Ireland abused, abandoned

It was a glorious time for the politicians of the Irish Republic in 2019: as the Withdrawal Agreement was negotiated, the European Union let the Irish government lead and joined them against the British to force a humiliating compromise that was tearing the House of Commons apart, and potentially tearing the United Kingdom apart.

Never before had they felt such power. It must have been a heady feeling, wielding all the collective political power of the EU27 and, to be frank, feeling special at last, even loved.

It was not to last long. Where is that power now? Where that love? Failing to reach a free-trade agreement will hurt many members of the European Union, but for the Republic of Ireland it will be a disaster. Where are those European friends now? They could have signed a sensible deal, a deal which has been on the table for months, but instead, the European Union is quite happy to condemn Ireland to economic misery for political reasons.

Last year the European states stood behind Ireland, and now we see why – better to thrust a knife in their back.

If there is bewilderment at this change, there should be none. The Europeans have been quite consistent throughout, using every trick, even corrupting Members of Parliament, to punish Britain, or force Britain into the status of a dependency, just as Bismarck did to Prussia’s neighbours, or as Britain did to the Indian princely states.

Ireland was a tool, no more. Fair Erin was wooed, charmed, seduced and send to do the job, then abandoned, beggared and left on the street. The Projet européen goes on. The Irish people are collateral damage.

How the people of the Irish state are seen in Westminster is clear enough: it is seen in the determination to make a deal that works for Ireland: most MPs have Irish blood, after all, as do I, and I feel it deeply. There is a higher principle, and that it not giving in. If they say “Give up your interests or the Paddy gets it!”: that will not win.

How the Irish people are seen in Brussels is something else. They are islanders; they speak English; they are separate from the thread of European political development; they use common law and an assumption of freedom, not the assumptions of the Roman-Napoleonic system; they deal in common sense not philosophy. Basically, the Irish are British, or cannot help but be seen as such by the Europeans. They cannot expect respect.

It is said that the Irish people are the most pro-European of all the nations of the European Union. Maybe: there is more to it though than the figure on a binary question. Actual connection is something else. To be European only as a way to avoid the relentless gravitational pull from Great Britain is a negative thing. It may be that this not-being-British is one of the few things left of general Irish cultural identity, the majority having voluntarily abandoned the Roman church, the language, cultural norms and all that went with them; gone are all the marks of difference which had been used to justify separating Ireland from Britain. If all that is left is what you are not, that is a deathly bargain.

Ireland can only suffer from remaining tied to a failing European project which bears it no respect.

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Author: AlexanderTheHog

A humble scribbler who out of my lean and low ability will lend something to Master Hobbes

One thought on “Ireland abused, abandoned”

  1. The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe in the h century. It included a range of ideas centered on reason as the primary source of authority and legitimacy, and came to advance ideals, such as liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state. The Enlightenment has also been hailed as the foundation of modern western political and intellectual culture. It brought political modernization to the west by introducing democratic values and institutions and the creation of modern, liberal democracies. Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher and scientist, was one of the key figures in the political debates of the period. Despite advocating the idea of absolutism of the sovereign, Hobbes developed some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought: the right of the individual; the natural equality of all men; the artificial character of the political order (which led to the later distinction between civil society and the state); the view that all legitimate political power must be representative and based on the consent of the people; and a liberal interpretation of law that leaves people free to do whatever the law does not explicitly forbid. Hobbes was the first modern philosopher to articulate a detailed social contract theory that appeared in his 1651 work

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