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nigelswift
8065 posts

National humiliation in the national interest?!
Mar 09, 2019, 16:04
James Forsyth in The Sun:

"Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, is telling the UK that if it doesn’t like the backstop, it can have a Northern Ireland-only version of it — which the UK has already rejected. One minister fully briefed on the negotiations tells me: “We’re at ‘what the hell do we do?’ time. But without a change to the backstop, Theresa May’s deal is going down to another heavy defeat on Tuesday."


That won’t be the end of the matter, though. For the very next day Parliament will vote against leaving on March 29 with No Deal. Parliament will then almost certainly vote to request an extension to Article 50, the two-year process for leaving the EU. At this moment, the UK would be in the EU’s hands. As one weary No10 source admits: “They’d be in a position of being able to dictate terms.”

It would be up to the EU to decide whether to grant an extension, how long it would be for and what conditions would be attached to it. How humiliating: This country’s future would be being determined in Brussels, not Westminster."

That'll do nicely.
grufty jim
grufty jim
1978 posts

Re: National humiliation in the national interest?!
Mar 10, 2019, 09:40
Talk in the Irish broadsheets this morning that the EU have completely run out of patience with the UK government.

The sequence of events as seen from Dublin...

EU:
"in order to remain compatible with the Belfast Agreement, Northern Ireland must temporarily remain part of the Custom Union, pending an alternate solution that will keep the border open. We'll even call it a "backstop" so cricket-loving English people will be familiar with the term.


UK (under the watchful eye of the DUP who are keeping the UK government in power by this point):
"Absolutely not! We will have no truck with any solution that treats Northern Ireland any differently to the rest of the UK.


EU:
"But... but... you already HAVE all sorts of differentiation between the two; from social and legal differences to actual checks on agricultural produce between the two..."


UK:
"la la la la la la!"


Dublin:
"Hey EU, don't bother pressing that point... the DUP are involved here and they don't make any sense and never have; we just have to pretend those differences don't exist otherwise everyone puts their fingers in their ears and goes "la la la la la!" really loudly. It's psychotic, but it's UK politics."


UK:
"la la la la la la!"


EU (shouting to be heard):
"OK, OK, Britain, so what do you propose?"


UK:
"la la la... huh?"


EU:
"So what do you propose?"


UK:
"A UK-wide backstop instead... the entire UK gets covered by the backstop as a kind of informal Custom Union until we have a comprehensive trade deal in place that will keep the British border in Ireland open..."


EU:
"Jeez, that really doesn't sit well with us. You'll be getting all the benefits of the free market without any of the fiscal responsibility... it really goes against our rules (which you helped write, remember?)"


UK (suddenly unexpectedly belligerent):
"Look you foreign fucks! Either it's a UK-wide backstop, or we start up with the la la la's... and we'll starve the paddies again while we're at it!"


EU:
"Fine... if that's what it takes to get you to start acting like decent neighbours to the Irish for the first time in 1600 years... then we'll bend the rules... a UK-wide backstop it is..."


UK:
"la la la la la!"


EU:
"But? now what?"


UK:
"A UK-wide backstop?! Are you fucking kidding me? We'll never succumb to that kind of EU-meddling and latter-day Fourth Reich bullshit! Never surrender! Spitfires and The Queen and Bulldogs and fuck you for trying to trap us in a UK-wide backstop!! la la la la la!"


EU:
"What the ACTUAL fuck just happened there?"


Dublin:
"Now you see what we've been dealing with...."
nigelswift
8065 posts

Re: National humiliation in the national interest?!
Mar 10, 2019, 10:13
Brilliant!
tjj
tjj
3588 posts

Re: National humiliation in the national interest?!
Mar 10, 2019, 10:14
As ever very witty but not helpful - lines like 'we'll starve the paddies again' are just not funny. My mother was Irish so I guess that makes me half Irish and believe me I have made a point of learning about Irish history at the hands of Britain. I really don't blame the Irish for experiencing a sense of schadenfreude at the mess Britain has got itself in, I've no doubt the Irish sharp wit is being honed at our expense. So be it, I remember the first time I stood up and objected to an Irish joke ... you don't hear those jokes any more. The shoe is on the other foot. As well as being half Irish, I'm also half English and like almost everyone in the UK at the moment, we are bewildered and, when you hear stories about people becoming violent over food shortages, not a little scared. And like most other 'ordinary people' we have stopped expressing our pointless opinions and are waiting, hoping all will be well.
grufty jim
grufty jim
1978 posts

Re: National humiliation in the national interest?!
Mar 10, 2019, 10:19
tjj wrote:
As ever very witty but not helpful - lines like 'we'll starve the paddies again' are just not funny.


That's right. They aren't. Which is why Tory politicians maybe shouldn't say them, right?

You think I made that up? Have you even been following the news on brexit?
grufty jim
grufty jim
1978 posts

Edited Mar 10, 2019, 10:23
Re: National humiliation in the national interest?!
Mar 10, 2019, 10:22
Are you aware that Priti Patel, the UK's Minister for Overseas Development publicly wondered why the possibility of food shortages in Ireland post-brexit "has not been pressed to our advantage in negotiations with the EU"?

A goddamn government minister raised the spectre of The Famine as a potential negotiating strategy with the EU.

And you're suggesting it's MY PARODY of that which is unhelpful?

Seriously?
grufty jim
grufty jim
1978 posts

Edited Mar 10, 2019, 10:32
Re: National humiliation in the national interest?!
Mar 10, 2019, 10:31
Also, can we be clear. There is NO schadenfreude here in Ireland. But it does not surprise me that even now after the last 3 years, the UK population has no real understanding of what's happening here in Ireland.

God forbid anyone should click on a news website with a dot-ie domain.

But to be clear... here in Ireland the figures demonstrate that our economy will be hit HARDER than the UK's by a no-deal brexit. Right? Are you aware that's the figures we're being presented with here.

Why do you think anyone is feeling schadenfreude about that?

A dear friend of mine lost his job because of brexit a couple of weeks ago. He's looking at Australia as a possible destination for him and his young family. Why am I feeling schadenfreude about that?

On top of the economic and social harm... we're reading a LOT of stories over here about the return of violence to OUR streets because of a decision made in the UK.

AGAIN.

Car bombs on OUR streets. Why are we feeling schadenfreude again?

I think you missed the tone there, tjj. The people of Ireland are fucking furious (and terrified) at what is being imposed upon them by their bullying neighbour YET A-FUCKING-GAIN.
nigelswift
8065 posts

Re: National humiliation in the national interest?!
Mar 10, 2019, 11:00
grufty jim wrote:
Also, can we be clear. There is NO schadenfreude here in Ireland. But it does not surprise me that even now after the last 3 years, the UK population has no real understanding of what's happening here in Ireland.

God forbid anyone should click on a news website with a dot-ie domain.

But to be clear... here in Ireland the figures demonstrate that our economy will be hit HARDER than the UK's by a no-deal brexit. Right? Are you aware that's the figures we're being presented with here.

Why do you think anyone is feeling schadenfreude about that?

A dear friend of mine lost his job because of brexit a couple of weeks ago. He's looking at Australia as a possible destination for him and his young family. Why am I feeling schadenfreude about that?

On top of the economic and social harm... we're reading a LOT of stories over here about the return of violence to OUR streets because of a decision made in the UK.

AGAIN.

Car bombs on OUR streets. Why are we feeling schadenfreude again?

I think you missed the tone there, tjj. The people of Ireland are fucking furious (and terrified) at what is being imposed upon them by their bullying neighbour YET A-FUCKING-GAIN.


Quite. History should mean Britain should treat Ireland with more respect than other countries. I'm not in the least offended by terms like "starving paddies", whoever said them as I have relatives lying in the graveyard at Kilglass, Roscommon who died probably for that exact reason in the 1840s. People in that village still remember the famine and it's a source of constant amazement to me how much good will they have to Britain. But Britain is just taking the piss with them.
grufty jim
grufty jim
1978 posts

Re: National humiliation in the national interest?!
Mar 10, 2019, 11:42
I honestly don't think Ireland expects or wants any more respect than anyone else. It's just having to settle for far *less* irks a bit.

I think I've said this before here, but I'm not sure anything shocked me in my entire life as much as moving from the Irish school system into the British system (albeit not in the UK... but if you want an English-speaking school in most of the non-English-speaking world you get to choose between UK curriculum and US curriculum... my parents chose UK :)

Anyway, I can still remember my shock at how differently The Famine is viewed / treated (or not!) by the "history" being taught in schools. It's something I've discussed at great length with all my close English friends because it's a genuine perfect Case Study in how history can be unhealthily "relative".

And I'm genuinely not claiming Irish schools have "the right version" of history. We have our own biases over here. And some of them are insane. But even so, the fact that most English people have never heard the name "Sir Charles Trevelyan" is mind-blowing to an Irish person. It's such a bizarre white-washing of history that automatically we get very suspicious of anything else an English person might have learnt about Ireland.

Can you imagine if Irish schools taught the history of the 1970s and 1980s but literally never mentioned Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness? Or if they did... it was such a brief, "in passing" reference that nobody remembered those names after they left school. "What else are they dumping down the memory hole?" you would ask with some justification.

Trevelyan is the man that the British Crown placed in charge of alleviating The Famine. He was the most important British figure in Ireland during that period and only the Irish seem to remember his name (he's name-checked in that most famous of famine songs, "The Fields of Athenry"... "for you stole Trevalyan's corn, so the young might see the morn, now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay").

Trevelyan would make public pronouncements in London claiming that the British Empire "would see to it that the Irish will never be allowed to starve". Meanwhile, private letters have since shown him to be an incredible anti-Irish bigot who viewed the Irish as fundamentally savage and believed (I quote):

"the judgement of God sent the calamity to teach the Irish a lesson"

Far from preventing the Irish from starving, Trevelyan oversaw a significant increase in food exports from Ireland to mainland Britain during the 5 year period in which almost 20% of the Irish population died of starvation.

That should be part of the history curriculum for everyone on these islands. But then... I *would* say that ;-)
grufty jim
grufty jim
1978 posts

Re: National humiliation in the national interest?!
Mar 10, 2019, 11:48
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKH1vbl1b1g
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