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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (06/09/16)

Your letters, your views...

Politicians’ bluster and nonsense needs to stop

It can be a frustrating experience to listen to the slick, evasive answers given to journalists by political representatives when asked direct questions that could, in many instances, be answered in a straightforward manner.

The topic under scrutiny may be of vital public concern yet we hear hackneyed phrases, pretentious diction, and sheer codswallop.

They often attempt, and sometimes succeed, in dominating the relevant time-slot by presenting a lot of relevant (or irrelevant) statistical information which may be in the public domain already.

The exasperated interviewer has to be deferential to such important people or else he may be reprimanded by his employer.

They may pose the query in many different ways, yet it is usually impossible to outmanoeuvre the wily public representative.

They seem to be very well tutored in this regard.

This type of evasiveness and hypocrisy is to be deplored. It is not surprising that many people are dissatisfied with such behaviour. It is an affront to listeners to spew out such drivel.

There is of course one very high-ranking member of our current Government so extremely proficient at this that one has no option but to press the ‘mute’ button when the politician is pontificating in this manner. God bless the convenience of the remote control!

When a politician cannot answer the question posed, why doesn’t he or she simply say “I don’t know, so therefore I will not answer your query at the moment”?

This type of response would be far more respectful than waffling and blabbering hoping to present an appearance of efficiency.

Interestingly, when most politicians are in opposition themselves they are well able to ask direct well-prepared questions and to pursue the topic relentlessly. As the old saying goes, “the shoe in on the other foot then”.

Margaret Humphreys,
Co Cork


Little Turk Muffet sat on a tuffet...

Apropos of Paddy Phelan’s adaptation of Humpty Dumpty (Your view, Sept 6), perhaps another old nursery rhyme can be adapted to describe the current Turkish invasion of Syria:

Little Turk Muffet
Sat on a tuffet
Driving the Kurds away
From Gaziantep to Lake Van
Swore Recep Erdogan
Turkey undivided shall stay

(Glossary for those not too familiar with the local conditions: The ‘muffet’ is a diminutive form of ‘muff’, meaning a ‘fool’ or ‘blunderer’, derived from the verb ‘muff’ used in sporting terminology for bungling or missing a target.

A ‘tuffet’ is a ‘small hillock’ referring here to the Turkish capital, Ankara, in central Anatolia (Asiatic Turkey) Gaziantep province is in south-central Turkey near the Syrian border, and has a substantial Kurdish minority Lake Van is the largest lake in Turkey, located in the far east of the country — the majority of Van province’s population is Kurdish.

Recep Erdogan is of course the current president of Turkey.)

Martin D. Stern
Hanover Gardens
Salford M7 4FQ

Remembering the fallen victims

The recent ecumenical service at the Mount Argus for members of RIC/DMP, numbering 500 who were killed in the years 1916 to 1922, was a privilege to attend.

However, I did not see any politicians present or RTÉ coverage.

Later that afternoon, journalist Kevin Myers launched a book by Jim Herlihy, an Irish historian, on the Royal Irish Constabulary.

That publication is very informative and a pleasure to read, especially in this year’s continuing celebrations for the terrible events of Easter 1916.

Tony Moriarty
Shanid Road
Harold’s Cross
Dublin 6

EU makes Ireland eunuch-in-chief

I wish to congratulate Maurice Curtin (letters, Sept 5) on clarifying the role of this country in the puzzling imbroglio of Ireland, Apple, and the EU.

It seems that the EU has designated Ireland as eunuch-in-chief who will be in charge of the harem.

This is all about Eunuch Ireland’s duty to keep any wayward members of the harem under control, without this Eunuch deriving any pleasure or profit from the burdensome task.

As Eunuch Ireland has, up to now, complied meekly with all strictures from Brussels — especially those from Jean-Claude Juncker of tiny Luxemburg — we eagerly await Eunuch Ireland’s willingness to please the magnificoes of the EU yet again.

Maureen O’Donnell
Haig Gardens

What price for peace in Syria?

It is tragic news that America and Russia have failed to agree on a strategy for fighting IS in Syria.

Apparently the difficulty is that US allied forces would be hard to “disentangle” from Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorists and doing this would require “unprecedented” co-operation between the US and Russia in sharing intelligence.

Is that too high a price to pay for peace in Syria?

Brendan O’Brien
Arundel Gardens
London N21 3AG

No moral high ground in denial

Michael Clifford declares that there is no ‘moral high ground’ for the people of this country because the ‘Apple mess’ is ‘of our own making’ (Sept 2).

Yet he questions the EU for deciding that ‘the debts for much of Europe’s banking crisis be borne by us’.

While most of the powerful decision-makers of the EU’s member states managed to run their affairs without bankrupting their countries, the decisions of this country’s most powerful citizens during the years of the boom not alone caused our banking crisis but also bankrupt this country.

The collapse and bailout in 2010 was of our own making and was a much more serious mess for the people of this country than the Apple one.

There is, therefore, not much moral high ground to be had in denying, as Michael Clifford seems to be doing, that we, and not the savers and taxpayers of other, sometimes poorer countries, should have paid for the consequences of the 2010 collapse.

A. Leavy
Shielmartin Drive
Dublin 13

Charities must face up to realities

Trócaire’s Eamonn Meehan (Letters, Sept 5) praises the Irish Naval Service and other EU navies for rescuing huge numbers of migrants crossing by sea into Europe.

He ignores the fact that Klaus Roesler, the head of the EU’s border control agency, has admitted that these rescue missions have ‘triggered departures’ from Africa.

The UK’s House of Lords reported in May that the EU’s rescue efforts acted as ‘a magnet’ and help people smugglers.

As was predicted by many, smugglers now force economic migrants into anything that will float knowing that any EU naval ship that finds them will take them to Italy.

Only 19% of migrants refused asylum in Italy are actually returned home.

The rest just disappear into thin air. Often the young girls and boys among them become victims of Europe’s sex trade.

When will Trócaire and the rest of the charity industry face reality?

Karl Martin
Dublin 13

A conclusion about Donald Trump

After listening to his latest rants about immigration, ‘Deportation Squads’ (sound familiar?), and that ‘big, beautiful wall, ’I have come to the conclusion Donald Trump is a paranoid schizophrenic... and he’s crazy too!

Herb Stark
Carriage Club Dr.
NC 28117

A Few No Good Men

Venue: European Court.

Commission to multinational: “We want answers? We want the truth!” Multinational: “You can’t handle the truth! You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.

"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to mere mortals. The manner in which I provide information is on a need-to-know basis. I’d rather you just said thank you! And went on your way. I don’t give a damn what you think Ireland is entitled to!”

Commission: “Did you lie to us?”
Multinational: “I did what I had to do.” Commission: “Did you lie to us?”
Multinational “You’re goddamn right I did!”
Commission: “Why didn’t you tell us the truth?”
Multinational: “You can’t handle the truth!”

Maybe there’s a movie in there somewhere.

Anthony Woods
Marian Avenue,
Co. Clare


Halloween has really upped the ante in recent years here, hasn’t it?We have moved on considerably since the days of a bin liner fashioned with holes for arms and necks

Sandhoppers for breakfast? It’s just not cricketCrickets for lunch anyone? Time - is running out - to get over our western food prejudices

Why did the Neanderthals go extinct?, asks Richard CollinsDid ear and chest infections wipe out our neanderthal ancestors?

Corkbeg Island near the mouth of Cork Harbour is today an industrial location with Ireland’s only oil refinery whose silver cylinders dominate the low-lying island like giant mugs, writes Dan McCarthy. Islands of Ireland: 'Tanks' for the memories Corkbeg

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