Jeffrey Donaldson is the sweet ( as distinct from the sour) face of the DUP. He says things like “Tony Connolly of RTÉ is a good guy and I like him.” But as a good Christian, Jeffrey has to tell the truth. And the truth according to Jeffrey is that this whole Brexit balls-up is entirely the fault of the Irish (southern) government.
Leo Varadkar, Jeffrey says, is “the first Irish Taoiseach to subcontract Northern Ireland policy to the EU Commission”. What’s more, Jeffrey says, the Taoiseach should be “emulating Seán Lemass, who tried to settle the Border issue, not by bringing outsiders in to lean on unionists but by means of trilateral talks between Belfast, Dublin and London”.
There’s a lot more of that in an article in the Irish Times today, if you care to look it up. But let’s delve a little into Jeffrey’s view of the Brexit world.
What about, for instance, that view of Sean Lemass as being (like Tony) a good guy who tried to resolve the border issue by not bringing in outsiders. Does Jeffrey not know, or is he pretending to have forgotten, that it was outsiders – to wit, one Lloyd George and his buddies at the Treaty table – who imposed partition on Ireland? They were, by any measure, Jeffrey, outsiders. They didn’t live here, they didn’t give a fuddle-duddle about the welfare of the Irish people. In fact, there are those who’d say that for the past 800 years, it’s the interference of outsiders that has been the constant source of Ireland’s woes.
As for that bit about “every shade of unionism” being against the backstop: you jest, Jeffrey. Surely you jest? The best that might be said is that the DUP and what’s left of the UUP corpse are opposed to the backstop. But try asking unionists in the Ulster Farmers Union what they think of the backstop. Or any of the business organisations here. Or any unionist who knows that a backstop is inextricably linked with his or her livelihood.
I’m going to stop now and put a damp cloth on my forehead and lie down in the back room. Because since it’s got to the stage where the DUP’s sweet face is saying stuff that makes sweet FA sense, then maybe Jeffrey should just resign his post as the DUP’s chief sweet face and park that ambition he has to replace Arlene Foster. Except…No, that couldn’t be right. Jeffrey is a good Christian and good Christians simply don’t do drugs. Potential Tory leaders, yes. Good Christians like Jeffrey? Perish the thought. That wasn’t the drugs talking. That was Jeffrey