Letters to the Editor

Men do go through the ‘trauma' of an unexpected pregnancy

Sorry, Tom (Cooper) I have to correct you again (August 6). Men do go through the ‘trauma’ of an unexpected pregnancy. Sadly they are all too often helpless to protect their child when a woman decides to end its life. Yet these same men are required and expected to raise that child should the mother choose not to bring its life to a premature end. Abortion means that neither the father nor the child (even female children) have rights here, only a woman. Tom’s old metaphor about “two bald men fighting over a comb” is ironic given his relinquishment of male parentage and continued evangelising of abortion.
I understand and empathise with women who must deal with difficult pregnancies, but there are two human beings in this situation. I fail to see how terminating one human should be considered less harmful than the hurt or, more usually, inconvenience of the other. Many women have related sad stories of abortion. Some because they found getting the termination difficult, others because they have been physically or psychologically traumatised because of the abortion. You will see much made of the former and little made of the latter, in a partial global media.

Tom cuts and pastes from his previous letter about DUP sectarianism etc and how I admitted I tactically voted for them once. I left no reasonable ambiguity in my reply. Rather than bore readers with further repetition, for the sake of brevity, and to bring Tom closer to an understanding of principle I give him this further answer: Yes. Tom leads us down the rabbit hole when he says that a New York law that legally removed humanity from unborn children up to birth, enacted in January 2019, was in response to another law that tightened the circumstances of abortion and was signed in Alabama months later, in May 2019. Tom digs the hole deeper when he tries to explain this chronological discrepancy  by the fear of possible changes to the American abortion ruling known as Roe v Wade. A thin excuse obviously stated because of changes made to the supreme court by the Trump administration. Except that changes to the NY abortion  law were set in motion a decade before Donald Trump was elected. It was the Democrat gains in the Senate that permitted it final passage into law. The word count restricts me to one more correction. The NY law is worded along similar lines to that of the English 1967 act. An act that has effectively permitted abortion on demand up to 24 weeks.
Why would the NY law on abortion work out any differently except on brutality and timing?
I respect anyone who places their opinion in the public arena given the possibility of derision that can result. Tom Cooper deserves more respect than most.

GERARD HERDMAN
Belfast BT11

 

Distasteful display of politicians grasping opportunity for point scoring

The Democratic contenders gathered at El Paso, the scene of the latest outrage in gun violence, gave their obligatory condolences and with that dispensed with moved swiftly on to the real business at hand. With the victims’ blood not yet dry and without facts they pontificated on the why this act of barbarity was carried out. In an unedifying and distasteful haste to grasp the opportunity for  point scoring, they laid the blame squarely at President Trump. If we accept this analysis, we could apply the same twisted logic for all the crimes committed by an unparalleled influx of illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers throughout the European Union at the doors of Merkel and Macron. These democratic hopefuls are a symptom of a failed political system. They reflect the  naked ambition borne of a deep malaise and despondency that is politics today.
We have reached unprecedented depths of rancour and division throughout all societies, none more so than in our own small part of the world. The challenge for politicians and us all is this – do we follow the path of Aristotle, father of political science, and see politics as an ethical activity concerned with creating a just society or accept Machiavelli’s view that politics is the art of coming to power and retaining it at all cost?

It would appear Machiavelli’s view prevails and the world is governed by vested interests and those interests are protected best through old tried and tested means – division, in all its manifestations, the  inevitable consequence of which is violence.
It is not by accident we have turmoil throughout the world.
It is by design we will not see growing demands met for justice and equality. Our world leaders reflect the failed state systems around the world as they serve the most  narrow of interests of the few.

LAURENCE TODD
Belfast BT15

 

Deny hooligans fuel for their bonfires

Once again the hooligans win. The only way to stop this annual nonsense is to deny them fuel for their fires.
Simply legislate for companies and businesses having to make the pallets unusable to third parties.

Presently they are obliged to bind up cardboard packaging and have it collected for disposal. Simply ensure all pallets are destroyed immediately they have been unloaded.
A cheap chainsaw will do the job in seconds or on large amounts an industrial chipper easily hired or have one of the garden maintenance companies do it. Never mind the recycling because it seems that many are just going to bonfires. If they are chipped the wood chips could be used for various useful purposes.

As for tyres being used for fuel, as we all pay a tax when we replace our tyres, trace the money from customer to tyre company to disposal firms. Someone isn’t paying that money to government so HMRC should audit their accounts, and make it illegal to have large numbers of used tyres on company property.
No fuel, no fire.
What happened to our ‘smokeless zones’?

R JOHNSTON
Belfast BT8

 

Little sympathy for H&W plight

Many nationalists in the north will find it difficult to be sympathetic to the plight of Harland & Wolff.
Historically he shipyard was one of the biggest sectarian places of employment in the north. Few Catholics were tolerated there and those who did obtain employment were treated as second-class citizens. Many will have listened to the stories of the sectarianism practised and tolerated there.
Catholic men suffered both sectarian abuse as well as physical violence at their workplace. Many will remember the loyalist workforce downing tools and marching to Belfast city hall in support of internment without trial for nationalists.  And in the 1970s the same workforce supporting the loyalist workers strike. Harland & Wolff may be remembered for the Titanic to the world over but for many Catholics here more so for its bigotry, sectarianism and apartheid policies against its fellow citizens in the north.

MARTIN KEENAN
Belfast BT11

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