Current Affairs Politics

Former Tory Minister: The Irish Really Should Know Their Place

On the British reaction to the Irish insistence that Britain’s proposed Brexit withdrawal agreement with the European Union must include a backstop guarantee, this report from Nicholas Watt, the political editor with the BBC’s daily Newsnight show, says it all really:

A Tory grandee recently sidled up to me to express grave reservations about the Brexit process.

“We simply cannot allow the Irish to treat us like this,” the former minister said about the negotiating tactics of the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar.

The Conservative MP was exasperated that the Republic of Ireland (population: 4.8m) has been able to shape the EU negotiating stance that has put such pressure on the UK (population: 66m).

“This simply cannot stand,” the one-time moderniser told me. “The Irish really should know their place.”

The remarks explained why Conservatives from both sides of the Brexit divide are so troubled by the negotiations.

In other words, “Croppies lie down“.

20 comments on “Former Tory Minister: The Irish Really Should Know Their Place

  1. is anyone surprised? Did anybody really expect to hear anything different?

  2. In many other situations and understanding humor from the British Isles, it might have been interpreted as piss-taking but knowing the historical contempt for the Irish I know better.

    • Breandán Mac Séarraigh

      Um, “the British Isles”? Please use “Britain and Ireland” (or “Ireland and Britain” if you can). Same number of words, just three letters more, vastly more respectful.

      • Why would you want to include Ireland as part of your interpretation of the British Isles? I didn’t.

  3. Graham Ennis

    I am entirely unsurprised. We have also had the UK Tory MP Priti Patel demand that the irish food supply is cut off, if we do not obey their Diktat. Disgusting. Well, it might scrape home to some sort of agreement, but i fear the worse. The day the first border post is opened, and the border sealed except for crossing points, I would give it no more than a few days, or less, before there is an attack on the border installations, by dissident Republicans. This will inevitably escalate, and it will be beyond anyone’s control.

    • It won’t be only “dissident” republicans who will be rebelling!
      Non-dissidents will put their shoulders to diverse wheels – in one way or another.
      For the series “non passaran”

  4. It gets worse – the whole boycott Israel thing is running as “do not but at Jewish shops” (which, in essence it is). Happy Hanukah, il ha’am du’l il eh.

  5. Ara, you can get some old brandy-sodden Tory lord to give you any quote you desire. There’s no need to be acting like a football manager gathering negative quotes to pin on the dressing-room wall. We know they’re not our greatest fans, small loss.

  6. Ireland needs to trade properly with the EU and find new markets and cut this symbiotic relationship with the UK

    • What do you think of the theory, that says Spain is Ireland’s long thwarted natural ally? (Actually that’s a popular idea in many places where Spanish language has a foothold and Ireland’s basic history is reasonably well known.)

      • Agree, Ireland got help in the past from Spain and then France and Germany in 1916, interesting that we now have the first ferry connection between Cork and Santander, and maybe other routes to follow

        • Hmmm!! Proponents of this theory, I’ve met (mostly from Mexico, S. America etc), never even mentioned the part about 1916. They talked more about geography, climate, maritime logic, and the 16-18th centuries. Or about Spain’s own Celtic influences. I

          I’m pretty sure that the Spanish language would be agreeably straightforward to anyone who was raised on English or Irish and then learned or seriously studied the other. For most solid Irish/English bilinguals it would be duck soup, for sure.

          It’s a shocking testament to how much Britain managed to isolate Ireland, that we could be talking of a “first” ferry between the South Coast and Spain at some point-although somehow very large numbers of people managed to get to Australia, New Zealand, or The Americas……go figure.

    • The sooner Scotland achieves more independence and we can route through Stanraer and onwards to the Scottish east coast the better. Better and more diverse connections to Spain and Brittany would also be good, as Grace suggests.

  7. Unfortunately our place is in an island in the Atlantic Ocean, with the former colonial power, driven mad by imperial and bellicose nostalgia, between us and the rest of Europe.

    • One thing I do not get about The British. Well two things.

      The first is their inability to look at a situation and say, “You know this just isn’t worth it.” or at least have enough of the population say it to make a difference.

      But perhaps the more amazing thing is that for the country where much of the industrial revolution started…….they haven’t done well with creating new dreams. If it’s obvious they couldn’t re-invade India or control the whole of Ireland anymore…..Why didn’t they acquire new dreams for their country? That I don’t get at all.

  8. Obviously from the description it’s Ken Clarke. Tory grandee, former moderniser, ex cabinet minister, current MP..not too many of them about..

  9. I see the DUP want May to sack Bradley.

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