Letters to the Editor

Time for world's political leaders to show vision and leadership

In examining the future we must look to the past. As we watch the media today we are spoon fed more and more propaganda and fear of the unknown, that we should be afraid of the unknown and have full faith that our government is keeping us safe from the unknown. But by looking at the  media today, those of us who are old enough will be reminded of the era of Cold War news articles, hysteria of how the Russians would invade and how we should duck and cover under tables in our kitchens for the ensuing nuclear war. Under this mass hysteria all western governments were convinced that we should join western allies to fight the unknown evil that lies to the east. Later through my travels in Russia, during the height of the Cold War with a peace delegation, we were shocked by the poverty of the country and questioned how we ever were led to believe that Russia was a force to be afraid of. 

Many years later, when speaking to young Americans in the US, I was in disbelief about the fear the students had of Russia and their talk of invasion. This is a good example of how the unknown can cause a deep routed paranoia when manipulated by the right powers. 

All military is expensive, and we can see in Europe that the countries are reluctant to expand their military spending and find it hard to justify this to their people. In looking at this scenario we can ask ourselves what is beneficial about this hysteria and fear caused on both sides? All armies must have an enemy to deem them necessary. An enemy must be created and the people must be convinced that there is need for action to safeguard the freedom of their country. Right now, we can see a shifting of financial power from old western powers to the rise of the Middle East and Asia. Do we honestly believe that the western allies are going to give up their power? 

The old dying empires will fight tooth and nail to protect their financial interests, such as the petrol dollar and the many benefits that come through their power over poverty-stricken countries. 

I personally believe that Russia is not by any means without faults but the amount of anti-Russian propaganda is a throwback to the Cold War era. We must ask the question – is this leading to more arms, a bigger Nato? Possibly to challenge large powers in the Middle East and Asia, as we see the US approaching the South China seas and Nato Naval games taking place in the Black Sea. 

The demonisation of Russia is, I believe, one of the most dangerous things that is happening in our world today. The scapegoating of Russia is an inexcusable game that the west is indulging in. It is time for political leaders and each individual to move us back from the brink of catastrophe and to begin to build relationships with our Russian brothers and sisters. 

Nobel Peace laureate,


Irish Republic alone can actuate real change in Ireland

Today in Ireland, the top 1 per cent are not paying their way – that being their rightful contribution to the tax base and public purse. This, notwithstanding the pillaging of the Troika, is fundamental to the financial shortages hollowing out our public services.

Under the Irish Republic, there must and will be a real change in this regard, for the notion of the rich free loading off the people is an anathema to its fundamental basis – equal rights and equal opportunity, with the ownership of Ireland for the people of Ireland.

A ‘united Ireland’ that fails to uphold, though, the sovereignty and unity of the Irish Republic would stand to continue the counter revolution, which has held us in its thrall since the days of the Treaty.

As a revised continuum of the current system, which elevates capital over the common wealth, such an arrangement would be outside of republicanism. It would ensure that the standing order, whose primary function is to shield wealth from its obligations, would have forward status into a ‘new dispensation’.

Only a fresh start mounted on the 1916 Proclamation – which the constitutional process serves to usurp – can establish an Ireland as that now required. While constitutionalism offers the notion of change, it intends on preserving the established order on and into a supposed ‘new Ireland’, this at the expense of the Irish Republic.

There remains, then, no viable route to the Republic through the employ or internalising of established constitutionalism, of its political theory or its political means. There remains no other route to the Republic than to stand by its right to proceed – which is fundamental.

The constitutional process and the constraints it seeks to legitimise – which provide for the facade of change, not the means for its actuation – cannot deliver on equal opportunity in an Ireland belonging to her people, as was intended upon the formation of the Republic.

It cannot make good the grievous reality that the Ireland of today is an Ireland for the powerful, where ordinary people and communities must suffer that the rich and the privileged can go free. It is intended, instead, towards a further bulwark between the Irish Republic and vested power, whose roots lie in British imperialism. We must, thus, resist its allure.

A century forward from the founding of the Republic, there can be no disregarding of its political basis if we are seriously intent upon change – not if the Ireland we are set toward is to differ, in real terms, from that we already reside in.

Thomas Ashe Society, 
Omagh, Co Tyrone


Was the kingdom  ever united?

Rees Mogg fools no one when he says that Northern Ireland is as integral a part of the United Kingdom as is Somerset. If it is why wasn’t the UK defined as the United Kingdom of the British Isles in 1801? If it had been defined in that way the kingdom would have been defined as well and truly united. Such a definition wouldn’t have been acceptable to the Irish patriots of Henry Grattan’s parliament so a compromise was arrived at as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The and Ireland fractures the definition in two making Ireland an after-thought of the union and making the kingdom more federal than United.

With the devolution of legislative powers to regions of the kingdom with Tony Blair, the responsible scholarship of Professor Bogdanor of Oxford and of John Anderson, formerly president of the Forum of Federations and Professor Brigit Hatfield, professor of politics at Essex, all accept the quasi-Federal nature of the kingdom nowadays so Somerset is within the United Kingdom but Northern Ireland is a place apart from it. A politically irresponsible Rees Mogg can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but he can’t fool all of the people all of the time about the true nature of the kingdom in which Northern Ireland is an after-thought and a place apart.

Kilfennan, Co Derry


Ludicrous statement

When are these people from down south going to stop spouting their nonsense across the border, when it’s clear most of them don’t have a clue what they are talking about?

On September 14 we had Michael O’Flynn make the ludicrous statement that because this country was divided Ian Paisley was denied the chance to become some sort of ‘witch finder’ general, who would have challenged the abuse of power in the Church. 
To suggest that anyone would have taken seriously a zealot who spent years spewing out sectarianism and was responsible for most of the turmoil on our streets, is laughable.  

In future it would be wise to check the credentials of those you put forward as a shining light in society.

Coleraine, Co Derry

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