Letters to the Editor

We should be loud about our demand for self-determination

A woman walks past an anti Brexit mural in the Bogside area of Derry. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire.

The media is a very important element in any society. How do the main broadcast media outlets – Ulster Television or UTV, and the BBC, through Radio Ulster – get away with having ‘Ulster’ in their titles? After Craig and Carson did their sectarian head counts in counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, all of a sudden six counties became Ulster, which was obviously promoted by the media.

Today, the media report (ad nauseum) how badly unionism is being treated without any critical analysis of their position. Recently a prominent unionist on a protest against two-tier policing claimed that unionists are fed up giving and giving –  one of his examples was the RUC. He was allowed to say that without contradiction. Why is this important? Well, if our disillusioned youth are fed a load of misinformation and untruths it can have needless consequences for them.

The protocol protests continue and in my opinion Jeffrey Donaldson gets an easy ride from the media as did his predecessors. We all know by this stage that the DUP don’t do policy alternatives so it is easy to say ‘No’ until someone else comes up with something they agree with. But the point is, the media always let him off the hook.

It’s a fact that the DUP wants a land border – can I say it’s their policy? It’s no big secret. But will the media report that or corner Donaldson into admitting that? Jim Wells admitted that during Mr Poots’s reign but alas the media ignored that too.

I am an Irish republican actively aspiring to a united Ireland –  nationalists believe in the same, collectively we demand equality. The British media, who believe there was no one murdered on Bloody Sunday or in the Springhill/Ballymurphy massacres may ignore our voices.

But it is important that we shake off the cobwebs of complacency, remember the sacrifices of the past 52 years and be loud about our demand for national self-determination.
Co Down


A bit off the Richter scale

I must state that Patrick Murphy’s column about the Brexit protocol – ‘Nationalism needs to adopt a more sensible approach to protocol’ (September 18) – is a bit off the Richter scale, but I hope he feels a bit better after it.

Maybe if he reconsiders that Ms Merkel did not foist this international agreement on poor ole Norn Ireland, since it was jointly sculpted by British Tories to secure their precious Brexit.

It might also be fairer for him to acknowledge too that the six county electorate voted by majority against Brexit, which surely includes a lot more that SF and SDLP supporters.

As for blind loyalty to the EU, and alleged subjection to this new ‘empire’, it might be a bit objective to note that the separate states applied to join and Ireland in particular had several referenda approving the various treaties, as had most other states. That hardly compares to the military creation of the British empire, and the centuries of historically established exploitation of and cruelty to the subjected peoples. It might also be more realistic to acknowledge that the world is now a global, interdependent, motley collection of states and of peoples, who cannot realistically be independent of each other any more. Be neart go cur le cheile (There’s not strength without unity) – as little England is discovering day by day since Brexit.

And getting back to the protocol issues, it would be more balanced to have examined the economic benefits flowing from it, offered by the EU and accepted by UK, and to critically examine why the UK did not anticipate and clear up the nitty gritty bureaucratic stuff and simply sign up to the EU health standards to reassure everyone that no-one need worry about low grade food or meds filtering in from unregulated or poor standard sources. (Strange that none of this Brexit independence virus has apparently not affected any of the military common interests).



Support for DUP’s pro-life policies

Joe Brolly (September 21) claims quite dubiously that no one will say a bad word about Joe Biden. I wonder, can he say a good word about the DUP?

Brolly describes the DUP as a cult largely based on Ian Paisley founding the party himself and being “immensely charismatic”. I guess in the ‘modern, secular future’ no-one is charismatic and all decisions are made by committee but it seems to me that Joe Brolly ascribes the word ‘cult’ to things he doesn’t like.  A cult is in essence flawed, its very reason for union a lie. The DUP like other political parties represents a particular demographic, unionists. To not recognise the legitimate need for political representation of this group does not forward the peace process nor help build towards a shared united Ireland. Joe Brolly thinks Ian Paisley accepted power sharing as he was a ‘megalomaniac’ who wanted the First Minister role. Maybe he did it because life had taught him late that it was the right thing. The warmth between Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley, described as the ‘Chuckle Brothers’, pointed to a genuine desire to work together. Joe Brolly says that the DUP do not socialise outside their party. Anyone involved in the pro-life movement will tell you that this is not the case. Indeed their support for pro-life policies is one area in which I at least can say something good about them.

Glenavy, Co Antrim


No vaccination no ICU

Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, government strategy has been aimed at protecting health and hospital services from being overwhelmed until such time as the surviving population has acquired immunity, either naturally or by vaccination. Strategy might better have been aimed at keeping the virus out of the country and thus saving lives.

However, vaccines are now freely available in this and other wealthy countries.
No one need wait to gain natural immunity by infection at the risk of dying in the process.

While anyone, vaccinated or not, can become infected, and can transmit the virus, vaccination gives a level of protection against serious illness and need for intensive care in hospital. The restrictive measures adversely affecting the economy cannot be retained for much longer.
Those measures are now protecting only the un-vaccinated who are thus fortunate enough, for the time being, not to be among the un-vaccinated majority of Covid patients in hospitals and intensive care to the detriment of non-Covid patients in critical need of treatment and intensive care.

If proof of vaccination (vaccine passport) is required for access to any venue or service it should be required of Covid sufferers for access to hospital and intensive care facilities and treatment.

Strabane, Co Tyrone

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Letters to the Editor