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Progress In Civility

It’s been a tough week once again for onlookers as the Brexit can continues to be kicked down the road. While I have a huge love and time for politics, I must say I have envied those who let it go over their head for some time now. Every day I now feel like it is my regular spoonful of penance, and one could only dream of such sweet commodities like sugar to offer some respite.

While for some watching the UK government continue to crumble may bring extreme joy, I must say that it brings me nothing but sheer sadness and poignancy. This isn’t because I think that the UK executive should be able to move swiftly forward with their extreme tactics, but it’s more so to do with the blatant disregard for common decency that seems to have now been totally forgotten.

Last week witnessed the most “toxic” atmosphere in years seen in the chamber, as described by former UCC guest speaker and outgoing Speaker of the House of Commons, the Right Honourable John Bercow. Members screamed and shouted at each other with
such vitriol and hatred that the Commons floor resembled a bloody battlefield, certainly not one for the faint-hearted. Then, just when you thought it could not get any worse MPs started using the death of former member, Jo Cox, who was brutally murdered by a far-right nationalist, to pursue their agenda. The only word to describe such a ploy would be, disgusting.

Coming closer to home we see similar language being used to that of Westminster debates. Following Cork City Council’s decision to not increase property tax by 15%, following a vote, Green Councillor, Oliver Moran, called those who voted against the proposal cowards and that they should “hang their heads in shame”. While I myself was on the green side of the political argument on that occasion, to resort to such provocative language is shameful, especially given that many Councillors are ordinary, good and decent people.

The gloomy and upsetting atmosphere that is being created in our politics is to no one’s benefit, and such reprehensible behaviour is widely deprecated by your average voter. It is therefore crucial that we remind ourselves of who we are, and those who surround us in our daily lives. We are for the most part, good, decent and honest, and ideologs on both ends of the spectrum must remember that. At this stage we need civility, because civility brings progress and progress often leads to change.

In our second edition of the University Express we have some fantastic material that is sure to whet the appetite. News Editor Samantha Calthrop reports on the recent Climate March, where we also have some excellent photos from our resident photographers. Following on from UL’s call to ban vaping on campus, Maeve O’Sullivan suggests UCC could do likewise. We also have our first Lecturer Profile in this week’s paper, which is with the insightful Dr Mary C Murphy. All of that and much more inside! Happy reading.

Until next time,

Take care,

Ciaran.