Dear Sir... Readers' Views (28/01/17)

Your letters, your views...

Dear Sir... Readers' Views (28/01/17)

Concerted plan is aimed at eroding free travel scheme

It is pathetic to read and hear in the media in regard to the Free Travel scheme, about comments made by transport drivers and others employed by Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus.

Particular in this instance relating to a passenger with a free pass “travelling on his Bus to Dublin” and “then returning shortly afterwards to her earlier destination” I fail to see anything wrong with that person taking time out from her environment?

I am of the opinion that this is a concerted effort by the Government, Management and the Unions to introduce a subsidiary/subvention charge to be borne by the recipients of the Free Travel scheme.

This is not the first time that this question has been mooted. Was it not on the agenda prior to the introduction of the Water Charges and postponed?

Management should be held to account both in Bus Éireann and in Dublin Bus for any losses sustained in those companies, not the recipients of the Free Travel scheme.

Is that same management taking note of the numerous amount of Buses’ displaying on the destination boards the following. “Out of Service” or “Entering Service”. Those Buses’ are passengerless going back to the garage for a tea-break or going for a ramble.

This is a scandalous waste of tax-payers monies.

Ironically in July 2016, Verizon, the U.S. conglomerate C.C.T.V., company acquired the Dublin-based GPS vehicle-tracking company Fleetmatics Group for €2.1 billion. The core business of this company is software which allows companies to manage their transport fleet and other mobile operations.

Its web-based solutions provide fleet operators with full oversight of vehicle, fuel-usage, speed and mileage, and other information about their mobile work, helping them to reduce operating costs.

Why has our Government allowed a dominant country to come in and control our communications networks, as this is cultural hegemony and panopticism? C.C.T.V., can be seen as a form of panopticism, where a camera controller can keep different locations and large numbers of people under surveillance. So drivers watch out for the “spy in the cab”, and forget about the person entitled to free travel.

Edward Mahon

Clonskeagh

Dublin 14

O’Callaghan was a supporter of the arts

Much has been said in praise of the late Owen O’Callaghan and rightly so but one area which has not been mentioned is the arts, so let me say that he was very good to, and supportive of us in Everyman Theatre not once but many times.

Brendan Casserly (Chairman, Everyman Theatre)

Bishopstown

Cork

Digging deep on the border allowance

I see the Department of Defence has stated that €2.8m was spent last year on border duty allowances for 710 soldiers.

The Secretary General of the Department of Defence, Maurice Quinn, agreed that most of the soldiers are not even based near the border but said that allowances are made available to soldiers who work in potentially increased security environments, including on the border, at official events, and with the Central Bank.

Does this mean if we dig a little deeper with the Department of Justice, we may find that there are Gardai who also get similar allowances?

Damien Carroll

Kingswood

Dublin 24

Truth of 9/11 attacks is still out there

Donal O’Keefe (Irish Examiner, Life/Style 26 Jan) seems to wish to deny people their natural instinct for inquivitiveness about historically important events such as the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the downing of Flight 93.

Rather than take our cues from some sort of ‘Ministry of Truth’, as implied by O’Keefe, we should enquire, for example, as to how two passenger planes could bring down three skyscrapers in New York and how an airliner could dissappear into the Pentagon building while leaving a hole that a Dublin bus would have difficulty getting through.

Reputable engineers and architects in the US have investigated these and other aspects of the 9/11 attacks and have exposed the many deficiencies in the official report by the Kean Commission.

In our highly engineered age it is quite pointless for O’Keefe to mention Occam’s razor as it really does belong in the 12th century from whence it came.

Charlie Murphy

Ballinteer

Dublin 16

EU has prevented war in Europe

Your editorial on January 26 defined ‘the fact that British prime minister Theresa May will be the first foreign leader to meet officially with US president Donald Trump’ as ‘hugely significant’.

That is not the only issue of significance that underlies this historic meeting. The fact that both the election of Trump and the vote in favour of Brexit was motivated by racist tendencies in both the US and the UK is also significant and very worrying.

The fact that the two countries that led the struggle in WW2 against the deeply racist Nazi Germany are now themselves indulging in racism is a warning to all, especially those of us who live in Europe.

We should remember that the EU is made up of nearly 30 democracies each of which signed a treaty to cooperate in matters of mutual interest. It is less than perfect, and the UK has voted to leave and Trump wants to dismantle it.

We should, however, never forget that it replaced a situation within the lifetime of many still living in which two totalitarian dictators — Stalin and Hitler — exterminated millions of their own citizens in gulags and gas chambers and reduced much of the continent to rubble in a war over which of them would be top dog in Europe.

That is the background to the ‘hugely significant’ May-Trump meeting in which it is likely that an anti-EU agreement will be trumpeted in the media of the world.

A. Leavy

Sutton

Dublin 13

A president who can’t tell the truth

They say that George Washington never told a lie and that Richard Nixon never told the truth and now we have Donald Trump who doesn’t know the difference.

Kevin Devitte

Westport

County Mayo

Bring a begging bowl to Donald

I say to Enda Kenny: go to the U S on St Patrick’s day with your Bowl of Shamrock but have a second bowl with you. Send it around the large audience to fill it with dollars for the homeless. Fill it for the huge amount of people on trollies in our hospitals.

Ask Donald Trump for a dig out for all the people who can’t afford their rent and are facing eviction. It took the Apollo house home sweet home people to highlight it.

Don’t forget all the people in Emergency Accommodation in Ireland.

Noel Harrington

Scilly

Kinsale

Co Cork

Vulgar narcissism takes over in US

One day, Martin McGuinness retires; the next, a big, shouty Orangeman gets sworn in as President of the USA?

What gives? Who’s writing this?

Confusingly, the orange man was a kind of Republican.

You’d think most stand up comedians would love Trump. The garrilous, small-handed chump that keeps on giving, but he is comedy poison. He’s done all the gags before you get to them. Still, he doesn’t know it because he has no sense of humour. Now that is funny.

Of course, Trump literally hates the White House and all it represents. To Trump it’s a third rate, three star, provincial guest house. He’s already measured it up to see if it would make the 19th Hole of a Crazy Golf Course. Not even one gold phone or glitter column?

He wants to let us know that he hates it too. Arriving there at the last minute, staying and eating at the local Trump monstrosity, in downtown DC. Trump is bigger than the White House, bigger than DC, why he’s bigger than the Presidency. Trump doesn’t do subtle.

Trump is not ideal for a stand up to challenge, but perfect for the top notch comedy actor to impersonate. All these impressionist performances are hugely enjoyable — all the more so, because Trump hates people laughing at him.

He went through a high profile celebrity roast on american TV, but it was carefully vetted and at that, ruined at the end, when a grumpy Trump looked right down the camera and said he’d put up with the mild bollocking, because it was for charity.

What a martyr.

Even Hitler had a sense of humour. He often watched Charlie Chaplin’s Great Dictator and was as chuffed with it as a hatstand Megelomanic may be. Trump wants Alec Baldwin and Robert De Niro rendered and locked up in guantanamo, (once he redecorates the place with gold leaf and “improves” the driving range).

Michael Flatley taking on the Trump inauguration gig was a genius hoot. Was it Elton John who came out of Lord of the Dance saying that he didn’t realise Hitler was a Paddy?, or words in vicino.

And Flatley is like trump, doesn’t like to be pasquinaded, who in turn is like Piers Morgan, who gets jumpy when satire is pointed at him and wait a minute, Morgan is like Simon Cowell, who doesn’t like “back chat” from truly talented acts.

In there too is our own Louis Walsh, and wouldn’t you know it, they’re all buddies! They have paved the Appian media way for each other, by gum! Brittle, cruel, camp, humourless, public bullies with backgrounds in Certified Accounting.

And all seemingly based on Peter Ustinov playing Emperor Nero in the robe. God, can you imagine this group of turkeys out together of an evening? The Narcissim, the vulgarian vanity. Is there a decadent, diamond-studded Trump Hotel Bar big enough for the egos?

My one angle on trump was that he is a very poor Batman villian. The Trumpster, the ruination of Gotham, but without the style, or the gags of the Joker and the Riddler. And Batman can’t be arsed with him.

Or Trump is actually what happened to the Bruce Wayne character after the high camp 60s’ Batman series, with Adam West. He loses Robin, his hair, his costumes, his gadgets, his shakespearian majesty and gets into bean counting and Real Estate.

So I’ll hereby leave what’s left of Trump to the mimics and the actors and the lovely notion that the great countdown to impeachment has begun. It’s been a while since we had a good impeachment, at last, to watch the system work for The People. The poor bloody People.

Alexander P. Lyons

Rathfarnham

Dublin 14

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