Jeffrey and Jim, and how to be in two places at once

The laws that govern quantum physics are mysterious, none more mysterious than the ‘superposition’ of particles. In a mind-bending nut-shell, quantum physics declares a particle can be in two places at once. Don’t ask me how it’s done, but quantum scientists have been proving that they can do this for decades now.

If you keep that notion at the back of your mind, you’ll understand better the joint letter in today’s Irish Times  by Jeffrey Donaldson and Jim Allister. Out in the political arena, these two men lead parties that are sworn enemies. If the DUP flourishes, the TUV wilts on the vine; in more recent times, the TUV has been the one doing the flourishing, with the DUP looking sickly and wan.

But in today’s Irish Times article, they assume a second position, total allies, while still remaining total opponents out there in the twisted political world of NEI.

In the article, they boast, they represent 71% of all unionists. They go on to claim that the withdrawal agreement is contrary to the 1800 Act of Union and that in 60% of cases, it leaves decisions about NEI’s economy to be made in Brussels, rather than Belfast or London.

But if this is so flagrantly ripping NEI out of the UK, how come there haven’t been continual riots in the streets? “The reason why unrest has not spilled over into greater disorder is due to the work which we, our parties and community workers have been doing to prevent it.”

Should there not have been quotation marks around that ‘community workers’??

Anyway, one way or another, the reader is offered what looks like a hint/ threat of violence wrapped up in a high regard for peace.

What are they going to do, then, Jeffrey and Jim ?(Yes, Virginia, it does have a ring, Jeffrey and Jim). They are urging Britain to trigger Article 16, which is that part of the NEI Protocol that allows the UK (or the EU) to unilaterally suspend some aspects of its trade operations, such as halting the flow of certain goods.

Which is an odd thing for Jeff/Jim to call for, since it’s not the halting the flow of certain goods that they desire, but the seamless flowing of goods from Britain to NEI.

If you find much of this baffling, then console yourself with the notion of quantum physics. If a measly particle can occupy two positions at once, the combined might of unionism most certainly can do the same. Do we want to be clear of all EU regulations? We do. Can we come up with a half-credible notion of an alternative? Of course we can, except that it’s the opposite of what we’ve been preaching.

Final thought: now that Jeff and Jim have found a way to get into a quantum bed together, will they go one bold step further and invite Doug Beattie, leader of the UUP, to join them? As a man who has shown he is peace-loving by going to Afghanistan three times and killing people there, Doug would fit into the quantum cot as snugly as an Orange particle.

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