Saturday 20 April 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Voters no longer take politics seriously – and pay the price'

"Politics is now only a career, not a vocation with a sense of public duty." Stock image
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Yes, politicians are much to blame for the Brexit crisis. But we licensed them at the ballot box less than a year after voting for it: we the electorate bear our share of shame.

There’s a massive intellectual dishonesty for anyone to claim “people didn’t know what they were voting for” in an era where political parties are nothing more than competing brand names and elections from council to parliamentary level are conducted to the intellectual rigour of a Harry Potter book plot line. Party members – especially within the major combines – often have more in common with other parties than the one they campaign for. Politics is now only a career, not a vocation with a sense of public duty.

This farrago exists because of the grotesque immaturity of our contemporary population, the majority of whom care more about entertainment trivia than real life. Most of Britain’s electorate has a firmer grasp of the politics of Westeros than they do of Westminster. Ireland’s is no better, where the population’s knowledge is greater of House Lannister than Leinster House.

Most voters knowledge of current affairs amounts to zero beyond that last item spoonfed by whatever newspaper panders to their dated pet prejudices.

No wonder the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg has become so snide towards the miasma of mediocre mandarins as to turn her into the Wicked Witch of Westminster (“I’ll get you my pretties, and your little Mogg too!”). Behold the dramatis she deals with daily – hang our heads that we employed them. “Oh, what a world.” Indeed.

Mark Boyle
Renfrewshire, Scotland

Universities should do more to help sustainable economies

Trying to rival foreign universities that have billions to spend in gifts from wealthy alumni, and taking advice from consultants who ignore constitutional rights on pay and benefits from taxes, has nurtured robotics and AI-caused unemployment worldwide.

The average wage and all benefits paid in the private sector has, by law and constitution, to be what’s paid in the public sector, but the gap is so wide that graduates can only find employment overseas due to an inadequate and overtaxed economy.

The average wage in education is more than twice the average wage in the private sector, while the pension deals for public-sector workers don’t exist in the private sector and are unlawfully paid in taxes, not from investments. The economy can’t cope.

The public has a right to feel universities would be in the vanguard of ensuring that economies are sustainable, but their support for using sovereign debt as assets for further borrowing and bank credit for those paid with taxes has been disastrous.

Michael McPhillips
Ballymun, Dublin 9

Drivers and cyclists can find a safe route by being honest

While the headline of the piece by Liam Collins (‘Lack of understanding between motorists and cyclists is leading to jump in accidents,’ Irish Independent, April 9) might make it appear that what follows will be a balanced and fair assessment of both motorists and cyclists, it transpired, sadly, not to be the case. While the article merrily lists the dangers of cycling, the bad habits of motorists and indeed even what are allegedly the worst category of motorists, nowhere in the piece does Mr Collins refer to the vast numbers of cyclists who simply plough though red lights in towns and cities right across the country, or those who use footpaths as auxiliary cycle lanes.

There is a place for both motorists and cyclists on our roads, and there is certainly fault on both sides, but there needs to be honesty from both sides on their roles and responsibilities on the road.

Simon O’Connor
Crumlin, Dublin 12

It’s now time to give Brexit the moniker it has long deserved

Since everyone is fed up of Brexit, is it time to say feckzit?

John Williams
Clonmel, Co Tipperary

Michelle Obama should book a date with political destiny

I have read Michelle Obama’s book ‘Becoming’. This beautiful, intelligent woman says she has no intention ever of running for office. Which is a pity. Few are better equipped to be the first US woman president.

Brian McDevitt
Glenties, Co Donegal

As the elf points out, it’s only eight months to Christmas

Interesting if somewhat unusual to hear a radio advertisement for the Elf Christmas musical at this time of year. Right so folks, time to write to Santa.

Tom Gilsenan
Beaumont D9

Irish Independent

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