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Letters: Politicians must give full support to new PSNI chief and rule of law

Matt Baggott, the outgoing Chief Constable of the PSNI, has been an honest, hard-working cop, let down on many occasions by a lack of leadership from politicians.

He has always been committed to keeping people safe and delivering a community police service in Northern Ireland.

He has done a sterling job of attempting to navigate the deep divisions in our society and leave a better community for our children and young people.

Indeed, if we all showed as much concern for young people as the Police Service our society would be a better place.

Unfortunately, he has been let down on countless occasions by political parties intent upon using the PSNI as a political football and showing an equivocal attitude to the rule of law. Matt Baggott deserved more and there is a responsibility on politicians to do better for his successor, George Hamilton.

There's an ongoing challenge for leaders in our society to work consistently towards building a better future and to combat division. Matt Baggott carried out his duties with this in mind.

The political parties at Stormont need to spend less time worrying about short-term political battles and more showing genuine leadership.

It would be a fitting tribute were they to offer his successor, and the Police Service their full backing and give unequivocal support for the rule of law.

TREVOR RINGLAND

Co-chair, NI Conservatives

Ending of petty rows could help boost job hopes

I read with interest the report on the plight of paramedics which cost £40,000 to train in Northern Ireland and their difficulty in seeking employment (News, July 1).

It is not only paramedics who find difficulty in finding a job in NI. Nearly all professions have difficulty especially new GPs, emergency department doctors, nurses and other specialists.

My family left many years ago for this very reason and I can see we made the right decision as the situation has not improved.

If politicians could stop squabbling over flags, parades and the past and plan a future economy it would be more productive.

JOHN ARMITAGE

By email

Truth of conflict must be learned

It is outrageous that the Belfast Telegraph is providing a platform from which Eamonn McCann can regularly spew his anti-Israel rhetoric. Clearly, most of his writing is based on misinformation and/or misconceptions. Unfortunately, your readers are the victims of this ongoing anti-Israel propaganda.

Your readers are entitled to learn the truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict leaving out biases.

HELEN FUCHS

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Why must writer attack the Jews?

I found Eamonn McCann’s recent article, as so often with his written opinions, to be a poorly-hidden attack on Jews, as well as Israel.

He seems to use Israel as a vehicle of convenience to espouse anti-Semitic views and a form of cowardly relativism that has succeeded only in reasserting an “acceptable face of racism”.

Eamonn McCann should give far more care to his reporting and consider the real victims of centuries of crime and not the cowardly relativism that he chooses to tailor his reporting and views by.

STEPHEN SPENCER RYDE

By email

‘Army’ vehicles at flag protest intimidating

Last Friday evening, at the entrance to the Seymour Hill estate, the traffic slowed as it passed the regular peaceful flag protest by about 50 people.

However, at the side of the road were three Army Land Rovers, one was stripped down and had a machine gun mounted on it. There are a number of questions. Are these real Army Land Rovers? If not, who has got hold of them (and a machine-gun) and why are they with a loyalist flag protest?

It was both intimidating and menacing and has no place in a civilised society.

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

Stop food safety ‘harmonisation’

Following recent food scandals, people are much more aware of what goes into our food. The last thing we need is lower legal standards. However, a EU-US trade deal aims to ‘harmonise’ European and American rules in food safety, which may mean slashing European standards to match much lower US levels.

The deal threatens our ability to run our society in the way we choose. It must be stopped.

CHRISTOPHER ALTIMAS

Belfast

Disappeared need justice too

What happened to the late Gerry Conlon, the Guildford Four, the Maguire Seven and the Birmingham Six was wrong, wrong, wrong.

However, those 15 individuals had their cases reopened and, in the end, justice prevailed.

The same cannot be said for the 20 Disappeared — who were all victims of republicans.

JUSTICE FOR ALL

Lisburn, Co Antrim

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