Posted on 8th December 2018

Slane Castle

I know we are in the lead in to Christmas but I have a sinking feeling which probably emanates from a complete sense of powerlessness.  Where do I start ?  I struggle to read articles about climate change because the problems seem so enormous and to top it all we have a planetary vandal in the White House who is paying more attention to covering the backside of the blood soaked Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia than devoting any attention to this fundamental threat to human existence.  However, let us not forget that our own government’s record on this subject is far from exemplary.  Ireland internationally has a reputation as a green and pleasant land.  How shaming then is it that we are in danger of being fined by the EU for not dealing with our carbon emissions.  The failure to even start introducing some form of a carbon tax in the last budget was irresponsible in the extreme.  At no other time in human history has it been so essential for global leaders to act together to save mankind.  We may be a small island nation but we are well used to punching above our weight.  How about our Emerald Isle starting to show itself to be truly green.  Is that too much to ask ?

If this sense of powerlessness exists in relation to the future of our planet it also prevails when thinking about Brexit.  I have tried very hard to understand the reasons behind it all and have read the nonsense pumped out by some commentators.  Frankly, since last December I have had an anxiety about the backstop because I was astonished when the British Government agreed to it.  Theresa May was in my view being naïve.  How could the House of Commons ever sign up to it, particularly now that she has been forced to publish her government’s legal advice ?  This was always about trying to drive a square peg into a round hole and I only wish to God that there had been a sufficient number of people in both respective governments to understand the delicacy of this task.  From the beginning our government took the approach that it was essential to get EU support to defend our position.  If instead there had been a recognition that this was going to be a headache and how do we work out a solution together, there might have been a different result.  Instead too many agendas came into play, ultimately not in the interests of either the UK on the Republic.

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