Tuesday 23 July 2019

Letters to the Editor: Never mind the Brexiteers – we get it just as wrong by stereotyping the EU

Protest: Anti-Brexit campaigners hold pro-EU placards and European community flags as they demonstrate in London yesterday. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images
Protest: Anti-Brexit campaigners hold pro-EU placards and European community flags as they demonstrate in London yesterday. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

In her comment ('It's embarrassing to watch us stereotype Brexiteers', Irish Independent, Saturday, January 19), Professor Patricia Casey warned of the threat of 'crass stereotyping' to our openness, and of it suffusing our relation with Britain.

That point would have been rather more credibly made had she not herself reverted to exactly the same crass stereotyping by describing the EU as the usual 'diktat-issuing', unelected bureaucrats, to which all its members, except the UK, are apparently sleeveen.

Space does not permit me to debunk this idea, nor to challenge Prof Casey specifically on these points. And I do not need to. I suggest to anyone willing to take the very little trouble it actually takes, to have a quick look into the legal order and functioning of the EU, in order to expose for her/himself this stereotype for the utter fabrication that it is.

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This is my second objection to Prof Casey's contribution: she has not taken that trouble. Rather, she refers to what must be eminent UK academics in support of Brexit, to dispel the notion that Brexiteers are uneducated dimwits, xenophobes, racists or just had the very bad fortune to be educated at Eton. The suggestion apparently being that we can trust academics to be sane, cogent and, above all, always well-informed when they express themselves carefully and objectively on matters within or, as in this case, outside their own area of expertise.

An esteemed academic herself, Prof Casey is of course well aware that history is unfortunately riddled with academics, or people with an academic background, who have engaged in espousing, supporting or otherwise rendering some (bogus) credibility to ideas, notions and ideologies which range from the plain daft to the downright abject, dangerous and even murderous. Being of academic pedigree is no guarantee whatsoever that the views of the academic concerned, and certainly on issues like this, are indeed well-informed, and based on an objective consideration of solid facts and data, as it behoves good academia. In this context, Prof Casey's "own" description of the EU representatives as she did is a very fine, if unintended, example of QED.

Frank Andriessen

Navan, Co Meath

Discrimination would be a step too far into fascism

UK citizens in the EU now, along with those who move to the EU post-Brexit and low-income EU citizens wishing to move to the UK, will become second-class citizens if the Withdrawal Agreement remains as it is. The commission cannot lawfully do this.

Preserving the integrity of the single market if only certain EU citizens are allowed to migrate to the UK customs union is out.

And new trade agreements must have conditions that reflect that discrimination on exports from the UK to the EU.

Article 21.2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU is clear: "Within the scope of application of the treaties and without prejudice to any of their specific provisions, any discrimination on grounds of nationality shall be prohibited."

Institutionalising another inequality and discrimination into the treaties is a step too far into fascism and nepotism to take.

It destroys the integrity of the EU and its single market, adding to the discrimination in interest rates, property and necessary social service charges.

There are more UK citizens in the EU than there are in Northern Ireland, so they should be as important to the prime minister as Northern Ireland citizens, and making them second-class citizens should not be acceptable to her or to Jeremy Corbyn.

Michael McPhillips

Ballymun, Dublin

Could another change now be on the money?

If and when the UK leaves the EU, does this mean the map or image of the UK including Northern Ireland will be removed from euro currency (ie coins and notes)?

Richard Whitty

Swords, Co Dublin

GAA must up its game by giving fans entertainment

Now that the managers have got their way with the GAA Central Council with the abolition of the three hand-pass rule, the onus is on it to prove to the whole GAA fraternity that it can send teams out to play football that is enjoyable to the fans.

Whilst we all want our teams to win games, I am not sure if I could cope with my team (Cavan) playing some of the dire football they played in 2018.

Cavan's win over Down in the qualifiers was just awful and was not deserved.

Down played good football and should have won.

Managers, just forget Dublin's dominance and ask your players to give it a go.

And at least lose with a bit of dignity.

I, for one, do not underestimate the total commitment put in by inter-county players.

I thank them for their efforts, but let's play the game going forward, not with these endless cross-field or back passes.

I think it must be so frustrating to players who have worked so hard for months to have to play so negatively.

But we are going to lose spectators if games this year are as bad as those in 2018.

Managers, you bear a responsibility to all of us to improve the quality of the games and even if it's only winning the first round of your championship and reaching the second round of the qualifiers, that could be your Sam Maguire.

I am disappointed that 25 delegates did not have the bottle to give the hand pass rule a longer trial, and I hope we don't all live to regret it.

Good luck to Mickey and Cavan in Division One.

Donough O'Reilly

Kilmacud, Co Dublin

Irish Independent

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