You enter politics to either promote the belief that civilised protest is preferable to recrimination in the pursuit of equality or you see the political arena as an opportunity to seek change through the violent demonisation of others.
Both the far right and the far left eventually coincide in common purpose, protesting at the believed guilt of others for their own social alienation.
We see now a world where the embers of the previous century’s bonfires of humanity still glow beneath the ashes of time.
The denigration of others is the harbinger of human madness.
Eugene Tannam, Firhouse, Dublin 24
Increasing the supply of unaffordable properties won’t solve housing crisis
I am glad to see someone is keeping an eye on the ball (‘Don’t bail out landlords – help the squeezed middle caught in rent trap’, Irish Independent, September 26).
Mary McCarthy is correct to highlight the crass plan to dole out more taxpayers’ money to landlords to supposedly tackle the housing crisis.
By doing so, the State is subsidising high rents that are placing access to a roof beyond thousands of citizens.
In this context, there is a powerful argument to do the opposite and use the tax system to penalise high rents by levying a surcharge on landlords charging rents that exceed 30pc of the average industrial wage.
Those who complain that such a charge would drive landlords out of the market fail to notice that while the landlord might go, the property remains for use as a home.
In the face of the crisis, there is simply no logic to any such proposed tax cut for landlords in Budget 2024. All money at the disposal of the State should be going into bricks and mortar to build more houses instead of funnelling it into the pockets of property owners, which acts only to keep rents and housing costs generally in the stratosphere.
One has to wonder if the Government is really trying to solve the crisis at all. The Housing for All policy document is full of platitudes and aspirational gobbledegook that requires extraordinary endurance just to read. It seems the only thing the Government is determined to do is keep housing costs as high as possible.
The housing crisis will not be solved by increasing the supply of unaffordable properties, and that is precisely where current policy is going.
Government policy must shift the emphasis from regarding housing as primarily a money-making opportunity to being what it is – a vital social good that every citizen must have.
Jim O’Sullivan, Rathedmond, Co Sligo
Overtime work should be tax-free as the system that is in place is grossly unfair
Companies are not charities, they are not meant to be, they are there to make profits for the shareholders.
Sadly, the ones who generate the profits, the workers, do not get a decent return in wages for their hard labour.
I think it is time a law was brought in whereby the workers get a 10pc cut of those profits in a tax-free bonus at Christmas. This will also encourage the workforce to apply themselves diligently to their job.
When a person has to work overtime, they have to sacrifice time with their family, usually to earn more money to feed them and provide small luxuries.
These extra earnings are taxed, which I think is grossly unfair. In this, I think governments are like parasites. To reverse this unfair situation, a law needs to be introduced whereby overtime earnings are tax-free.
John Fair, Castlebar, Co Mayo
Harris has right attitude when it comes to career paths: follow your passion
I found myself reading Margaret Docherty’s letter (‘Lorraine Courtney needs to get out of the ’60s mentality to see validity of degrees’, Irish Independent, September 27) a few times because I found it applied to exactly what I did back in the 1960s – a law degree that lasted only two years.
I was one of those, as Margaret puts it, “people shoe-horned – not bulldozed – into careers that many of them hated”.
Simon Harris has, indeed, the right philosophy for a fulfilling life: find what you are passionate about and follow that path.
Brian Mc Devitt, Glenties, Co Donegal
It’s all about striking the right tone, so how about a zombie nation once again?
As a nation, why can’t we come together in an act of healing and sing “Ooh, ah, up the zombie”?
Brian Ahern, Clonsilla, Dublin
Same old theme since 1916 – but at last Irish fans have found a uniting anthem
I am delighted to see the wonderful achievements of the Irish rugby team. Finally, Ireland has found something to unite itself. Also, the fans are in a league of their own.
I’m thrilled they all seem to find a neutral song – Zombie. So can the whole island leave it at that and stop courting unnecessary controversy?
Gerard Walsh, Ontario, Canada
No surrender must be the mantra of the West in the face of warmonger Putin
Suggestions that the war in Ukraine be ended with territorial concessions to Vladimir Putin and Russia are seriously disquieting.
For the sake of a sustainable peace, it is essential that Putin and Russia not only lose the war, but are seen to lose the war.
JJ Anthony Gaughan, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Seizure of MV Matthew drug ship shows why we need to invest in defence
For those uninformed Irish people who wonder why we need to increase our investment in our defence and security, this week’s detention of the MV Matthew is a good reason.
While politicians will back-slap each other as they praise the gardaí and Defence Forces, the reality is our defence and security forces are lamentably under-funded and under-resourced. For an exclusive economic zone of 420,000 square kilometres, we have only two patrol aeroplanes and two operational ships.
Our sea defences are paltry and we rely heavily on Britain and Europe. As Ireland still thinks it can do without allies, it has a sovereign duty to provide adequately for its national defence and security and avoid itself being used as a gateway for narcotics and other illegal activities.
Jason FitzHarris, Swords, Co Dublin