Irish Congressional Briefing by Fr Sean McManus

IRISH CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFING

Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus


Having dinner with the DUP in Belfast caused an avoidable fuss around Boris Johnson’s first visit to Northern Ireland as prime minister. 
– Brian Feeney. Irish News. Belfast. Wednesday, August 7, 2019 
 
The philosopher A C Grayling has called Brexit ‘a suicide cult’, though the comedian John Oliver probably coined the phrase first in 2017 after Theresa May invoked Article 50 to begin the two year countdown. Oliver said May and the Brexiteer cult had drunk their suicide potions which would take effect in 2019. Indeed Boris Johnson says, October 31 is ‘do or die’.

There is compelling evidence that the DUP are full (more like ‘fool’?) members of this deluded cult. Jeffrey Donaldson assured BBC Radio 5 last week that he ‘could live with 40,000 job losses’. Of course he could; his job won’t be one of them.

What an incredible statement for a politician to make, even what passes in the DUP for a politician.

Nevertheless, it sums up the attitude of the cult perfectly. They now accept an economic pile driver is descending, but they don’t care because the time for their magic potion to take effect rapidly approaches so they can dispense with all the lies and subterfuge.

You might have noticed the change in the past few weeks after the departure of Theresa May. Until recently Brexiteers, and our own mini- me version, the DUP, have been inventing nonsense, spotting unicorns, misrepresenting, mis-describing and misreporting the economic and legal facts and figures which indicate the inevitable catastrophe of no deal.

From 2016 to 2018 Donaldson, the DUP self-appointed expert on Borders, assured every media outlet he appeared on that technology would solve the backstop question the DUP had created in December 2017. That’s technology which doesn’t exist and which neither Donaldson, nor any of his fellow cult members could name.

Donaldson and cult arch-priest Owen Paterson assured people that the US-Canada border and Norway-Sweden border were ‘frictionless’. They’re not. Sammy Wilson treated us to repeated characteristically foam-flecked versions of the same fantasies.

Now, all has changed. As Johnson’s government lavishes £2.1 billion on no deal preparations to add to the £4 billion already, in Johnson’s elegant phrase, ‘spaffed up the wall’, cult members are thereby implicitly accepting that it’s going to be dreadful. The markets are pricing in a no deal Brexit, just as they priced in Brexit itself in 2016 by immediately dropping the pound 15 per cent. These days it’s at parity with the Euro in airport exchanges and will sink towards parity with the dollar. Still, the cult’s millennial rapture is coming into sight so they don’t care. Nothing is more important than leaving the EU.

Economists and think tanks and the Bank of England ask when will reality catch up with Johnson? When will he see sense? Futile questions. Johnson drank the potion in spring 2016, a year before May invoked Article 50. For him, ‘sunny uplands’ are in view. Only a malign conspiracy of Brussels and Dublin prevents the enjoyment of this bounty after October 31. They are the scapegoats for the economic crash he’s going to cause. Pathetically the DUP pygmies toddle along behind him chanting ludicrous attacks on Leo Varadkar and the Irish government which gets them coverage in the Tory press which has also mounted an onslaught on all things Irish.

The DUP have overplayed their hand and they know it. Last week twenty-seven civic bodies, including traditional DUP supporters in business and farming, issued a joint statement opposing no deal. Remember, they all support the backstop which the DUP’s stupidity and intransigence called into existence in the first place.

What’s extraordinary for a backwards looking, supposedly historically conscious party like the DUP, is that they have learnt nothing from Carson’s speech in the Lords when he lamented what a fool he’d been to be lured into playing the role of a puppet ‘in the political game that was to get the Conservative party into power’.

Amid the wreckage of Brexit, the DUP cult members are careless, as Donaldson admitted, of the impoverishment inflicted on people here. They’re supporting making people poorer.

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