Letters to the Editor: Politicians aren’t our parents so buckle down

Letters to the Editor: Politicians aren’t our parents so buckle down

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Irish Examiner reader Michael Deasy says our politicians aren’t parents and we aren’t children. It’s time we all grew up and show some maturity. Picture: David Clynch

Political decisions in a global virus pandemic are all about “the thing that didn’t happen”. This is a nightmare for professional politicians. No road to tarmac. No manhole to cover. No planning application to boost or support. No grant to announce in the local papers with a grand big cardboard cheque. Just Hobson’s choice between bad and worse, left and right.

“You closed my hotel. Johnny and Mary lost their jobs.” This has happened. All over the country. “You’re going to implement airport quarantine, my sister won’t get back for my father’s funeral.” This will happen, all over the country.

Every time our Government implements Covid suppression and containment measures we feel it and see it. And we only point to the thing that is happening. But we are not good at identifying the thing that didn’t happen. That’s not half good enough. Our politicians aren’t parents. We aren’t children. It’s time we all grew up and buckle down. It’s time we appreciated the fact that our political system isn’t plagued by “populists” and it’s time we stopped being hypocrites.

Michael Deasy

Carrigart

Co Donegal

Government messing with tactics

Belatedly and bewilderingly, the Government is just now beginning to take a serious look at incoming visitors in terms of authentic anti-virus safety measures. It’s only taken over 10 months to try to address the screamingly obvious. 

The Government is only now beginning to take a serious look at incoming visitors.
The Government is only now beginning to take a serious look at incoming visitors.

What were they thinking about, with the almost voluntary approach to incomers doing the right thing by self-isolating, etc?

They insult us all by blithely quoting the alternative Belfast conduit for entry to the Republic, so therefore what’s the point in trying to implement an enforceable quarantine process. Bah and duh! The logic of that defeatist camouflage is both sham and shoddy. Given the wonderful success of New Zealand’s diligent approach to matters quarantine, it was there for all to see the benefits. A minute fraction of cases and deaths, and now life there is back as near-normal.

Of course in this zone, the Government has some crazy form. They cancelled the rugby international with Italy last February, then proceeded to allow a couple of thousand Italian fans, direct from the Covid hotspot in the Lombardy region to arrive into swarm all over Dublin, ensuring we well and truly got a good virus load to start us off here. And of course, Cheltenham was another grotesque own-goal, that doesn’t bear recalling.

Now with the virus 10 times more prevalent than early last month, and with a much more transmissible variant, they’re still messing about with all sorts of variations of their own for instance core challenges such as school re-openings. How could the schools possibly go back while the healthcare figures are so catastrophic?

Jim Cosgrove

Lismore

Co Waterford

Work and the right to disconnect

Lockdowns have compelled a large number of people to work from home. That this arrangement may continue indefinitely is worrying. While it provides a false sense of freedom, home-working can also be isolating and stressful. 

While it provides a false sense of freedom, home-working can also be isolating and stressful.
While it provides a false sense of freedom, home-working can also be isolating and stressful.

Human interaction has been shown, after all, to be satisfying from a social and business perspective. Consultations and chats with a colleague in the office, or over a cuppa, can often help solve problems that otherwise would take much longer to resolve via email or Zoom.

The widespread embrace of home-working may also prove to be imprudent, as it invariably involves some degree of remote employee surveillance. These ultra-modern facilities, already in use by many companies, are super-efficient. However, further types of monitoring apps are being perfected. It seems that transparency, freedom, and job satisfaction are in danger of being sacrificed at the altar of employers’ expectations, if common sense doesn’t prevail. Workers are, after all, human beings not bots. Utilitarian-type supervision, in which work and results are evaluated in graphs and performance-charts, is menacing and distasteful. What is needed is some hybrid form of this home-working arrangement, one that would be more acceptable to many once the Covid-19 restrictions are eased, allowing employees extra freedom, satisfying employers with increased productivity but, most importantly, ensuring that both employers and employees enjoy the right to disconnect.

Margaret Humphreys

Blarney

Co Cork

Time to return a mediator favour

Maybe the time has come for Ireland to thank America for Senator George Mitchell’s efforts in Northern Ireland by helping to broker the Good Friday Agreement and offer to send a mediator over there. Who would we send?

Paul Power

Sutton Castle

Dublin 13

Businesses backed for right reasons

Baker Tilly ( Irish Examiner, January 21, 2021) suggests that the number of business failures has been kept “artificially low” by government Covid supports. Clearly, Baker Tilly believes the “natural” order is to let businesses fail without support.

Even in normal times that would be an excellent example of the ideological assumptions that lie behind much business analysis which likes to pretend it’s objective and even scientific. In these Covid crisis times, it is nothing less than nonsense. Businesses that are affected by Covid restrictions are being supported because they were viable before Covid and because they will be viable again post-Covid. There would nothing “natural” in allowing them to fail, just ideologically driven folly dressed up as natural law.

Brendan Ryan

Montenotte

Cork

Why no apology from archbishop?

On Wednesday, January 13, last the Taoiseach Micheál Martin apologised on behalf of the Irish State for the harm it did to the survivors of mother and baby homes. But the Taoiseach in his same address also stated most properly that these same survivors had “done nothing wrong.” 

Archbishop Eamon Martin.
Archbishop Eamon Martin.

But on RTÉ Radio 1’s This Week programme on January 17, the Catholic Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, failed to follow the good example that the Taoiseach set by also simply stating that these survivors had done nothing wrong. One wonders why?

Seán O’Brien

Kilrush

Co Clare

Time to ground Shannon stopover

Irish people scattered around the world welcome the transition in the USA to Irish-American President Joe Biden. However, Ireland is not the 51st state of the USA, or another one of its occupied territories. We are an independent sovereign country.

We represent just 0.07% of the population of Planet Earth. We can never be a military power, and if we align ourselves with foreign military powers, all our soldiers will ever be is cannon fodder or mercenaries, “War dogs hungry and grey, Gnawing a naked bone, Fighters in every clime, For every cause but our own.” These are the words of Emily Lawless in her poem Clare Coast 1710.

If President Joe Biden wishes to show his love and respect for the country of his forebearers, he will direct the US military to cease using Shannon airport.
If President Joe Biden wishes to show his love and respect for the country of his forebearers, he will direct the US military to cease using Shannon airport.

That same Clare coast at Shannon airport has seen Irish sovereignty, independence and neutrality compromised severely since 2001 by the wholly unnecessary transit of over 1m armed US soldiers on their way to and from US wars in the Middle East. If President Joe Biden wishes to show his love and respect for the country of his forebearers, he will direct the US military to cease using Shannon airport. Irish American ties and friendship are as deep as the Atlantic that separates us. Now is the time to repair and restore that friendship and kinship.

Edward Horgan

Castletroy

Limerick

Lockdowns: Let’s talk about strategy

Much has been written about The Emergency in Ireland where a somewhat “unneutral” neutral Free State isolated itself from a world war. Censorship was the order of the day.

Fast forward 80 years and while the Ireland of today is far more globally connected, its media and press are rather homogeneous to the point of practically being self-censored. Éamon de Valera would be proud.

Where are the dissenting voices questioning the efficacy of coronavirus-containment lockdowns?

The current measures may indeed be the best way forward — history will probably be a better judge of that — but at least we should be having open discussions about alternatives, not ignoring those who espouse a different strategy. To borrow from the rebel song, Ireland’s on the one road, it may the wrong road (and perhaps is), but we’re together now who cares.

Who cares indeed? Not many it appears.

Brendan Corrigan

Bogotá, Colombia

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

LOTTO RESULTS

Saturday, December 4, 2021

  • 7
  • 10
  • 26
  • 27
  • 35
  • 43
  • 12

Full Lotto draw results »