The political upheavals in the US and UK are what many of us predicted with the rise of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan: the rich “deserve” government support.
The wholesale sell-off of public institutions and the privatization of everything that falls under the responsibility of the government are now a serious threat to parliamentary democracy.
Vladimir Putin was elected because the Russian people needed “a strongman” to control the corruption that erupted under Boris Yeltsin. Since 1945, US interference in the Middle East has meant Iran, Iraq, Syria and many other nations there are in constant strife.
British Prime Minister Liz Truss is so overwhelmed by American think tanks that she cannot imagine her ideology being anything but correct.
The philosopher George Santayana once said: “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”
Isn’t this what we’ve seen since 1979, when so-called democratic politicians chase the selfish dreams of the rich without caring about their own kind? The challenge today is not with politicians, but with voters to participate more fully. In other famous words: “Your country needs you!”
Declan Foley, Melbourne, Australia
No more room for debate as our society loses its tolerance
Once again, it is left to Ian O’Doherty to put it as it really is when he says: “Freedom of expression…now seems out of fashion and downright dangerous”. (Irish Independent, 15th October). Indeed, as he says, “a society without comedy or vigorously expressed and even unpopular opinions is no longer society”.
What we have is total submission to groupthink and “awakened” opinions; so much so that our society is now one without debate.
Mary Stewart, Town of Ardeskin, Donegal
Truss should return to her roots with Lib Dem Minnows
Liz Truss is overwhelmed as Prime Minister, but she would be an ideal leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, of which she was a former member and made a great anti-monarchy speech at their 1994 conference.
Dominic Shelmerdine, London
Leave rededication behind and find a better way to develop land
News from deals with farmers (Irish Independent18 October) to clear repurposed land for house building shows once again what is wrong with, and what contributes to, excessive housing costs in Ireland.
It’s about time the entire planning system, if you can call it that, was reformed. Rezoning has become detrimental to the rapid availability of land for the construction of houses in the right place and at the right time.
It must be replaced by a system of land allocation to allow properly planned expansion of cities, towns and villages.
Under an eligibility system – designed to logically expand urban areas – land would be bought only under coercive powers from the state, when needed, and at a fair price based on agricultural land prices plus compensation for lost agricultural income – not through speculation bloated – and made available immediately for builders.
The builders would not own the land, and the state would recover its original purchase at cost from the ultimate home buyer, a method that would be cost neutral to the taxpayer. Lowering real estate prices would be a great benefit for society and the state.
In addition, so-called development fees, which are charged by the municipalities, also contribute to excessive housing costs. The abolition of these fees should be considered.
These were not required in the past, as the provision of housing for the general public was viewed as a common good. The current system is a farce and makes housing more expensive.
David Doran, Bagenalstown, County Carlow
Who got O’Connell Street into this mess?
look at RTEs prime time On Tuesday across Dublin’s O’Connell Street, I was amazed but not surprised at the level of drug use, antisocial behavior, begging and vagrancy.
Just recently my wife and I went to a concert. The next morning we decided to walk down O’Connell Street towards Henry Street to do some shopping.
I saw drug taking, begging, groups of individuals gathering and openly drinking, but what I didn’t see was Lake Garda walking around or a police car driving by.
Abandoned shops, discarded needles and other forms of human waste make for a depressing and unsavory downtown
Christy Galligan, Letterkenny, Co Donegal
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/voters-should-get-tougher-on-politicians-to-end-the-chaos-42080726.html Voters should crack down on politicians to end the chaos