Dear Sir... Readers' Views (19/01/17)

Your letters, your views...
Dear Sir... Readers' Views (19/01/17)

Trump is violating our right to a free press

After watching the recent press conference and watching President-elect Trump refuse to take questions from CNN reporter Jim Acosta and accusing him of ‘”fake news” reporting, is this who we’ve elected to lead this democratic nation?

So the First Amendment doesn’t count anymore? What have Trump supporters wrought?!

This is clearly a violation of our constitutional rights and is not representing our nation as an example of freedom that has always been the hallmark of the United States of America.

Judging from his haphazard, shoot-from- the-lips style of communicating with the people, we’re in for one hell of a four year term!

Herb Stark

Carriage Club Dr.

Mooresville

NC 28117

USA

‘Fake news’ I really wish were true

Fake news I wish were true. Donald Trump not really elected President.

Extra 1,200 beds found in Irish hospitals, no need for trolleys.

European monetary fund excuses Irish banking debt and interest charges by paying off remaining debt owed.

Pope Francis changes Lent from 40 days to 20 days to help the pubs.

7 previous and current bank CEOs admit guilt and will each serve 3 years in jail for messing up the Irish economy.

Television license abolished.

Kevin Devitte

Mill Street

Westport

Co Mayo

Let’s honour the word and spirit of John Hume

John Hume
John Hume

John Hume’s 80th Birthday was yesterday, January 18.

It is a sad irony that in the week that the institutions in the North collapse in acrimony and rancour, the man who towered over the chaos of the Troubles celebrates his 80th birthday.

John Hume was a shining beacon for peace, tolerance and accommodation for 40 years.

President Mary McAleese once wrote that: “There are very few simple truths in life. But when it comes to John Hume, and his role in bringing peace to Ireland, there is one. Without him, there simply would not have been a peace process”

Even in the darkest of days John never lost faith in the primacy of politics and used non-violent constitutional means to chart a new future in the North and on the island.

Nearly 20 years ago, with courage and bravery he fashioned the ideas at the core of the Good Friday Agreement.

The GFA remains his crowning glory and is a testament to his vision, leadership and negotiation skills.

The ambition and hopes of the GFA may be under serious strain today.

The best way to honour his 80th birthday is for all of us reaffirm our pledge to the spirit of generosity and respect at the heart of the agreement.

As John Hume said in his Nobel speech, let us build a new Ireland based “on respect for diversity and for political difference. A future where all can rejoice in cherished aspirations and beliefs and where this can be a badge of honour, not a source of fear or division.”

Cllr Tim Attwood SDLP

Andersonstown Road

Belfast

The Earth Hour has come for action

On Saturday March 25, 2017, millions of people worldwide will switch their lights off for Earth Hour.

This hour is a time to send a message to our leaders that we want action to protect the future of our brilliant planet, and to reflect on the ways that we can individually reduce our impact.

But there are already heroes in our communities who are going that extra mile for our planet every day, and we want to know about them.

WWF and People’s Postcode Lottery have launched the Earth Hour Heroes competition to find and recognise the efforts of these special unsung heroes.

As a WWF Ambassador, I am urging your readers to help seek out these heroes amongst us, who make a real difference in helping protect our planet, and inspire others through their actions, as this is no easy task and should be rewarded...

Winners will receive £1,000 each, and will be presented their award at an exclusive ceremony at the Palace of Westminster.

We are seeing the result of our impact on the planet through devastating species loss, and climate change that could endanger millions of human lives...

A brighter future for our planet can start with each of us, and there has never been a better time to shine a spotlight on how individual people everywhere can begin to make a real difference.

To find out more and to nominate your heroes, please go to wwf.org.uk/EarthHourHeroes.

Kevin McCloud

(Presenter of Grand Designs)

Assertiveness key as Brexit looms

Brexit is looming and a lot of small to medium businesses, especially here in Donegal and in other midland border areas are fearful of what fate awaits them.

Its like an inmate on death row who is proclaiming their innocence, he/she doesn’t know if they’ll get a reprieve or should they resign themselves to the inevitable and face death with a brave face.

How will it affect me, will it be painful, what awaits me on the other side?

British Prime Minister, Theresa May is the appointed executioner who is awaiting the order to trigger Article 50. She has reiterated of late that she wants nothing short of a hard Brexit...

Unfortunately for us, if Brexit really means Brexit, there will be a landmass that doesn’t give a toss about us separating our Island from the mainland of Europe.

And to complicate things further, a part of Ulster, otherwise known as the six counties is being subsumed against the voters wishes into this contrary dominion with a hereditary colonial chip on its shoulder that harks back to the days of old.

The European Union has merits that benefit us all, but it has built up ideologies that are open to question, such as the notion of a European army and measures that are unnecessarily confrontational to Russia on its eastern flank at the behest of Nato.

That is beyond our call, which at its loudest is no more than a squeak when measured against the roar of the bigger member states.

In the meantime, we need to concentrate on the ‘bread and butter’ issues that are going to affect us negatively post Brexit.

What we do not want or need is another Enda Kenny-led troupe of “YES men” shuffling and, grovelling between different Brussels departments.

Remember the words of the great man himself: “Is Féidir Linn”.

It is in our interests long-term to stay within the parameter of the EU, but we must start dropping strong hints of an IREXIT and the possibility of restaurants in D4 reverting back from posh sounding, “Pommes Vapeur” to “boiled spuds””.

I’m hoping against hope that Fine Gael and their Fianna Fáil props in government realise that this is an opportunity to undo part the damage that they inflicted on us when they rolled over and held up the white flag in the early stages of bullying that has left this country at the mercy of bondholders, banks and unscrupulous vulture funds.

This is not a time to be meek, mute or making stupid fairytale promises as Enda is prone to doing — like, “paying our debts and those debts not being ours to begin with”.

Push out your chest, please stand on your tip-toes Enda and go in with all guns blazing, this is payback time.

Reinvigorate your list of demands in large print, we want an end to huge foreign factory ships thieving in Irish waters.

Insist that the EU brings pressure to bear on Britain to uphold and abide by all parts of the Good Friday Agreement, because Brexit provides them with routes to nit-pick and jettison human rights commitments made during previous negotiations.

End proposed cheap meat trade deals with countries outside the EU where growth hormones and genetically modified methods are used to enhance profits.

Let Trump and May trade all the genetically modified pig ears in whatever side-deals they conjure between them.

Explain to Brussels that we no longer want to be bullied into contributing to useless space programmes or to be forcing privatisation on our water supply’s or public health service.

In this up-coming Brexit scenario, we have to be treated as a one-island economy, because the imposition of border controls will suck us back to times of daily incidents and accidents that will affect all on this island, “of that I have no doubt”.

There is another aspect to the all- island dimension that has to be factored in whether some like it or not.

At one time it was unimaginable, then it was somewhere in the future and now its a speck on the horizon, a ‘united Ireland’.

The next set of census statistics will make uncomfortable reading for hardline no-surrender unionists, because their birthrate is trailing behind the death rate.

Taking into account the different future scenarios that may evolve, it is incumbent on our political leaders to use a wide-eyed lens to get the best deal possible, because at the moment, we have a relativity strong deck of cards to deal with.

It is imperative that the best negotiators from across all political parties are involved from the outset.

Those who found themselves out of their depths in the previous Troika bailout discussions should be excluded from taking part, due to the inherent danger that their previous naivety or lack of experience may hinder and jeopardise, rather than add to the bargaining levers at our disposal.

James Woods

Gort an choirce

Dun na nGall

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