In September 2019, James Brokenshire MP said that his best piece of advice to people becoming Northern Ireland Secretary was to “get yourself a history book and read it.”
“Dear Boris Johnson,
There is no better Brexit when it comes to the Good Friday Agreement and Northern Ireland. As you still seem bamboozled by all this Paddywackery here’s a few pointers for your next stab in the dark –
Northern Ireland is made up of a majority of Unionists (as in the Conservative and Unionist Party) and, believe it or not, a rather large minority of Nationalists (as in Irish Nationalists).
These Irish Nationalists don’t see themselves as British but rather inconveniently as Irish (who knew?).
For over 30 years we killed each other because of these differences which means Northern Ireland is nothing like Camden or Westminster.
The Good Friday Agreement ended that violence by the following devious magic –
Unionists were guaranteed that Northern Ireland would be part of the UK until the majority voted otherwise.
The Irish was border was removed and the island linked so Nationalists could pretend they were already living in a United Ireland (yes, Tony Blair did sleight of hand much better than you)
Some of these Nationalists then accepted being part of the UK as their day to day lives were essentially Irish.
This cunning plan was sold to us on the basis that we were all part of the EU therefore fixation on nationality was so last World War.
Implementing the Good Friday Agreement was torturous (think Brexit with actual bombs, not metaphorical suicide vests) but we finally made peace. Yet 20 years later NI remains a divided society.
Thanks to your glorious Brexit vision Northern Ireland will become more divided as some form of economic border checks will become part of daily lives.
If those checks take place between NI and Ireland, the Nationalists who were once happy being part of the UK will change their mind.
If they take place in the Irish Sea some Unionists will be livid. However they’ll still support being part of the UK (the clue is in the Unionist bit)
Your Brexit lies have opened a Pandora’s box for Northern Ireland. It’s one reason why the majority of people in NI voted to remain in the EU (almost as if they knew more about the fragile equilibrium of their politics than you)
Barely mentioned before Brexit, a border poll is now inevitable thanks to your monumental ignorance.
When that poll is eventually held the Nationalists who were once content being part of a Northern Ireland within the UK and EU will vote to leave the UK to feel as Irish and European as they did before Brexit.
The poll will be much closer thanks to your Brexit folly and could easily be lost by Unionists, breaking up the UK.
Any break up of the Union will be your fault (a tad inconvenient as a member of the Conservative and er, Unionist party)
The EU is not responsible for your blundering lack of foresight. Like most people in Northern Ireland they were happy with the status quo.
By the time the penny drops that you can’t preserve the Union you want without the one you don’t, it will be too late.
You will be remembered not as the Churchillian visionary you delude yourself to be but the ignoramus who triggered the break up of the UK.
If there’s any justice all this will come to pass when you’re Prime Minister so you can finally swim in the constitutional sewage you’ve created (though we all know you’ll be in Nice with your trotters up).”
Meantime, if you’re so concerned about keeping Northern Ireland totally aligned with the rest of the UK where’s your support for our same sex marriage and women’s right to choose? Your silence is deafening.”
(Whenever, over the centuries, an amicable resolution of the Irish Question, acceptable to all the key stakeholders has been found, invariably, those who have vetoed it have been the majority of the Tory Party of the day).
More from Mr Kielty …
“Quick reminder of Priti Patel previous photocopier room bants. Proper boss.”
20th November, 2020
“This is a lie and you know it. The type you normally like to stick on the side of a bus. Why not try sticking it on the side of a ferry or one of the lorries currently being checked at your “Irish Sea Border” and see how far you get?”
2nd January, 2021
“Poor Boris Johnson,
Such terrible luck with these Irish Sea border shenanigans. And so unexpected. Not like a border in Ireland versus a border with Britain has ever led to violence in Northern Ireland before. Seems like he’s just done his best. Again.”
2nd February, 2021
“The lies put on the side of a bus five years ago almost cost a bus driver his life tonight. Deep concern isn’t enough. When are you going to start owning this mess?”
7th April, 2021
It was very heartening to learn from Patrick Kielty’s recent TV programme that good people on all sides in Northern Ireland (and there are more than two sides) are desperate to navigate through Lord Frost’s negotiated mire to the sunlit uplands, whilst enjoying the benefits of his negotiations for them, but of which he would now deprive them in order to prove that a softer Brexit is not a better Brexit than the Hard Brexit he negotiated for Britain.
Confused, you may be, but nowhere near as much, I expect, as Boris Johnson.