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Tory MP Priti Patel: UK Should Use Threat Of Food Shortages To Pressure Ireland

Priti Patel, the United Kingdom’s former Secretary of State for International Development, has urged London to use the threat of food shortages in Ireland to secure a more advantageous Brexit withdrawal agreement for the UK. The Conservative Party MP was reacting to a leaked British government report which claimed that the Irish economy could suffer a 7% drop in gross domestic product if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal, with transport chaos possibly leading to delayed or blocked food shipments at UK seaports and airports. The Tory ex-minister, who resigned from her post following a scandal about off-the-record meetings with Israeli officials, told The Times newspaper that the briefing document:

“…appears to show the government were well aware Ireland will face significant issues in a no-deal scenario. Why hasn’t this point been pressed home during the negotiations?

There is still time to go back to Brussels and get a better deal.”

The statement by the hard-right politician, with echoes of the British reaction to the Great Famine of the 1840s, has drawn widespread condemnation in Ireland, while Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, was one of the few UK leaders to criticise it.

“The sheer moral bankruptcy of the Tory Brexiteers is on full display today.”

It seems that the old saying about God sending the blight but the English sending the famine may yet have some relevancy for the modern politics of both island nations.

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18 comments on “Tory MP Priti Patel: UK Should Use Threat Of Food Shortages To Pressure Ireland

  1. Funny the Brexiters are saying that the UK government statistics about their own economy are a pack of lies . “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”― Socrates

  2. can’t anybody tell that Pretty Dim Patel that the Irish have freezers nowadays and that we will all survive?

  3. Luckily Britain just can’t make Ireland 95% of the things it could in the 19th century.

    Not only would the US never let Ireland starve again-unless of course the Mango Mussolini either enforced a Chinese style media blackout or put the US in such a bad state that we had no food for ourselves-but if anything Britain “enjoys” are more compromising position with regard to Brexit and importing their own food.

    Indeed some British comedian cause a controversy over saying “Now Irleand gets to watch a Great British Famine. And that apparently offended a lot of people.

    Of course, I won’t repeat the one common “Irish famine” joke, I’ve heard a number of places here-because it’s pretty crass.

    But there is there is a joke on “Why did the sun not set on the British Empire?: Because God never trusted the English in the dark.”

  4. But that said this writer says better than I why any notions about “British Empire 2.0” are 100X as delusional as people who think Trump can build that wall.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/19/empire-20-is-dangerous-nostalgia-for-something-that-never-existed

  5. “Let me take you Calcutta on a steamy summers night, where they sweep up dead bodies, with all the other shite” (attributed to Kipling after Bengal famine.)

    • “Attributed to” comments should always be taken with a grain of salt (aka “The things about quotes on the internet is that they are hard to verify.” -Abraham Lincoln)

      However that said, if you look at pretty much all the famines of British India, you pretty much see that they the UK Government and business pretty much reacted as they did to The Great Famine of Ireland. Which makes it ironic as with this MP “Patel” is obviously an Indian name.

  6. If anything underscores the need for a fully independent Irish polity on this island this is it.

  7. You know since they love to jail people for assumed Islamophobia and anti-semitism in Britain, maybe this kind of rhethoric should be added to the list. I mean they (the Torys) love hate speech laws. So its discrimination really, you’re not allowed to cause offence about anything BUT the famine in ireland?

    • I know this is a “shoe on the other foot game”, Sean. But aren’t hate speech laws often a double-edged sword at best?

      Certainly there’s been a lot more support for them among liberals where I am ever since the whole Charlottesville debacle.

      But I’ve heard about a case in France where some Palestinian sympathizer groups (non-violent) got the book thrown at them for “hate speech” because it was anti-semitic. I’ll admit that in Europe it very often IS extremely difficult to suss-out anti-semitism from sincere concern for the Palestinian people (that used to be less true in the US, but it’s becoming harder here too). Also there could be some French language and cultural signals I’m missing.

      But it seems as if, hate-speech laws often end up getting used against Civil Rights, Human Rights, anti-war and other controversial political causes. As tempting as it can be to want them, at certain times.

      Also aren’t the Tories very much in favor of keeping the UK’s insane libel laws? I’ve heard of those British libel laws being used against a wide variety of people. The McDonald’s case comes to mind right away. As does the case where a US academic got dragged into court for calling a British Holocaust denier a “liar” and “Hitler partisan” among other things. Amazingly rather than just making the professor prove that he was doing it on purpose rather than just incompetent, they actually made her legal team prove the Holocaust really happened. (Why didn’t they make the court prove that The Mexican Revolution wasn’t just a movie, or that Napoleon Bonaparte was a real guy and not a comic book while they’re at it.)

      Also with more support for hate laws where I am, I looked into them in some other countries. I found that a lot of the countries with the strongest hate speech laws actually have piss poor civil rights laws in terms of Education, Employment, and Housing.

      • Agreed. My point was they are locking people up for offending minorities, then their mps are insulting a whole nation with a history whos persecution is without comparison save for amongst the most deprived people on Earth.

        Hate speech laws are dangerous and authoritarian. The only thing that should be banned is calling for violence explicitly. I truly wish however, that instead of talking all the time about “dangerous rhethoric”, so-called leftists, liberals and progressives would look at how we are giving the state more power all the time to censor the “far-right”, and anyone who shows dissent of the current neo-liberal order.

        This site has often shared videos by Computing Forever and Sargon of Akkad. Are you all aware that these are the ones facing censorship too? Not just Tommy Robinson? Ability to make money, to have any public platform and so on. Half of these could never work again just for expressing their political opinion and all I see are “anti-fascists” delighted with themselves. bear in mind that when Tommy Robinson is banned from patreon on the advice of groups like the Southern Poverty Law Centre and the Anti-defimation league, these groups would have no problem expanding that definition of hate speech to criticism of Israel. The left, in their furore to get the alt-right and general right banned from speaking, are giving the state exactly what it needs to ban movements such as BDS, and in fact Cameron tried to push a law through for it a few years back.

        It’s the government, with the help of enraged activists that are becoming increasingly authoritarian. Leftists and liberals have allowed freedom of speech to become a far-right issue. They have not being looking at the way the paradigm has changed in the past few years. Much of what we call “progressive” is paid corporate activism that is upholding the status quo in order to achieve “progress” in areas the elites have long since shown they are no longer concerned with. all of the social “progress” we’ve seen has happened under a neo-liberal government. They do not care about you’re sexuality, gender or race, they only want open borders and mass movement of people to keep corporate capitalism going. It’s a merchant class that has now eroded the church and much of the state. I do not see how Irish identity is going to work in this new authoritarian globalisation. The goverment have already decided to sign a compact with the UN that seeks to encourage everyone to learn all the benifits of diversity while putting an onus on countries to shut down any media that talks about immigration. Why? Because they don’t want any form of seperatism from Europe ever happening again. And the left are doing the ground work for them. a few sensible groups like Eirigi have seen this too, and advocated leaving the EU before it becomes a super state. But it’s no surprise they are the ones censored and harrased whereas the “progressive left” are allowed to run riot.

        Please think about what is happening to this country. Stop pretending that the spectre of the far right in Europe is anything more than the natural conclusion of policies that erode national sovereignty, and stop helping the forces and ngos that are organising it. There’s a whole other side to all this, but not only would people rather not agree, they clap as that side is silenced. The right wing aren’t coming to defend corporations, they’re coming to defend the nation. The left have given such concepts as “nation” and “culture” up. To them they’re just constructs to defend the gentry after all aren’t they? Must be destroyed and so on.

        If anypne on the left wants to give me trash about “that’s not the left”, who are they then? because they are clearly in control of the political discourse at the moment. They clearly will fight against any movement that tries to keep Ireland independent from foreign control and replacement. Maybe you should bolster the other side for a while.

        Sick of seeing people delighted that another figure has been unpersoned. But I will probably take some joy when the ire is turned on those who called for it in the first place.

  8. The UK’s Nikki Haley.

  9. This piece of excrement has obviously forgotten how the British in 1943 starved to death over 2,500,000 people in what was British India.

    As a noveau Brit she also fails to recognise that within her adopted elite Tory party, many will see her as nothing less than the token Uncle Tom.

    • I don’t buy the “Uncle Tom” argument at all. I believe that people like Ms. Patel know exactly what they are doing. A lot of people will sort of say “Well history proves that food shortage and famine have happened all over world history-might as well be smart and realistic about this unavoidable and use to to our advantage, lest we be the one who end up starving.” Indeed in a case like Henry Kissinger, it could be argued that he took such as hard headed “realpolitik” more “because” than “despite” the fact that he escaped Nazi Germany as a Jewish teenager, and lost many relatives in the Holocaust. Indeed you get a wide spectrum from the Eli Weisels of the world, to people like Kissinger or some of the more fanatic Zionists. Kissinger in fact, had some bone chilling things to say about the US loss of Vietnam and Weimar Germany in 1975-and in a way he was right.

      Not saying too many subcontinental-Indians are like this. Certainly none of the ones I know in the US are.

      But a lot of people like to label African Americans like Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, and craziest of all Kanye West as “Uncle Tom’s”. Of course, all these people have a number of views most people reading this will disagree with. (Although I must say Thomas Sowell in particular has some valid points on a few issues, IMO.) Kanye West in particular has rolled off the rails. But I don’t buy the Uncle Tom framing of why these people think the way they do.

      All groups have reactionaries and nutcases. The fact that India suffered 30 odd famines under the British Raj, likely wouldn’t prevent SOME Indians from being as hard-hearted as any British colonial governor. Indeed some people might say “Well India got 30 famines under Britain and Africa got many, why should Ireland be special?” Indeed I’ve heard that argument plenty of times myself.

      Of course, I’m not excusing these people. But the fact is that when you see people like Ms. Patel it isn’t always a case of historical amnesia, or even that the person is a so-called “Uncle Tom”. Sometimes what you are seeing is something much darker.

      ***Indeed if anyone read the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” as I have, you’d see the way that term gets used today, is just a distortion of the actual character and story in the book. The original “Uncle Tom” was a composite of multiple escaped slaves and John Valjean essentially, and the book was the great abolitionist novel of the 19th century. The stereotype came theatrical versions that were made later.

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