The DUP Deploys Alt-Right Rhetoric To Attack Dublin And Brussels

Earlier today, an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar used the latest session of the All-Island Civic Dialogue forum to strongly refute the claim that the Irish government was pursuing an alleged “land grab” in relation to the United Kingdom’s legacy colony in the north-east of Ireland. Senior members of the region’s hibernophobic Democratic Unionist Party and its xenophobic backbench allies in the UK’s ruling Conservative Party have repeated the accusation for months. Both groups insist that officials from Dublin and Brussels are attempting to exploit London’s chaotic Brexit negotiations with the European Union to keep Britain within the international bloc or, failing that, to bring about the de facto reunification of the island of Ireland. However, the leader of Fine Gael made it clear this morning that such an objective was “…not on our agenda”.

Of course, Leo Varadkar’s formal rebuttal of the belligerent claims made by the extremist Brexiteers in the United Kingdom failed to address the central paradox of their allegation. How on earth can one “grab” part of one’s own country?

Putting that question to one side, given the possibility of a “hard Brexit” overturning two decades of good relations between both island-nations, it is clear that the DUP has decided to avoid any real dialogue with the representatives of the majority nationalist community on the island, however loosely defined, or with the European Union. As the New Europe reports:

Irish unionists claim Barnier does not understand their culture

The leader of the far-right Democratic Unionist Party, Arlene Foster, told the press that the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, does not understand their unionist culture.

“I don’t think he does understand the wider unionist culture of Northern Ireland,” Mrs Foster said.

Michel Barnier is visiting Ireland on Monday for talks over the border issue. Last week, Barnier told the German press that 75% of Brexit negotiations are on track, but the remaining 25% — Ireland – could derail the process.

At the kickoff of the negotiations, Mrs Foster accused Mr Barnier of not being “an honest broker” of negotiations.

Emboldened by the fact that Theresa May’s government is dependent on the DUP for its parliamentary majority, Arlene Foster has made clear that she will not accept Northern Ireland’s dismemberment from the rest of the UK economy.

Mrs Foster has accused Brussels of taking an aggressive position in Northern Ireland.

I’m not sure how the snowflakes of the Democratic Unionist Party will react to being described as “Irish unionists”, however apropos the description in many ways. It’s certainly how much of the international media sees the pro-union minority on the island. But the “wronged party” tone promulgated by the Eurosceptic right in the United Kingdom comes straight from the playbook of the alt-right movement in the United States, where victimiser pretends to be victim in order to deflect criticism and gain sympathy. It’s spurious, nonsensical rhetoric, albeit now characteristic of American (white) supremacists and their British equivalents. Including certain pro-British political leaders hiding behind the formerly militarised north-eastern partition line.

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4 comments

  1. The victim rhetoric has long been a staple of the right all the way back to the 1920s when the various fascist movements emerged. In the 21st century the right has cynically embraced the rhetoric of identity politics the left has employed the last few decades, the most recent Unionist example is the “feeling of ill ease” that the idea of a few words of Irish in Queens creates a hostile environment for Unionists. From the comments this week it is looking like we will know how things are going to play out in Ireland by June.

    Ridicule, satire, disruption and empathy are the most effective tools to defeat the alt-right. Hostility and direct action as employed by groups like Black Bloc are the counter-productive. Chris Hedges and Mark Bray had an interesting conversation about Antifa that covers this ground.

    1. Quite true, now that you say it. The whole Hitlerite “great betrayal” narrative of the 1920s and ’30s. That Germany was betrayed in WW1 by its own and victimised by an international conspiracy. Yep, you’re spot on there.

      1. Even more basic was the ritual of going into socialist, communist, leftist meetings, marches, groups and instigating violence. Then lying about the conflict to insist they were attacked and victimized. This dynamic escalated throughout the 1920s allowing the state to pass repressive and authoritarian legislation that the Fascists (in Spain, Italy and Germany) then employed ruthlessly when they gained power to eliminate their opponents and secure their position. I cannot recommend the Chris Hedges/Mark Bray conversation highly enough as it covers this ground in far more historical and practical detail.

  2. When the British Establishment loses wealth or power, they make someone pay.
    Brexit will not end well, but the EU don’t seem to know the English well enough to understand that aspect of England’s nature which makes them such poor losers. Treachery is in their blood; it goes hand-in-hand with their sense of entitlement and superiority. It’s a device they love to use to ensure they come out on top.

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