Letters to the Editor

Politicians really should be worried about genetically modified food

The outrage outrage about the border in the Irish Sea continues to gather attention even though that ship has sailed. We all knew that the DUP’s craven relationship with the ERG and Brexit policy would end in tears.

However, for the much-cited Ballymena farmers, things seem about to get much worse, despite the best efforts of both nationalist and European representatives to protect them with special status for Northern Ireland.

The repatriation of devolved powers to London looks likely to destroy what remains of the NI agricultural sector after whatever damaging exit or crash out Johnson contrives. Post-Brexit, Westminster cannot, and certainly will not, permit any devolved assembly to operate independently. If Scottish, Welsh or  northern Irish food was found to be of a higher quality the big English farmers would lose out domestically as sales rocket from the regions to high end retailers.

On a simple back of envelope calculation with a bigger farming sector, vested interests, potential donors and of course voters, the Tories will not ignore that lobby. Certainly, taking the premium market off English farmers is out, they will have enough trouble being undercut by American farmers already.

So, the only way is up, proclaiming world-class British agriculture, however poor it really is, hence the reason for the new term ‘UK single market’.

As to British is best, we all know from Johnson’s recent “success” with his world-beating Covid-19 app, English voters will swallow anything. What a pity the app doesn’t work.

What lies ahead apart from shoving deregulated, cheap, chlorinated and potentially poisonous food down the throats of our populace, (compare the statistics on food poisoning between the EU and US).

Our politicians really should be worrying about genetically modified food. Boris Johnson claimed in parliament recently that there was no border between England and Scotland. Perhaps he was thinking of crop seeds which, like a virus, can be airborne, so whatever is introduced in England will soon be blown throughout GB anyway.

Still we would still have the Irish Sea, unless some unionist politician, after their roaring success with Brexit, comes up with a wheeze to introduce GM crops to Ballymena?

They wouldn’t engage in self harm all over again, would they?

FRANK HENNESSEY
Belfast BT9

 

The long wait is now over

The best things in life are worth waiting for.

We are well practiced in waiting in these parts – waiting for peace, waiting for the perfect pint to settle, waiting for the rain to stop, waiting for Godot and waiting for lockdown to end.

The spirit of this city and the resilience of our people has seen us through darker days and greater Troubles than this.

We have missed you. The walls feel hollow without the warmth of your laughter, the stomp of your feet, the beat of your heart and the strength of your song.

Soon these doors will open again. The lights will be turned back on. The craic and conversation will return and the reunion will be all the sweeter for the wait.

The music might be turned down but our spirits will be soaring. The memories we make will become stories that will be retold for generations.

They say patience is a virtue. If it is we’re a pretty virtuous bunch.

So, thank you for your patience; thank you to the hand washers; thank you for keeping your distance and thank you for keeping the unbreakable spirit of Belfast alive.

We need time to get things right and that’s worth waiting for.

We’ll meet again – we now know where and when.
See you on Monday August 10.

WILLIE JACK
Duke of York, Belfast

 

Irish unity is property of the people not political elite

The remarks of Micheál Martin on the BBC’s Sunday Politics broadcast (July 14), point not just to the establishment’s indifference on Irish unity but to its outright hostility towards the concept, with its contempt for all-Ireland sovereignty.

They are proof positive that Irish unity cannot be left to the diktats of elites, whose sectional views are unrepresentative of the wider will of the Irish people. Indeed their ultimate logic is obvious – if Irish unity is ever to be realised then we must seize it for ourselves, as a people.

As the political narrative returns to Brexit, republicans must pick up the slack. For let there be no doubt, organised Irish republicanism is the only force capable of countering this drive to close down constitutional change.

The responsibility incumbent here is huge – there must be a renewed campaign on our part, with the Irish Republic at its masthead. On setting this in train is where the energies of republicans must be channelled over the time now to hand.

SEAN BRESNAHAN
Omagh, Co Tyrone

 

Over to you Newry

As a Spurs supporter since childhood – inspired entirely by him – I applaud the current campaign to have a statue of Pat Jennings erected. However, I am of the view that Windsor Park in Belfast is not the appropriate location. A much more appropriate site would be in a central location in Pat’s home town of Newry –  similar to Bertie Peacock’s in his home town of Coleraine.

A statue of Pat in a prominent location in his home town, wearing his Spurs’ jersey – a club with whom Pat is still actively involved after having joined in the mid-1960s and where he won most of his honours – would emphasise his proud links with the area and would be a tourist attraction as opposed to the relative anonymity of Windsor Park.

Over to you Newry and the powers that be. With all due respect to the historic and economic importance of the canal to Newry in the past and present, if a statue of a workman with a shovel could quickly be erected in the town on the canal bridge some years ago, surely the town’s most famous son can be similarly honoured.

TONY FEARON
Poyntzpass, Co Down

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