Letters to the Editor

Misrepresenting the will of the people a sorry state of affairs

 wonder if people have been following the political trends from around the world and these trends have a habit of catching on elsewhere. I am referring to the increase in the number of those elected replacing the far-right in their countries. If you take South Africa and President Zuma who rose to power in the beginning not having a patch on his pants to being the head of state and refusing to step down. Now he’s not the only one at this ‘malarkey’ – abusing position.

Putin thinks it a great idea to stay on forever because he is powerful enough and being accused by other countries of knocking people off and interfering in international elections. Trump thinks it’s a very good idea as he watches several heads of states in South America resisting democratic change and armed forces turning against the electorate to ensure their position is well assured.
It’s building up to a sorry state of affairs misrepresenting the will of the people.

These countries have lost all social outcomes they had and are looking into the abyss. What other country will have this thrust on them – the prospects of higher food costs; not having good health care; breakdown of their parliamentary system; from Syria to Venezuela across the globe  looking to find employment in another jurisdiction? They don’t seem to be answerable to anyone except to their own comrades. Yet people are without doubt being failed in their most basic rights.
It’s questionable if true democracy exists at all.

Where in the world would you have people elected for 20 years representing constituents that haven’t seen any real change in their social outcomes? People waiting to see hospital doctors have primary care denied because politicians have failed to ensure stability, creating further only division and derision among communities yet receive full pay without any blushes. Does this so-called democracy include also disrespect for the electorate? 

Belfast BT11


Crumbling rural roads impacting on tourist economy

As anyone who has journeyed through the historic Kingdom of Mourne in recent times will know that our roads are crumbling with dangerous potholes proliferating and many rural roads representing our most popular tourist routes in a state of near collapse.

The condition of our roads is not simply an inconvenience for motorists but is impacting our economy with tourists being deterred from visiting.

Such is my concern that I requested that my council seek a meeting with the permanent secretary for the Department of Infrastructure Mr Peter May in order to put my concerns directly to him.

Mr May thankfully agreed to a meeting which took place with myself and my Mourne area council colleagues on the March 9. I was desperately disappointed with Mr May’s response to our concerns.

More importantly Mr May offered absolutely no solutions for the problem.

It is a cause of great concern that the maintenance of our rural roads network should be so low in the priorities set by government here when roads are of such pivotal importance to developing our economy and ensuring the connectivity of everyday life.
Surely it is not beyond the expertise of our many civil servants to forensically examine government spend and identify the relatively small amount of cash that is needed to at least fill potholes and keep our roads safe even if they cannot afford to do a strategic redevelopment of our roads network at this time.

If we cannot have a functioning assembly to hold our civil servants to account then Secretary of State Karen Bradley must take control of the situation and immediately restore basic essential services like keeping our roads safe and in a fit-for-purpose condition.

Independent Unionist
Mournes District Electoral Area


Dallat’s lazy analysis

I can’t help but feel a little let down that a so-called nationalist politician (John Dallat MLA, March 13) would try to make points against Brexit by reducing his arguments to a bit of Russian bashing. For example, “the threat from Putin and Russia had never been more serious... Putin must be rubbing his hands with glee. Shame. Shame.” 

His lazy analysis would suggest he has taken the bait of the pro-war Eurocentric countries hook, line and sinker. Mindful of this era of fake news it would be wise to not heed everything one is told especially so when one of the main protagonists in this propaganda war, the UK, has shown here in Ireland, how adept it is at lying and pointing the finger.

We in Ireland are often minded to better understand the feelings and fears of our ‘enemy’ so as to ease divisions, future conflict, etc but alas it seems in John Dallat’s head at least, the fears and feelings of Russia are to be dismissed and mocked? Shame. Shame.

Armagh City


Abortion is about people

Describing planned changes to abortion laws in the Republic as a quantum leap for Ireland overlooks the fact that abortion is about people, mothers and unborn babies primarily and not nations or states specifically.

And even if it were a quantum leap for mothers, which is doubtful in the majority of cases, the only kind of quantum leap it would be for the unborn would be into existential oblivion. Maybe quantum leaps ain’t what they used to be?

Using extreme cases such as rape and incest, whatever about fatal foetal abnormality, to justify liberalisation is disingenuous.

Political parties too keen to jump on the politically correct neo-liberal bandwagon could end up losing their moral conservatives in their rush for power.

Baile Atha Cliath 


Let councils make local decisions

Desmond Devlin (February 27) has made a valid point, if Stormont is as dead in the water as people say it is then it’s time for local districts to make local decisions. If Moyle district wants Irish language schools, or street signs in Irish, or Gaelic quarters and all that comes with an Irish language act, then so be it. The same for South Down District, the same for Fermanagh/South Tyrone and Foyle, etc etc. Why should Irish people in the north east of this island suffer because of unionist opposition. At the end of the day unionists/loyalists have excluded themselves from this rich culture. In fact they have done everything they can to destroy what the indigenous people have carried on for thousands of years, and should have little or no say on this. 

Belfast BT15


SF talking to wrong people

Has Sinn Fein not learned by now that they are talking to the wrong people in power? They are only wasting their time talking to the DUP. The real chain of authority in the north is the Orange Order. 

There is an Orange Order castle in Lurgan, so get the big wigs of the Order round a table there and start negotiating with the real government of the six counties.

Lurgan, Co Armagh

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Letters to the Editor