The UK used to be described as the unity of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Then a nasty thirty-year civil war broke out in Northern Ireland before common sense prevailed and the warring factions turned to democratic politics to sort out their differences.
The UK and the Republic of Ireland joined the EEC/Common Market in the seventies together so the British Isles, (as it were), moved in unison. The two islands were in democratic harmony at the edge of Europe. We were, of course, separated by a common language but the Irish were still Irish, the British were still British, the Scots were still Scottish and the Welsh were still Welsh. Strangely too, UK citizens were not required by law to have a passport when entering the Republic of Ireland and vice versa. The only real international border was between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Bet you didn't know that.
In reality though during the Northern troubles, it was advisable to have an Irish passport when entering the UK because if the only I.D. you had was a driver's license then you would inevitably be delayed at the port/airport. You would get in eventually but you would be a source of hassle temporarily. To be fair, we Irish had to remember the 'hard men' who took it upon themselves to bomb the UK in our name. Naturally none of it was ever actually in the name of the majority of decent Irish people but their very existence meant heightened security.
When you think about it, it took Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Bertie Ahern, Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley all together to silence the guns up North. That was quite a cast of charismatic leaders in their own time. As with everything else in life, it is always harder to build than to destroy. Things have been running along smoothly since the peace process took root and of course there are still problems. Thirty years of war is not simply forgotten overnight. The recent BREXIT move however, does present the possibility of extra strains with Scotland, (possibly), and the Republic remaining in the EU and England, Wales and Ulster Unionists opting for self-determination. To smooth this over will require competent politicians but by comparison with what was done before this to create the peace, it won't be that hard surely.
So I was stunned this morning to read that our feeble leader here in the South is proposing a poll on the border between the two Irelands. Is the mad fucker trying to start it all again? Dame Enda has called on the European Union to prepare for the prospect of Northern Ireland seeking to join the Republic. The fool compared it to East and West Germany thus ignoring the million or so loyalists in the North who have clearly stated a preference to remain British. Correct me if I'm wrong but East Germans couldn't wait to join the West.
The article points out rightly that, "The decision by Mr Kenny to throw open the prospect to a border poll will set him on a collision course with the DUP." We've already had Paisley Junior on the radio this lunchtime condemning the 'Mayo Moron,' and you'd have to say, that's hardly unexpected. I wrote last November about a joint RTE/UTV production broadcast simultaneously from Belfast and Dublin. They put many points to the people to vote on during the one hour show and on Irish unity, the southerners voted for it. But when the proviso was added that southerners would have to pay for the unification, the vote reversed. "Quelle surprise?"
At this point we need to revisit the peace process to discover that the very foundation of it was based on Northern Ireland remaining in the UK until a majority of its citizens decided otherwise. The DUP and Sinn Fein signed up for that. So I ask, is Enda Kenny, the Prime Minister of a foreign country, now calling an election in an adjoining country? Can you actually do that in a democracy? Can Merkel call an election in the UK? Alternatively, is Enda calling for a vote on a United Ireland down here, (in this foreign country)? If so, what does it matter? It can't change anything democratically, can it? An international treaty was signed by our Government to respect the status of Northern Ireland.
So what, if anything, was this stupid provocation about? Well,last week, Kenny went off on one of his solo runs proposing an all-Ireland forum to discuss BREXIT. On the surface of it the idea has some merit but Kenny didn't do any work behind the scenes before announcing it so Arlene Foster of the DUP, smelling a rat, dismissed it immediately. So is today's outburst just Enda bitching back? If so, it is both dangerous and foolhardy of him. And before I finish, what of Ireland having a vote on remaining in the EU? The powers that be have already said an absolute no to that, just in case. Many of the dozy holes taking up space in Leinster House right now have a beady eye on a lavish retirement plan based on the EU and democracy be damned.
Or perhaps something more sinister is going on? Is it possible that during last week's meeting with Angela in Germany our Enda was quietly asked to stoke up trouble for the UK? If so, he's done it brilliantly but the problem is, he could be causing the rest of us a whole lot of trouble also. If that happens, Enda will be retired on a vulgar pension plan payed by you and me.
I'll have to stop thinking this way…………..