28 August 2008 Edition
Cuireann An Phoblacht fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla, 200 focal ar a méid. Déantar giorrú ar litreachta más gá. Cuir do litir chuig [email protected]
An Phoblacht welcomes readers’ letters. Write in Irish or English, 200 words maximum. Letters may be edited for brevity. Send your letters to [email protected] No attachments please
Ignoring the people’s will
MINISTER Dick Roche’s comment that another referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was inevitable was clearly a kite-flying exercise. But it is interesting to view it in the context of the growing push from right-wing elements in Irish society for the Treaty to be passed through the Oireachtas, ignoring the decision of the Irish people, a position strenuously advocated by Stephen Collins of the Irish Times.
I believe the contempt for the supposedly sovereign people that people like Dick Roche and Stephen Collins are now publicly, even proudly, displaying, is not new. It is simply the decision making elite in Ireland showing their true colours for once. If nothing else, it’s educational for non-republicans to discover how low an opinion of them their masters hold.
Sinn Féin in the South
I WOULD like to agree with the comments in Mícheál Mac Donncha’s article on 14 August. It is one of the most accurate and comprehensive overviews of where the party is in the South that I have read. The claim by others that the recent election result ‘woke us up’ to the notion that the Peace Process wasn’t going to be enough to deliver electorally down here is worrying only in the revelation that there were so many people asleep.
Sinn Féin activists in the South were well aware that the Peace Process did not win us votes down here. Instead it was the success of the Peace Process that made Sinn Féin a real option to people who would not have considered us before. The Peace Process ‘allowed’ them to vote for us. Hard work by local candidates, left-wing policies that appealed to working class voters and those concerned with inequality in Irish society, determined and passionate campaigning delivered the votes and the support. It was the suggestion that we shift away from proven vote-winning strategies that brought us the disappointment of last summer.
If some people are only realising this now, one can’t help but wonder where they’ve been for the last ten years.
IS there a more nauseating figure on the Irish political right than Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell? This contemptible pipsqueak was on RTÉ radio this week trying have it both ways as usual. He was criticising Dick Roche for advocating a re-run of the Lisbon Treaty, while at the same time displaying breathtaking arrogance in his attitude towards the decision of Irish voters on that issue, making reference to people also voting “for the Third Reich”. He proceeded to give a revealing insight into his attitude to politics which he said he regarded as “a business” which was to be left to the professionals like himself. His comments reeked of elitism. Maybe it’s a good job that he at least takes himself seriously, because at this stage there cannot be many others who do. After all this was the man who thought Dublin could host the 2004 Olympics! This was despite advice that the city was not even in a position to provide adequate toilet facilities for such an event.
Not a fan of Bertie Ahern, I have to say that he got the measure of Mitchell when he said in the Dáil: ‘You’re a waffler. You have been around here for years waffling.’
Baile Átha Cliath 3
Paisley’s call for shoot-to-kill
IT comes as no surprise that someone like Ian Óg Paisley should call for a shoot-to-kill policy against the members of the micro-groups that have launched several abortive attacks in recent times. Not only does this disgusting “solution” cause offence to those who lost loved ones or valued comrades over the years as result of such methods; it reminds us of the appalling vista that would be a return to a Unionist junta government, with all its attendant corruption and unscrupulous state sponsored terrorism against the nationalist community.
On the bright side, at least Ian Óg retains his lack of self-awareness. The former rising star observed: “However we cannot always rely upon infiltration and treachery within the ranks to undermine their activity.” Apparently he was referring to the micro-groups, not Peter Robinson, Nigel Dodds, Gregory Campbell and wee Jeffrey Donaldson.