Letters to the Editor

British Empire appears to be going back to the Dark Ages

My goodness, the empire has lost its crown. The British Empire – comprised of dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories – appears to be going back to the Dark Ages when it was common place to dig up the roads left by the Romans and leave nothing in their place. 

Today the former empire is represented by a bunch of educated idiots who can’t see beyond Tower Bridge and believe the world – or at least the EU – should be continually on bended knee responding and adjusting to their every demand. What fools. Who in their right mind would allow themselves to be captive to the DUP, Boris Johnson and a bunch of right-wingers who appear to believe the world is flat where nothing exists beyond their little empire in which the rich get richer and the poor become homeless?

Yes, I know levels of literacy and numeracy are a problem in Britain, skills are in short supply but surely the political leaders are not advising intelligent people to going back to painting their bodies blue? I am not so sure.

On the other side of the European Union there are countries which until recent years lived under repressive regimes but are now free and hoping to join the European Union for many reasons and not least the solidarity it offers against the dreadful tyranny they experienced under Russia and its allies. Surely Putin must be rubbing his hands in glee as he sees the stability of the EU threatened by the withdrawal of Britain. Where next will he go after the overrun of the Crimea? Will it be Georgia or Armenia perhaps? Who knows.

Closer to home do the Tories seriously believe that Ireland, one of the strongest advocates of the European Union, is going to be betrayed by the other 27 countries simply to keep the DUP content to live in a past which failed everyone and benefited only the few. Who seriously wants to reward those who abuse power, take luxury holidays on the cheap, grant-aid money-making burners, finance organisations controlled by paramilitary gangs and do all this while refusing to participate in a power-sharing assembly? Sorry this is not the real world and doing it when education and health is in crisis and homelessness is no longer an issue for Belfast and Derry alone but emerging in towns and villages across the north is unforgivable. 

The European Union poured millions into this part of Ireland as part of what was intended to be a peace process uniting people pulled apart by sectarian violence and repressive regimes and we should never forget that. Biting the hand that fed us is not a good idea but does anyone seriously think the Tories give a hoot?

SDLP, East Derry


Explanation still sought for scene on Knock window

I am unfamiliar with the Eucharistic miracles in Poland and Argentina, referred to by JDP McAllion (November 21).

He tells us that they were verified by science. So unless the definition of a miracle has changed they cannot therefore be classified as miracles. Miracles are the foundations and bedrock of all religions. They are outrageous stories that still enjoy exclusive exemption from the bright glare of reason and the rigours of scientific investigation.

They provide religious sanction for reports about talking snakes, an original man and woman, rising from the dead, calming of storms, a man living in the belly of a whale and an apparition in Knock.

Such stories have no more basis in fact than the existence of fairy godmothers and leprechauns on Divis Mountain. And no basis exists for any reasonable discussion about their verity or otherwise – especially in the letters column of a reputable newspaper.

JDP also refers to the Shroud of Turin. But the tools of science, which he insists supports the claims made by religion, have proven this to be a fake.

The witness accounts of the incident at Knock do make reference to the dryness of the wall after heavy rainfall, which he claims. But who tested that wall and how much of it was tested? And the final version of this story came from Archdeacon Cavanagh himself –  the probable chief organiser of this mischief – and who was appointed by the Church to carry out the enquiry.

After rainfall a gable wall could be completely or partially dry depending upon the direction of the wind and rain.

But I repeat the question to JDP that I raised in my last letter. How does he explain the scene at Knock etched on a church window in Ballyhaunis at the time of this event?

Belfast BT11


Humankind needs to save the earth

Thanks to humankind the course of destruction of our environment has been set. Arrogance and a refusal to live within the laws of nature, population control, balanced use of resources and respect for our living space, sees the human race and our allied non-human species  swimming up the proverbial creek without a paddle. 

Ireland, as a country, is as ever behind the curve in facing this Armageddon. 

Lacking a political class to lead and deal with the issues that seep into every aspect of our life on this island. 

Tugging at the hem of the climate change issue is not political action.  

As a society we need to buy into measures, no matter how lifestyle changing and financially extracting, as a commitment towards saving our environment. 

This is serious. As humans we must look to ourselves to make changes in our way of living as a micro-action deposit in the account of the next human generation, if that should come to pass. 

The usual tropes of saving the planet apply.    

Adopt a minimalist lifestyle; remove animal-based products from your diet;  reduce your travel footprint and recycle/upcycle. Each action sends out a ripple that laps up on the boundary of another action thus creating an unstoppable wave. 

Failure to translate chance into action is simply not an option.

Fews, Co Waterford


A new departure

There was a time when the word ‘socialism’ was always on the lips of Sinn Féin back in the day – coupled with those of the republic.

Never heard now from them since they joined the gravy trains of the Dáil and Stormont – where they appear to get paid even while there is no government in Northern Ireland.

Nice work if you can get it.

Socialism always takes on a more abstract nuance when the goal and delight at personal monetary and personal advancement lift elected folk out of being the ‘penniless deserving’ they still purport to represent but in different more temperate language. ‘The poor’ and ‘marginalised’ no longer apply to themselves as the heroic badge of honour which Sinn Féin once claimed for themselves alone.

A new departure.

Bantry, Co Cork


Compromise key element of democracy

Harry Stephenson (December 10) states that it is ‘our’ prime minister’s duty to take Britain out of Europe. He contends that a ‘democratic’ referendum was held for the people to decide.
One problem which Harry fails to address is that Northern Ireland (part of the UK but not Britain) voted to stay in Europe, as did Scotland and other areas of Britain. Harry, no doubt, would argue that it was a whole of the UK vote. Surely, it should be acknowledged that Theresa May has sought a compromise,  not everyone can have their own way, and compromise is a key element  of democracy. Would Harry also accept that in 1918 a vast majority of people in Ireland, through a democratic vote in a UK General Election, overwhelmingly expressed a desire for complete Irish independence? Did the British prime minister of the time have a duty and responsibility to allow Ireland to leave the UK? 

Co Antrim

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