Brexit should never have happened
The Good Friday Agreement and multiple crises around Brexit all point to significant challenges. The realisation that Brexit was to be made in the image of the DUP and when this didn’t happen it finally alerted many people to the true character and dangers of Brexit. The UK wants to end the European Court of Justice jurisdiction in the north of Ireland. The EU regards this as a red line, arguing that only the European Court can be the arbiter of EU law. The DUP campaigned for Brexit and are now against anything that tried to soften the blow to businesses who had interests in the EU. The protocol gives them the best of both worlds and they still were not happy and calling for the border in the Irish Sea to be removed. The reality is that unless they get a bridge or tunnel to connect both countries, then the border between north of Ireland and Britain will always be the Irish Sea.
The taoiseach Leo Varadkar, as reported in The Irish News (January 2) said mistakes were made on all sides in the handling of Brexit and vowed to be more flexible and reasonable when attempting to resolve issues.
Brexit should never have happened. A legacy of lies. That was the first mistake. None of the alleged supposedly positive benefits have materialised and all the negatives have come to pass.
The British government, while welcoming Varadkar’s comments, drew the usual response from Jeffrey Donaldson, that there would need to be a “fundamental change of attitude in the negotiations that if we are to see an outcome that is durable”.
This comes after when he had told the north of Ireland secretary back in June that the DUP will not be bullied or cajoled into returning to power sharing.
So it’s okay to prevent democratic government in the north of Ireland?
The protocol is just yet another excuse. The current Stormont boycott amid the escalating crisis in the health services is dastardly and unacceptable. Rules should be changed to remove the veto. There will never be anything like a stable assembly while the ability to veto is still in place. It’s one of the hegemonic contexts of blackmailing.
JAMES G BARRY
Templeogue, Dublin 6
Royal interview doesn’t bode well for a reconciliation
Royal interviews have a long pedigree, but not necessarily a good one. When one delves into history, any time a royal has sat down for an interview, ultimately it has always backfired. Before publication of his memoir, Spare, Harry appeared at ease and at times emotional in a high-profile TV interview with Tom Bradby held in a sunny room with yellow brocade curtains. The vibe was a cosier living room than formal drawing room; the conversation was wide-ranging and occasionally contentious. The death of Princess Diana; his decades chafing under the eye of the antagonistic British press; his marriage to Meghan Markle and his rift with the royal family; his drug use; his years in the army and even his decision to keep his beard were all aired in an interview about his memoir Spare. Prince Harry appeared confident defending his perspective, even under tough questioning. One surprising disclosure dealt with Harry’s beard, now part of his identity. According to protocol, Harry needed his grandmother’s approval to keep the facial hair for his wedding. Queen Elizabeth was amenable, but his brother William was not – he asked Harry to shave it off. Harry’s response: “I don’t believe that Meghan is going to recognise me.”
When Tom Bradby asked Harry about William’s feelings toward Meghan, Harry said: “He never tried to dissuade me from marrying Meghan,” but said: “it was going to be very hard.”
The interview ended with Bradby asking Harry if he is happy in his new home in sunny California, with Meghan and their two children. “I’m very happy. I’m at peace. I’m in a better place than I’ve ever been before” he says. The interview does not bode well for hopes of reconciliation with the Royal Family.
New legislation is to be fast tracked through the British House of Commons to further attack the rights of workers and unions. The anti-strike law has been described as a “legislative crackdown on industrial action” – in short it removes the legal rights of workers and unions. This will affect those working in healthcare, the fire service, transport and education, if they do not meet a ‘minimum service level’ dictated by government ministers.
The legislation will make it possible for bosses to sack employees for breach of contract, sue unions, double the minimum notification period for strike action and raise the threshold for strike action to be called.
The draconian legislation is yet another concoction of the Tory elite to trample on the working class. This not only applies in Britain but also on a portion of the population here in the occupied six counties who are misruled by a foreign government. The time is now to end British rule and restore our national sovereignty so the working-class citizens of Ireland can determine their own future and working conditions.
ANTO Mac DAITHÍ
32 County Sovereignty
Movement, Béal Feirste
History repeats itself for those who never learn
I remember as a small boy just a couple of years after the Luftwaffe had bombed Belfast the papers were full of praise for ‘Uncle Joe’ – that was Joseph Stalin of course whose Soviet troops were chasing the Nazis all the way back to Berlin. Russians suffered the most in that war but thankfully for us the Nazis chose to go east. I didn’t fancy learning German, English grammar was hard enough. They say the two generals that defeated the Germans were General Zhukov and General Winter and now the Russians are facing those German tanks again. I just hope they have the decency to remove the ‘Black Crosses’. They say history repeats itself for those who never learn. And it seems I have lived long enough to unfortunately see that happen.
Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim