Stephen Collins exposes the great Farage-Shinner conspiracy

Nigel Farage detests the EU. He can’t wait to get out of it. He says he’s very angry that, two years and more after he declared “Freedom Day” for the UK,  the UK is still in the EU.

Sinn Féin are proponents of the EU. That is, they believe that all things considered,  the north of Ireland would do well to stay in the EU and resist being dragged out against its wishes. It is opposed to the ever-closer integration of the EU and particularly opposed to PESCO, which is the mechanism that aims to create an EU army.

And yet, using insightful vision that the rest of us can only dream of possessing, Stephen Collins (no, no relation, Virginia) in today’s Irish Times  manages to quarry out a column showing that Nigel Farage and Sinn Féin “are bedfollows when it comes to Europe.”

How does he pull off this trick? Well, he says that Mark Durkan, running for Fine Gael in Dublin so he can represent Derry in Europe (still with me?) has exposed Sinn Féin’s sham. “I’m someone that never supported bombing. I didn’t support bombing  in this country [geddit?], I haven’t supported it in any other country.  Sinn Féin cannot say that.”

Who can dispute that? Republicans were involved in the armed struggle, the SDLP were not. Well-known fact.

Stephen then goes on to do a bit of bashing of the IRA’s “savage campaign” and how Sinn Féin “still answers to shadowy figures” (where does Stephen get all this information? )

Stephen then goes on to explain PESCO. You know, that EU army thing.  Sinn Féin doesn’t like the idea of being sucked into EU military action, especially since Ireland is a neutral country.  But if they do the PESCO thing, “Irish people will be committed to whatever wars the European superpowers decide to wage.”

You might think Stephen would pat the Shinners on the back for being opposed to foreign wars. Uh-uh. The thing is, PESCO has nothing to do with things warlike. Ask Stephen: “PESCO …enable member states to co-operate on agreed projects such as training missions, military disaster relief capability, harbour and maritime surveillance and a response mechanism to cyber threats. However, this is patently not a European army.”


It now appears that Nigel Farage has used some clips of Mary Lou McDonald denouncing PESCO as part of his anti-EU campaign. Ergo, Mary Lou and the Shinners are in bed with Nigel Farage.

What’s more, “the hard left” (that’d be the Shinners) and “the populist right” (that’d be Nigel )  march in step together. “Both will do everything they can in the next European Parliament to undermine ..the core EU  values of tolerance, free trade and the respect for law.”

Stephen, Stephen, Stephen. Why don’t you save twisting your brain into knots by making daft associations, when all you really have to do is write 100 times “I really detest those Shinners.”  Save yourself time, thought and long dark nights chewing the end of your pencil.

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