilled communicator who has neither criticised nor shown contempt for the UK - who has neither been defensive about Ireland (and the EU) nor stonewalled his political counterparts - has let Mr Johnson experience his first counselling-type session in grown-up communications and negotiation at the top level; a real politic moment.

In all the mood music coming out of the meeting in Liverpool (including the photographs) Leo Varadkar has completely outclassed Boris Johnson. My compliments.

Alison Hackett

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin

Women should take more responsibility for choices

Well done Barbara McCarthy on an excellent article (Irish Independent, October 8), your comments on "patronising tokenism" hit the mark.

We women are not forced to leave the workplace (or to never enter it at all). We are not forced to have children. This is not Gilead!

We make choices about leaving the workforce and having kids, and should take responsibility for them, not whinge about what is apparently "the hardest job in the world". Really?

Try telling that to the migrant workers (mostly female) working in penury, 60 hours a week, in artisanal coffee shops serving up endless coffees to the yummy mummies all around me this morning.

Of course many, many women will take "the leg up", the shortcut, but it is really a shameless and equally shameful thing to do.

Mary McMahon

Claremont Park, Galway city

We're a pest to the planet, which will long outlive us

There can be little doubt that we've been witnessing some extreme, unprecedented weather events over the last number of years.

It also seems highly likely that human behaviour has played a significant role in bringing about such catastrophes.

However, unlike Declan Foley (Letters, Irish Independent, October 11), I wouldn't be too concerned about the future of planet Earth itself. To borrow, poorly albeit, from the late great US comedian George Carlin, the Earth will most likely long outlive the species currently feeding off it. As the dominant one of those, we humans are perhaps nothing more than a pest to our host, a minor irritant. Thankfully, from the planet's perspective, we seem to have hit the self-destruct button.

So when people talk about 'saving the planet', they're somewhat wide of the mark. The planet should be fine for another few million years. The same cannot be said for Homo sapiens.

Brendan Corrigan

Bogotá, Colombia

Science versus one's own beliefs - a quantum leap

How refreshing to read Pat Swords's stunning and elegant take-down of modern climate science, by argument from personal belief ("'Cult' wisdom on climate change based on guesswork", Letters, October 10).

To this quantum leap in critical thinking I'd add my own: I have noticed over the past 40 years that the Earth does not move or rotate; my observations and sunrise-sunset tables prove that the sun rises in the east, moves across the sky, and sets in the west. Further sidereal and lunar observations through atmospheric perturbations confirm my geocentric, geostationary hypothesis.

If only Kool-Aid scientists would avail of the 90 years of hard-won scientific knowledge Pat and I have accumulated, by existing, they'd cure cancer in a week, colonise Mars in a month, and travel to the nearest star in time for Christmas. Ho-hum.

Even if Pat's is wrong, it's not like there's anything important riding on the outcome. Right?

Dr Glen Byrne

Dalkey, Co Dublin

Trump double-crossing Kurds deserves attention

I am disappointed by the parochial choice of readers' letters chosen to be published recently in the Irish Independent.

Sure, we have our problems, and they cannot be minimised. Brexit, and the great harm that it can cause our people; the beef crisis and its effect on our farmers; and climate change, but should we not question who are the real perpetrators in the USA, China and India.

Be what it may, there is no excuse for not giving space to the views of your readership on the activities of Donald Trump in Syria.

Having had the unflinching support of the Kurdish forces to rid swathes of Syria from the barbaric occupation of Isil, resulting in the deaths of countless Kurdish fighters, and not American soldiers, US President Donald Trump has double-crossed the Kurds by allowing the Turkish forces of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to attack those same Kurdish heroes who were, until just the other day, allies of the US.

And what is Mr Trump's justification? That the Kurds did not help the allied forces in the 1944 invasion of Normandy?

What is he talking about?

Liam Harrington

Castletownbere, Co Cork

Harding's book 'therapy' always does the trick

I have just bought Michael Harding's latest book 'Chest Pain'.

I have read all of Michael's wonderful books. Wonderful therapy. Write on, Michael.

Brian Mc Devitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

Gandhi's words on social sins still ring true today

What a true and encouraging letter from Gayatri Sangra (Irish Independent, October 5) regarding Mahatma Gandhi and his thoughts and beliefs; be the change you wish to see in the world. He saw the social sins of western society as he saw them. They still ring true today:

:: Politics without principle;

:: Trade without morality;

:: Education without formation;

:: Religion without sacrifice;

:: Wealth without work;

:: Pleasure without responsibility;

:: Science without humanity.

Peggy Quinn

Co Meath

Column inches on WAG nonsense is astonishing

It bodes ill for society if, in the midst of a Budget, not to mention Brexit, we can find time for Wag-gate. How could either of these fatuous and vacuous and so-called 'trophy wives' believe anyone, other than dopes like themselves, have the slightest interest in their daily thoughts and deeds?

That such nonsense can make it to national newscasts is astonishing when it is really a storm in a tea-cup, or more likely a B-cup.

David Ryan

Co Meath

Time to let smaller parties step up to plate in North

As the DUP and SF are unlikely to be able to come to any agreement in the near future, is it now time to form a minority assembly, with the other parties making decisions?

After all, the people they represent have every right to be heard, that is called democracy. Also, these parties may have a lot in common and could provide a stable government.

D Murphy

Portmarnock, Dublin

Irish Independent

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