Firstly, for the record, I take a drink and I like a flutter on the gee gees.
While I 100% agree with Senator Mark Wall’s highlighting and acting on the need to protect our children and more vulnerable members of society from the many vices of this world Irish Examiner ( Gambling ads should be banned — Labour, online, February 17) I also feel aggrieved in his view gambling ads are a priority for him and the #BeatTheAds campaign.
So say we block gambling ads, fantastic, so what about alcohol ads? Is alcohol not a potential addiction? Do alcohol ads not have any negative influence on children?
Mr Wall is quoted as highlighting ads for gambling during sports events. However, what about all the ads for alcohol, is this not an issue? By this mantra, it is OK to advertise drinking but not gambling to kids?
For example, when Ireland play rugby in the Six Nations the goal posts are adorned with one of the world’s most famous alcohol brands. Is this OK? Or other alcohol companies which advertise during sporting and non-sporting events.
Is gambling addiction in Ireland a bigger problem than alcohol addiction?
During Covid-19, off-licence stores somehow made it into the “essential” category and were allowed to stay open, perhaps leading to more drinking in family homes than surely is healthy?
The Dáil has a bar in it, what kind of an ad is that for the kids? If the elected representatives of this country are going to be pro-active to the wellbeing of its citizens, I applaud them.
However, may I kindly suggest they avoid jumping on a bandwagon and focus on prioritising a much bigger national addiction that you could say is the elephant in the room.
Maybe some of our government officials can discuss it over a pint in the Dáil bar some day.
While Michael Clifford has often been honoured as an outstanding journalist, his article Irish Examiner ( Power of vested interests still evident, February 20) is particularly noteworthy.
In it he outlined and comprehensively highlighted the manner in which insurance companies and the judiciary seem to have been facilitated by politicians to ensure that Sinn Féin TD, Pearse Doherty’s Insurance (Restrictions of Differential Pricing and Profiling) Bill 2020 will be delayed for another nine months.
This highly cynical move is a prime example of the networking strength of certain elements of the Irish elite classes.
Such disregard for the urgency of this well-needed bill further highlights the jealousy of our hybrid government members towards Sinn Féin politicians lest the latter be given any recognition or acclaim for aspiring to regulate Irish insurance companies.
Meanwhile, the public must endure exorbitant insurance charges for an indefinite period.
It is imperative that our political leaders put jealousy and ambition aside and prioritise the interests of the public over the interests of their powerful buddies. This type of political maneuvering and skullduggery is unacceptable in a democratic state.
The basic tenets of democracy should, after all, prevail over personal dislikes and the vested interests of powerful friends and organisations.
Mention the word troika in this country and the population goes pale remembering the horror of the financial crash of 2008.
It’s tempting to use the word troika to describe our present government.
But it would be wrong to use the word because by definition it means: A group of three people working together, especially in an administrative or managerial capacity.
The three parties which are supposed to be running our country are stumbling around like headless chickens, not working together, in their tired efforts during a crisis which is worse than that of 2008.
They relentlessly, shamelessly and recklessly trot out the excuse that they are following the health guidelines when locking down the country. But they are not.
They were advised many times over the past year to lock down the country, which means its borders — and no flights in or out. Instead we have had a rolling lockdowns of our citizens and a very risky opening up at Christmas that every sensible person knew would open the floodgates for infections and which has resulted in 2021 being a more grim prospect than 2020 was.
Coronavirus variants are now rampant here while the Government tell us, quite emotionlessly, that thousands of visitors to our island came in the last two months from each of the following countries, South Africa, Brazil and the UK — the homes of the latest variants.
Maybe it was wrong to use the word troika, but the comparison in this case raises the spectre of another horror being overseen by this type of government.
Middle Glanmire Road
It can’t be just myself who’s noticed over the past year that the lockdowns have contributed to a sense of sinister foreboding on the near deserted streets as we go about with trepidation.
That it could go on like this far into the future does indeed show we can be manipulated and conditioned into living in fear of the unknown, and not just of this current pandemic.
This “new world order” goes against our natural instincts and capacity to think freely, especially when much of what is feared is now copper-fastened under political legislation and law.
“Freedoms” are taking on a wholly different and unwelcome meaning as we try to live according to existing civic restrictions which appear long term in their application.
We live in a democracy where we challenge our politicans at the polling stations, and not by cowardly attacks on their family homes.
This disgusting behaviour is from people who probably never took an ounce of responsibility for anything in their lives, and thankfully their actions have been rightly condemned by all normal people who value our democracy over thuggery.
The world is just emerging from a great struggle with Covid-19 which, thanks to technology, it is winning.
The next struggle has already begun between those who would own and control enormous achievements of technological advances to be used for their own purposes, and those who idealistically wish to share the great benefits with all; as an entitlement rather than crumbs from a master’s table.
It could be the greatest power of wills ever experienced by the human race and it is fast approaching.
I gained a little encouragement in reading Abortion law change proposal tabled at Stormont, (Irish Examiner, online, February 16) — an attempt to mitigate a particularly inhuman aspect of Northern Ireland’s recently liberalised abortion laws.
Most reasonable people still cling to the hope that laws should have widespread acceptance among those citizens affected.
Therefore, Northern Ireland’s new abortion legislation ought never to have been passed by the UK parliament in 2019, at a time when Stormont was not functioning, to be imposed over the heads of the citizens of Northern Ireland. It was a flagrant breach of democracy.
This move by DUP MLA Paul Givan to repeal a singularly unjust aspect of the new laws is, therefore, at least a sign that some Northern Ireland’s politicians have retained a sense of humanity.
At a time when public health is a hot topic, the very least that Irish society — North and South — ought to do is to say a loud no to the lie that some lives are less valuable than others.
While welcoming the announcement that Leaving Certificate students will be able to sit their exams, I’m presumingthey will be allowed sit these lengthy papers unmasked, in well ventilated, socially distanced exam halls.
Will the virus advance or retreat against our gallant unmasked warriors? Who knows and does anyone really care apart from the students’ families?
Is there a contingency plan in place if public health guidelines can’t be adhered to in June? I’m placing my trust in the man above not the powers that be in this country.
Co Chill Dara