Friday 14 December 2018

Letters to the Editor: 'Working classes of Europe and UK will suffer most from Brexit impact'

Supporters of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco give fascist salutes on the anniversary of his death in Madrid last week. Photo: Reuters
Supporters of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco give fascist salutes on the anniversary of his death in Madrid last week. Photo: Reuters
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Michael Enright's letter (Irish Independent, November 21) suggests that if the Border was not an issue, the UK would be sent packing.

My question is, by whom?

Ireland, whose dairy exports to the UK accounts for 34pc of its total dairy exports and beef exports account for 50pc of total beef exports?

Germany, that relies heavily on car exports to the UK?

France, where the UK accounted for its greatest trade surplus in 2016?

Spain, whose exports to the UK have already started to decrease ahead of the UK leaving the EU, with dire consequences to its failing economy?

By all means criticise England for its unconscionable treatment of the Irish people over centuries; or perhaps the criticism should be aimed at the English ruling classes, although perhaps no more in reality than the Irish "ruling" classes, political and industrial, since 1922.

I am not sure that either political party in the UK wants to deliver an out-and-out break from the EU, but one thing is certain, however hard or soft the break is, it will be the working classes of the UK and the EU who will continue to suffer most.

So is this just an exercise of voicing an alternative opinion?

No, it is to give faith and encouragement to our downtrodden brothers and sisters to know that they are not alone and that we can unite, one with another; that we have each other to lean against and to support each other in our interminable daily struggle to survive.

To give our children hope and the means to have a better and the decent life that they deserve without being lured towards the fascist European political parties.

Those parties whose raison d'être is to achieve power for the benefit of their leaders, which can be evidenced in Italy, Hungary and Poland, whose people's lives have in no way changed for the better in contrast to the lives of their "leaders".

Fascism has always been thus, whether in Spain, Germany or Italy. But people can take power in their hands, for their benefit - but they need a lead, like most of us.

Whether we are in Ireland or in England, we and our people need to unite and fight our common enemies, and there is no reason why we cannot do this and stand up for ourselves.

Harry Charalambou

London, UK

Rugby team has it easier climbing to top of world

I am flabbergasted at the number of sports reporters who are obsessed with the so-called success of the national rugby team v soccer team.

Do they not see the difference between a game where six teams make up a quasi-European championship, and four comprise the southern hemisphere; football has many multiples of this in Europe and worldwide. I do not begrudge rugby its day in the sun but I do not take the message that in world terms the codes have a lot in common in terms of qualifying for major tournaments.

Philip Chambers

Dublin 24

Irish soccer should be united like other sports

With regards to the Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland anti-climax, it was hardly a major shock to see the resignation of the management of the Republic's team. Yet one has to feel for the lack of talent at the present time.

Maybe the scoreless draw at the Aviva should have read Republic of Ireland (plus) Northern Ireland instead of 'v'. Most other sports can come together - or maybe I'll just dream on.

Jim Bennett

Dublin 9

Jack, Mick and Trap had a harder road to travel

Martin O'Neill often boasts that he "got us" to the Euros in 2016. The major reason Ireland qualified for Euro 2016 was because the qualification rules had eased hugely.

Twenty-four countries went to the finals in France (as opposed to 16 or fewer in prior years). Indeed, at Euro 2016, O'Neill and Roy Keane's Ireland, finishing third in the group, were actually 25th best after the group stage.

For Jack, Mick and Trap to qualify for the Euros we had to be in the first eight (up to 1992) or the first 16 (until 2016) and first 16 (until 1982) then 24 (until 1998) for the Worlds - and you had to win your group or be one of the better runners-up.

Brian Morris

Blackrock, Co Louth

Taxpayers need a party that represents them

The mean-spirited "tax grab", coupled with the news that families face huge carbon tax increases, shows once again that there is a large section of people going unrepresented by any party in our current Dáil. That group, of course, are the taxpayers of Ireland.

Gerry Kelly

Dublin 6

'Sound of Silence' - an anthem for rural Ireland?

The TG4 documentary 'Tabu', which aired on Monday night last, made for sad viewing. It dealt with the very real and disturbing subject of rural decline in two towns - Kiltyclogher in Co Leitrim and Ballylongford in Co Kerry - that are battling for survival.

One is desperately trying to attract new people, while the other is falling into further and further decline. The gradual closure and withdrawal of vital services, resulting in ever-greater migration of the young people to the cities, leaves many towns and villages in rural Ireland devastated and the remaining residents in utter despair.

If the present policy of centralising vital services to the larger towns and cities is to continue, this will have the effect of leaving vast swathes of our countryside desolated and de-populated.

Earlier this year the Government announced in Sligo, to great fanfare, 'The Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework', that will give a longer-term place-based expression to a resilient and sustainable future for rural Ireland. The trouble is it may already be too late.

Promises of future largesse are well and good, but it's the here and now that matters most urgently.

Simon and Garfunkel had a big hit with 'The Sound of Silence'. If the current situation is allowed to continue, much of the country will whistle along to that very same tune.

Tom Towey

Cloonacool, Co Sligo

Irish Independent

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