‘An Irish outsider in Brexitland’

 

Sir, – The essay by Prof Gerald Dawe on “An Irish outsider in Brexitland” (January 24th) is not only an erudite plea for the proper use of language, it is also a reminder of the prescience of George Orwell’s political vision. I am drawn to respond by the ever-increasing ill-conceived media verbiage voicing the need for further referendums in other European countries, including Ireland.

Prof Dawe’s thesis is that once we lose the essence of language, or pervert its meaning by repetitious phraseology, we fall prey to the utterances of devious miscreant politicians, like Nigel Farrage.

In common with many European countries, we, in Ireland, elect a government to do what it considers best for the people, and if we don’t like what the elected representatives do, we throw them out (as we have shown ourselves well capable of doing). We should resort, therefore, to referendums, only when the issue is one of constitutional reform. Rather than holding an unnecessary referendum, David Cameron would have better served the British people (and his European partners), had he heeded another Orwellian maxim:“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”. By doing so he might have upset the 52 per cent who voted for Brexit, which would have had little effect on the political modus operandi. Let’s not contemplate any such foolishness here! – Yours, etc,

EOIN O’BRIEN,

Monkstown, Co Dublin.