OK, let’s see if you’re alert this breezy Saturday morning. Starter for 10: What two words are Arlene Foster’s favourites? No, Virginia, the answer is not ‘knife’ and ‘Nigel’. Nor, as it happens, “Feckin’ blonde”. No, Arlene’s two words which she has taken to rolling off her ruby-red lips on public occasions are “rational” and “logical”.
These two words are particularly useful when talking about the link with Britain. Those who favour continued existence in the UK are showing they are rational and logical. And of course the reverse holds as well: those who don’t wish to cling to Mother Britain’s ageing breast are irrational and illogical.
Which is kind of funny, because Arlene was on today’s ‘Today’ programme on B(ritish)BC Radio Four. She was talking, of course, about the appalling rag-bag of states known as the EU, who had looked as if they were going to mess with the Irish Protocol, in order to stop Covid vaccines coming into Ireland and then making their way via North(east)ern Ireland (NEI) into Britain.
Arlene was – you’re ahead of me, Virginia – outraged that the EU would even consider such interference with the Irish protocol….EH? You heard me. She doesn’t want the EU to mess with the Irish protocol and start checking for vaccines moving from the EU (eg., the south of Ireland) via NEI to Britain. On the other hand, she doesn’t want the Irish protocol to exist because it affects trade within the UK: that is, the trade between NEI and Britain. To summarise: she doesn’t want the protocol messed with, she does want the protocol messed with. Lanigan’s ball and all that.
It’s obvious that some EU lackey, with as little knowledge of the border in Ireland as, let’s say, Boris Johnson, came up with this wheeze as a way of putting the squeeze on the UK. Which isn’t wildly surprising – you get dunderheads in every organisation and the EU have revealed one of theirs at work. What is interesting is that Arlene should be loud in her outcry on this misuse of the Irish protocol and in the same breath demand that the Irish protocol be abolished, since it’s interfering with NEI’s ability to clamber up and nuzzle at Mother Britain’s breast.
Pssst, Arlene ….Saying stuff like that won’t remove the conviction in many Anglo-Saxon hearts and minds that, far from rational and logical, the DUP are a bunch of swivel-eyed Brexiteering crazies.