The people of Ireland cannot take more taxes
* "There is no one more sorry than I about what happened." A truly unsolicited statement from Brian Cowen. What is it that happened? And why be sorry?
Just about everyone in the country could utter that statement. Some could probably even do it without empathy. We are all very sorry about what happened. But we didn't make the decisions that caused 'what happened'. Or did we, through our democratic voting system? We are where we are, aren't we? Going forward?!
Nero should, hypothetically, be sorry and held to account for the fumbling he did while Rome burned. Responsible individuals here should be sorry and be held to account in Ireland for the fumbling they did while the bankers did not burn. More importantly the present Government should stop fumbling now while people are being burned.
The people of Ireland cannot take more stress and strain from more charges, tolls, excises, levies, tariffs, licence fees, duties and other taxes just to keep them in their roles.
It cannot continue – house tax and non-principle private residence tax; water tax; septic tank tax; television licence tax; value added tax tax; car tax; pay as you earn tax; capital gains tax; pay related insurance tax; deposit interest retention tax; stamp duty tax; bank card and cheque tax; capital acquisitions tax; corporation tax; discretionary trust tax; carbon tax; tobacco tax; alcohol tax; universal social charge tax, should I go on attacking a tax?
Maybe some of us would prefer to have some more cavemen and cavewomen living in the country along with the iPadmen rather than the free and easy gombeenmen who wrecked our homeland and our means of living.
The should-be ostracised erstwhile aficionados of the gombeenmen who, with their priviliged careers, benefited from the country's financial rise and massive collapse are still living off the bodies of the living humans who can't afford to leave and are too overwhelmed to fight back in this once-upon-a-time land of saints and scholars.
Glencar, Co Sligo
ANY ROOM ON LIFEBOAT?
* It is nice to know that the captain of our little ship of State regrets running her up on the rocks.
But it would be a bit more convincing if he and all the other 'crew' members involved would, even now, agree to share a little more of the emergency supplies and empty spaces in their luxury lifeboat with all the unfortunate and (financially) half-drowned 'passengers' still left struggling in the water . . .
George Mac Donald
Gorey, Co Wexford
* Taoiseach Brian Cowen has admitted 'as Gaeilge' that his government had no Plan B. We all know now that the previous incumbent didn't even have a Plan A!
Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim
A TRUE GENIUS
* True genius: So seldom do we see one, and yet can be so sure.
Seamus Heaney RIP.
Rockshire Road, Waterford
* On the last day of August, the day after Seamus Heaney died, I was at hurling training. There must have been 100 people there, five-year-olds to teenagers, many parents and mentors. Nobody mentioned his name.
There was talk of the club lotto, All-Ireland hurling tickets, the weather, attire, a seven-year-old wanted to know when the emigrant free-taker was returning. Patrick Kavanagh wrote, "Gods make their own importance".
* I once told Seamus Heaney that I regarded him as the second Sandymount-man to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He chuckled and said in his countryman's way: "I never thought of it that way."
Anthony J Jordan
Sandymount, Dublin 4
RESPECT FOR WORKERS
* Jim Larkin must surely be turning in his grave at the comments of 'Labour' Party Junior Minister Alex White, clapping himself and his party colleagues on the back for making 'stark choices' while mass unemployment, unpayable debt, forced emigration and a refusal to transform the system that created the crisis prevail.
It is clear that, 100 years after the 1913 Dublin Lockout, capitalism still behaves with the same contempt for workers' rights.
The only difference between then and now is the Labour movement's collusion in protecting corporate profit and the profit system, and treating people like a commodity.
The 1913 Lockout was not the biggest defeat of organised labour in Irish history. That thrashing has happened by stealth, with the gradual and, ultimately, abject betrayal by the Labour Party of our working people, the unemployed, pensioners and the poverty-stricken.
There is no doubt that 'Big Jim' would have been horrified at the antics of a Labour Party that hacks away at hard-earned workers' rights; that stands over a situation whereby workers who worked all their lives are forced to occupy their workplaces to achieve justice in relation to their redundancy payments and those seeking redress for unfair dismissal at the Employment Appeals Tribunal have an average wait of over a year.
A Labour Party that has acknowledged the increasing use of unpaid internships and zero-hour contracts but has done nothing to protect and support workers who are being taken advantage of.
In short, a Labour Party that has done more to wipe out union representation in Ireland than William Martin Murphy could ever have dreamed of.
John Halligan TD
Leinster House, Dublin 2
* My dearest wife is in a pickle, RTE has told us her beloved Sean O'Rourke will take to the radio in what was Pat Kenny's slot at 10am and then we have Pat's first show on Newstalk at the same time.
OUR ENLIGHTENED LAWS
* According to David Quinn, unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law of (his) god (Irish Independent, August 30).
This logic means that laws on divorce, contraception, homosexuality and the recently introduced law on abortion are all unjust laws.
Fortunately, we live in an age where enlightened civil law enjoys precedence over all gods.
Cobh, Co Cork
* David Quinn must be corrected for stating that Abraham Lincoln would profoundly disagree with strict adherence to civil law rather than invocation of some 'higher law' when faced with moral quandaries.
In fact it was Lincoln's secretary of state, WH Seward, who first invoked a 'higher law' inspired by the 'creator of the universe' in his anti-slavery presidential campaign speeches rather than the pragmatic Lincoln who held fast to the US constitution in his efforts to end slavery without fragmentation of a fragile union.
Perhaps Mr Quinn was mistaken or perhaps he just delivered a Quinnspin!
Tralee, Co Kerry