Tuesday 15 October 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Michael Gove’s cocaine use? It was only a Freudian slip'

Michael Gove. Photo: Reuters
Michael Gove. Photo: Reuters
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Tory party leadership hopeful Michael Gove’s cocaine use should be seen in a wider context.

Sigmund Freud was a pioneer of the use of cocaine as a recreational pharmaceutical, his first scientific publication, ‘Über Coca’ (On Cocaine) describes “the most gorgeous excitement” on taking it, followed by “exhilaration and lasting euphoria”.

Dr Freud was a habitual user of the “magical substance” throughout his thirties and dished out the powdery panacea to the middle-class Viennese neurotics who came to him for a chat.

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After 12 years of compulsive use, Freud gave up cocaine and dreamt up psychoanalysis.

It may be prudent to keep Michael Gove away from Number 10.

Dr John Doherty

Vienna, Austria


Time for straight talk on the causes of our housing crisis

In a report yesterday (‘Ireland’s biggest private landlord spends €285m on over 800 homes’, Irish Independent, June 13), Margaret Sweeney, chief executive of Ires, is quoted as saying: “The location and quality of the assets complement the existing Ires portfolio remarkably well and offer operational synergies in many locations, whilst also opening up new areas of Dublin city where Ires has been seeking representation.”

Nowhere does Ms Sweeney use the words “homes” or “housing”. Instead we see jargon  such as “quality of the assets” and “Ires portfolio” complemented with “operational synergies”.

I suggest that contained within all of this lies the answer to both how the homeless crisis emerged and what is necessary to resolve it.

Jim O’Sullivan

Rathedmond, Sligo


Perhaps change is needed in how we teach Irish in schools

Elaine Murphy, the young student writing your exam diary for the Leaving Certificate this year, writes: “Irish is over and done with! “Never having to speak, hear or read a word of Irish again is a source of great comfort for me and many others” (Irish Independent, June 12).

That is exactly how I felt 50 years ago this June after sitting my Irish paper.

I would have hoped things had changed in how the Irish language is taught in schools? But after reading Elaine’s excellent article, it would seem not. 

Brian McDevitt

Glenties, Co Donegal


New British PM must act in the interests of their country

Whoever becomes prime minister of the UK next month will have the moral obligation to deliver Brexit soon after, and hold a general election to justify their own tenure at Downing Street.

The two main parties must stop scoring,

or attempting to score, cheap political points and act in the interests of their country.

Dominic Shelmerdine

London, UK


Boris v Laura – we can look forward to a few good bouts

Boris Johnson’s crossed swords with the BBC’s chief political inquisitor Laura Kuenssberg, at his campaign launch to become the next Tory leader and British prime minister, was pure delight.

He described her admittedly rambling list of “trust” issues surrounding his candidature as a “minestrone”, without malice intended.

It was just Bumbling Boris saying things as he found them, the same way Laurel Bank Laura says things exactly as she finds them – every day another emperor’s new clothes laid bare.

Those they frequently alienate are those frequently deserving alienation: the

self-righteous and the selfish, those who would bring ruin and call it ‘renewal’, those who would see the British economy and society break down and call it ‘moving forward’.

As Neil Gaiman’s interpretation of Oberon said in defence of Puck, “It is a fool’s prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak”, that those who mock convention and the zeitgeist are paradoxically its most able guardians as counterblasts to complacency.

After 20 years of professional politicians sleek as the snake oil they peddle, what jolly fun indeed the prospect of regular TV bouts between Bullingdon Boris versus Laura the Wicked Witch of Westminster – and what a relief!

Mark Boyle

Renfrewshire, Scotland

Irish Independent

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