EU in need of major reform after Brexit
Many insights can be gleaned from the UK’s unfortunate decision to exit the EU, not least that the spectre of nationalism continues to rise across the continent and that it should come as no surprise.
The EU has a serious democratic deficit and recent history, including our own, has shown that it places the interests of international corporate finance ahead of those of ordinary citizens and social justice.
This has fed the cause of populist nationalism across the continent with all its unsavoury manifestations. The EU emerged from the ruins of two world wars to try and connect the countries of Europe with a common cause and to dilute these nationalistic tendencies.
Unfortunately, this result actually works against the interests of the disenfranchised of the UK and Europe as it fails to deal with the real issues at the heart of the EU.
The independent UK will still have to deal with a global economy within which its fiscal policy will still be constrained by rules influenced by corporate finance and the City of London.
Narrow minded politics has gained a pyrrhic victory for which the ordinary citizen will not feel any significant difference in their daily lives.
Meanwhile, the EU remains unreformed and lacking a strong voice from the UK to drive reform. The EU is still a worthwhile endeavour but requires root and branch reform to provide social justice and put its citizens first.
The EU leaders should take seriously the UK exit, resolve to undertake much needed reform and return to being representative of the people of Europe and not international finance.
As HG Wells put it, ‘our true nationality is mankind’.
No mandate for Enda’s intervention
Twice in recent months the Taoiseach has intervened in foreign politics.
A few months ago he accused Donald Trump of pursuing racist politics and for some time now his government has played the most public roll in canvassing on behalf of the ‘Remain’ lobby in the British referendum.
I don’t know who will win the Presidential election in America, but should Mr Trump do so then he is surely not the class of man who will easily forget the manner in which he has been treated by the Irish political establishment, and if Boris Johnson becomes the next Prime Minister of Britain he will surely recall the almost evangelical zeal with which Mr Kenny and his cabinet minister campaigned in opposition to his cause.
Enda Kenny took two political punts on behalf of the nation. In the matter of the British referendum he has lost disastrously, and it would be naive to imagine that our Republic will not pay a price.
Should Donald Trump win the American election, then we can whistle goodbye to American investment in this country, past and present.
Enda Kenny has proven himself to the prince of gamblers, but what monumental hubris to believe that he had the mandate to stake the prosperity of the country on his whims.
Now is time for a border poll debate
The call by Sinn Féin for a border poll in Ireland seems to me to be very useful indeed and should be given full attention while there is a window of opportunity to open a conversation on its possibilities.
The debate would allow those in the six counties, who wish to remain in Europe to have a vote on the matter, and to participate in its benefits because we will not be given a chance like this if and when Britain becomes involved in negotiations for its exit from Europe.
This poll would ensure Ireland’s unity without violence, and should be an economic reason for all Ireland to unite behind its benefits. The cold water poured on this suggestion by the establishment parties displays the hypocrisy of their stance since independence and their dependence on the border issue to have some credibility of their rhetoric on the subject for decades.
The poll itself need not be subject to immediate implementation but it would be enshrined for official verification in future references. It is now up to those who purport to lead Ireland to at least fan the flame of its possibilities and allow a discussion to take place in airing this subject.
Where’s the cash from Corrib gas?
A question for the Minister for Finance and his department.
Now that the gas is flowing, what return to the Exchequer from the Shell Company and partners can the citizens expect from the first one million cubic feet of Corrib Irish gas?
A conservative estimate of the volume of gas in the Corrib field is nine hundred billion cu ft of natural gas.
Given that the two major parties (including the Labour Party) were those who have signed off on, and maintained, the licensing terms for the oil and gas companies, and given the state of the nation, I am sure that our ‘representatives’ would be eager to enlighten us.
Answer please on the back of a postage stamp. The people need to know how you have been managing our natural resources for that common good espoused in our Constitution.
New states of independence
The decision of the British people to exit the EU has created a whole range of problems. The people of Scotland may decide to exit the UK and remain or rejoin the EU. That will leave the people of Northern Ireland in a critically disadvantageous position. In the short and medium terms a united Ireland is unlikely and attempts to rush it could reignite conflict there.
There is a case to be made for granting independence and EU membership to both Northern Ireland and Scotland. This would result in a block of three culturally and economically similar states within the EU.
Green-tinted glasses for referees
As an avid supporter of all sports, I have come to the following conclusion that Irish teams, both rugby and soccer, always seem to get the wrong end of the stick where vital decisions are concerned.
Take soccer first, for instance, that blatant handball by Thierry Henry in 2009 that cost us a place in the World Cup Finals. Very unfair. Take the final Rugby Test in South Africa last Saturday — le Roux’s tackle on O’Halloran, a definite red card; instead he gets a yellow.
Yet in the First Test TJ Stander gets a red for a similar offence.
I ask what about a little consistency or is the case, ah well ‘The Poor Paddys’ must suffer?
Might I suggest, in future, referees officiating in matches involving Irish soccer and rugby teams should visit Specsavers or a similar outlet and purchase a pair of ‘Green-Tinted Glasses’ for a change.
Farage’s ‘foreign’ interference
Nigel Farage in his Brexit victory speech said, “the EU’s failing, the EU’s dying. I hope we’ve knocked the first brick out of the wall.”
Not content with his victory, he wants to dismantle the whole European Union.
Well Nigel, your country has voted to leave, so please keep out of the internal affairs of a bloc of countries you no longer wish to be part of.
Old days of games without frontiers
Those of us who were born in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s are the last generation that played in the street. We are the first who played video games and the last to record songs off the radio on to a cassette tape. We learned how to programme the VCR before anyone else. We played on consoles from Atari to Nintendo.
We are the generation of Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, and Captain Kangaroo. We travelled in cars without seat belts or air-bags, and lived without mobile phones. We did not have flat screens, surround sound, iPods, Facebook, Twitter, computers, and the Internet. But nevertheless we had a great time.
And guess what? We actually had conversations with each other.
Legal costs behind rising car insurance
The Editorial (Irish Examiner, Friday 24 June) highlights problems faced by many motorists and increases in motor insurance.
The editorial also touched on the role of the legal system. The self relegated body — untouchable and unaccountable for their actions who manage to stretch their tentacles into every aspect of Irish life while remaining aloof and unanswerable to anyone but themselves.
Hardly an indication of a “true democracy”. Perhaps we need to take more of an interest in our legal system?