Tuesday 10 December 2019

No means Yes

• Dear Enda and Gerry, the brother and myself are trying to figure out what way to go this week, and to tell you the truth, we're horrid confused. The brother says that we should listen to Enda and vote Yes! If we don't, says he, we'll get no more money from Angela and that's what's keeping the show on the road.

The brother says that, according to Enda, the Government is doing a fine job and things are "on the mend". He says that we have to vote Yes so we can have a kind of insurance policy, in case things aren't really on the mend and it all goes belly-up again.

If we vote Yes, says he, all the people who want to invest in Ireland will be put at ease and will have no bother bringing over their shillings and dollars, giving us all jobs and getting us back on our feet again.

Well, I says to the brother that trying to get people to sign a treaty for us to borrow more money as things get worse, whilst at the same time telling everyone that things is getting better, is hardly going to inspire confidence for investors?

If a man was going to buy your tractor you would hardly tell him that "she is going great, but any second now and she'll be banjaxed altogether".

Well, the brother thought about that, and now he reckons that if we want to "bring jobs to Ireland" the best thing to do is to vote No and that will show all the foreign investors that things are really on the mend, as Enda is fond of telling us.

The brother is a big believer in Enda and so for the sake of the Yes he is going to vote No. What is more, the brother says that if Enda is certain things are really on the mend he should vote No himself.

So then I says to the brother that I'm going to vote No on account of what Gerry says about "giving the Germans control of the country" and letting them tell us how much we should be cutting from wages and services in order to pay off the shillings that somebody owes to the bank men and bondholders.

Well, the brother starts laughing and he says that I'll be on my own with my No vote as most of the other No voters are gone out of the place on account of not being able to find work! So I said to the brother that it doesn't matter if I'm on my own, I'm with Gerry.

So the brother starts up in a fit of laughing and he says to me, "if the Government is not to be trusted with managing the economy, then Gerry should vote Yes and let the Germans do the job until he gets in the driving seat".

Well I had a think about that, and be-God I think the brother is right! We would be better leaving the job to the Germans, as our own have made a right mess of things, and if Gerry really believes that the present lot are making a dog's dinner of it then he would be better voting Yes himself.

So there you have it, the brother is with Enda and the Yes men so he'll be voting No; and I'm with Gerry and the No men so I'll be voting Yes!

Dr Marcus de Brun
Rush, Co Dublin

• I agree with the article quoting John Bruton on the fiscal treaty in the Irish Independent on May 29. Sinn Fein and others, including Shane Ross, think the whole world stands by while we Irish make up our minds about what we want to do, after having been so reckless and disgracing ourselves, and living under the illusion of being a wealthy nation.

Who do we think we are? A bit of self-examination might be appropriate and we should not behave like a lot of Irish young people in Australia who seem to turn off everybody.

Those fiscal rules are already there under the Maastricht Treaty, only this time they will have the force of law -- and a pity we did not have them a few years ago when all control and regulation collapsed.

As for Mr Ross, he wants to vote No, so that he may vote Yes later, I laugh so that I may not cry -- shades of St Augustine?

As for possible future funding, Sinn Fein and others say that money will come from somewhere -- shades of Mr Micawber, something will turn up.

A Yes vote will be my option; No is like jumping into the swirling sea on a dark winter night.

Brendan Cafferty
Ballina, Co Mayo

• I remember back in the 1970s and 1980s, when Sinn Fein nicknamed Ian Paisley 'Dr No', as that was his answer to practically anything that was put on the table. It was said by Martin McGuinness at the time: "If the word no was taken from our vocabulary Paisley would be rendered speechless."

How ironic is it now, that the 'No' word is all we hear from those very same people?

Sean McPhillips
New York City, USA

• This treaty is being sold to us on the tantalising prospect that it will lead to balanced Budgets in the future, but the more important consequence of this treaty is that it provides the building blocks for fiscal union throughout the eurozone (in other words, tax and spend policies for individual member states eventually being set by the bureaucracy in Brussels).

The notion of "fiscal transfers" (handouts from productive countries of the eurozone, such as Germany for example, to less productive ones) from the "core to the periphery" (Ireland has typically been lumped into the "periphery" category), within a fiscal union, has been spoken of as a long-term solution to the cultural inconsistencies of the eurozone.

However, my strongly held view is that this fiscal union would be a very bad idea for Ireland because it would likely turn our small country into a dependency state, a recipient of "fiscal transfers" which would take the place of national industry, enterprise and most of all, national pride. It is for this reason that I must vote No.

John B Reid
Monkstown, Co Dublin

• Bruce Arnold's article (May 28: "I still believe in you, Enda, but on this issue you are lost") points to a major reason for our current mess. We keep electing leaders based on them being slightly less unpopular than the other lot, rather than them being qualified for the job.

They get in based on promises, then depend on advice from unelected civil servants and highly paid consultants and the net result is that they still don't seem to know what they're doing.

From Cowen and Lenihan selling us down the river to save the euro, to Kenny's point-blank refusal to debate the very confusing decision before us now, they seem nothing more than kids pretending to be adults. Kids on huge pocket money.

The centenary of 1916 will shortly be upon us, a date significant to the patron saints of both government parties, Michael Collins and James Connolly. They must be turning in their graves to see the ineptitude of our recent and present leaders.

Jack Walsh
Capel Street, Dublin 1

Irish Independent

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