Tuesday 22 October 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Tory party needs its own split to be free of zealots in ERG'

Labour MP Chuka Umunna announced his resignation during a press conference at County Hall in Westminster, London, along with a group of six other former Labour MPs, Luciana Berger, Mike Gapes, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Ann Coffey and Gavin Shuker, who will now be known as the Independent Group. Photo: PA
Labour MP Chuka Umunna announced his resignation during a press conference at County Hall in Westminster, London, along with a group of six other former Labour MPs, Luciana Berger, Mike Gapes, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Ann Coffey and Gavin Shuker, who will now be known as the Independent Group. Photo: PA
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

What is the European Research Group (ERG)? Sounds like something academic, right? Wrong. It is a lobbying group for Brexit with a disingenuous title.

Its raison d’être, when it was created in 1993 by the British Conservative Party, was opposition to the UK’s further integration with the European community. But now it is defined only by its opposition to UK membership of the EU. It is a tax-funded lobbying group for Brexit holed up in the Tory party. Wake up, Westminster.

The ERG is a party within a party. The fault-line is there. The Tories must split. May the ripple effect of Labour’s tremor reach across the house and trigger the political earthquake Britain needs.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

Alison Hackett

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin

 

Rugby must act now or face a spate of serious injuries

Reading Ewan MacKenna’s article about rugby’s bosses (‘Time for rugby to wake up and ask not if damage is being done, but how bad that damage will be’, Irish Independent, February 16), I could not agree more. As an ex-referee, I wrote to the IRFU two years ago to ask if the laws had changed since I last refereed. They said no. What that means is that referees are simply not blowing according to the law any more. I see in almost every match dangerous play that would have resulted in people being sent off 20 years ago.

Serious injuries will absolutely become the norm unless that changes.

Richard  Barton

Maynooth, Co Kildare

 

Nuns failed in their duty to provide proper sex education

I beg to differ with Michael McPhillips (‘Religious orders acted in good faith on sex education’, Letters, February 19) who states that “Sex education was thought unnecessary by nuns when all girls and boys were taught that sex outside marriage was a sin. Was that so bad when it was the only way they knew to prevent unwanted children?”

While one must agree with the nuns in encouraging young people to abstain until they had matured, the young women in their charge were still entitled to know how their bodies worked. While the intention was that ignorance of how reproduction occurred would reduce the number of unwanted babies, in fact, it had the opposite effect.

Contraceptives were freely available in Ireland until 1935. The papal encyclical banning the use of condoms was published in 1930, and in 1935 the sale of condoms was banned in Ireland. One can reasonably assume the two events were linked.

Being part of the organisation that removed the right to contraceptives, the least the nuns could have done was to provide proper sex education to the children in their charge.

This would have reduced the number of unwanted babies outside marriage. Of course, proper sex education would also have reduced the number of babies born within marriage, and this would never do.

Anthony O’Leary 

Portmarnock, Co Dublin

 

Keegan’s claim a damning indictment of housing system

Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan’s claim that people are making a “choice that they will stay in emergency accommodation rather than avail of housing systems payment in the rental sector” is an extraordinary admission by such a senior official that housing policy based on such schemes, HAP etc, are not fit for purpose.

Presumably, he has plans to bring forward a more acceptable housing plan for the future, like building more social houses.

Jim O’Sullivan

Rathedmond, Co Sligo

 

Climate change campaign kids should all stop flying

I must compliment Nick Folley (‘Children should continue the climate crusade at weekends’, Letters, February 18). He is quite right to point out their education should not become a victim of demonstrations during school hours and that they confine their demonstrations to the weekends.

He rightly says the world’s leaders and the richest elites are impervious to the plight of millions threatened with displacement or death because of climate change. We are unlikely to see climate change on the agenda in Davos until the elite are hit in the pockets. 

I would suggest that the children would make a real contribution to climate change if they stopped bleating about eating meat and instead refused to go on foreign holidays by plane.

Their placards should read ‘No holiday flights’ in the real interest of climate change. Any other nebulous chants are just tokenism. 

On return to school in the autumn, the children should ostracise any fellow students who wish to impress the audience with stories of overseas holidays taken at the expense of climate change and the home holiday market.

Hugh Duffy

Cleggan, Co Galway

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss