It can’t be just myself who’s noticed the lockdowns have contributed to a sense of sinister foreboding on the near-deserted streets as we go about with uncertainty.
That it could go on like this far into the future does indeed show we can be manipulated and conditioned into living in fear of the unknown and not just of this current pandemic.
This ‘new world order’ would go against our natural instincts and capacity to think freely, especially when much of what is feared is now copper-fastened under political legislation and law.
‘Freedoms’ are taking on a wholly different and unwelcome meaning as we try to live according to existing civic restrictions which appear long-term in their application.
It is easier now for governments to proceed without having to refer to written constitutions, for example.
Let’s talk about what is happening and where we are being steered before asking the questions becomes considered anti-social and a cause for censorships to be increased.
Bantry, Co Cork
WE NOW have confirmation that Ulster Bank is winding down the business in Ireland.
The knowledge of the possible closure was available some months ago, yet in the meantime Ulster Bank continued to advertise its mortgages and services, presumably in an attempt to increase its value.
Amid fears loans will be sold to ‘vulture funds’, our Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe is reputed to be considering legislation to prevent sales of loans to such funds.
AIB (‘AIB is ready to buy Ulster Bank’s ‘crown jewel’ business loan book’, Irish Independent, February 19) and Permanent TSB, two State-owned banks, have expressed interest. There is no guarantee they will not later sell non-performing loans to vulture funds who will expect to buy them at a discount, which will not be passed on to the benefit of mortgage holders expected to fulfil the full terms of the loans, possibly with higher interest rates.
The Government seems prepared to support the purchases by investing public funds, which represents another bailout of the banks and indeed of Ulster Bank.
Surely the pathway for Ulster Bank customers is to remove their deposits, cease loan repayments and negotiate with Ulster Bank to gain the discount any loan book customer can achieve.
Dromahair, Co Leitrim
THE World Day of Social Justice comes when our world is fraught with perils, from poverty to gender inequality, unemployment, social exclusion and grave human rights violations.
It comes as Uighurs in China experience mass rape of women, forced sterilisation, torture, persecution and collective incarceration, all intended to deter terrorism under the eyes of a world standing idly by.
Hasn’t time come to learn the lessons of the Holocaust, promote human rights, demolish religious, ethnic and racial barriers and support the disabled, the elderly and the most marginalised in our societies?
Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
IT IS strange how events permeate us as though we were sieves.
During the boom so many previously non-banking people started to speak like venture capitalists and came to see their houses not as homes but as investments, and became mesmerised by rising property prices and interest rates. We know how that all ended.
Now with Covid, everyone seems to be rapidly donning their ‘pharma’ hat, having acquired in the past 11 months an intimate knowledge of chemicals, vaccines, lab procedures and an understanding of the supply chain and logistics of vast multinational corporations.
Lidl and Aldi should really consider doing a budget line in lab wear just to lend an authentic touch to all the amateur hypothesisers and satisfy their need for a bit of added gravitas as they proselytise with the fervour of the newly converted to a creed they barely understand.
I just met a local fella on the road, a man whose knowledge of pharma up until a year ago wouldn’t have stretched much further than his hissing Sunday morning prayer to St Solpadeine.
I asked him how he was and he says: “We’re waitin’ on the Pfizer, the Pfizer’s the only one that’ll do it!
“They can keep their Astro Zennicks, it’s no good, it’d be like puttin’ sh**e batteries into a great toy! Know what I mean?”
Billy O Hanluain
Kimmage, Dublin 12