Letters to the Editor: Steve Aiken's invertebrate U-turn as predictable as it was pathetic
The invertebrate U-turn by Steve Aiken and the UUP on North Belfast was as predictable as it was pathetic. The former submarine commander turned his torpedoes on himself and has destroyed any credibility or respect he had thus confirming that his party is merely a conduit and facilitator for the DUP.
Incredibly in his statement Aiken referred to non-existent IRA violence while completely ignoring the reason he and his party stood down – the threats, intimidation and aggression from the motley collection of still active, murdering, drug-dealing, extorting loyalist paramilitary thugs.
It is quite obvious to many of us that these alphabet soup militias are the ones who control and direct the narrative and strategy within unionism alongside the varying coloured marching societies. Together they vetoed a political deal two years ago and they still ‘call the shots’.
In recent weeks loyalist godfathers could be seen at various meetings across the north sabre rattling and ‘planning their Brexit strategy’ which doesn’t require a degree in astrophysics to decipher. Elements of this same gene pool then made it clear they would target any UUP candidate who challenged the sitting DUP MP in North Belfast.
All of this will come as no surprise to the nationalist community in the north. Violent, militant loyalism and anarchic, political unionism are two sides of the same coin that have worked hand-in-hand for centuries. From the Peep O’ Day Boys of the 18th century to the Orange disOrder of the 19th; from the Larne gun running to the Curragh mutiny; from the sectarian pogroms of the 1920s to the B Specials; Vanguard, UWC, Third Force, Ulster Resistance etc – unionism/loyalism has been consistent..
Aiken has vindicated the belief that the north is a failed entity with the Sword of Damocles violent loyalist veto perpetually hanging over it.
This shameful, political party deserves to go out of existence and fade into historical obscurity.
Quote out of context a disservice to Pope Francis and Irish News readers
I was dismayed by Tom Kelly’s opinion piece (October 20). I felt he did Pope Francis and Irish News readers a disservice by quoting then Cardinal Bergoglio’s words about doubt out of context. The quotation is from the book On Heaven and Earth which details a dialogue between him and Rabbi Abraham Skorka. The quote is from chapter 5 which discusses the humility which is necessary in a religious leader and “the right intention” in discerning such a vocation.
Using the quotation in a discussion of abortion seems to me to imply that he (Pope Francis) has doubts about Catholic teaching on the matter. This is wrong and Pope Francis has been consistently unambiguous about condemning abortion.
Chapter 14 of the same book illustrates some of Pope Francis’s thinking about this subject: “The moral problem with abortion is of a pre-religious nature because the genetic code of the person is present at the moment of conception. There is already a human being... The right to life is the first human right. Abortion is killing someone that cannot defend himself.”
My own thinking on the matter is that Christ did not do away with the prohibition – You shall not kill. Rather he expanded it so that we should not harbour anger nor insult another. The Christian ought to avoid using pejorative terms against his opponent, but neither should he compromise the truth and reality of his message. Procured abortion is the ending of the life of another human being. One should have no doubt about that.
On Heaven and Earth provides an example of how to carry on a dialogue respectfully. I am glad of the opportunity to reread it, despite how that came about.
ANNE MARIE SHERLOCK
SDLP’s actions doing little to convince pro-lifers
Colum Eastwood recently said that the SDLP is still a pro-life party after the situation at Stormont where he and his party walked out on a potential functioning assembly surrounding abortion reform.
Does anyone actually believe him? They say “judge us by the company we keep”.
The SDLP recently got into bed with Fianna Fáil, a party that pushed for Repeal of
the Eighth Amendment and reduction in the protection for the unborn child in the Republic last year.
The alignment was said to be ‘phased integration’ so the SDLP would have an all-Ireland influence.
The SDLP’s ‘sister party’ in the UK is Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. The Labour Party is without doubt a pro-abortion party, as it was Stella Creasy who brought amendments to a Bill in Westminster that saw the introduction of abortion to the north unless there was a functioning assembly.
Actions speak louder than words and the actions of the SDLP walking out of Stormont will do little to convince genuine protectors of Irish unborn babies.
This pro-lifer will be looking to cast his vote elsewhere.
Doing nothing solves nothing
So, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, claims more Grenfell Tower residents could have been saved if the fire service had not advised the people to wait inside their flats.
As one who earned his living in the very dangerous occupation of being a seaman in the North Atlantic Ocean, instant decisions have to be made, whether they be right or wrong, as doing nothing solves nothing.
Those people who are given the role of investigating incidents where there has been a loss of life, should surely have had some knowledge or experience of any incident they are asked to investigate.
The people who put their life on the line to save others, are not only priceless but the bravest of the brave. They should never, ever be subjected to condemnation, for any actions they instantly have to make, be they police or a fire crew.
Kircubbin, Co Down