Theresa May, the right-wing prime minister of the United Kingdom and a politician who couldn’t find her country’s legacy colony on the island of Ireland if you handed her a map with the occupied territory marked in red marker and a hectoring sat-nav screaming at her to look to the north-west, has announced a general election for the 8th of June. By all accounts the leader of the Tories is hoping to exploit her high polling numbers over the Labour Party opposition led by Jeremy Corbyn, the socialist bête noire of the metropolitan classes, to win a decisive majority in the House of Commons. With the Conservative Party exercising unfettered control at Westminster the premier will be able to ride rough-shod over the remaining resistance to Britain’s crash-and-burn exit from the European Union.
The option of a so-called “soft Brexit” solution for UK-EU (and UK-Ireland) relations can now be regarded as the dying dream of the last rational voices in British politics as the right-leaning hegemony of Greater England drags the Welsh and Scots kicking and screaming towards the pink-globed vision of Empire 2.0. Well, Scotland at least. Wales seems to be well along the road of ideological assimilation, language and culture notwithstanding. UKIP, Britain’s equivalent of the Democratic Unionist Party (or France’s Front national), has seven seats in the National Assembly for Wales, the highest electoral profile for the party in Britain outside of its (soon to be ended) membership of the European Parliament.
And what of Ireland? Or more specifically, what of the British Occupied North where delicate negotiations to restore the peace-borne regional assembly and power-sharing executive are in crisis mode? Well, fuck you, Paddy. England’s green and pleasant land weighs considerably heavier on the scales of political judgement than stability in the United Kingdom’s inherently unstable parastate of “Ulster”. So a general election in the UK means one for our own sundered Fourth Field as well, fresh on the heels of the recent Stormont poll where Sinn Féin, and to a lesser extent the SDLP, gave Irish citizens in the north-east of the country ample opportunity to demonstrate their anger and frustration with British and unionist duplicity. Will a Westminster vote in the Six Counties swing on anti- or pro-Brexit campaigning and sentiment? Will the mainstream pro-union parties, the DUP and UUP, cobble together a pan-unionist axis to thwart the rising tide of nationalist and progressive opinion? Will journalists and opinion writers in London take to Google to once again type in the words “What is Stormont?”.
A counter-Brexit election, a pro-EU plebiscite, a border poll by proxy. The 8th of June may be all of these things and more. One thing is for sure. The final liberation and reunification of our island nation has never been so close. And we have the xenophobic, empire-nostalgic establishment and press in Britain to thank for that. Cheers, mate!