It is hard to understand how people can be so short-sighted and indeed nitwitted as to vote to leave a larger political and economic union, without the slightest idea of what was to happen afterwards. Or how politicians, with a hugely inflated view of their own country’s importance, can ignore economic and commercial practicalities in favour of an entirely unrealistic notion of sovereignty. No thought for how existing commercial relationships would be affected or how that would affect trade and employment. A ridiculous assumption that politicians and civil servants could set up new trade deals and would be better at it than those with practical experience.
That, however, is exactly what Sinn Féin did in 1918 and 1919, in its election manifesto and in the unicorn-bedecked “democratic programme” adopted by the first Dáil.
I say this not to excuse HM Brexiteers — I think that both they and Sinn Féin (past and present) are bonkers — but to suggest that outbreaks of mass insanity can happen to anyone.
Posted in Engineering and construction, Foreign parts, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Modern matters, Operations, Passenger traffic, Sea
Tagged brexit, Ockenden, Ramsgate
The neighbours over the way seem to believe that Brexit means Brexit, but have difficulty in accepting that Backstop means Backstop, rather than “temporary reassurance made with our fingers crossed”.
I think that the solution is to make it more acceptable to leading Brexiteers. We can do that by changing the name of the backstop, preferably to something in Latin. That will immediately make it appeal to Messrs Johnson and Rees-Mogg, who can explain it to those of their friends who were unfortunate enough not to have attended one of the better public schools. And, as Mrs Foster won’t have anything to do with the language of Popery, she won’t understand it and it won’t be necessary for anyone to bother her with the detail.
But what should the new name be? I suggest Laudabiliter II, which might have a certain appropriateness, even though the Pope isn’t an Irishman.
Look here, upon this picture, and on this.
The Grauniad has the solution: a home for Brexiteers.
Must be a good idea if it involves barges …
… or maybe not.
I see from the blatts that Her unfortunate Majesty’s Government is considering having vigilantes to man Her borders, just as they have in that nice Mr Trump’s domain.
Concerns have been raised in recent years about the coverage of dozens of minor harbours and landing places in the UK.
Her Majesty also has a land border, part of which runs along the Shannon–Erne Waterway, so no doubt volunteers will be needed there too. The Ulster Special Constabulary provides a possible model, notably the B Specials:
- B Specials – part-time, usually on duty for one evening per week and serving under their own command structure, and unpaid, although they had a generous system of allowances (which were reduced following the reorganisation of the USC a few years later), served wherever the RIC served and manned Mobile Groups of platoon size; (originally 19,000 members).
Posted in Canals, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Ireland, Modern matters, Politics, Shannon, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged B Specials, border, brexit, Shannon-Erne Waterway, vigilantes
… writes about Brexit.
I do not know why the Irish government agreed to kick the can down the road, thereby losing its influence over the discussions.
But Britain is now but a modest-size ship on the global ocean. Having voted to leave the European Union, it is unmoored, heading to nowhere, while on deck, fire has broken out and the captain — poor Theresa May — is lashed to the mast, without the authority to decide whether to turn to port or to starboard, let alone do what one imagines she knows would be best, which is to turn around and head back to shore.
Steven Erlanger in the New York Times 4 November 2017