Letters to the Editor

Little Englanders who want to play John Bull politics totally out of tune

So Brexit will mean that British planes may fly to, say Paris, but cannot proceed onward to another European destination to drop off or pick up passengers. Not good news for British Airways but I can’t see it causing too many problems for Aer Lingus or Ryanair.

Boris Johnston, Jeffrey Donaldson and, for the moment, Arlene Foster, aren’t you brilliant. Forget about the free movement of people and goods; you have the real priorities of a disintegrating regime that has lost its place in the league of modern European nations determined to dismantle barriers and create a fairer distribution of wealth among its member states.

But Tories and DUP, you have forgotten something. This is not 1921 when partitioning of countries was the British way of creating division and sustaining power for themselves. Today Ireland and her 27 fellow European countries aren’t going to be dictated to by you and your quislings. Time has moved on and other countries are queueing to join the European Union. You are on your own and soon your supporters, that you take for granted, will begin thinking for themselves. That is what needs to happen and will happen when more of those voters realise that they have been taken for a ride for far too long; their votes taken for granted and their fears preyed upon to maintain the status quo by promoting sectarianism and division. 

Those who vote for the DUP are not bad people; they are ordinary decent families that trusted the judgment of their politician’s representatives and they have been sold a pup which rather than secure a prosperous and stable future will do the very opposite. It is already happening and over the next three months we may witness some of the most unstable periods in history and I am not talking about the resurgence of violence. That failed everyone.

The term ‘solidarity’ is closely associated with Poland but the sense of freedom that it generated many years ago in the Gdansk shipyards has not been forgotten and those who want to play ‘Little Englanders’ and live in a recluse of John Bull politics are totally out of tune with the modern Europe which is so necessary at a time when Putin would like to reassert his brand of repression and America is saddled with one of the greatest clowns in modern history.

Let us hope that out of bad politics, unhealthy coalitions and downright skulduggery there will emerge a new dawn just as it did in Poland’s shipyards where it lit a fuse of solidarity, friendship and genuine support for each other in an ever-changing world where good must increasingly compete with evil.

Perhaps this is best explained by the old Irish saying Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine which translated means: ‘under the shelter of each other people survive’. We need to survive, all of us, and Brixit is hardly the elixir of life or the oxygen that promotes survival.

SDLP, East Derry


Resentment from many at ‘voice of Catholicism’

So, the late Cardinal Daly resented  Gerry Adams, according to the declassified State papers (Cardinal Cahal Daly ‘resented that Gerry Adams was seen as voice of nationalism’, December 29).

And he told this to the British government before the 1994 IRA ceasefire.

Well, many of us resented that he was seen as the voice of Catholicism on the island of Ireland.

Needless to say, I never met the late cardinal, and never wanted to.

However, I was back in the north on August 2 1979, when it was made public that the Irish National Caucus had succeeded in stopping the sale of US weapons to the RUC. Consequently, we were very much in the news.

The late Fr Denis Faul came to see me. He had just been to see Cardinal Daly, then Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise. Fr Faul suggested

I should meet with Daly. I told him I had no wish to do so, but out of respect for Fr Faul, I consented and asked him to arrange it.

Fr Faul got back to me with Daly’s response: “It would not be good for the Catholic Church in Ireland for me [Bishop Daly] to be seen to meet with the Irish National Caucus.”

And, there, you have it in a nustshell: the ecclesiastical arrogance and clericalism (spiritual narcissism) that Pope Francis would later denounce.

So, it was OK for Cardinal Daly to be complicit in a system that covered up clerical sexual abuse of children in Ireland, but it would be bad for Catholicism for him to meet with the Irish National Caucus.

President Irish National Caucus
Washington, DC


Call for an end to ‘aid’ payments

Frank Glynn writes (December 31) that Ms Patel was responsible for the freezing of British financial aid to the Palestinians. Yet such aid continues today. British taxpayers are, by proxy, sending tens of millions of pounds to the Palestinian authority. This money then goes, not only to subsidise the lavish lifestyles of senior PA officials, but more disgracefully as payments to the families of individuals who carry out attacks and murder on innocent Jewish citizens.

As a taxpayer I vehemently object to my contributions being spent in such a manner, and call upon the British government to stop these ‘aid’ payments. I trust that others will write to their local MPs urging them to bring their influence to bear on the appropriate government departments and see these contributions to terrorism stop.

Belfast BT10 


Progress of a sort

When the DUP threw in its lot with the Brexiteers, against the wishes of the majority here, it was comforting to learn that their persistent and historic antipathy towards a united Europe is fuelled by issues of sovereignty, economic trade, fishing rights etc. I say comforting because I happen to recall the rhetoric of the late Dr Paisley and his colleagues claiming that the EU was a ‘Popish plot’ operating out of the Vatican. Its mission we were told was to undermine other member states and create a Catholic autocracy (to what end was never explained). 
So it’s good to hear Nigel and the  DUP are seeking to ‘free’ us from EU ‘dominance’ for purely ‘political’ reasons.  That’s progress of a sort ?

Belfast BT15


Height of arrogance

The BBC says it can not afford to give 75 year olds a free licence. This looks strange when they can afford to give their top executives 30 per cent of a pay rise. One of them is getting his salary hiked from £250,000 to £320,000. When one looks at this you might rightly think this is the height of arrogance. Maybe the BBC might have a change of heart even if they raise the free licence to people that have reached 100. Wouldn’t it be nice to be looking forward to that and getting a card from the queen also.

Cullyhanna, Co Armagh

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