Letters to the Editor

Despite near-catastrophic damage May's ship is still afloat

While the other 27 EU commanders sit with their arms crossed and legs akimbo, bemusedly observing the shenanigans going on in London, Capt Wobbly has been busy filling in the 432 shell holes in the wrecked hull of HMS Brexit with all-purpose exterior Polyfilla. The freight company, Seaborne-No-Ferries, has been threatening to sue the government for wilful damage to its promised asset but Failing Grayling, the transport secretary, has assured the firm that they can still have what’s left of the unfortunate vessel if they can manage to salvage it from the bottom of the English Channel on March 29.

Remarkably, despite suffering such near-catastrophic damage to her ship, Capt May has managed to stay afloat and is preparing to put to sea again on another doomed mission.  Buoyed up by a slim majority of 16 hands from her mutinous crew, Wobbly is determined to set sail for Brussels to entreaty that the other EU commanders give her what her hardmen Brexmuteers demand – an end to – or a substantial legal change to – the ‘hated’ backstop. 
The Dupers have said they don’t care what she comes back with, so long as they can get one over on the Shinners and those two troublesome boyos in Dublin. Wobbly is not at all certain that she can succeed in her mission, especially since she has been repeatedly told by the EU admiralty that it will not renegotiate the terms of surrender she has already signed up to. Nevertheless, she is willing to give it a go – anything for a quiet life and some respite from the constant haranguing match on board her ship.

Knowing she will not succeed, the crafty Brexmuteers Rees-Mogg and Johnson conspire with the Dupers to lay the blame for the impending disaster firmly at the door of the “intransigent EU” – especially that shower in Dublin. Calculating no-one will spot their ruse, they ‘helpfully’ vote to send Capt May off on a suicide mission, knowing that, by her failing, they can run the clock down further to the coveted no-deal crash they have long yearned. But Wobbly is not to be hoodwinked. She knows she will not succeed in getting the backstop removed and plans taking her revenge on the mutineers by convincing the EU commanders to revert to the original backstop which covered Norn Iron only. That’ll teach the Dupers she gleefully sniggers to herself.

So busy have the Dupers been to please their Tory hard-right masters, it has yet to dawn on them that in scrapping to win the backstop battle, they have taken their eye off the overall strategy to win the ‘Precious Union’ war. By lifting the lid on the Pandora’s box that is the desire for Irish unity, they have unleashed a potent force across nationalism that now will refuse to be ever
boxed again.
As Prof Jim Dornan remarked after the Waterfront conference last month it is something the DUP will come to rue. That’s not a threat, just a fact.  

Omagh, Co Tyrone


South Down will say no to nuclear waste dump

For many years the people of south Down fought successfully against the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site from being used as a location for the storage of the world’s nuclear waste. Sellafield is just situated across the Irish Sea from Co Down and still reprocessed the world’s nuclear and dirty waste – we don’t want this anywhere near our precious environment.

We are also now aware that the British government is now pursuing other geologically suitable sites in Northern Ireland such as the Newry, Mourne and Down area.

If Sellafield was not considered suitable then the south Down area is definitely not suited for probably the same reasons. Both the Mournes and Sellafield are situated on the same geological fault line which would make our area totally unsuitable to dump the world’s reprocessed nuclear waste which would travel here from Sellafield across the Irish Sea – if there was ever a minor tremor or earthquake through the shifting of tectonic plates.
The Mournes is also an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sellafield is situated beside the Lake District  National Park.

Consultation with the public and local communities has been sporadic.

The message to the British government is loud and clear – we do not want the world’s reprocessed nuclear waste stored in a dump in our area. We want measures to protect and develop our environment that complements the needs of our rural and urban communities in Co Down.
I await to hear what measures the government have to do just that, and what action the Irish government, as a co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, will take to prevent the dumping of such dirty nuclear waste on the island of Ireland.

SDLP,  former MP for South Down


UK’s dilemma is Republic’s opportunity

Never in the field of political conflict has such a number of inept self-serving politicians assembled under the roof of the so-called mother of parliaments. As a result of the Brexit fiasco people in the north of Ireland must surely now realise that the English Hooray Henry’s masquerading as politicians will return to the shires and not give a rat’s tail about this state other than being kept in power by the Democratic Unionist Party.

The UK has been kicked from pillar to post by the EU, aided and abetted by the BBC, and still they don’t get It. The back stop stays. Two years of negotiating by nincompoops who want to have their cake and eat it.
Rees- Mogg described Taoiseach Varadkar as a rather lightweight Irish gentleman. Well his government has succeeded in making the taoiseach, a man bereft of any statesmanship, appear gargantuan. The UK’s dilemma is the Republic’s opportunity.
And why not?

Derry City


Palestine belongs to Palestinians

Martin Stern (‘Tendentious claims’, January 4) states that Arabs are not indigenous because their “very names betray their foreign origins”. The name Stern does not sound like the most Middle Eastern name you will ever hear. Nor does that of Bennet or Litzman (both Israeli government ministers), or Segal or Mileikowsky, the birth names of Israeli PM Netanyahu’s parents.  

Israel can be said to be a European colonial enterprise founded and maintained by the shedding of Palestinian blood. Whether or not the Ashkenazim, who constitute the majority of Israeli Jews, are ancestrally connected to that land or not becomes irrelevant. Although the Jewish faith is tied to Palestine, it has no more rights there than does Christianity or Islam. Palestine belongs to Palestinians.

Ballynahinch, Co Down


Alternative to present Brexit chaos

I would firstly wish to state that I am completely opposed to the right-wing pro-Brexit politicians, including the DUP.

However, I am also equally opposed to the right-wing free market policies of the EU. It now seems to be forgotten that in March 2011, the European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet, warned the Irish   minister for finance Michael Noonan that “an economic bomb would go off in Dublin if he pursued the option of imposing losses on senior bondholders”.  

In 2014 the ECB also ignored the democratic wishes of the Greek people who in a referendum voted comprehensively to reject the EU’s austerity programme for their country.

The only alternative to the present state of chaos in the EU is the creation of a new democratic union, one based on equality and justice and not profit and prejudice.

Tralee, Co Kerry

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