5 March 2009 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
AS a member of the anti-collusion group An Fhirinne, the Eames/Bradley Report for me was always going to stand or fall on how INDEPENDENT it was of the British Government.
The answer is not at all.
The decision of British SOS, Sean Woodward, to scrap the £12,000 to all families shows that the British Government, without consulting anyone, has the power to do what it likes with the Eames/Bradley Recommendations.
What chance now for truth for the families of those murdered by the British State as a result of collusion, rubber and plastic bullets or Shoot to KIll operations by British Crown Forces?
None at all I believe, because it is the British Government alone who are left to decide which recommendations of the Eames/Bradley Report they will implement.
For those campaigning for truth about British State murder and collusion our quest for a truly International, Independent, Truth Commission will continue.
We would ask all those who seek truth and justice to continue to support our cause.
Martin Cullen’s air taxi
EVEN though I don’t like him, I am truly glad that Tourism Minister Martin Cullen, his colleague or none of the Air Corps crew was injured when the door of one of our very few military helicopters ferrying him around the country this week blew off in mid-flight.
What I am worried about is that when the Government is lecturing all of us ad nauseum about tightening our belts and cutting public transport, one of those very same ministers - who has a public-funded chauffeur-driven Mercedes — whistles up a public-funded air taxi to pick him up at his house in Waterford, fly him to Kerry and then on to Dublin. And at a cost of €8,000!
What’s wrong with the train, Minister Cullen, or is that just for us plebs?
Growth for growth’s sake?
Although the global extent, length and depth may be in dispute, everyone agrees the world is suffering a serious financial and economic crisis. The financial sector in a number of countries, including Ireland, is close to being technically bankrupt. Beyond the financial sector a number of industries in Ireland and elsewhere are teetering on the edge. The debts being ratcheted up by some countries will take generations to pay off and in the coming decade will lead to both tax rises and heavy cuts in public expenditure.
Every time we talk about ‘the global economic downturn’, or the need to kick start the economy, what we are doing is urging more expenditure, more motion. Economic growth is a means to an end, not an end in itself. But society has forgotten this. To measure the health of our society, our world, we need to know what this economic growth has helped us accomplish, and at what cost, not just how much motion it has generated and money it has spent.
There’s another component to the economy: What it does not value.
Our economic model, championed these past few decades, has put the value of our joint home, planet earth, at precisely zero. There is no economic value put on our forests, our water, our soil, our oceans or our biosphere; all of which are vital to sustaining life on this planet, and all of which are limited.
And as a consequence, we have been looting our home with impunity. Just as a credit crunch was inevitable, so is a climate crunch if business as usual continues. And a fisheries collapse, and the destruction of rainforests; and a whole host of other environmental breakdowns.
This environmental crisis is throwing many certainties into the air. Where they land is up to us.
Beware of Cross Border Projects bearing gifts
In recent years there has been a deluge of cross border projects which seek to promote community relations and provide leadership skills to participants. The vast majority of these are extremely positive and worthwhile.
However not all is what it appears to be. I am aware of a number of cross border initiatives where the Southern ‘community’ group is little more than a front for Fianna Fáil. Both management and participants being Fianna Fáil members or supporters, who do not engage with genuine community organisations in their locality. Transparency is not a key tenet of these groups. While they may be bringing much needed funding and training into republican areas of the North, they may also be doing the groundwork for a Fianna Fáil expansion.
As a republican I would welcome Fianna Fáil becoming an all-Ireland party, however, as a community development worker I would urge community groups in the North to be mindful of who they work with and what their agenda is.