Thursday, November 30, 2017


I have a minor fascination with the Northern Ireland border situation because...I don't see a solution. I've seen ones that people have proposed and they don't (to me) make any sense, though maybe I'm missing something. Like many things in politics the discourse has moved from a couple of "crazy" people pointing out that, "hey, uh, guys, this is a problem..." and being met with denials, to "haha suck it idiots who cares."
For this observation, the leader of Britain's closest ally was decried as an “Brexit buffoon” and told to “shut his gob” by The Sun. Then came a tidal wave of assenting voices from the right-wing commentariat, none of which saw fit to challenge Varadkar’s point. While insisting there will be no hard border, the UK has flatly refused to compromise on any of the measures, such as customs or immigration, that would make anything but a hard border possible. In response to this, Labour’s Kate Hoey – who fancies herself left-wing since she’s passionate about border controls AND saving elephants – says that if there is a hard border, “Dublin will pay for it”.

Such Trumpian nonsense would be laughable were the stakes not so high. The only reachable pub where I grew up was across the border; our nearest shop was too. Having to present documents to armed men just so we can commute to work, visit next-door neighbours, or access the amenities we have used our entire lives, would not only be wildly impractical, but a cruel thing to demand of law-abiding citizens. Moreover, as I’ve specified here before, a militarised checkpoint would massively erode the self-determination of all those who identify as Irish, contravening the Good Friday Agreement and imperiling the peace process.