Frank Coughlan’s column (“Taking Sides in the War on Our Standed Neutrality”, Irish Independent, 19 April) chills with the same zeal and short-sightedness as Charles Penrose Fitzgerald’s White Feather Brigade, which mobilized young men for the First World War recruited.
Instead of putting white feathers on the collars of young “cowards,” Frank has chosen to use the charged language of “insularity,” “restrictedness,” and “exceptionalism.” He sidesteps the suggestion that supporters of neutrality are “serially oppressed” and “antagonistic” and would support Éamon de Valera’s “hunger order”.
To me, Irish neutrality means less warmongering, less spending on arms, less isolationist politics, more diplomacy and peacemaking. Our small nation is better able to negotiate neutrally than to join in the warmongering.
Maynooth, County Kildare
A win for Le Pen would be a terrible result for Europe
Marine Le Pen and her party must be prevented from taking power in France. Only French voters can do that in this weekend’s election. A Le Pen presidency would serve as a springboard for Frexit, as the majority of their policies violate EU law.
For example, she is willing to hold a referendum on reinstating the death penalty if elected to power. The only country in Europe that has the death penalty is Belarus, which is a dictatorship and also a staunch ally of Belarus Russia.
Ms. Le Pen is also making efforts to build a privileged partnership with Russia. A Frexit would derail the EU train as France was a founding member and has also made a massive contribution to the bloc’s budget over the years. Without France, the EU dream is over.
France is also Ireland’s closest EU neighbor geographically and Ireland’s seventh largest export market.
The Irish living in France owe it to themselves and Ireland to vote for Emmanuel Macron.
As usual, officials ask for more in hard times
With the extraordinary impact of the Covid pandemic on the economy and the looming financial catastrophe of the Ukraine war, it is not encouraging to see that public sector unions are ahead and looking for more.
This most spoiled segment of society, with lifetime job security, ring-fenced pensions, flex-time work and on-the-job training, feels that now is the time to get back to milking what they can.
They are not afraid of suddenly being unemployed and unable to pay their bills. This was the reality for thousands left with no jobs to return to after the Covid lockdowns.
How are employees in the private sector supposed to get along much worse without union influence, while the public sector has to be compensated for the increased cost of living?
Address with publisher
Beware of the havoc that green policies can wreak
Fionnán Sheahan writes that the Greens are preachy, lazy and out of touch (“Supercilious laziness of Ryan and Greens now damage support for climate action”, Irish IndependentApril 18).
If you want to show what green politics can do for entire communities, visit West Virginia or Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada. Here the Greens shut down the coal and oil industries.
In neither case was an alternative industry sought and now both sectors are in severe economic depression.
Ratgar, Dublin 6
Putin will only be stopped if the West sends troops to Ukraine
Not only do I believe that Western powers should provide Ukrainian forces with offensive weapons; I think Western powers should send Western forces to fight alongside Ukrainian forces.
What is that? Who wants to start World
War III? No one in their right mind wants to start World War III, but does anyone think anyone would want to start World War II back in 1938-39? Of course not.
So what happened? It became clear that Adolf Hitler was not alone in committing a grave wrong, but that he clearly intended to continue with it if not stopped.
I’m not saying that Wladimir Putin is quite comparable to Hitler, but he has been killing defenseless civilians, including women and children, and intends to continue doing so until he has taken everything Ukraine.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/always-better-to-seek-peace-than-join-the-warmongering-41568104.html It is always better to seek peace than to join in warmongering