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Being conservative is no bad thing when preserving all that is good

I refer to Dr Kevin McCarthy’s letter (Irish Examiner, May 2). How tired I get of the intellectual smugness of self styled liberals who perpetuate the myth that conservatives (note the small ‘c’) are all unreconstructed misogynistic xenophobes.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, an unsavoury pedagogue who appeals to the very worst in human nature, is the very antithesis of a conservative. He does not wish to preserve but to destroy that which is best in our civilisation. I am a conservative. I wish to conserve those things of which our civilisation is a shining example. Democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of worship.

I do not believe in God but I believe in those who do. I admire self reliance, enterprise, ambition and courage in the face of adversity. I believe that the better off have a duty to aid the unfortunate. I support equality but tire of the professionally outraged.

I am in favour of gay marriage but wholeheartedly support the right of those who do not to say so without being vilified. I believe that there is much in our past and in the present day that needs to be vigorously protected and that we should beware of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Change should be measured and considerate. I also believe that we should cease to apologise for our material wealth which is the product of centuries of endeavour.

I do not believe that we should limit our freedoms to appease the extreme elements of any faith, be it a faith we share or not. Now I would say that my beliefs pretty much accord with the love of the freedom of the individual which is held in common with the vast majority of members of that broad church that carries the label of conservative and is the very cornerstone of all that is best about our society.

Fergus O’Leary

Ardmore Estate

Passage West

Co Cork


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Wesley O’ Regan is the General Manager of Popscene in Voodoo Rooms, Cork city. Popscene opened last November and is Cork’s only themed bar that is dedicated to celebrating the best of the 80s and 90s. https://www.facebook.com/PopsceneCork/You've Been Served: Wesley O'Regan, Popscene

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