Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: If Arlene had respect for people of north she would send Boris packing

Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson met DUP leader Arlene Foster at Stormont last week. Picture by Niall Carson/PA

This part of the world doesn’t need silly little side shows from Little Englanders at a time when the very fabric of society is breaking down because we have no assembly and little evidence that there will be one.

Johnson and Hunt may be correctly described as a novelty act but there is nothing funny about their pathetic interpretation of a future for the island of Ireland when Britain leaves the European Union without a backstop.

The reality is that Brexit cannot happen because there is no workable solution to managing a border in Ireland which doesn’t economically bankrupt both parts and create political instability on a grand scale.

We are now 20 years into signing the Good Friday Agreement which was based on the common premise that we would continue to be part of the European Union with all the advantages that it offers in terms of financial support, breaking down barriers, creating free movement of people, trading without tariffs and, not least developing a stable and peaceful society which other countries, still outside the EU, want to be part of.

Why on earth would we want to go back through the tunnel of time to a period dominated by a failed empire that left a legacy of injustice and instability in its wake?

Ireland today still bear the scars of a divided past which needs to be healed. Why should it allow old wounds to be reopened rather than continuing to reach out to a world far beyond the borders with Muff and Derry or Belcoo and Blacklion?

For the last 20 years we were very much part of that change and any idea that a tour round Stormont by Boris Johnston and Arlene Foster is going to change people’s thinking is wishful thinking. Why should our politics be contaminated by the behaviour of a fractious Tory party and the victims of the shenanigans going on in it in the name of politics?

The Good Friday Agreement is not just a historical document; it is work-in-progress and the product of many people’s endeavours to achieve a final and lasting peace in Ireland. The work of John Hume, Seamus Mallon and others is in stark contrast to the moral cowardice of Johnson and his cohorts running scared of Farage and other right-wing nationalists.

If Arlene Foster has any respect for the people of the north, she would send him packing and focus her mind on helping to end the current political instability which endangers the Good Friday Agreement and has the potential to set back light years the progress that was made by people of courage and political foresight. She needs to stop being a problem party and one that reaches solutions.

The link with the EU is central to our future and any idea of a reinstituted border is anathema to anyone who wants to move forward – be part of a progressive world and cease living in a past that failed everyone.

JOHN DALLAT MLA
SDLP, East Derry

 

Civil servants should talk up opportunities after leaving EU

The Department for the Economy report headlining 40,000 jobs in jeopardy over Brexit is alarming. No wonder business, manufacturers and farmers’ leaders are overly concerned. It begs the question what are the Civil Service actively doing to protect against the alleged risk?
Seldom do we read reports from our top civil servants highlighting the opportunities of joining the World Trade Organisation.

When mayhem is predicted the public deserves to hear what plans are in place to cover every eventuality Brexit brings. Economically, socially and security wise what steps are in place to avoid anxiety? What assurance has been secured from the local banking fraternity ensuring that they will cope with the stress suggested? What remedies are the departmental gurus initiating to take commerce through the sustained period of downturn impacting according to their forecasts?

These establishment elitists have failed to demonstrate any work done by them to prevent the Irish border backstop; failed to show what they have accomplished in stopping Northern Ireland from being shunted into an EU satellite annexed from the UK and controlled by Brussels. Will they extend their scaremongering by reporting which authority the civil servants will be accountable to in the event of Northern Ireland being forced into a customs union – the British Government or the European Parliament? How about talking up the new opportunities from being part of an independent nation in control of its own destiny .

DAVID McNARRY
Strangford, Co Down

 

Controlling violence for political ends

I wonder is the threat of a hard border and a return to violence in Northern Ireland being used to dissuade people against supporting Brexit? The presence of dissident Irish republicanism seems to me very advantageous on the part of sections of British intelligence. Is the extent of dissident Irish republicanism in Ireland today courtesy of British intelligence for use when and where the need arises? One week before the second Commons vote on May’s exit deal we had letter bombs sent allegedly by the New IRA to prominent landmarks in London and Glasgow. MI5 claimed dissident Irish republicans were probably behind these attacks. Then one day before the vote the New IRA claimed responsibility. People may ask why MI5 and other intelligence agencies would behave this way; but many of the most prolific killers during the Troubles had Special Branch handlers. The goal was not peace as we might have presumed. Their purpose was and is to control violence for political ends.

LOUIS SHAWCROSS
Hillsborough, Co Down

 

Friends of Israel always go off on tangent

I wish to reply to Peter Baum of the ‘Friends of Israel’ (July 9) and I am pleased that I have raised a nerve in him to receive such an idiotic reply to my previous correspondence. The friends of Israel always go off on a tangent and never answer the questions I ask. Example being how can they justify the land grab, the torture, the war crimes and murder of unarmed civilians  by claiming a religious right. Mr Baum in his article cites the example of the Irish in the Seventh Cavalry in the US as committing acts of barbarism to avoid answering the question of Israel’s crimes. The whole land grab of barbarity in America is down to the Irish according to him. His  comparison is clearly ludicrous as we have moved on in 200 years. We now have international laws which Israel violates daily, with impunity compared to other nations. He further goes on to state I could not name any Palestinian from 3000BC to 1948, again making the assumption the Palestinians are not a people with rights and nationhood.

FRANCIS RICE
Belfast BT11

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