Steve Baker: wise counsellor

 We all want a peaceful outcome of the inevitable referendum on Irish unity. We don’t want to have  discontented groups of people who feel that the result has left them high and dry. So here’s a couple of modest proposals.


  1. Those voters living in the Belfast area – the exact boundaries could be investigated – should be prevented from casting their ballots. I say this because Belfast saw some of the most bloody incidents of the Troubles, there are deep divisions which have not yet been bridged, and the inclusion of Belfast votes in a referendum would be fairly likely to skew the results, probably in favour of Irish unity. Clearly there’s no point in including Belfast with all its long and divisive  history.
  2. Those voters living the greater Dublin area – as with Belfast the exact boundaries could be agreed on – should be prevented from casting their ballots. Dublin is top-heavy. Some 43% of the South’s population lives in Dublin, which would give that city disproportionate influence in a border poll. So I would urge that Dublin be removed from the referendum, thus balancing the exclusion of Belfast.


Some people will find one or both proposals hard to swallow. So here’s an alternative.

Let’s listen to the words of Tory Minister Steve Baker. Drawing on his experience as an enthusiastic Brexiteer, he now is suffering from buyer’s remorse: “One regret is it probably should have been a supermajority …That’s a huge thing for me to say – because if it had been a supermajority we’d have lost and we’d still be in. But the reason I say that is if we’d had to have 60 per cent, everybody would have abided by the result.”


Now before you say it, let me add – Steve very likely believes that the UK population had been fully and truthfully informed as to how post-Brexit UK would look – remember the financial promise on the side of that bus, for instance. So although he hasn’t said it, he would be keen I’m sure that everybody in Ireland would know what a reunited Ireland would look like. A citizens’ assembly over the next four years, say, would be of enormous help and would mean people would accept the outcome of the border poll  where there was a 60% majority.

No, no, no, no, Virginia – don’t keep going on about the Good Friday Agreement and how it never mentions a super-majority. We must learn to adapt. We must find ways – such as Steve’s proposal – to make sure that we don’t actually allow a normal democratic decision to be taken. What’s better than democracy? Why, super-democracy. Ask Steve.




7 Responses to Steve Baker: wise counsellor

  1. Steven October 24, 2023 at 10:19 am #

    I think we could get a supermajoritu in the whole of the UK for a United Ireland. Paisley has a plan for a UK wide poll. If we had that poll, with the Little British votes not being considered, we could get the border poll we need. You are, by the way, very patient for a man in his 80s. Data supports a 2024 vote.

    • Jude Collins October 24, 2023 at 2:48 pm #

      Grma, Steven. But when I last checked I was 25…

  2. Sir Stan Dup October 24, 2023 at 11:09 am #

    One is sceptical of the personal opinion of the former Eurosceptic and Deputy Chair of the European Research Group.
    As Marx once remarked,
    “…If you don’t like my principles, I have others….”
    (Groucho Marx)

  3. James Hunter October 24, 2023 at 2:07 pm #

    Very good jude free Palestine

    • Jude Collins October 24, 2023 at 2:42 pm #

      Thank you, James. Agreed….

  4. Paul woods October 26, 2023 at 9:56 am #

    Ah brilliant Jude what would we do without you .

  5. Another Jude October 27, 2023 at 1:16 pm #

    Putting the power to call a referendum solely in the hands of a British minister was, on reflection, a mistake. Perfidious Albion.