Monday 14 October 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'The only thing May has achieved is the title of worst British prime minister there’s ever been'

No deal: British Prime Minister Theresa May and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker at an EU leaders’ summit last year. Photo: Reuters
No deal: British Prime Minister Theresa May and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker at an EU leaders’ summit last year. Photo: Reuters
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The emollience of the UK has now been vehemently tested by Theresa May and her total intransigence since the electorate gave her a mandate to leave the EU back in the summer of 2016.

Mrs May has played a game of musical chairs, constantly changing and lecturing others, having a parochial attitude towards listening to advisers and leaving the crucial elements of this democratic instruction totally abandoned.

Sadly it is an ineluctable fact that Mrs May and her quixotic negotiating skills have been ridiculed by Jean-Claude Juncker, Michel Barnier and Donald Tusk in Brussels.

Her constant delusional statements in the House of Commons, that "we are making progress", just beggar all reasonable belief, constantly going to the three leading cabal bureaucrats in Brussels with her begging bowl, embarrassing the fifth-most influential country on the planet. Her comments that "we will leave the EU on March 29 as instructed by the electorate" are now profoundly spurious.

Her incompetent and inept handling of negotiations will go down in political history, her hari-kari attitude has cost the UK, and other EU countries, billions in attempting to put contingency plans for the unknown outcomes and the extremely possible dangerous dissipation of the hard-won Good Friday Agreement, winning peace in Ireland after decades of violence and murder.

There is now more than ample evidence that Theresa May is the most inept British prime minister of the modern era, time and again over the past two-and-a-half years she has made, via her shockingly poor judgments, a very bad situation even worse - from start to finish it was salient that she prioritised her party over her country.

She began this month with her political theatrics, stating "we will leave on March 29 and the Article 50 withdrawal process will not be extended".

Hollow and meaningless words from the prime minister, as now, once again, she has to return to Brussels 'cap in hand' with her begging bowl, requesting such an extension.

With less than two weeks left now, this Westminster pantomime continues with the leading role in this Brian Rix-style fiasco played by Theresa May, looking once again for a pyrrhic solution to leave the EU, not forgetting the EU holding all the trump cards and a £39bn windfall for leaving under their defenestrated terms for the UK.

Michael Kelly

Kings Heath, B14 UK


Sorry, Boris, but the club doesn't agree with you

If you have ever been in therapy, you will know that using words like 'must' or 'should' will get you nowhere. There are newspaper headlines using exactly these words, for example, "The EU must shoulder its share of the blame for the Brexit imbroglio". These types of limiting words such as should and must only work to sooth the egos of authoritarian parents or dictators who are terrified of losing control. 

Imagine the following. Suppose Boris Johnson decided he wanted to leave the Bullingdon Club because he no longer liked the terms of agreement for his membership.

He writes to the general (aka the president) stating his intention to resign his membership from a certain date. He notes in the letter how much he looks forward to negotiating the terms of his departure as there were some aspects of the Bullingdon Club in which he did want to stay involved.

For example, he wanted to go to the champagne breakfast for members at the annual point-to-point race where the general presented the winner's cup. And he would be prepared to negotiate a fee to retain this privilege.

After two years of negotiations and recriminations, Boris was utterly fed up with the stalemate.

The club was playing hard ball and would not allow him to keep any member privileges after his departure date. It refused to shoulder its share of the blame for the Borexit imbroglio.

But it must, it should share the blame, people on Boris's side thought. The members of the club thought differently.

Alison Hackett

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin


We must take action and set up family courts

The report of the Child Care Law Reporting project is quoted in last Monday's Irish Independent as calling for the establishment of specialist family courts to hear child care and other stressful family law cases.

The establishment of such courts was a commitment contained in the 2011 Fine Gael/Labour programme for government. It was my intention to bring the legislation required to create such courts before the Dáil in 2015. At the time of my resignation in May 2014 as justice minister, I was considering whether a referendum was required to facilitate their establishment without constitutional difficulty. To date, no legislation to create family courts has been published.

A referendum is now promised to reduce the waiting time for a divorce from four to two years subsequent to the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage.

As justice minister, I stated the need for such a referendum but believed it crucial that a specialist independent family court structure be first put in place. It is needed to ensure the best interests of children and the welfare of dependent spouses is properly protected.

Before holding a divorce referendum, the Government should first establish family courts.

If the current Attorney General believes a referendum necessary to avoid future difficulty, as a minimum, a referendum on family courts should coincide with the promised divorce referendum.

The Government should also commit to setting up family courts within a specific timeframe.

Alan Shatter

Former minister for justice, equality and defence, Dublin 16


National conversation on fertility is very important

I am a sixth-year student currently studying for my Leaving Certificate. I am studying economics, a subject I find challenging but enjoyable.

As part of our homework this week, our economics teacher recommended that we watch 'Fertility Shock' on RTÉ, as it would give us insight into how the increasing age of women having children will affect our economy.

I watched the programme and I found it very informative in this aspect, but also informative due to the fact that I am a young female who at some stage wants to have children. Watching this programme made me realise the lack of education we receive about infertility whilst studying fertility in school.

I believe this needs to change and, as Dearbhail McDonald, said: "We need to have a national conversation before it is too late."

Niamh Breslin

Castlebar, Co Mayo


Women will still travel for anonymous abortions

There should be no surprise at the continuing preference by many women to have abortions abroad ('Irish women still travelling to Britain in droves for abortions', Irish Independent, May 15).

The practice in the UK is that a substantial proportion of women prefer the anonymity of going to a different city rather than to go locally and risk meeting neighbours, friends or colleagues.

Those with very long memories will recall that the HCR pharmacy on Grafton Street had the highest sales of contraceptives in the country, with a peak during the Horse Show and RDS Spring Show, when provincial ladies chose the anonymity of Grafton Street above their local pharmacy.

Dr Michael Anderson

Balgriffin, Dublin 13


We need a backstop over all Brexit terminology

In the wake of Brexit, should we contemplate the prospect of Sloveniout, Grexit, Italeave, Departugal and Czechout - with Remania and Austriin among the few survivors?

Mary Frances Rogan

Annaghdown, Co Galway


Is there any link between singing and winning?

The way in which national anthems are now being observed is interesting.

Take the Ireland/France rugby match last Sunday. There was a time when all present at such matches would stand to attention, dutifully face the flag and sing the anthem. Here, the anthems were the background to what was tantamount to a singing contest as a prologue to the physical contest. The camera panned the players to reveal how effective was each one in the vocal department. In the Irish chorus, there were some who sang and some who didn't sing. All of the French choristers seemed to be well endowed vocally. On balance, the French probably won the singing contest.

Today, the Irish ensemble, to a man, will need to be singing very well and in tune. No excuse about singing the right notes but not, necessarily, in the right order. In the red corner, the choristers from the hills of Wales are rarely off key and are doubly effective with the backing of the men of Harlech in the audience.

Ted O'Keeffe

Ranelagh, Dublin 6

Irish Independent

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