New leader needs to get some clout in Brussels
* Over 30 years ago a certain British prime minister, on assuming office, made it her priority to claim back a large amount of money for the British exchequer that she claimed Britain was owed by the then EEC.
At first, her demands were ignored – that was until she started going over to Brussels and creating a scene every time she sat at the table facing the Eurocrats.
She would hector, harangue, and handbag them into the wee small hours of the morning as they struggled to stay awake.
Finally, one morning the Eurocrats had had enough of her hectoring and threw in the towel and gave her back "her money" as she used call it.
Now, if the Labour Party should elect Joan Burton as its leader, I suggest that it should issue her with an armour-plated handbag and dispatch her to euroland right away and unleash her upon the bankers and eurocrats and allow her harangue and hector them until their ears hurt.
Maybe, just maybe, they might for once put up their hands and admit that Ireland has been severely mistreated and wronged on the bank debt issue and admit that it's past time that this injustice was put right, because the Noonan/Gilmore 'Mr Nice Guy act' has had nil effect in relation to this critical issue.
BALBRIGGAN, CO DUBLIN
We've fallen out of love with EU
* There has been a seismic shift against the EU in its current form. The naysayers warned against the creep of a German-dominated political upper class governance of nations which has arrived, peaked and is now in terminal decline.
Those who still follow the light from Angela's smile are in that place where no political career should be – Unpopular Street, the street that leads to political oblivion.
The Labour Party is finished. And the Fine Gael party? How shall I put this? Fine Gael has a very simple view of how to keep its electorate onside. Blame Fianna Fail.
It seems that Enda has forgotten that he and his party, under his whipped leadership also voted for the bank guarantee; the people haven't. So when Enda blames Fianna Fail he is also blaming himself.
ATTYMON, ATHENRY, CO GALWAY.
Animals get a voice in Europe
* A major milestone has been achieved in the campaign for animal protection with the election to the European Parliament of a candidate standing for Holland's Party for the Animals (PvdD). Seven animal protection parties from around Europe had come together to promote a change in our overall attitude to animals, whether domestic, wild, laboratory-raised or farm livestock, and to seek representation in the European Parliament.
Among the alliance's objectives is the abolition of so-called cultural and traditional practices that cause immense suffering to animals, such as bull fighting, hare coursing, and fox hunting. Hopefully the presence of a strong voice for animals in the EU Parliament will hasten the end of these latter 'sports'.
For too long bulls have been tortured by men in garish costumes who stab them with razor-sharp lances and plunge swords into them. Anyone who objects is told that this is a cherished ancient custom.
And here in Ireland the capture and terrorising of hares for coursing, for human entertainment, has also had the banner of "tradition" wrapped around it.
Fox hunting too has latched on to the fig leaf of "culture", a label that softens its gory image despite the fact that it involves setting twenty or thirty hounds after one wild dog, all for an afternoon's human recreation.
The rising strength of the animal protection lobby in Europe is heartening, but the election of a Party for the Animals candidate will surely signal a new phase in the campaign to end blood sports in the EU.
The fightback is only starting
* This week in the Irish Independent, the economist Jim Power said that he was concerned for the economy of the EU and of Ireland in response to the rise of the Left and Right in the recent EU elections and the popularity of Sinn Fein in our local elections. Mr Power may know his economics, but he seems to be a bit rusty on his history.
Anybody with a modicum of common sense could have foretold of the disenfranchisement of the squeezed middle in society when their government tries to screw them for every penny to mend the mistakes of those whose only allegiance is to the greedy dollar.
The Irish people may not be marchers, but are not stupid either. The whole of Europe could fall into dangerous political upheaval, as written about by George Orwell and witnessed by those who lived between 1933 and 1945. The powers that be should be aware that if you kick a dog often enough he will turn on you.
Europe must respect diversity
* This week Michael Noonan announced 'new fiscal rules in Europe' which must be obeyed!! Timing!!!!!! We already have Irish people financially crucified because EUROPE SAYS SO!! We have Irish human issues being decided BECAUSE EUROPE SAYS SO!! We have Irish people looking in at their bogs unable to cut a sod of turf BECAUSE EUROPE SAYS SO!
We have thousands of hectares of Irish land hijacked to protect a hen harrier bird BECAUSE EUROPE SAYS SO! We have etc... etc... etc... BECAUSE EUROPE SAYS SO – and this is just Ireland!
The UK has spoken – what has Europe been saying to them? France has spoken – what has Europe been saying to them? We have treasured national cultures across Europe being trodden on, ignored and offended.
Mr Europe, tread warily! Respect our diversity and our cultures, which have been thousands of years in the making, or your members will dismember you!!!!
People have spoken through the ballot box on a grand scale!!!
EDENDERRY, CO OFFALY
Gilmore displayed his calass
* Two very different human characteristics in their manner of departure: Alan with arrogance, Eamon with dignity.
High stakes for Labour Party
* Labour happily going for a Burton?
In for a rude awakening
* Having listened to all the debates during the past few weeks, it strikes me that the winners of this election are confident of offering a political haven without accountability.
Confidence tends to be the feeling one has before knowing the facts.
PATRICKSWELL, CO LIMERICK
Ming is finally growing up
* As I watched Luck 'Ming' Flanagan celebrating his victory in the EU elections, wearing a well-tailored suit, I thought I was suffering from an hallucination.
Had the mushrooms I'd just eaten been of the magic variety? Hopefully when 'Ming' Flanagan attends the European parliament he will resist the adolescent desire for attention and dress with due respect for that institution.
HAROLD'S CROSS, DUBLIN