5 September 2002 Edition

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Mala Poist

Won't be fooled again

A Chairde,

FF and PD ministers are becoming increasingly hysterical in trying to frighten voters into reversing their previous decision on the rerun of Nice. This is hardly surprising, given the government's recklessness in squandering the economic boom, which was generated by Irish workers' increased productivity over the past ten years.

In the latest scaremongering, Mr Ahern and Ms Harney try to claim that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will fall if the people were to reaffirm their "No" vote.

But why should this be so? We would still be a full member of the EU and, free of the centralization of Nice, we would be in a stronger position to set tax rates which attract FDI (if that is what WE decide). Applicant countries would still be able to join via the same Accession Treaty mechanism that we did and thus prevent a two-tier EU, where most investment would be sucked towards the centre.

In fact, FDI is already falling and is set to fall further because of the global IT recession. This fall will be compounded, not by a "No To Nice 2" vote, but by the increasing perception of corruption in Ireland, as revealed in the latest Index from Transparency International. According to TI, Ireland's fall of five places to 23rd will adversely affect FDI into Ireland.

The problem for FF and the PDs is that they now lack credibility because of their failure to effectively tackle corruption and because they broke many of their election promises as soon as they conned their way back into government.

Cllr Dessie Ellis
Dublin 11

Bad neighbour

A Chara,

The TV series 'Neighbours From Hell" was a most popular programme. Huge audiences were spellbound by the unreasonable and outrageous behaviour of neighbours. We viewed in awe as people living side by side were so unreasonable as to cause genuine hurt and distress. All attempts at reasonable discussion and mediation proved fruitless. The wrongdoer, who was without question unreasonable, still resisted all compromise and reconciliation.

Programme over-we went off to bed reassured that 'Neighbours from Hell' was not our problem.

Wrong. Unfortunately, our direct neighbour, Britain, continues to pump out toxic emissions and noxious gases from Sellafield. All reasonable approaches have been refused and denied. All evidence has been ignored. Unlike the TV programme, this is not just an irritant but a threat to our health and the health of our families, neighbours and future generations.

Once again, we would appeal to our neighbours to be reasonable and stop this menace.

Mary Lou MacDonald
Sinn Féin
Dublin West

Basque bias

A Chairde,

It is the duty of any newspaper to deliver the truth, the whole, truth and nothing but the truth, to the best of their ability. I believe An Phoblacht tells the truth, and nothing but the truth, but I am disppointed when I read pieces like "Pity the Basque nation" in the current issue of your newspaper.

The most striking thing about your report is that it completely avoids any mention of the fact that the justification given by the Spanish for the banning of the Basque political party is that it is deemed - perhaps with some justification - to support the bombing of 'civilian' targets by Basque militants. Now, whether or not such justification stands up to scrutiny may be an issue in this case. However, if your reportage of these issues (or any issue) is to be taken seriously, it is necessary to establish a reputation for balanced reporting.

An Phoblacht does not enjoy an unblemished reputation for reporting all of the relevant facts, and that has to make any reader suspicious about what we are NOT being told throughout your reporting as a whole. Nobody is fooled by your approach, and one suspects that the only readership that your newspaper can build must consist of people who read only what they want to hear, and a few others like myself who occasionally trawl your pages in the hope of harvesting the odd nugget of truth which is ignored by the mainstream press.

Unfortunately, readers like myself are obliged to do our trawling with a sceptical eye. I believe An Phoblacht has an important role to play in delivering the truth and informing the public, but your nakedly partisan approach frustrates such purposes. I hope you will change your approach.

John Stafford
Dublin 14

Hawaii against fluoride

A Chairde,

Carol Mary-Fraser's article on fluoridation was excellent. We in Hawaii have also been fighting this issue for over 50 years and ours is the last state not to have any fluoridation chemicals added to our public drinking water system, with the exception of military bases.

The biggest advantage we have had against the proponents is that we grew sugar cane as a crop for many years and used sodium fluoride in the fields as rat poison. Hence, many in the population can make the association. Unfortunately, people in the mainland US, when told this is a rat poison, think you are a poisonmonger trying to scare them since sodium fluoride was discontinued as a rat poison back in the 1970s.

Keep up the good work. Hopefully, we will have a world free of poisoned water.

Aloha from Hawaii and we care about the water in Ireland.

Adrian Chang

Fluoride exposed

A Chairde,

I'd like to comment on your latest edition addressing the fluoridation issue. Very well done!

The Belgian government's decision to ban fluoride drops, tablets, chewing gum and a request for a EU ban on fluoride toothpaste for children comes as no surprise to anyone who has done any research on the issue. The most unbelievable thing about their ban is that their government carried out their own research and found it caused IBS, osteoporosis, dental fluorosis and Central Nervous System damage to children.

The Irish government, which forces every infant and granny to drink it, has never done any research into the side-effects. What the Belgians have banned is pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride. What the Irish children have been forced to drink is 400 times more poisonous, and it has 29 contaminents, such as uranium 238, lead, arsenic, and mercury, to name just a few.

Also, the Belgians are worried about very small amounts causing harm. Imagine what amount our kids are getting when they drink it, bathe in it, eat food and drinks produced in it, and on top of this brush their teeth with it!

This medical experiment on Irish people in violation of EU Human Rights must be stopped NOW!

Ualtar ó Greacháin

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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