Small minded and far away

The problem with Brexit and the Irish border is that the British government is unclear on the distinction between the post-Brexit Irish border and one of those new smart phones with an infinity display. Brexiteers are trying to convince themselves that one of those things can be made borderless with technology, then the other jolly well can too. Brexiteers are counting on a high tech solution which will allow them to have their dream of a virtual no border which is really a hard border. It will be a sort of quantum Schrodinger’s border which manages to be simultaneously a border without being a border at all.

Unfortunately for the swivel eyed members of the Conservative cabinet who’ve apparently been bitten by a Ukip vampire, it’s only the technology for the smart phone which currently exists in our universe. You can buy one of those in any mobile phone or computer retailer near you. The borderless hard border that’s no border on the other hand, isn’t yet on special offer for Black Friday in your local branch of Curry’s. There are two terms for hoping that technology which hasn’t been invented yet is going to solve all your problems. The polite term is science fiction. The more realistic term is bat-shit crazy delusional.

The Irish government isn’t prepared to wait until the UK government can buy a solution to the border question from Shift-Shaft, the mobile network run by people on glue, and is growing increasingly frustrated by the British attitude. So frustrated that someone in the Irish foreign office leaked an internal report from Irish diplomats which essentially boiled down to the following:

“Those Brits? Jeeeeeeezus, Mary, and Joseph. They’re feckin mental eejits who make Dougal from Father Ted seem clued in so they are. See David Davis? See Dougal? Dougal’s the one with his finger on the pulse. Small or far away? Small or far away? David Davis’s understanding of the Brexit process is both small and far away at the same time. And don’t start us on that English upper class stereotype that is Boris feckin Johnson. He gives balloons a bad name, at least the gas that fills a balloon serves a useful purpose. The only surprising thing about that refugee from an Edwardian melodrama is that he doesn’t have a moustache to twiddle. He’s so thick he doesn’t even realise that in this scenario, the UK’s the one that’s been tied to the railway track. They are so screwed. And we won’t even be mentioning Michael Gove on account of the nausea. There are wee worms living around hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the Pacific who’ve got a firmer grasp on the realities of the negotiations than any of that lot. There’s more of a chance that Mother Brown’s Boys will come up with some innovative comedy than there is of any those clowns coming up with a solution to the border issue. For feck’s sake.”

And that’s the diplomatic version.

The anger and frustration from Dublin is perfectly understandable. So far Britain’s approach to the question of the Irish border has been that of someone who throws their dinner on the floor, smashes all the crockery, and then demands that Ireland and the EU clean up the mess, make a new dinner, and take pottery lessons so they can replace the broken plates and mugs. Ireland, not surprisingly, is of the view that it was the UK which caused this problem and it’s incumbent upon the UK to sort it out. Sadly however the British nationalists who animate the Brexit project have as much interest in what’s good for Northern Ireland as they do in what’s good for Scotland. Bugger all, in other words. Little England is going to get what Little England wants, and everyone else needs to fix any resultant problems because they’re not Little Englanders and so don’t need to be considered.

With the question of the Irish border post-Brexit, the issue of British exceptionalism comes crashing into cold hard reality. British nationalists have been so used to getting their own way in these islands for so long that they’re constitutionally incapable of conceptualising a situation in which they don’t have the upper hand. However that’s exactly where we are with the Brexit negotiations and the Irish border. This time it’s not the UK dealing with a country with less than a tenth of the population and a fraction of the GDP, this time it’s the UK dealing with the Republic of Ireland and 26 other members of the EU. Britain has promised that there will be no perceptible change on the Irish border, no border installations, no barriers to freedom of movement. It’s up to Britain to deliver.

Back in the real world, rather than the one inhabited by this Conservative bunch of no-marks, there’s only one realistic solution to the question of the Irish border. The Northern Irish DUP whose votes Theresa May depends on will never consent to a situation in which Northern Ireland remains in the customs union and the single market but the rest of the UK leaves. That would require customs checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. But if there is going to be special treatment for Northern Ireland, why not special treatment for Scotland, which voted to remain by an even larger margin than Northern Ireland did. Is it because of fear of violence? That’s hardly a resounding demonstration of having faith in democracy is it.

When the UK voted by the slimmest of majorites to leave the EU, people were not voting for hardest possible Brexit, the Brexit which the Tories have chosen to interpret in their own interests and not in the interests of the country. So there’s only one solution that actually works, and that’s for the whole of the UK to remain a part of the single market and the customs union. The Tories won’t agree to that, and Labour lacks the courage to stand up to the Brexiteers.

That means that all that is left is for Ireland to veto any deal. Ireland will receive assistance from the rest of the EU to make up for the damage to its economy. Britain will be on its own and the resultant mess is likely to lead to both the reunification of Ireland and to Scottish independence. The British state might aquiesce with Brexit being turned into a coup d’etat by right wing market extremists, but that doesn’t mean that Ireland, or Scotland, are going to suffer the consequences. One day soon, for both Scotland and Ireland, the self-inflicted arsewipery of the British state will be the problems of a small minded state that’s far away from our reality.


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0 thoughts on “Small minded and far away

  1. Bring it on. The way we, and NI, have been, and are being, treated by Westminster is just diabolical. And let’s not forget Gibraltar either. 96% Remain. What chance the mighty rUK holding onto that now?

  2. David davis let it slip in his own words northern Ireland is of little value to them as they can have their re unification with the south if they want when questioned on the Irish border situation but Scotland must stay in the uk at any cost hence why that unelected lord mentioned direct rule

  3. Agree Paul with everything you say. I too have always known that no technology exists to have an invisible border. No chance it’s all smoke and mirrors. The DUP will as you say block an all Ireland customs union.

    Ireland may well use its veto. And what of Gibralter? A customs union with Spain.

    As I wrote a few days ago on one of your other threads within 20 years the great British empire will be England and maybe Wales.

    I can hardly wait.

  4. Excellent post Paul.

    I may be wrong but I think the EU is (finally?) getting the measure of what the Celtic nations have suffered and put up with under the Acts of Union,

    Brexit has laid bare England’s bullying attiitude towards the other nations.

    At the moment Ireland is once again to the forefront in the struggle as she has been since her 1800 Act of Union.

    I sincerely expect Scotland to fight a rearguard action to liberate us all, once and for all!

    And put an end to this faux British identity and the UK

    PS – I’m profoundly sorry Wales and Cornwall, our other 2 celtic nations, haven’t yet built up the strength to join with us

  5. Another excellent and insightful post, Paul. I hope with all my heart that you are correct in your analysis of the outcomes for Norn Irn and Scotland. Like Benmadigan, my heart bleeds for Wales and Cornwall and I hope that they too will one day have the strength to tell England where to get off. England is done, it is deceased, it is no more, it is a dead State. The sooner it realises that, the better for us all!

  6. Pingback: Small minded and far away | speymouth

  7. I love the penultimate paragraph’s typing error. Is ‘the slimmest of majorites’ one of those girls who prance around at American Football, or is it a diminutive acolyte of Tony Blair? Or, indeed, is there a difference?

  8. There was a good radio programme early this morning (Radio 4) which was a guy walking the 300 odd mile Irish border from west to east accompanied by the presenter, chatting to people along the way and observing where the line of the border can be discerned by geographic features on the ground and where it is almost impossible to find. They came across houses abandoned during “The Troubles” on one side of the border with the only access by road from the other side. There were no voices advocating a hard border, although it is possible any such voices have been edited out. There was a plea from a textile artist, whose house is in the North but whose studio is in an abandoned court house in the South, for the politicians and officials working in London offices on Brexit to visit the border areas for a time and come to appreciate the ways in which their decisions will impact the lives of those living there. The plea will of course fall on deaf ears.

  9. Hands up all those who are fed up to the back teeth hearing about the English cricket team’s exploits Down Under?
    It is rammed down our colonial throats from every English Propaganda print and broadcast outlet.
    We are de facto the Last Colony of Merrie England, so we are force fed village green cricket nonsense whether we like it or not.
    They even call it ‘the national news’ now, as they bid us farewell for two minutes ‘news where you are’, which is not ‘national news’ where the English are..
    Switch it off, I hear you say.
    This country Scotland is denied any form of ‘local’ news and current affairs channels or newspapers as it is.
    Yesterday morning on BBC Breakfast, 7 minutes on the Fecking Ashes, and 2 minutes for news on the whole of Scotland, plus, weather and traffic reports.
    The English seem to consider that the Republic of Ireland like Scotland,is still part of their Empire.
    I believe that they think that they can bully Ireland into submission, or they’ll send the Black and Tans in again.
    Ireland is part of a European bloc of 27 nations, not a huddled starving mass of sod walled cottage dwellers.
    Banks and Finance Houses are heading from London to Dublin as I type ffs.
    Similarly, when Rennie, Davidson and ,no it’s no good, I still can’t recall his name, the Branch Office ‘No Cuts’ leader, ‘threaten’ Scotland with a trade embargo, that their English masters will cease to trade with us when we liberate ourselves, the sheer arrogance of the Brit Nat Yoons is at its most deranged.
    We are in for a fight when we announce Indyref 2, that’s for sure.
    Ireland reunified, Scotland Independent, in five years. Now I like that.

  10. Another great post and something you don’t see the meeja focus on enough. Mind you would you really expect them to? They’re a bit busy apportioning blame and narrative at the behest of their betters.

    Anyways, the bigger picture.

    The UK’s economy is an omnishambles waiting to become a clusterfuck, with a breathtaking wealth disparity and social injustice at its core . Its international reputation is in tatters. Its wider society and the populations of the four nations fractured and divided almost beyond repair. The politics of the UK has descended into jingoistic, soundbite and media driven farce. In as little as three years, opportunism, short-termism, naked greed, corruption, scandal, political infighting and the manipulation of the populations of the UK through misinformation and misdirection have brought the peoples of these islands to the brink. Though tbf this perfect shit storm has been decades in the making.

    So let’s cut through the bullshit. Who is responsible? Who is ultimately and wholly responsible for a duty of care to the peoples in their care (and yes I’m aware that’s a plural. We are a ‘union’ of nations). Who is responsible, for the economy, works and pensions, energy, the constitution, trade and industry, foreign affairs, defence, immigration and employment?

    Is it the poor, the immigrant, the disenfranchised? Is it the devolved parliaments? No, not really.

    Do these demographics and institutions seem particularly empowered to you? Do they control the powers of statehood, access to the mass media, command the donations and patronage of the corporate world?

    If that’s your belief, then those who do command such power and advantage have done their job well. If you believe however that those demographics and institutions are in fact the victims here, then there is hope yet.

    The UK state, its practice of politics and its political class have the responsibility of duty of care to the peoples of the UK. If our economy, our politics and our society are in a bit of a mess. If major demographics are suffering and placed needlessly in harms way through catastrophic legislation, naked self interest and greed.

    Well? There’s really only one place to look.

    • Well said, Sam. There IS only one place to look and it’s time – and more than time – that the worthy burghers of Scotland, England, Wales and Norn Irn did more than just “look”! I cannot for the life of me understand why people have not risen up in a body to eject these corrupt, venal, self-serving Lord Snooties from office. Independence in 5 years … PLEASE!

      • It’s the result of 300 years being controlled by the nation that controlled India with a handful of civil servants they’re world champions at it. Ireland is lucky they are not on the same island as England.
        The advent of broadcast media made our rulers job easier.

        • Yet the advent of the internet has made their job impossible.
          No matter how often the Tom Gordons of this world churn out Brit Nat Propaganda, there are now thousands online to refute and discredit the recently more torrid floods of England Uber Alles nonsense churned out by our Fifth Columnist Fourth Estate.
          We shall not go gently into that dark night that is their Empire 2 .

  11. Labours lack of willingness to tackle the tories on Brexit, is that the actually favor it. But suffer from the same delusion that they get a deal quickly on the Canadian model while having the same single market access as the Norwegians. The problem is the Canadian model is a bespoke trade agreement that lies outside of the single market, and consequently has none of the obligations access to the single market entails. The Norwegians wanted access to the full single market, were prepared to pay to get it, while being not being involved with the Eu beyond that. These discussions were conducted with no histrionics. No flag waving. Purely administrative box ticking conducted by adults.

    So this right here lays bare the delusion underpinning the whole UK brexit tragi-farce. It wants full access like the Norwegians but it wants to pay nothing in like the Canadians, while overlooking the differences between the two. It has convinced itself that this would be easy despite that the negotiations for Norway and Canada took around 5 years apiece. But its not the time issue that is against the UK here. Its simply a deal that the EU cannot give the UK. Period. For the EU to grant that, would undermine the EU in its entirety. So for the UK to have this deal, the EU would have to cease to exist, but if the EU ceases to exist, then there can be no deal. A classic catch 22.
    The Eu is the single market. The single market is the EU.

    The UK is now left threatening to blow a hole in EU finances. Openly talking about taking advantage of Merkel in the press, because those pesky Europeans can’t talk proper engerlish like wot we do.
    Now its threatening to do the same to Ireland. They really do think that they can bully the Irish into a brexit they quite literally didn’t vote for, then reapply to governed by Westminster. Only now is the UK realising that Ireland has the power to veto any deal the UK hopes to get. It now realises that if it doesn’t do something about the border situation, Ireland will blow a hole in the UK economy instead. Ireland has the EU backing it up. The UK? It’s all back of the bus, fucked up with no friends. The Article 50 clock is ticking. It cannot be stopped without approval of the EU27. When the due date comes round, that simple law will operate and the UK will be out. No deal. No transition period. and looking at 5 or more years at trying to get back some access to the EU. Even then you know the stupid fuckers will waste even that time arguing for something they can’t have.

    The UK is not the essential glue to the EU. It is regulations that are the glue that holds the EU together and make the single market work. So how in the name of God did the UK become the dumbest fucker in the room? How did it ever manage to convince itself that it was the power and the glory? Or was it the case that the UK was always the dumbest fuck in the room and its presence tolerated?

    This is what the NO vote in 2014 got us. A front seat to slow dreadful plunge over a cliff, with yoons screaming “you lost, get over it” as the ground races up to us and the inevitable and brutally abrupt stop.

    • Paul, Sam, David, you can not speak any more plainly.
      It would be madness for the citizens of Scotland, who voted 62% Remain to stand idly by while England, and Wales in its coat tails commits economic, political, and social suicide by walking out on the biggest Free Trading Bloc in the world.
      Yet they are determined to attempt it.
      They no longer see Scotland as a distinct country. We are part of a Union which in their eyes is indivisible, YOOKAY whichand conveniently comprises 85% voting English folk.
      They therefore have a sense of ‘owning’ Scotland, that we were vanquished at the start of the 18th Century, and we lost then, never mind in 2014, and we really must stop all of this grievance nonsense, and ‘get over it’, as you observe, David.
      Well, ir saddens me, but I assert that England and Wales are our ‘enemies’ on this vital journey out of the UK towards an Independent Scotland.

      The negative impact of Brexit, financially, politically, socially, and culturally on Scotland would be as serious as any bombs and bullets war.
      People would starve, be rendered homeless, freeze in winter, die early in their tens of thousands, if we merely stand back and do nothing.

      In my eyes, we are at war, a velvet war, without battlefield carnage, but a fight to the death nevertheless.
      That’s how serious Brexit is.
      Davidson Dugdale and Rennie are the enemy.
      Only Independence will save us from carnage.

  12. Thank you for articulating my thoughts so well. I did try a previous comment but it disappeared down the moderated sink hole. Note to self: WordPress automatically puts comments with multiple links into moderation, possibly along with loads of automatically bot generated spam, and a busy blogger may well just bin the lot.

    The UK government (such as it is) seems to be pretty ignorant (full stop) of the geography of the British Isles. (I think) there are four air routes and one ferry route from Belfast to Scotland and five air routes and one ferry route to England. Total: eleven. All the air routes go to airports with customs facilities. The port of Liverpool will have them as well. More than 200 public roads cross the border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. So, the choice is between funding one customs post at Cairnryan or over two hundred elsewhere, which would only encourage smuggling across boggy tracks in the dark.

    Would such a proposal finish the DUP’s support for the Tory party? If the alternative was an obviously pro-EU Labour Party, possibly not. But the Labour Party is, currently, almost as pro-Brexit as the Tories so it might not make much difference. Either way, the Maybot is too frit to make the decision. Hopefully the Irish government can hold firm for the next wee while as the Maybot and fellow travellers skite on the ice towards the brink.

    The day of reckoning appears to be getting closer. Get used to accepting as normal the concept of Scotland being an independent nation. And we can relocate the customs post at Cairnryan to Gretna.

  13. I wonder what the UK media will say when later in December they, the EU, say ‘Non’.

    No trade talks as you have not agreed anything so far you dimwits.

  14. My take on the Irish border is that Wastemonster can’t agree to a workable solution . . . . Because it would be used as an argument to support Scottish Independence.

    I know very strong Unionist professionals who cant bring themselves to accept Brexit will happen. . . Knowing the self inflicted damage it will do to their beloved Union.

    • Hello Clydebuilt.

      Pity your strong unionist people did not have influence to stop this craziness. However I am now pleased that Brexit is happening as it can only help Scotland get free. As Mel Gibson said so well ‘Freedom’. Even if we all must have some pain.

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