How very fitting for these pandemic days are some of the lyrics of the late, great Leonard Cohen’s Waiting For The Miracle.
“Yeah, I don’t believe you’d like it
You wouldn’t like it here
There ain’t no entertainment
And the judgments are severe
The Maestro says it’s Mozart
But it sounds like bubble gum
When you’re waiting
For the miracle,
For the miracle to come.
“Nothing left to do
When you know that you’ve been taken
Nothing left to do
When you’re begging for a crumb
Nothing left to do
When you’ve got to go on waiting
Waiting for the miracle to come.”
Indeed, waiting for the miracle to come.
But it will. Eventually.
Rathfarnham, Dublin 16
‘Golfgate’ unveils ignorance of frailty of human nature
In light of the recent ‘Golfgate’ scandal, the following passage from Virgil’s Aeneid is well worth reflecting on: “Your task, Romans, and do not forget it, will be to govern the peoples of the world in your empire. These will be your arts – and to impose a settled pattern upon peace, to pardon the defeated and war down the proud.”
The scatter-gun firing of experienced politicians following one error of judgment, apart from evincing the Government’s merciless attitude towards mistakes, also unveils an ignorance of the frailty of human nature.
It would be a shame if prospective politicians were deterred from putting their names forward in future elections due to a fear of being eviscerated at the first fall.
At a time when our country needs leaders to step up to the plate, patience is needed, not condemnation.
Hogan’s work on Ireland’s behalf shouldn’t be forgotten
I listened with interest to the interview on RTÉ Radio 1 between Carol Coleman and Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland chief executive, and found it interesting and reassuring.
Although I believed it was appropriate that Phil Hogan resign, I had two concerns. Namely, would his resignation as EU trade commissioner have negative implications going forward as we reach the final negotiations on Brexit?
I was reassured to hear the role he played was less significant than I believed and the role played by Michel Barnier was far more important.
I was also struck by Talbot’s comment that over the past few years Hogan had been a strong force in supporting Ireland’s interests.
In a tumultuous two weeks when Hogan has (quite justifiably) had a difficult time, I support the reminder that before all this happened, he represented our country’s interests well.
Address with editor
Begrudgery played its part as commissioner cracked
In response to the letters by Mary Stewart, John Williams and Mary Matthews (Irish Independent, August 29) in support of Phil Hogan, perhaps there is a lot of truth in what they say.
When interviewed in America on the back of his success as the author of The Ginger Man, JP Donleavy replied: “Ireland is a country that has a small inbred population, with very many active begrudgers.”
Perhaps Hogan’s fate, even though it was mostly of his own making, is symptomatic of Donleavy’s observation.
Once again, we see the streak in Irish political culture that is swift and final and sees our greatest politicians fall on their own sword from Caesar-like treachery: “Et tu, Brute?” (Leo Varadkar is in the plot).
Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, Brian Lenihan, Albert Reynolds, Seán ‘The Doc’ Doherty to mention a few in recent years. Ye can have Boland, but you can’t have Fianna Fáil, etc.
As Reynolds said: “It’s the small things that trip you up.” Claire Daly on Prime Time has highlighted this with the inconsistencies in the different international circumstances of the pandemic regulations that he crossed wires with.
Although Hogan “delivered” to Ireland, he also did harm to it with the Mercosur deal, which may have implications for the future of farming and, of course, the rainforests of South America and its indigenous peoples.
In the end game, he cracked under pressure from his own kind. Call it downright opportunistic vindictiveness, or plain loftier-than-thou self-righteousness, there has to be an element of begrudgery also.
Donleavy would have loved to have seen his opinion of us manifest itself in such a feeding frenzy, played out on a world stage.
Ballymacurley, Co Roscommon