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Shame on TDs who refuse to do what voters asked for – and form a united government

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Back to work: The election is long over, the votes are counted, the results were in weeks ago – yet we somehow still do not have a government. Photo: Reuters

Back to work: The election is long over, the votes are counted, the results were in weeks ago – yet we somehow still do not have a government. Photo: Reuters

Back to work: The election is long over, the votes are counted, the results were in weeks ago – yet we somehow still do not have a government. Photo: Reuters

Children losing their childhood, day by day, week by week, month by month...

Stuck in cheap hotel rooms and bed and breakfasts by night, their families wandering the streets by day…

While the political parties posture about their political futures - not about the people, not about issues, though they say so.

We know the issues with homeless figures readjusted upwards to what they really are. We know there are about 800,000 people living in poverty. We know the state of the healthcare system and that it is mostly due to poor organisation and management.

Any one of the newly elected TDs could and should speak out.

All of the political parties, if they had a shred of interest in the people, should have been working day and night to form a government.

Shame on all of you 160 at this stage! Not good enough.

Any of you wouldn't have the decency to get back to me to discuss my plan for a united government, above the wretched party politics.

Every homeless child and family, every person on a trolley, every hungry person today and many suicides this week are on your heads, irrespective of your party affiliation or none.

Shame, shame, shame on you all. You should all be thrown out. It sickens me to see you having your premature celebratory parties.

We went to the bother of voting for you, now you might just go to the bother of forming a government, to urgently solve the problems you were so worried about pre-election.

Bang your heads together day and night or leave the people to decide again very soon in another election.

We are absolutely sick and fed-up at this stage with every single one of you.

Walter Ryan-Purcell

Killarney, Co Kerry

 

Women still have a long walk to freedom ahead

IT IS International Women's Day tomorrow. A very important day indeed.

A few words from Nelson Mandela's childhood in his book 'Long Walk to Freedom', with regard to how important meetings were conducted in one small South African village where he lived for a while, came to my mind and I quote: "Everyone who wanted to speak did so. It was democracy in its purest form.

"There may have been a hierarchy of importance among the speakers, but everyone was heard: chief and subject, warrior and medicine man, shopkeeper and farmer, landowner and labourer. People spoke without interruption and the meetings lasted for many hours.

"The foundation of self-government was that all men were free to voice their opinions and were equal in their value as citizens. (Women, I am afraid, were deemed second-class citizens.)"

Women's long walk to freedom goes on.

Brian McDevitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

 

Vulnerable and victimised still suffer agonies of war

MARCH 8 is, or was, the United Nations-designated International Women's Day.

We should ask whether this is just pointless tokenism given how relatively little progress has been made towards genuine equality for women internationally and even in Ireland.

Internationally, we have seen the US and Nato wage wars of aggression across the Middle East and north Africa using bogus humanitarian excuses, including liberation and equality for women.

The US has just signed a peace deal with the Taliban who are now likely to regain power in Afghanistan after almost 20 years of war, in which women and children have suffered catastrophically, and abuses and inequality of Afghan women will likely get even worse into the future.

Have the women of Libya been liberated by the Nato overthrow of the Libyan government? Have the women of Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Palestine been liberated by the United Nations, or by the United Nations' most powerful members?

Or has the United Nations stood idly and powerlessly by as its most powerful member states wage wars in contravention of its Charter?

In Ireland, some equality has been achieved but not nearly enough, especially in areas such as equality of earnings, the numbers of women in politics, and especially the almost total exclusion of women from the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church.

It's time to stop this tokenism and create real equality for all.

It's especially long past time to end unjustified wars where women and children are by far the most vulnerable and victimised.

Edward Horgan

Newtown, Castletroy, Co Limerick

 

History repeats itself after general election

PERUSING the letters page and the political correspondents of the Irish Independent for the past four weeks on the delay in formation of a new government, I have come to the conclusion the problem appears to lie with the fairytale called 'Programme for Government'. This is the spin sold to voters during canvassing, then discarded the moment a government has been formed.

I have been reading Colum Kenny's recently published biography 'The Enigma of Arthur Griffith: Father of Us All'. In showing the visionary dual mindedness of Griffith, Kenny illustrates clearly the narrow single-mindedness of today's Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael leaders and followers.

Little wonder they have been shooting themselves in the foot since February 8.

The words of the renowned philosopher George Santayana (1863-1952) need to be writ large in the party rooms at Leinster House: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia

 

Only Sanders can change US society for good of all

AFTER the Super Tuesday primaries in the United States, the losers bowed out of the race for the nomination of the Democratic Party's candidate for the presidency.

Having done this, they, to a person, endorsed Joe Biden, the establishment nominee.

It's clear that the result of the previous presidential election and the need of Americans now demand changes.

Unfortunately, as we have seen with Donald Trump, no changes have or will take place to alleviate the suffering of millions of Americans, irrespective of Trump's support by so many who trust him. The same will happen during the next four years if either Trump or Biden becomes president. They are two sides of the same coin.

What the suffering people of America need is the new brush that only Bernie Sanders will bring. Otherwise all will be the same and the suffering will continue.

Ciarán Clarke

Co Fermanagh

 

FG must not sleepwalk into alliance with FF

IN THE wake of the 2002 General Election which saw the election of just 31 Fine Gael TDs, Frank Flannery wrote a report that drove a series of reforms in the organisation and structure of the party.

Many would argue this same document acted as a road map for the party's electoral success during the past decade.

It is clear from the recent general election that the party urgently needs to devise a strategy that squares up to the dramatic fragmentation of our political system.

Such a process does not require, necessarily, that Fine Gael should slip quietly into the political wilderness of opposition given that after nine difficult years in government it is only separated from Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin by a hair's breadth.

Whatever path is chosen, however, it is difficult to envisage that any strategist worth his or her salt could advise Fine Gael to sleepwalk into an arrangement with the unreformed, catch-all policies of Fianna Fáil.

How can a political party that has predictably lost ground after a very challenging decade in office ignore the enduring electoral toxicity of the Soldiers of Destiny for the vast majority of those of working age in this Republic?

PJ O'Meara

Cahir, Co Tipperary

Irish Independent