I have a solution for the controversy around the suggestion that the EU must have an office in Belfast. But first, Covid-19.
Last week, Donald Trump told the American public he hopes, through the government’s “aggressive action”, to keep the number of Covid19 deaths in the US under 100,000 deaths.
Around the 19 March, the UUP’s Health Minister Robin Swann warned that our tormented stateen could be facing 15,000 deaths from Covid-19. That figure later dropped to 9,000 deaths, then on 15 April a figure of 3,000 deaths was suggested, with Swann declaring he was hopeful it’d be lower than that.
You see what’s happening here? A really scary figure is put out – in the US 100,000 or here 15,000 – so that when the real figures come in, if they’re much lower than the prediction, people breathe a sigh of relief and tell each other about the good job their government is doing.
So – that EU office. The British and unionist politicians say it cannot be established in Belfast, that that would be EU interference in UK government of our deformed NE corner. The EU say it’s just an office, and necessary for the EU to supervise the way the British do checks on goods coming from Britain to the sad six counties. But what seems a deadlock can be easily transformed.
The EU must release a statement that, if it’s to do a proper job of supervising British control of produce coming from England or Wales into the area north of the Black Sow’s Dyke, they must have occupancy of all buildings on the right hand side of Belfast’s Great Victoria Street. They must keep insisting that this entire street occupancy is vital ; then they should say well, OK, half of one side of Great Victoria Street; and finally they should say “OK, Mr Johnson, you win. We’ll settle on just one office, wherever in Belfast you say.” Relieved, the Brits agree.
My father, a cattle dealer, had a similar bargaining style. He’d ask a laughably high figure for an animal, then keep backing down with lower and lower figures until he reached the point he’d wanted to get to in the first place. Hands would be spat on, palms smacked, it’s a deal. A daycent man, Paddy Collins.
Isn’t it nice to see the same tradition living on, if only in the breast of R Swann and D Trump Esq.?