It says much for the political and cultural tone deafness of the current crop of leaders in the United Kingdom that what sounded like reassuring words in the ears of Michael Gove and his officials during a visit to Warrenpoint Port in County Down sounds rather different to people living on this side of the Irish Sea. In a brief meeting with journalists the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and chief Brexit-facilitator in London claimed that in the event of a no-deal withdrawal from the European Union the British would:
“…make sure that we safeguard the security of the people on the island of Ireland and we will also make sure that trade continues to flow as freely as possible.”
While the full statement is slightly more nuanced than some press headlines and online clips are making out it still rankles in ways that politicians and commentators in the UK are apparently oblivious to.
Think they said the same thing during Operation Banner
Yes, well . . Gove would say that, wouldn’t he?
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It’s exactly as you say ASF, the tone is just completely wrong – even if the substance isn’t quite as bad. How Gove could with a straight face make that statement says everything about the current (and previous) problems.
The IT had a piece yesterday on how the British regard Ireland at diplomatic level – this culled from accounts from Irish diplomats. It was, I’d suspect, for some reading that newspaper a revelation, though I’d bet not for many here. Essentially it can be boiled down to one quote:
“The British do not engage very willingly with or about Ireland, ” Séan Ó hUigínn says. “Burke said that the English have only one ambition in relation to Ireland, which is to hear no more about it. And that is still not a bad working maxim if you want to analyse British relations.
“When they have to focus on it, there is another mechanism which comes into play which I would call the Irish anomaly. Something that would be taken very seriously in another context can be disregarded if it comes with an Irish label. The Border is a classic example of this.’
Funny thing is, even here he was being diplomatic. There are worse stories out there about interactions between Irish & UK diplomats, emotions would boil over frequently in the aftermath of Republican bombings.
I wonder if the DFA gave these diplomats their blessing to speak. Usually they are so taciturn. If so, the propaganda war over the Brexit fallout is already under way. And we should definitely seize the moment to highlight British crimes in Ireland, I mean if the door is open at all.
25,000 British soldiers and families and equipment are been sent back from Germany as they finally close all bases there, I suspect that they will in the next while end up in the occupied 6 counties.
Isn’t it so reassuring to know that the UK through its benevolence and military superiority will look after Ireland North and south.
Come back to the fold, realise you were wrong in 1920. Apologise for your foolishness. You know it makes sense!