Appearing on the BBC’s daily Politics Live show Alan Mendoza, the Executive Director of the neoconservative Henry Jackson Society and a newspaper columnist with the City A.M. in London, offered this piece of advice to the United Kingdom’s government on its stalled efforts to move the country beyond the Brexit impasse created through its confused and inept negotiations with the European Union – including Ireland – since 2016.
“One of the best things that I’ve seen recently is the idea that you don’t go to Brussels. Instead, you go to Dublin and you literally do a deal with the Irish.
Whether you bribe them or threaten them, one way or the other, to get them into position where they’re the ones who drop the opposition to the backstop and that enables the Europeans to do so.
I think the amazing thing about this is, three years in, we are still no closer to actually understanding the final possibilities than we were three years ago.”
Mendoza is a former local councillor for the ruling Conservative Party in the UK and under his influence the HJS think-tank has developed close ties with the now notorious European Research Group and other hard-right factions of the Tories, including the early anti-peace process dissident Michael Gove, the current Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. As a vocal believer in Anglo-British exceptionalism the grouping has moved from its original position that “…as the world’s most powerful democracies, the United States and the European Union—under British leadership—must shape the world more actively by intervention”, to one where Britain alone can lead such changes as a resurgent global power in paternalistic partnership with the US and in regional opposition to the EU. Which makes the HJS one of the key if lesser known components behind the “Empire 2.0” fantasies that have almost accidentally come to define the delusional core of the Brexit movement in the UK.
The old British Imperialist mindset. It hasn’t gone away you know. They would probably send a gunboat up the Liffey but then again the Royal Navy isn’t the force it used to be.
For the century-long series of UK “Divide and Conquer” strategy.
Don’t they realise that we -and our EU allies- know what they are up to?
Don’t they know that doing same thing over and over again . . . means that someone, somewhere, sometime will catch on?
And take counter-action steps?
He is just deluded. Ireland has no more reason to give in to The Brexiteers than The EU itself.
There is an old woodsman’ saying “It isn’t what people don’t know that gets them into trouble. It’s what they think they know but just isn’t so.”
Well The Brexiteers went in pretty dang sure of a list of things that just aren’t so. They were sure the EU would give in to most of what they want. They thought that The US would happily give them a sweetheart trade deal and that Trump could make it happen without any trouble from Congress-and US-UK relations are on the rocks. They thought Canada would give them a sweetheart trade deal despite her arrangements with The EU. They thought that India, African ex-colonies, and Carribean formers would be lining up for deals..,if anything some of them might be less interested now that The UK is no longer their “gate to Europe”. Even the Brexit vote itself was a bluff on Cameron’s part that has been called
They’ve pretty much put themselves in a fix.
The usual English ignorance of the legal order by which the EU operates, the EU Commission negotiates on behalf of all EU members. The Brits have forgotten the Suez humiliation of 1956 which buried the notion that they were still a “World Power”. The delusion of Empire is well summed in the book” Rule Britannia: Brexit and the End of Empire”, by Oxford academics Danny Dorling and Sally Tomlinson they argue that a colonial assumption of superiority has led the British arrogantly to think they can act apart from other European states.
So he wants to manoeuvre us to a position – via threats and bribes – that we already occupy, i.e. not being opposed to the backstop.
Churchill: “We always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English”
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This was an absurd thing to say. Was this perhaps tempered, because he was speaking publicly? Can’t help wondering what topics they discuss, when in the safe confines of their mutual back slapping club, the Henry Jackson Society. Shades of Thatcher bringing up the Connacht question as a solution to the troubles in the six counties (move the catholics south). Apparently it did create a bit of a stunned silence in the cabinet room though.
We all know the mindset is still alive and kicking, too many dinasaurs way beyond their sell by date.
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Interesting point re public vs private comments AG. Difficult not to believe that in a less guarded environment what was said might be worse.