Fallout from dramatic UK election results

 

Sir, – Winning the election and getting Brexit done, while losing Scotland and Northern Ireland in the process, may yet go down in history as one of the great pyrrhic victories of all time.

If so, the words of King Pyrrhus may come back to haunt a scholar of the classics who has learned nothing from history: “If we are victorious in one more battle . . . we shall be utterly ruined”. Yours, etc,

CHRIS FITZPATRICK,

Dublin 6.

Sir, – If there is a lesson from the UK’s recent general election for Fine Gael, it is in seeing what happens when a centre-right party gives up smelling the roses and gets back to smelling the coffee, like early-risers should. – Yours, etc,

KILLIAN FOLEY-WALSH,

Kilkenny.

Sir, – While recognising Boris Johnson’s spectacular exhibition of political nous over the last few months and congratulating him on his achievement, I have to dispute his claim the that UK is the “greatest democracy in the world”.

I don’t think the Liberal Democrats would agree either: 11 per cent of the vote but fewer than 2 per cent of the seats in Westminster. Perhaps a better statement would have been to thank the “greatest democracy in the world for large widespread political parties”. – Yours, etc,

EOIN CURTIN,

Ennis, Co Clare.

Sir, – There is a quaint concept in theology that it’s acceptable to tell a lie when there is a conflict between justice and veracity. Now is the moment for Sinn Féin to exercise this concept, declare the required oath of allegiance to the queen and to take their seats in Westminster.

Ireland will never be united until there is a vocal demand for unity from within the four walls of the British parliament. – Yours, etc,

Canon JAMES MORIARTY,

Dublin 4.

Sir, – I was rather hoping that Fintan O’Toole’s assessment of Jeremy Corbyn’s chances of leading the British Labour Party to success in the recent UK general election was way off the mark (Weekend Review, December 7th). Alas,he was bang on in his appraisal.

Labour, under Corbyn proved to be unelectable; just as your esteemed columnist predicted. I don’t suppose he’d care to prophesy the result of our own forthcoming general election? It’s been quite a while since I relieved Paddy Power of a few quid. – Yours, etc,

PAUL DELANEY,

Dalkey, Co Dublin.

Sir, – It appears that Brexit gets done while Labour gets lost! – Yours, etc,

MARY FOGARTY,

Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Boris Johnson on Thursday night paid tribute to the “greatest democracy in the world”. Wrong. The greatest non-democratic democracy in the world. Conservatives + Brexit Party = 45.6 per cent of the popular vote. So much for the “will of the people”, and “clear mandate” for Boris Johnson. If this election was a “referendum on Brexit”, this is the result: For Brexit 45.6 per cent – Against Brexit 54.4 per cent.

The only “mandate” to come out of this election is for a new referendum in Scotland. Bring in the single transferable vote, and then we will talk “democracy”. – Yours, etc,

Dr VITTORIO BUFACCHI,

Department of Philosophy,

University College Cork.

Sir, – The UK votes in a Tory government to “get Brexit done”, and thereby re-establish UK sovereignty. As a result, Scotland eventually leaves the UK and Britain – the union of Scotland and England – ceases to exist; the final, irrevocable end of the British empire, the great historical desideratum of millions of people all over the globe for centuries.

Had the Brexiteer Tories realised that the EU was in part originally founded in the 1950s to shore up a European nation state system that was looking very rickety they might have avoided this outcome. Thankfully, they didn’t. – Yours, etc,

EOIN DILLON, Dublin 8.

Sir, – Corbyn’s Brexit-neutral dithering led inevitably to a Corbyn-neutral government. – Yours, etc,

PATRICK CALLAN,

Portmarnock, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Scotland has elected a majority of SNP, possibly leading eventually to independence. How does a border work down the Irish Sea in this scenario? People think Brexit is complicated, but imagine this coming to pass. – Yours, etc,

SEAMUS HEGARTY,

Belfast.

Sir, – To sum it up: BoJo-a-go-go!

CLARE BALFE,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – The result of the UK election must be very sobering for the “Corbyn Chorus” that occupied your letters page in the run-up to the election.

We have been regaled with tales of his “common sense”, his skilful handling of dissent in his party, and most bizarrely, how he represents some form of “new politics”. Anybody who lived through the 1970s will now how preposterous and incongruous a thought that is.

The reality is that Jeremy Corbyn, with his fairytale economic policies, his baked-in anti-Semitism, and his ambivalence towards Brexit, was unelectable, and the overwhelming Tory majority was as much a rejection of him as it was an endorsement of Boris Johnson.

Can the Labour Party please now return to the centre, where it actually belongs, and has a real chance of restoring some much needed sanity to British politics? – Yours, etc,

TURLOUGH O’DONNELL,

Clonskeagh,

Dublin 14.

Sir, – Labour, for the few not the many. – Yours, etc,

RORY J WHELAN,

Drogheda,

Co Meath.

Sir, – How long will it take Donald Trump to claim Boris Johnson’s Conservative party’s victory was due to his recent support? – Yours, etc,

CECIL ORR,

Wicklow.

Sir, – Looks like “Corbyn delivers Brexit”. – Yours, etc,

FRANK O’CONNOR,

Glenageary, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Thursday night’s thumping victory for the Conservatives in the UK general election shows that when a centre-right party holds firm to its ideals, while striving to win the support of working-class voters by selling that vision, the results speak for themselves. Rather than roll-over and sleep-in, Friday morning’s wake-up call should be embraced by Fine Gael HQ. – Yours, etc,

STEPHEN SHINE,

Kilkenny.

Sir, – Boris Johnson’s stunning victory is proof that rather than being in crisis, democracy in the UK is in rude health. Mendacious parliamentarians who ignored the will of the people in the referendum as well as their own promises on which they fought the last election have been turfed out on their ear.

A leader who shunned the working-class base on which his party was founded in favour of a Marxist economic policy and rampant anti-Semitism in his ranks has been humiliated. And the only leader in this election who abided by the largest mandate in British political history has been rewarded with five years in office in which to deliver Brexit. In politics, as in life, you reap what you sow. – Yours, etc,

KEN ANDREW,

Cobh, Co Cork.

A chara, – A bad day for Europe and particularly bad for Ireland. Boris Johnson’s major election success – not unexpected – endorsing his aim for the UK to leave the EU promptly, will mean that Europe will be considerably weakened.

Therefore, Putin’s Russia, China and the US will be strengthened.

Britain’s so-called “special relationship” with the US, will last only when it suits the US.

Difficulties now face Ireland, including North/South and trade issues. In our coming election, therefore, we should ensure that the best government possible is chosen. – Is mise,

SEÁN Ó CUINN,

An Charraig Dhubh,

Co Átha Cliath.

Sir, – The UK general election has been described by most observers as essentially another referendum on Brexit. If that is indeed the case, the results point to an increasingly divided union. In Northern Ireland around 67 per cent of voters chose candidates who campaigned to remain in the EU.

If the Labour vote is included, roughly 60 per cent of voters in Wales and 75 per cent in Scotland indicated the same preference in line with the policy consensus which has emerged from their respective parliaments. The inevitable conclusion is that Brexit is primarily an expression of English nationalism rather than a decision taken in the interests of the United Kingdom as a whole. – Yours, etc,

MARTIN MC DONALD,

Terenure, Dublin 12.

Sir, – As recently as February this year I was asked what was the Scottish attitude to the 1707 Act of Union. I replied “It’s still too soon to tell”.

In the light of this week’s election results however, I do think that the endgame might be near after only 312 years. – Yours, etc,

DONAL MOORE,

Waterford.

Sir, – I wish the media would desist from using the phrase “ he/she lost his/her seat”.

It is only possible to lose something that you own or is in your trust. When a parliament is dissolved all seats revert to the electorate and are vacant (no owner or trustee). Then the electorate decides who will be trusted only for the duration of the next parliament. – Yours, etc,

PROINNSIAS

O SOCHLACHAIN,

Dublin 15.

Sir, – Before we become too self-righteous, we should remember ours is the nation that voted for Dustin the Turkey to represent us at the EuroVision song contest. – Yours, etc,

GRAHAM FRY,

Killiney,

Co Dublin.