a-Fisking we shall go: Jonathan Stanley in Think Scotland

Sometimes an article so boneheadedly wrong appears one has to take an hour or so to see if its a mistake, pisstake or real. Thus it is with this risible piece of nonsense in Think Scotland (please do….)

BRITAIN is unique among the great nations of Europe. It has neither fought to forge its borders, nor have its borders been drawn by another power.

Hmm. Let us start here. What, exactly, is Britain? Its clearly not Great Britain, the island. Nor is it the UK, which includes Northern Ireland. So, it is probably England and Wales. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but I think there may be a long history of border warfare twixt the Scots and the rest. And if we use Britain as a synonym for the UK then the border with Ireland was most assuredly forged as a result of wars. Anyhow, if we really want to push it, historically it was a term to distinguish the overseas territories of the angles, Saxons and jutes, again, war…

 Shakespeare’s Richard the Second put it best,

“This fortress built by Nature for herself, Against infection and the hand of war,This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea,Which serves it in the office of a wall, Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands”

Ok. No sense of exceptionalism there AT ALL

A century ago the UK ended the Great War at incredible cost,

Do you mean ended as in “won on its own”, in which case I think the French, Serbians, Russians, Belgians, Americans, ANZACS and so on might have had a tiny role to play, or …?

 which the continent has never had the grace to repay.

Well, the Continent wasn’t at war. Chunks of it were neutral. Do you mean the defeated powers? I refer you to the little known “treaty of Versailles” whose financial terms were such as to move one Keynes to write on “the economic consequences of the peace”.

The general election of that year was against the backdrop of both the victory and the cost.

Most elections are.

For Ireland, as for much of Britain, the cost was felt closer to home than the victory.

Indeed.

Sinn Fein won a landslide and withdrew their MP’s, illegally, from Westminster.

Illegal you say? Ill see your Shakespear and raise a Seneca  Epigrams, Book iv, Epistle 5. Compare: “Prosperum ac felix scelus/ Virtus vocatur” (“Successful and fortunate crime/ is called virtue”), SenecaHerc. Furens, ii. 250.

 

 A bitter insurgency

aka “War of independence”. Which, we won, kinda mostly.

that ended splitting Ireland in two.

No it ended WITH Ireland split into 2 parts.

Sinn Fein and other Irish parties that split from it never accepted this division.

Nope. Part of the national political psyche.

They continually ignored Unionists in the North

A feeling mutually reciprocated

and in 1937 de Valera held a snap referendum that overturned the Free State settlement and instead founded a republic in all but name that claimed again to represent all of Ireland.

Yes. Taking back control its called. It was hugely popular.

This claim, the official position of the Irish republic, served as the casus bellithe IRA needed to wage an insurgency that led to over 3,000 Irishmen slaughtered in their own land.

Who knew that the IRA, successor to the IRB, successor to the Fenians, success..you see where this is going, decided to launch a campaign in 1970 based on a 1937 referendum! Damn, slow there boys. I guess there was no civil rights campaign, gerrymandering, ulster apartheid, B-Specials… Just a sudden “shite for it lads, didn’t Dev, 33y ago, do something”

 It took 60 years

Huh? When are you starting the count? 1928?

to reach a Good Friday Agreement that left the North in limbo.

Constructive ambiguity

An uneasy status quo was locked in place by numerous cross border bodies but in the end Dublin never gave up.

I refer you to the events of 22 May 1998 and the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. You may wish to look them up. Or, feel free to wallow in ignorance.

It is simply unnatural to have an island divided

Well… Probably

 and only animosity can maintain such a division.

The well known Haitian-Domincan war eh. Oh…

The moment that animosity falls, reunification becomes inevitable. Only, it has always been felt this will mean the North leaving the UK to join the South.

Re-join. RE-join

 It would be supremacist to ignore that reunification can also happen from the South to the North.

Anythings possible in theory

North and South Korea this month ended their 65-year-old war. In the end maintaining the division simply had a political shelf life. It is far too early to second-guess the long term outcome but it could well be Pyongyang has simply had enough to playing second fiddle to its neighbour.

Or, that its broke, and has nukes to allow it now to creep back to the world safe in the knowledge that nobody can do a Lybia on it. Oh, they learned.

 

The Republic of Ireland owes its strong economy to one thing and that is an advantageous tax regime, in essence skimming a fair bit of the profits made from turnover elsewhere in the Single Market. The UK alone loses a sizeable chunk (estimated by GlobalBritain.org at corporation tax revenues of £10bn).

Really? A one trick pony. Lets see. Here is the GVA for Ireland.

GNI sources

 

But the UK and the EU have both finally cottoned on.

Except the whole thing about tax in teh EU? its a devolved national competence.

The UK is lowering its corporation tax rates and the EU is applying ever more pressure on Ireland to raise its rates. Dublin is still heavily indebted following the 2008 crisis.

Irish Debt/GDP ratio is lower than the UK.

Ireland will soon find itself without big friends in Europe.

Opinion. How do you know?

To be fair it deserves nothing less. Instead of using the UK Irish bonds to force Brussels to compromise it has clearly chosen Kaiser over King

The Kaiser? THE KAISER? WTF are you on about?

and jumped straight into the arms of a power that is set on extorting huge sums from us

sums so extortionate they amount to 23c per EU citizen per day per annum and which the UK was happy to pay statingthat even in a nodeal situation it would pay its debts.

and to erode our sovereignty from within with customs partnerships, preferential treatment for EU citizens and all manner of wheezes.

When you see human rights as a “wheeze” your lost to humanity.

The UK it left no longer exists and in many ways for the better; universal suffrage, a welfare state, a modern footloose economy where natural regional disadvantage no longer matters.

And nobody else has those?

Modern communications and energy fed to us by wire mean the republic has the great advantages of scenery, land, lack of migrant-based crime and violence our own big cities endure.

Migrant based crime. When you scratch a brexiteer, not to far below the surface you find the Xenophobia, don’t you.

The best way for it to keep its outward looking, low tax, light touch economy and maintain links with the UK is for the border to go entirely.

Well the latter is to be desired. The first clause, well. IF you look at the World Bank Doing Business Scores we are essentially the same as the UK save in the construction area.

The republic alone would have something like 50 seats in Westminster, equal to all other MPs.

Yea, thanks. Like Scotland. Equal. Sure.

 No Commission.

So no guaranteed senior voice at the table arguing our case. Sell it to me baby

No Qualified Majority Voting.

So no blocking minority. Yep, sell it hard

 No imposition of directives it cannot influence.

Apart from the fact that the commission, where we now have a voice, makes those, and that a Westminister which has a rather long history of doing so so could overrule subsidiary nations, yeah SELL IT GOOD

It is not so bad an offer for an open mind.

Iv a bridge iBrooklynyn

 

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