Ireland’s abortion referendum – What a great result

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-44265492

The BBC has the detail on its web site – see link above

This leaves just Northern Ireland living in the dark ages as the DUP partners of our present Tory Government seek to keep the Province in those dark ages.

This is of course another step, if a small one, towards a united Ireland if the younger generations can move forward and break free from the shackles of religious and inter-community hatred of their past.

Who would have thought that the deeply Catholic Irish Republic of not so many years ago could change so progressively and so quickly. A great result indeed.

Brexit – That very sticky Irish border problem

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/11/hard-brexiteers-brexit-northern-ireland-border

The Guardian has the article on its web site – see link above

I just know the mention of Polly Toynbee will set my old chum Phil off. Yes I know Phil, she can often be all heart and little head so to speak.

Seriously, this article has a very clear point. To me Brexit pushes a united Ireland closer and that can only be a good thing – a good thing from Brexit? Well maybe, just maybe if civil war does not break out in that island first of course. Funny how the muddled thinking of the rich and powerful Brexit conspirators, aided and abetted by Labour’s JC Leadership of course, may well lead to the law of unintended consequences kicking in.

Having said that hard Brexiters want a result at any cost – bugger the economy, let jobs be lost, put the Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement at great risk, break up the United Kingdom – they are all on their couldn’t care less agenda as they squeeze TM and JC in their vice like grip.

Brexit is the greatest act of self-harm the UK has brought on itself in living memory.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

We all (including companies) need to pay our taxes or public services will suffer.

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/30/apple-tax-avoidance-vindication-protest-ttip

The Guardian has the story on its web site – see link above.

Those who do not pay their fair share of taxes, be they companies or individuals, are, by their actions in my view, putting public services at risk. They are also by default expecting others to fund those services whilst they take a taxation holiday.

The fact that both the Irish Government and Apple have been pulled up by the EU for participating in what the EU is calling an illegal agreement on taxation is a good thing and shows how effective the EU can be at times in ensuring the right thing is done.

Do I take it that Brexiters will want to ignore this EU intervention?

Thanks to Roy Connell for spotting this story.

Europe – Why staying in is important – An Irish perspective

To me Europe is important, I don’t feel threatened by it and I am certainly not a Little Englander wishing for past glories to return. Nor do I believe many of those daft press stories about the EU bossing us around. Such stories may well fill newspapers but that does not mean they are true.

For me the peace and stability that the EU has helped to bring to a continent that had previously always been at war is worth a lot. Of course Europe is nowhere near perfect and of course it never will be. How can it be with so many completing national interests on the table all the time.

Last Monday evening Jen and I went to hear what the Irish Ambassador to the UK (Dan Mulhall) had to say about Europe and it was a fascinating talk in the University of Liverpool’s Leggate Lecture Theatre in the Victoria Museum on Brownlow Hill. Cllr. Sue McGuire the Lib Dem Leader on Sefton Council was there with her family together with other prominent Merseyside Lib Dems such as Kris Brown and Paul Clarke.

Irish Ambassador to the UK, Dan Mulhall

Irish Ambassador to the UK, Dan Mulhall

One interesting issue that would probably not occur to most of us (unless we have strong/close ties with Ireland) is what on earth will happen with the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic if Britain leaves the EU?

In reality the effect of the peace process in Ireland and the fact that both counties are in the EU has been that the border is all but non-existent in all practical terms. But should we leave the EU that boarder will again become an external border as the Irish Republic will be staying in the EU. Now that’s a worrying thought indeed.

Clearly the Irish have far more open minds to the EU than many Brits seem to have yet Ireland is a very small nation with far less clout than we have. I wonder why many of of us fear partnership and crave isolation? Instead of driving the car we content ourselves with hitching an EU lift now and again.

Being a trade unionist also means that I appreciate the positive effect that the EU has had on our working lives, working hours and prosperity.

So I am certainly in the ‘IN’ camp in the forthcoming referendum and listening to Dan Mulhall was useful and informative and it certainly helped to broaden my mind.