Letters to the Editor

A vote not necessarily an endorsement of a party

I appreciate the points made by Ruth Scott (June 5) in reply to my letter declaring my decision to vote for the DUP after the results in the southern abortion referendum. Given my raw anger the letter was written with more heat than light and I hope to better explain myself here.
It is certainly true that the DUP are anti-Irish and The Irish News has often printed letters from me that describe their double standards on many issues.
However, a vote is not necessarily an endorsement of a party, but can simply be applied as a tool to affect an issue or issues closest to a voters heart. I consider abortion to be deliberate termination of our fellow human beings and fighting it trumps any of the unsavoury behaviour of many within the DUP. For me, Irish protection of the child in the womb was the most cherished aspect of my Irishness. It set us apart from the global holocaust of abortion and the drive toward treating human life as a commodity. The leering crowds of pro-abortionists celebrating the result made me ashamed of my country. The Irish nation has lost its way, in recent years, as it has been seduced by the cult of the easy and succumbed to the relentless siren call of the liber-nazis. There is no other pro-life party, here, to vote for. The SDLP are now making similar noises to what Sinn Féin did 10 years ago, at least in public. The Shinners disingenuous then about their ultimate goal of unrestricted abortion so as not to spook pro-life voters and I have to assume that the SDLP are heading the same way. Westminster may force the 1967 act on the north in which case I will no longer vote, but while the DUP have the power to keep the act away they will have my support. I hope that other pro-life people, religious or not, will do the same.
If we can save even one baby’s life then holding our noses at the ballot box will be worth it.
I hope that Ruth now better understands my reasoning and hope that she might consider doing the same.

GERARD HERDMAN
Belfast BT11

 

Most vulnerable humans need to be protected

I listened to The Nolan Show recently with the debate around abortion rights in Northern Ireland being the main topic. It seemed to me that the pro-abortion contributors consider anyone who differs from their opinion to be backward and not worth an opinion. Many also made the claim that men should not have any right to an opinion or comment on the abortion debate.

I also heard the same old argument about if you continue to make abortion illegal it will happen anyhow and could cost the lives of both the mother and foetus (which is ironic that they would be concerned for the unborn). So why not make it legal? If you use the logic that some will break the law then why not remove all laws? Why not legalise theft or assault or for that matter murder? After all no law has been able to stop these. But would anyone consider it right to remove these laws?

It also struck me how several contributors made statements that the foetus was not a human. I would like to know if it is not human then what is it? 

Then again when some propagate this belief that the unborn is just another medical condition such as cancer or flu it is easy for them to find in their minds that to remove the foetus  is just the same as treating a cancer or taking flu tablets.

If the pro-abortion lobby shout this long and hard enough then it must be so.

Well, I do have an opinion, as a man, and as a person who tries to have respect for all life from conception to death. The unborn (whether male or female) have no voice. But some of us will continue to  use our voices for them.
Just because some in the pro-abortion lobby can shout louder or try to denigrate and belittle those opposed to them this will not stop me from trying to defend the most vulnerable humans in our world.

MARTIN G McCAUL
Warrenpoint, Co Down

 

Shoppers around the world should say enough is enough

So Tom Kelly (June 4) does not care if his dates are the product of Israel and happily puts them into his basket. Tom won’t let SF decide his shopping basket contents. Has he no interest in the recent events in Gaza with more than 100 killed and thousands injured including numerous amputations? Does he have no concern for the 21-year-old Palestinian nurse Razan Najjar murdered as she tended the Palestinian wounded shot by israeli snipers? Are these not the actions of terrorists or does that label only apply to Palestinians? He states that he supports Israel’s right to exist. What about the Palestinian right to exist? He then states: “In some cases Palestinians are living in little more than an open air prison”. ‘Some cases’? Try almost two million Gazans crammed into a space the size of Fermanagh subject to an illegal air, land and sea blockade for more than 10 years by Israel. An area that the UN has deemed will be unliveable by 2020. What about the illegal settlements, home demolitions, child imprisonment and daily oppression in the West bank and east Jerusalem?

So keep on with your Israeli dates Tom but for anyone else remember the boycott tactics used against apartheid South Africa help end that regime and supporting an Israeli goods boycott will hopefully achieve even a modicum of justice for the besieged Palestinians. Western governments pay only lip service to the plight of the Palestinians but in some small way the ordinary shopping public around the world can say – enough is enough.

SIMON ARTHERTON
Belfast BT8

 

Women in north being treated unfairly

IIreland’s May 25 referendum result was a clear mandate to make sexual reproductive health services more comprehensive and accessible. The result was a cause for celebration because the Eighth Amendment has forced women to access abortion care abroad or risk a 14-year prison sentence when attempting to control their own fertility. Women’s lives have been lost and their human rights have been infringed. Restrictive abortion laws do not stop women from needing access to abortion care, rather women are forced into making possibly dangerous decisions about their health. Men rarely, if at all, are forced to make such decisions about their health. Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws must now be brought in line with the rest of the UK. The onus is on politicians opposing abortion law reform to explain why women in Northern Ireland should be treated unfairly and why they should be forced to seek care in England, Scotland or possibly Ireland. 

Dr BEN KASSTAN
University of Sussex,  Brighton

 

Sensible proposal

Janice Gault, chief executive Northern Ireland hotel federation, is to be commended for highlighting the potential positive boost a Vat reduction could deliver to her industry. (Business Insight June 5)

Increased employment opportunities, wages instead of benefits and extra disposable spend.

I trust there will be a speedy but positive decision to this proposal. The protracted and prolonged corporation tax reduction debate yielded zero benefit. Our local politicians have minuscule economic sense or vision. 

As in so many areas of business activity and taxation innovation the Republic is now seven years ahead in the Vat tourism reduction stakes. 

BRIAN WILSON
Craigavon, Co Armagh 

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