Current Affairs Journalism Politics

BBC Broadcaster John Humphrys: Ireland Should Join With The UK Outside The EU

The British journalist John Humphrys has a reputation for occasionally allowing his right-wing instincts to filter into his broadcasting but never has this been truer than in this fact-free interview with a remarkably patient Helen McEntee, our own Minister of State for European Affairs, when the BBC Today presenter puts forward the claim that there is an argument for Ireland to leave the European Union and “throw in their lot” with the United Kingdom.

44 comments on “BBC Broadcaster John Humphrys: Ireland Should Join With The UK Outside The EU

  1. Sadly perhaps, there are still a few Englishmen who think there’s still a British Empire that spans the world, and that therefore the RoI is a poor wee isolated bit of an island away over there on the edge of the world. Whereas the truth couldn’t be more opposite. Very soon Little England will be all alone in the world (and I do mean England specifically, not the UK!) at least if attitudes like JH’s prevail much longer. The firm and consistent support you’ve received from the rest of the EU during Brexit is surely proof in itself?

    • What would you advise an English progressive? Besides of course, “stop Brexit if you can’t”, “don’t oppose Scottish Independence” or “sucks to be you”, that is?

      I mean in terms of political reforms you think they would do best to push for at this point? Education? Federalization? Courts? House of Lord? Local Gvt.? Anything else?

      • That’s “stop Brexit if you can” (darn autocorrect).

      • Clearly, some form of PR would be a good start …

        • Hmmmm. That seems to pan out better for smaller countries in my opinion. An independent Scotland would be like Ireland-a country small enough to have this multi-districts where you can get both small represented districts where 3-5 candidates are rank in a combined range. But England seems to be the size range where most PR countries adopt those closed lists, like Columbia, Brazil Ukraine, Morocco and others. With the Mexican Congress and Russian parliament they’ve both system that mix district candidates and PR closed lists.

          England would be better to go with alternative voting if anything.

          To me the idea that England has such a large portion of the govt that’s out-and-out hereditary, combined with such large houses and an absurdly low quorum would look like the bigger problem.

          • The hereditary aspect is a curse – but first past the post is an aspect of that too in that people have seats in Westminster where there’s no chance of anyone contesting them from an opposing party. I do think competitive constituencies are key to unlocking some of that. It’s not the only problem and you’re right – size of a state can be a factor too. But then federalisation is perhaps possible.

            • Well, I suppose it’s possible that England might not be too big to have these multi-seat constituencies like you have in Ireland. The House of Commons is a bit oversize anyhow. It could end up turning the 533 constituencies of England into maybe 100-125 Constituencies for a House of Commons that’s more to the tune of 300-400 for so.

              There a chance that England might prove not to be too big for that too work. One problem with any such plan and/or federalization is that the English, or large portions of English society, are remarkably fussy about being placed into constituencies or federal units unless everyone in it is socially, culturally, occupationally, (and even in terms of social class?) pretty much like them. As if the people in large parts of England believe that an MP can’t or won’t learn to represent and balance the concerns of more diverse constituencies, or that a federal unit is rotten to the core if they have to accommodate different subsets of society with different concerns.

              Then again it’s also possible that if they simply slimmed down from 533 to 350, 300, or even 250 constituencies combining an aggressive anti-Gerrymandering program might do the trick. If not adding alternative voting/Ranked choice to that probably would.

              But there is a point where a country is just too big for these multi-seats that allow Ireland to enjoy both district level representation and the STV. Perhaps England hasn’t reached that size, but most PR nations above 45 million people are so seem to opt for these “party list” systems. I’ll admit that I have major doubts about the virtues of a system with an open party list, let alone a closed one.

              That’s the thing about the PR debate in my mind, a wide variety of systems fall under the PR rubric.

    • John McCarthy

      Of course, I should point out that John Humphrys is actually Welsh.

  2. Pat murphy

    It never ceases to amaze me how people continually do things to make there life more difficult. Why in the first place would anyone in their right mind give two balls of blue what John humphyrs thought. Also why would anyone with any integrity listen to the BBC . Britain’s propaganda mouthpiece. It is akin to Churchill listening to Lord HawHaw and believing every word he uttered. If you must listen to the radio find a good country music channel or if not some classical music. Certainly not British propaganda. This includes RTÉ.

  3. Humphrys was expressing a well-known NI Unionist pipe-dream, one that includes Ireland re-joining the Commonwealth and being united tomorrow under the British Crown, with Orange marches up and down O’Connell St and no Tricolour to be seen anywhere on the island. Ever again. Ireland leaving the EU to join the UK in splendid isolation and solve the English Border problem is just the latest update of the fantasy.

  4. The arrogance of the English knows no bounds. Your knighthood is in the post, mr humphrys, multi-million pound commentator on the bbc.
    The sooner Scotland gets out of this mess, and joins Ireland, as a free country, the better. We’ll see you in the EU.

  5. As much as I disagree with Humphry’s I also think that Brexit is a massive con.
    Now I’m wondering if the con is actually a large-scale theatrical show to show all the EU member states that NO ONE can EVER leave the EU!
    So even if one or more of the states did want to leave, for positive reasons of sovereignty for example, then the whole Brexit story is designed to teach everyone else a lesson. The genuinely complex issues surrounding Brexit and Ireland prove a useful test-case to teach all the other states who may be wavering a lesson, perhaps?

    Just a theory!

    • Possibly, though one could envisage say a state going to EFTA/EEA status or something like it with a lot less hassle than the British have. I think a key approach would be to have the end point worked out before a referendum. In other words that there were paths to achievable goals. It’s not something I’d recommend, the EU has its problems but they’re not all insoluble and pushing fro reform from inside seems a lot more practical (at this point) than outside or hoping all goes well outside. But there sheer scope of what Leave meant was always going to be a problem.

      • It was always interesting to me that Norway has never joined the EU (Switzerland is a less surprising case).

        While Brexit obviously is a problem, I can see why some people find the EU’s decision making process more than a little off-putting.

        Does this version of the problem make sense to you?

        https://mycountryeurope.com/politics/european-union/gold-plating-regulate-blame-brussels/

        Are the Brexiteers really complaining about their country adding 28 days of Holiday a year to the EU’s 20!!!! If so……..I’m tempted to curse the English in ways that nobody in my family has done in a couple generations. What ungrateful brats!!!!!!!!

    • In my experience Mike, elaborate conspiracy theories of that kind always seem to be an end run.

      • That’s only your experience though.
        The EU has just agreed to spend 13billion Euros on building an EU army.
        Who are they fighting?
        And wasn’t one of the main aims of the EU to prevent the build up of war?

        Putting faith in a man-made political structure that we ultimately have no say in is a way of supporting a theory too. The theory of democracy.
        Like I’ve said before the UK is actually a feudal system, pretending to be a democracy. Same as the EU.
        All the evidence is there, out in the open. It’s just a matter of faith as to whether we choose to believe in what we’re told or not.

        • Maybe you have an option too Mike on why Britain needs to spend hundreds of billions on nuclear submarines and Trident nuclear missile systems.

          Or what about the two new aircraft carriers that could launch a humanitarian bombing raid or two on Dublin if need be. ( Well the RAF humitarian bomb plenty of other countries !! )

          That said, the Brit’s multi billion pound subs have a habit of running into things – ergo running into the rocks on the Isle of Skye or more recently nearly colliding with an Ireland – Scotland ferry.

          • Pat murphy

            Wouldn’t be the first time the navy shelled Dublin. For their own good of course.

          • Yes my opinion is that the UK and the EU are both horrible.
            And the Irish government pretty much just does as its told by both, plus the US.
            For those of us who care about Ireland on a deeper level, and wish to make the world a better place in general then we need to start rejecting the terrible options that are presented to us and find our own ways, at a local community level first.

    • Are their any close parallels to the problem of the Irish border which comes from the GFA being an international treaty, a peace treaty in effect, which assumed both parties would be EU members? The combination of Brexit + GFA is a can of worms served up in a poison chalice …

  6. Philip Boyd

    Humphry’s was playing ‘Devil’s Advocate’. He let McEntee speak and make her arguments without interruption and he is well aware of the fact that Ireland is not going to leave the EU and throw their lot on with the UK, a line of thinking being put up by the ERG/Farage, and Humphry’s, by asking the question, was clearly getting it off the Brexit agenda. He’s never so kind to Brexiters on the Today Programme.

  7. Jack Hawkins

    The 21st January 1919, opening of An Dáil Éireann yesterday must be regarded as a political event of the first importance,” and the first shots of the War of Independence occurred at Soloheadbeg, Co Tipperary, Any other country would be celebrating the event with a National Holiday, in Ireland it was by the MSM as some form of national embarrassment

    • Jack Hawkins

      That was the headlines in 1919 in Irish papers and 100 years later we are still trying to appease the English, 100 years of servile regards for our colonial masters

  8. If memory serves he interviewed me in Belfast then night before the 1994 ceasefire. Much tenebrous comment about Brexit and martial law, are the army daft enough not to realize if they prop up a deeply unpopular police they will be torn apart? No more poppies, not even from the far right.

  9. Meanwhile in Mr Humphrey’s ” mainland Britain ” the army and civil service is gaming for Martial Law post the UK exit .

    Indeed, with Scottish politicians now talking about Westminster walkout, and acHollyrood declaration of independence, together with civil disobedience if not granted, the mechanism for Scotland to exit the UK is becoming clearer.

    And as for martial law, the UK does not have enough military. The disenfranchised English will alone see to that before you factor in Scotland and NI.

    Scottish Independence is coming, as is a United Ireland.

    • Martial law and stockpiling essential items on military bases too.

      But, y’know, Project Fear. It’s all just an elaborate stunt by the treasonous Remain-loving Deep State to frighten “the people”! 🙄

  10. telescoper

    Reblogged this on In the Dark and commented:
    There’s been a lot of comment about this performance from John Humphrys. Let’s just say that I’ve got nothing against his family but I think he should retire and spend more time with them.

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