Rejoining the Union a better alternative of bringing about unity
No-one has seriously considered the viable alternative of the Republic going back into the United Kingdom to solve what is sure to be one of the longest running interregnums the Stormont assembly will ever see – and probably lead to its final closure this time. All we hear from republicans is their quest for a united Ireland as a solution, with no alternative. Well there is an alternative – by the Republic going back into the United Kingdom, dare it be said. Then there would be a united Ireland automatically. Why should we continue to listen to the painstaking struggle and its dogma from republicans, and suffer failed and crippled devolution? It’s not working and only on the blink since 1998. These two islands, if brought together, could forge a new relationship with the EU if we were all one instead of being divided as it is with border problems currently.
As a citizen of the Irish state, I believe that the decision in 1916 by a few hundred rebels to rabble rouse to get most of the island of Ireland to leave was a very big mistake indeed. The Irish state has been nothing but a post-colonial nightmare in terms of government since then and right up to the present, but especially on emigration where the lack of opportunity for the younger generations is extremely limited. The Dáil handed over the newly founded state to the Catholic Church who ran it, and still runs it in many key quarters, with an iron fist.
Even today we can see Dublin’s new maternity hospital being the subject of intense controversy because of its association with religious quarters and what are ‘clinically appropriate’ procedures which can and cannot be carried out in the hospital. The Irish health service overall is right-wing and favours people with money with private insurance policies in an American style system, which Northern Ireland’s people would never accept.
When the rebels of 1916 who had a stronghold at the GPO in Dublin were eventually captured, they were booed by passersby as they were arrested. The 1916 rising wasn’t as popular as republicans would like to think and far from it. The Northern Ireland Troubles would never have existed if the island did not partition in 1922 and the Irish state would not have remained in the dark ages for so long after that, with a very narrow business base based mainly on farming and controversial tax-less foreign direct investment – which take their profits elsewhere. To my mind the Republic should consider rejoining the Union as a better alternative of bringing about unity and forget about what the long passage of time has proven will not be achieved.
Shanbally, Co Cork
Defunct military strategies
It has often been noted that generals tend to fight the battles of today with the weapons and strategies of the last war. Russia may be finding this out to its cost in the Ukraine.
Critics of Ireland’s policy of neutrality and relative lack of military capability tend to call for us to join Nato or else to expend many billions of Euro on fighters, tanks and navy ships to develop an independent capability to defend ourselves.
Firstly, the notion that we could ever achieve a level of military capability sufficient to repel a major nuclear and conventional military power is laughable, not to mention the effect it would have of creating a very militarised society here.
Secondly, the possession of some such capability would make us more of a target for a potential military adversary, for fear of us directing that capability against them. Far from making us more secure, it would therefore make us more vulnerable to attack.
Thirdly, our neutrality, and relative lack of capability to attack others makes us more acceptable as a neutral third party, peace keeping force, and developmental partner who isn’t using development aid as cover for neo-colonial domination or arms sales.
Fourthly, in a world ever more dominated by increasingly sophisticated and lethal weapons systems, the survival of the human race depends not on ever more arms purchases, but on developing our capabilities in diplomatic and peaceful conflict resolution, something we have some recognised expertise in.
But finally, and most importantly, the wars of tomorrow will increasingly be dominated by cyberwarfare, misinformation, and remote-controlled robotic, drone and missile technologies which bear little relationship to the battleships, aircraft carriers, bombers, fighter jets, tanks, and artillery of today.
If we must invest in increased military hardware and software, let it at least be appropriate to the real risks we will face in the future, and not some tokenistic homage to the defunct military strategies and weaponries of the past.
Blessington, Co Wicklow
Would Tom Kelly prefer English rule?
Tom Kelly (May 23) suggests that ‘Political unionists undermine their own case for closer integration with Britain by blocking equality legislation”. If by ‘equality legislation’ he is referring to the attempted blocking of abortion in Northern Ireland, he should consider that the pro-life stance is actually promoting equality, in that it holds that the three lives of the equation – those of the child, the mother and the father – are of equal importance. This view is shared on this island by unionists, nationalists and others, and is supported internationally. Perhaps Tom Kelly would prefer to be ruled from England?
SDLP should go back to its roots
I laughed on hearing Colm Eastwood’s attempt to explain the whipping the SDLP received at the elections, saying SDLP voters ‘lent’ their votes to Sinn Féin. No, Colm, the real reason can be expressed in one word – abortion. It’s time for this once mighty party to go back to its life and family respecting roots or face total elimination leaving politics in a very dangerous place.
Limavady, Co Derry
The protocol as it currently stands is so good that our neighbours in Scotland would love to share this arrangement. As a Belfast-based contractor, I have free travel and right to stay and work in Europe. My colleagues from the UK have no such rights. On arrival in the EU they have their passports stamped – with rights and length of stay restricted. The main business I hear complaining about the protocol having negative impact on trade is a large and ‘upper market’ retailer, that complains they can’t import processed products from food factories in England. Not being able to buy a few cherry tomatoes in a plastic box, for an exorbitant price, will impact very few of us.