It has become standard fare among left-wing activists and politicians in the United Kingdom to accuse the political editor of the BBC News, Laura Kuenssberg, of being unduly close to the governing Conservative Party and its thinking on certain policy matters. Most of these accusations have seemed rather unfair, often based on overly-critical or hyper-sensitive interpretations of her reporting. That was especially true of her admittedly caustic reaction to the candidacy and early leadership of the Labour Party boss, Jeremy Corbyn, in 2015 and ’16. However she was hardly alone in that sentiment among the ranks of the British press, whether on the theoretical Right or Left.
Yet, one has to wonder at this worryingly conspiratorial analysis offered by Kuenssberg of the fractious Brexit negotiations between Britain and the European Union. Especially as they effect Ireland and the delicate, if now twenty-year-old peace in the UK-administered Six Counties. You are left with the strong impression that the BBC journalist is accurately summing up the British view of the “hard border” crisis which is worrying officials in Dublin and Brussels. But which their London counterparts seem to be almost dangerously blasé about.
While there are genuine and sincerely held logistical and understandable concerns about what happens to the Irish border after Brexit, there is a sense building that perhaps the Irish government is playing those concerns rather harder than is justified.
The DUP leader, Arlene Foster, using rather strong language, told off the Irish leader Leo Varadkar for doing just that today.
But the next step in what many would say is a conspiracy theory, borne out of Brexiteer desperation, is to ponder whether the EU as a whole is over-egging their true level of worry about what happens to the border.
The issue has in fact, so the theory goes, become the perfect “anti-UK” issue that can be waved around in the talks every now and then.
But according to these arguments, the border issue could be exploited by the EU side so they can later drop their concerns as a public concession to the UK, in return for a genuine concession from the British side.
There are whispers too that the previous government in Ireland had been discussing some potential solutions to the problem but after the change in political circumstances those conversations came to an end.
But in any negotiation both sides are looking for leverage. And in something as tense as this deal-making process, both sides’ positions are not exactly as they outwardly appear.
This is dangerous nonsense, and similar to the sort of delusional thinking which came from establishment Britain in the late 1960s and early ’70s when dealing with a serious political crisis of its own making. Namely the collapse of the ethno-religious apartheid-state established since the 1920s in the country’s legacy colony on the island of Ireland. A catalogue of errors by successive British governments during that period, often based on indifference, prejudice, paranoia or plain old racism, fanned the flames of communal violence in the disputed region into full-scale conflict. A conflict which was to last for the next three decades, until the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and several subsequent peace accords brought it (largely) to an end. Given the UK’s determination to crash out of the EU and to hell with the consequences, one might well wonder if a new era of the “Troubles” is on the verge of reigniting, thanks to another round of British stupidity. Albeit a war with a fraction of the intensity of what came before.
It is the usual Brit Tory tactic of blaming everyone but themselves. They accuse others of what they are actually doing themselves.
I believe in phsychology it is called Projection, and is defined on Wiki as:
Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others
I’m sorry if this sounds naive, but it’s probably a common enough view here in Britain.
After 30 years of conflict and 20 of uneasy peace in NI, which amounts to more than a generation, surely anyone with any sense growing up there, anyone just wanting to get on with a normal life, will have packed their bags and left long since. Given that NI residents are treated as full citizens of both the Irish Republic and the UK, there would appear to be no obstacles to anyone moving to whichever jurisdiction most appeals to their outlook, politics and religion? And they’ve surely had plenty of time to accomplish that? It would have been no more trouble than leaving home in say Sligo and moving to Wexford, or on the British side, going from e.g. Aberdeen to Exeter, probably less so than in the latter case?
So we may conclude that NI is now inhabited largely by nutters. The solution is therefore simple. A new Anglo-Irish Agreement in which NI is completely sealed off in quarantine. Perhaps we could employ Trump’s wall-builders, the higher the better? Let’s face it, apart from a few older political extremists, no one in the Republic really hankers after repossessing the North these days. And the same is certainly true over in Britain. We’re all sick of the place, let’s just leave it to rot in isolation, everyone would heave a great sigh of relief!
I’m sure that is indeed a common enough view in Britain. It’s also utterly depraved, and a great example of why any part of Ireland being ruled over by Britain has always been so catastrophic.
But why would the inhabitants of a region leave it? They and their families have lived there for generations uncounted. Have made successful lives there for generations uncounted. That is like saying, why don’t the Remain voters of the UK go live in the EU after Brexit if they are so loyal to their EU identity? 😉
A valid point, a Shionnaich, the question being how well it holds up these days. The times when families lived in the same parish for generations have mostly gone, I think. And on top of that the Irish are a nation of emigrants par excellance, are they not? Aa for the UK/EU situation, for all I know, many ‘remainers’ in young adulthood are busy packing their bags even now. Why stay in a stagnant backwater? And that makes NI an even more turgid pool, a backwater of a backwater, in fact.
Perhaps you could suggest some incentives to keep the up-and-coming generation in NI from leaving.
A unified, all-Ireland secular republic as a prosperous island-nation and Atlantic gateway to the European Union? 😉
Our friend the Wee Ginger Dug has a relevant post tonight :