Mr McNarry should know levers of government are in Westminster

I read with interest David McNarry’s (July 15). In the course of his letter he asked questions mainly attacking the civil service –  which cannot answer back – for their inaction.

He asked what are they “actively doing to protect against the alleged risk” to 40,000 jobs? Apart from the implied acceptance of Brexit damage, he should know the levers of government are in Westminster not Stormont. He should also know his fellow unionists, not the civil service, reneged on their £1bn agreement with Theresa May and three times voted down the deal which would have protected those jobs.

He asked why the civil servants are not “highlighting the opportunities of joining the WTO”?

Could this be because that would be breaking with convention by entering into politics and that no country trades solely on WTO basis, because there are no such opportunities?

Since the government doesn’t know what it is doing, he must surely concede that it is asking a bit much for civil servants to spend money without authorisation and direction? Also I assume he has noticed that our courts have already clarified that they cannot do so.

He then asked what “assurance has been secured from the banking fraternity that they can cope with the stress”? Does he not realise that the banks do not work for the state and their sole interest is profit for their shareholders?

This is why many are leaving.

He further asked what “remedies the departmental gurus are initiating to take commerce through the sustained period of downturn impacting according to their forecasts”?

Apart from the fact that the premise of his question accepts, again, there is damage to come, where does he think the funds are going to come for this contingency work?

He also misses the point that we do not usually attack Barra Best if he tells us it will rain tomorrow.

As to the benefits of being an independent nation, in control, I wonder who he thinks will pick that nation’s ambassadors?

It seems thinking is not Mr McNarry’s strong point.


Belfast BT9

Tom Cooper had a comprehension difficulty with wheel analogy

You have to admire Tom Cooper (July 10). His comments were remarkable – he managed to argue with himself.

I have never said that the DUP were anything other than a sectarian party or that the north of Ireland was created for anything other than the same narrow reason. I have often written in a similar vein. I was simply (perhaps not simply enough for Tom) making the point that any party would have used the (albeit Pyrrhic) influence they have in Westminster. I have no problem agreeing with the DUP on their pro-life policy, in fact I’ve voted for them when they have been the only pro-life choice. Children’s lives are more important to me than matters of nationhood or politics. My last vote was for Aontú. Let’s see Tom argue against their policies – abortion excluded.

Tom had a comprehension difficulty with my wheel analogy so I’ve given him a little more practice.

Sinn Féin are like a perpetual motion wheel spinning in a zero gravity vacuum. Their only purpose is to keep turning.

They avoid any useful work that would end their revolution. The native Americans who sold Manhattan for a collection of beads got a better deal than nationalists did from Sinn Féin’s negotiations. Tom is happy to accept diktats from Westminster provided he agrees with them (abortion good – the ending of 50-50 bad). It says much about the value he puts on his opinion. I also am an advocate for the rights of women and girls. They should first and foremost be permitted the right to life.

I asked Tom if he sympathised with those children who will now be aborted in the womb, up to birth, as recently legalised in New York, without answer.

Since Tom is such an ardent supporter of abortion, will he outline his views more clearly about the grisly nuts and bolts of when he would permit such an end to a fellow human being. I for one would value the courage to reply, if not the opinion.


Belfast BT11

Insult to Ulster Scots dialect

Some months ago I was taken to task by the Ulster Scots Agency’s CEO Ian Crozier for expressing the view that the Ulster Scots language /dialect was dead if they would only let it lie down.

In the intervening period no apparent progress has been made despite the Ulster Scots Agency being given the status of a cash cow by those in high places. As the agency is headed by city folk not conversant with the dialect, a resurrection is unlikely to be reported by the incumbent CEO anytime soon.

Just when we thought all was lost there was a glimmer of hope for the dialect due to BBC Radio Ulster dusting itself down and announcing a new programme called Kintra for Ulster Scots listeners. This has turned out to be a presentation of platitudinous drivel, and an insult to any Ulster Scot interested in the dialect. A recitation of cackling inanity which progressively gets worse week by week. Can we expect those in their political sinecures to censor anyone who has contributed to the demise of this once noble language/dialect. No. I don’t think so either.


Derry City

Indulging loyalists

For just how much longer will local authorities in the north indulge loyalists and the Orange Order by permitting sectarian bonfires which pollute the atmosphere and poison community relations throughout the north?

Paramilitaries and the Orange Order must never again be permitted to dictate local authority policy or intimidate elected public representatives on the issue of contentious sectarian bonfires. For Belfast City Council to bow to the  undemocratic demands of loyalist bullies is tantamount to permitting the northern state to be governed according to the principles of mob-rule. Neither the nationalist community nor the rule of law should  acquiesce to threats and intimidation.

Some of these bonfires contain vast imitation funeral pyres adorned with nationalist and republican effigies of people voted for, in the main, by Catholics. We are reminded ad nauseam that these bonfires are inclusive celebrations where everyone is respected. This ‘respect’ does not appear to include the thousands who vote for the politicians whose images, names and symbols are consumed in numerous celebratory conflagrations.

This expression of so-called loyalist culture is nothing more than a grotesque display of raw sectarianism.


Dublin 2