Vested interests degrade society. DUP spurning best of both worlds, EU-UK withdrawal agreement between 28 EU states, two years negotiated 585 pages. Right-wing UK press laughs at “remainers” and “backstop”, courting social disaster sneering at the EU that brought peace, prosperity to member states over seven decades.
As the Brexit bandwagon continues to trundle along towards October 31 and as the Minister for Finance prepares to deliver in just over a month, what is most likely to be the final budget before the ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement comes to a welcome end, it was never more important for Ireland to keep a very close eye on international developments.
I recall that many years ago at the start of a new school year certain students who had failed their previous year’s Intercert French exams used to call out vigorously the phrase “F for French” so as to annoy the French teacher who had previously taught them.
Understandably, and commendably, US president Mr Trump wants his troops out of Afghanistan and back home before he runs for a second term next year. His Mexican Wall has not been built; North Korea is still a potential nuclear power; he has not succeeded in repatriating jobs; his promise to cut the US trade deficit has been broken — it’s at a record high; federal debt has soared; and the Washington swamp, far from being drained, has been replenished. Ending an 18-year-long war that has been so costly in blood and treasure, 220,000 lives and €875bn, would be a notable tick in the credit column.
There aren’t too many images in modern history as sad, as forceful a reality check as the 1938 one of British prime minister Neville Chamberlain waving his peace-in-our-time note on an English airfield after talks with Hitler in Munich.
Distance in today’s world erects no barriers to the spread of contagion, which is why Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association have issued warnings about the westward path of African swine fever, an infection that threatens no harm to humans but which kills pigs and wild boar.
Avoiding compulsory military service has a long and honourable history — from cross-dressing Corporal Klinger in MASH to Donald Trump’s bone spurs — and the recent plight of Tottenham’s South Korean striker Son Heung-min showed that the art of draft-dodging remains highly relevant, writes