Depressingly familiar stuff from the American writer turned anglophile polemicist Lionel Shriver in the UK’s conservative Spectator magazine, peddling one of the favourite conspiracy theories of the Brexit movement in the United Kingdom:
Derry’s recent car bomb underscores a curious omission in all the Brexit argy-bargy about a ‘hard border’. Throughout, neither May, nor Barnier, nor even Varadkar ever utters the letters I, R and A. Yet the scummy residue of this vanquished potato blight lies at the heart of the hysteria about hypothetical border infrastructure that could present a ‘target’. Decorously, no one ever says target for whom.
…the chief spin doctor for Jean-Claude Juncker announced last week that, with no deal, the EU would indeed insist on an Irish border with infrastructure. (I say: go ahead. Make my day.)
We can’t say that if protracted Irish and EU woe-mucking over the border is directly responsible for Derry’s car bomb and subsequent hoaxes, but it’s sure made ructions more likely.
…Juncker is using the North’s lost boys still playing with matches to blackmail parliament into backing May’s miserable withdrawal deal. When you use terrorists to advance your own purposes — as many a party in Northern Ireland did for decades — are you not also, in your way, a terrorist yourself?
This nonsense has been repeated ad infinitum by a number of leading Brexiteers and their apologists over the last two years, usually accompanied by delusional cheers of “No surrender to the IRA!” and “We won the war!” (that’s the Second World War rather than the more recent bloodletting in the north-east of Ireland). When the press in the United Kingdom and the United States publishes articles puzzling over the attraction of hard-right politics for young women, they should remember that the phenomenon is far from new and that the valkyries of the old right have not gone away (y’know). Speaking of which, the obnoxious British newspaper columnist and commentator Melanie Phillips writing in the Jerusalem Post:
As a slavish EU member, Ireland has allowed Brussels negotiators to use the fraught issue of the post-Brexit border with Northern Ireland as a weapon to force the UK to surrender its independence even after it formally leaves the EU.
The essence of this Irish passion for the EU is that Ireland doesn’t understand what it means to be an independent nation. Like so many cultures with a shaky sense of what they are, with an outsize chip on their shoulder and infantilized by being almost entirely dependent on others to survive (their “Palestinian” friends fall into that category too) the Irish hate Israel, the paradigm nation state of a people with an unequivocal sense of itself.
Of course, Philips has previous form on this ridiculous sub-racist topic, one borrowed from the British far-right, that there is no such thing as an Irish nation, but it is interesting to see the way that she has subtly merged it with the Israeli narrative that there is no such thing as a Palestinian nation. Or indeed, “Palestinians” full stop. Given the extreme views of the two journalists, it certainly makes one fearful about post-Brexit relations between Ireland and Britain if such notions continue to grow and influence events in our neighbour to the east.
Meanwhile, in Politico:
Equal rights in Northern Ireland threatened by Brexit
Legal equality between Irish and British residents in the region has largely relied on EU membership.