Letters to the Editor

Protocol crisis will be the last thing on mind of new prime minister

 

The next incumbent of No 10 Downing Street is going to be faced with some harsh realities as soon as they take office. The debt of the Second World War finished Britain as an empire and left it a third-rate country. The current Covid debt will impose poverty on the British people that has not been seen for a couple of hundred years.
We already know that many people are going to have to choose between food and heat this winter. Northern Ireland and its protocol crisis will be the last thing on the mind on the new prime minister. A world recession, people going hungry in the Shires, a land war in Europe, a row with the EU and the Northern Ireland Protocol –  where do you think we are going to come in the pecking order?

It is almost certain that the next resident in No 10 will be short term. There has to be an election before January 2025 – that’s only two and a half years away, most of which will be spent in recession.
The worst case scenario for the DUP is that Keir Starmer does not get a majority but needs the help of Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. What sort of a bargain will Sturgeon insist upon?

The very least she will want is greater powers for Edinburgh, meaning independence in all but name. In this case she may even decide to re-apply to join the EU as an autonomous part of the UK. France and Germany would probably be delighted with such a plan, and since now, with the help of the DUP, we know that the land border between Scotland and England would be no problem, Europe might say yes. 

Neither Liz Truss nor Rishi Sunak have the gift on bringing people along with them that Boris Johnson had. Already polls are showing that people don’t expect too much from either of them and many would prefer Starmer. Truss has promised everything, making policy up on the hoof, but she will be able to deliver very little. She boasts that she is going to repeal all European laws, but what difference will that make, she will have to replace them with something very similar.

Reality bites, and reality is going to bite the next PM very hard.
By the way, a trade war with Europe is not on – the queues at Dover last month showed how easy it for Europe to shut Britain down. 

TURLOUGH QUINN
Portglenone, Co Antrim

 

Michelle is right – there was no alternative

THOSE people getting at Michelle O’Neill saying there was an alternative to the Troubles – REALLY? Well then if the ‘Protestant state for a Protestant people’ wasn’t set up to deny Irish Catholics equality, civil rights in jobs and housing, things might have worked out better, but the gerrymandered illegal statelet thrived on keeping the Catholics down.

Then we had the sectarian murders since partition. The 1966 UVF murders of two young Catholics and the wounding of others. A young Catholic family denied a house in favour of a single Protestant woman by the unionist-controlled council.1968.

The IRA had given up armed struggle to go political in 1962 but loyalism needed a bogey man, so the UVF started a bombing campaign and Paisley blamed them on the non-existent IRA until a UVF man blew himself up. Then when the Civil Rights marches began the unionist government banned them from marching and they where attacked by the RUC, B-Specials and loyalist mobs – leading to the riots in Derry and Belfast and the burning of Bombay Street and other streets by loyalist mobs; the RUC shooting of four people, including a nine-year-old child, Patrick Rooney, in the first days of the Troubles.

How many alternatives had we when we were beaten off the streets for just wanting equality? None. The sectarian unionist government wouldn’t let us have an alternative, so a few republicans who had kept a few weapons used them to defend the area. This led to them going on the defensive and while the people welcomed the British Army, thinking they were there to protect them from the sectarian RUC and the loyalist mobs. But when loyalists continued to shoot at areas the republicans responded. The Brits then raided republican areas for weapons – but never loyalist areas.

We could say there was no alternative to any war. Would people say the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto had an alternative when they took up arms against the Nazis? Had the French Resistance an alternative? The Palestinians? The ANC? The indigenous people of north America? But I guess they will say: ‘’but that was different”. Yeah right.

There was no alternative to what was a sectarian  unionist government.

ANDY GIBSON
Crumlin, Co Antrim

 

Premature acclamation

I agree with Andy Watters – ‘Hold your horses on declaring Clifford the GOAT’ (July 29) – that it is premature for Joe Brolly to acclaim David Clifford as the GOAT (Greatest Player of All Time). He is incredibly talented and the best in Ireland at this time.

Over 60 years attending football matches throughout Ireland my top three are Sean O’Neill (Down), Mikey Sheehy (Kerry) and Matt Conor (Offaly). O’Neill was the best.

Of course there is no definitive answer to this subjective question.

With good health and avoidance of serious injury Clifford will certainly be worth seeing on a football pitch in future years.

BRIAN WILSON
Craigavon, Co Armagh

 

Living in the Land of Oz

One could be forgiven for thinking we are currently living in the Land of Oz, when every news outlet in Europe and beyond is reporting extensively on the demise of a Beluga whale in the River Seine in France at the same time as few mention the death of 64 Palestinians, including 16 children, massacred by the Occupation forces in Palestine where up-coming elections have encouraged the present Israeli regime to prove that it is as tough on the ‘terrorists’ as Netanyahu.

Families all over our world are being suffocated by huge rises in the cost of utilities and fuel for their cars to take them to work and this problem could be solved overnight by the removal of ‘sanctions’ on the country with the largest oil reserves on earth, Venezuela, where the population is being starved into submission on behalf of the international oil and gas corporations. If one didn’t know better one would think that the US is working hand and glove with big oil and gas companies.

When will world governments begin to work for the citizens who elected them rather than the corporations and proxy wars where their attention is presently focused?

EUGENE F PARTE
Belfast BT9

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