Not many perhaps, but a few…

As shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Mr Pound seems to have a rather better grasp of what the Irish border question is about than the actual secretary of state, who probably couldn’t find it on a map.

“In September 2018 she (Karen Bradley) was criticised for admitting in an interview[14] for House magazine, a weekly publication for the Houses of Parliament, that she had not understood Northern Irish politics before being appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. “I didn’t understand things like when elections are fought, for example, in Northern Ireland – people who are nationalists don’t vote for unionist parties and vice versa,” she said.”

The word “duh” comes to mind.

Image result for secretary of state for northern ireland

I wonder how many people in the London bubble actually care enough about Northern Ireland to learn about the incredible complexities involved in the Good Friday Agreement.

Clearly, a government minister didn’t know or care until she was promoted into the post of Secretary of State, at which time she must have been briefed by civil servants. (You have to ask, in the light of that disclosure, if May made the right decision there.)

And the rest of them, sitting around the cabinet table discussing the future of the province, it seems, may not have a tiny clue.

That is scary.


  1. Mr P seems to have a handle on the issue. I wonder what will happen at the Tory conference. Looks like a CETA deal in maybe 5 years time.
    Jason tells it straight. Not good.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Heavens.

      I notice, he doesn’t know that Scotland and Wales have different laws. But I take his point that Northern Ireland isn’t the same as the rest of the UK in other ways.

      But scary stuff.

      No deal is what is coming. And everything stops.

      We’ve prepared 5% of what we need to prepare.

      I thought that his comparison with Kazakhstan was appropriate.


  2. Ms Bradley’s problems are not, as I recall, anything new. When the Troubles broke out and necessitated their direct involvement in NI issues and thereby contact with NI politicians, some U.K. politicos expressed surprise that they were dealing with people who sounded distinctly Irish rather than the English or Scottish public school types then common in eg Scottish Tory politics.

    Mind you, perhaps Terence O’Neill ( for whom I had a lot of admiration) had given them false expectations.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I see what you mean.

      Terence O’Neill was born on 10 September 1914 at 29 Ennismore Gardens, Hyde Park, London.[1] He was the youngest son of Lady Annabel Hungerford Crewe-Milnes (daughter of the Marquess of Crewe) and Captain Hon. Arthur O’Neill of Shane’s Castle, Randalstown, the first MP to be killed in action during World War I. The family assumed the surname O’Neill by royal licence in lieu of their original name Chichester. The Chichesters trace their lineage to the name O’Neill through Mary Chichester, daughter of Henry O’Neill of Shane’s Castle.

      O’Neill grew up in London and was educated at West Downs School, Winchester and Eton College. (Wikipedia)

      He was one of them! No wonder he sounded like Prince Edward.


  3. I’m surprised, no really I truly am.

    Dear old Dr. Fox told us back at the beginning of this ridiculous process that getting a deal with the E.U. would be the easiest deal possible.


    6 months from the deadline date for leaving the E.U. and … erm … no one has a clue as to what the agreement is and I’m pretty certain we will NOT have a deal because Feartie has no clue, nor does the Honourable member for the monocle and 18th Century, about how the N.I. border problem, and it is a HUGE problem in my view, can be resolved. Let’s not forget either that the party of Flat Earthers and Sectarian society (D.U.P.) will do whatever they can to destroy ANY deal agreed to by Feartie because they have only one aim … to grab as much power as they can for themselves in N.I.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Another great plan by maybot.
        Does she think they, the EU, have got zips fitted, it’s like asking for the agreement of alice in wonderland characters.
        Of course Hollyrood will be given the same type of agreement, a vote on whether the country of Scotland will be taken out of the EU against the will of the people.
        You’ve just had your unionista dimocracy, yes dim.
        And the cabinet have agreed on a new white paper to be produced on emigration.
        Based on skills only and the EU to be treated like the rest of the world, just in time for the next negotiations with Barnier, what!, respect.
        All to kick the can down the road for another couple of weeks, until the conference is over.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What is happening is really frightening.

          The trouble is that the Press really isn’t covering this at all.

          As Jason points out. Everything stops with no Withdrawal Agreement. To proceed would be illegal.

          And May continues to irritate the EU and other leaders at every turn.

          Did anyone tell her that that wasn’t the way to get a good deal.


        1. I actually think that was a slip of the tongue by Feartie there Tris.

          When she said she had a backstop plan to give Stormont a backstop veto what she actually meant to say was she planned to give the Flat Earth and Sectarian Supporters Club a.k.a. the D.U.P. the backstop veto!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. At some stage we will need to to a post on the catalogue of catastrophic turns taken by the UK government in this affair.

      But one thing is for sure. None of them has an idea about how hard it will be to get this right. Least of all Liam Fox. (The odd thing is that he has Irish heritage.)

      Maybe becasue the UK countries can be trodden on and disregarded to fit exactly what London wants, they seem to feel that teh EU can do the same. But it can’t.

      It works to rules. Rules that if broken can cause one country, even a tiny one.. Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, for example, to veto whatever they came up with.

      From day one they started preparing (and day one was before the referendum vote). They probably started when a referendum was announced.

      All the way through Britain did no preparation at all.

      So very soon …we will be erm, what’s the word? Begins with an F and ends ed.

      OK guys. Time to start getting the tins in.


  4. Yoons don’t vote for nats
    Nats don’t vote for yoons
    Never never never .

    We hate each other’s guts
    Too much.

    It’s the way it is and ain’t
    Gonna change …..



  5. ‘The Toubles’ gave a lot of the ‘Public School/Sandhurst’ types a lot of practice in soldiering and murdering. The degree to which they worked with the ‘loyalist’ paramilitaries is becoming increasingly clearer. There were significant splits amongst the military about these developments. Many within the Army saw their role as ‘peacekeeping’ and working alongside the police and civil authorities, whereas others, particularly under the influence of Brigadier Frank Kitson, used the opportunity to develop further what they called ‘counter-insurgency tactics’, which entailed undercover work, infiltration, agents provocateur. This was largely done via the Parachute Regiment (The ‘Paras’, to use the media adulatory term), as distinct from the Army in general.
    So, I think that there are those amongst the Tory Brexiteers who see the ‘management’ of continuous civil strife along the border as feasible. It would also have an adverse effect on the economy of the Irish Republic and put some strains on the EU as it strove to sustain Ireland. The Brexiteers would see this as part of a war of attrition to fragment the EU.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doesn’t matter how much suffering the people of NI go though. It’s a far off land of which they know very little.

      The trouble is that the “troubles” had an occasional habit of migrating to England.


    2. Kitson is a reactionary bastard, awarded a knighthood for his treating citizens of the UK as he did the insurrectionists of the Mau Mau, although he restrained his men (and women) from castrating them. I knew a couple of people who served in the Det and they were right cunts (Sorry Tris).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The complete lack of preparation by the UK is scary because it seems to stem from an unshakeable belief in British exceptionalism and a blindness to what other people might think or do. The Government, and possibly the entire Tory Party, just don’t care because, well, they’re British and, regardless of the actual evidence, everyone will want to accommodate what Britain wants!

    For me this became very clear a year or so ago. I was part of a meeting in Westminster with a group of SNP MPs and I asked them if the Tories were really as incompetent as they looked from the outside.

    I’d heard that MPs often form cross party friendships and, once you’re an MP, you presumably learn things about the job that aren’t apparent to outsiders, so I was expecting a polite “they’re doing their best under difficult circumstances” kind of reply.

    What actually happened was that they all started laughing before I’d finished the question. They were very clear that the incompetence was not only real but was, if anything, worse that it appeared to the public, with even senior ministers having no real grasp of the realities of Brexit. It appeared that, almost without exception, if anyone tried to explain any constitutional rules or consequences of their plans they simply didn’t understand the problem or even see why they should.

    In hindsight, the most significant comment was that the Government was convinced it would all be OK in the end “because it’s us”, because we’re the British and people will bend the rules to accommodate us.

    This “because it’s us” British exceptionalism has been at the core of their “negotiations” throughout and has resurfaced with a vengeance in Theresa May’s (and the media’s) response to her Salzburg setback.

    It doesn’t bode well for the future – if you refuse to accept objective reality, then how can you negotiate anything?

    I just hope that the SNP leadership are ready to ramp things up a bit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Completely agree. I remember a Sun headline that said that we had to have a better deal than other countries because we were Britain. OK, it was the Sun, a fantasy sheet if ever there was one, not exactly aimed at the thinking caterpillar.

      And it’s people like Jason (in the broadcast earlier) that are pointing out that there is no exceptionalism at all in Brussels; just a very firm set of rules.

      Yes, some other people will suffer too (notably, he said, Rotterdam), but the fact is that to allow British exceptionalism would be to wreck the EU.

      Simple: If you want to leave the golf club, leave, but don’t expect to play the odd round, bring your mates for a drink on a Friday and your partner for a meal on Saturday, and refuse to obey the management committees rules. Not going to happen. Even if you are GREAT Britain.


  7. After 30 years (nearly) in England I’m now always surprised by anyone who believes English people (of whatever race) consider anywhere other than England to be the “UK”.

    Not even my wife really thinks differently – she’d like to say she does but instictively England = Britain = UK to her.

    Whats clear is any S30 referendum is off the table now – either with red or blue tories in power.

    SNP conference needs to step up big time – triple mandate in place, both main UK parties denying a referendum…

    No more “now is not the time” guys – and for the love of gods ignore Wishart!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Completely agree with this, Vestas.

      Kevin McKenna had an opinion piece in The Guardian back in July, where he suggested that “Nicola Sturgeon is gathering her forces once more for another tilt at Scottish independence. Her strategy has been a careful one – too careful for some – (but) as party membership reaches another record high, the ground is being prepared for a second referendum and, one by one, the loose threads are all being sewn up.”

      I’d like to think that his interpretation of events is correct but, in my opinion at least, the mood music is not encouraging

      For example, Tommy Sheppard made a perfectly reasonable proposal at last October’s conference that the Party’s campaign structure should be beefed up by the introduction of professional regional

      However, this simple idea has been hijacked by empire builders, special interest groups and armchair lawyers and turned into a major, time consuming exercise in deckchair re-arrangement, or “constitutional review” as its enthusiasts like to call it.

      In October this will have taken up the bulk of the time at two conferences! How many people joined the SNP so that they could slowly lose the will to live as they listen to Derek Mackay taking motions and votes on things like: A) delete ii, iii and v and replace with “ii Regional organisers shall be appointed and funded centrally – – – ”

      On top of this, the SNP’s June conference in Aberdeen was bland, the resolutions for October are uninspiring and there doesn’t seem to be any real connection with the resurgent grass roots independence movement.

      Please feel free to convince me that I’m being too pessimistic – – –

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope. I can’t. Of course I’ve never been one for all the politics of party conferences and stuff. I’ve never been to one and I’d never go to one.

        But I hope that as the situation in the UK worsens and the record number of people are in the SNP, because they want independence and see the SNP as the only way that is going to happen, that Nicola will see fit to get it going.

        We do need to act now.



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