Busy day for Protocol on IRL/NI. Already said earlier today what needs to be said about Belfast High Court ruling (though reaction of Brexitists could still fill an entire psychiatric conference...). Now, some brief comments on this afternoon’s Commission announcement, voila:
1) obviously very good news to see certain temporary measures on foodstuffs (I won’t need to smuggle my ham sandwich over on the ferry this weekend...); as well as other more lasting adjustments (eg on trade in medicines, need for extra car insurance docs, status of guidedogs...)
2) but on core issue, of UK’s legal duty to enforce basic EU customs rules on GB trade into NI, this really is only a temporary fix: doesn’t resolve need for UK to start doing its job properly; whether that’s by agreeing to regulatory alignment or just enforcing the agreed rules
3) by the way: so much for the “genius of the free market”! Even if we make some allowance for UK traders foolishly believing Johnson’s initial lies, they’ve still had plenty of time to adjust by now. Protocol = adapt your supply chains. Otherwise, you’re part of the problem too
4) more importantly: Commission announcement doesn’t solve underlying challenges facing EU/IRL/NI. 1st, an ideological & untrustworthy UK regime willing to use NI as proxy in its manufactured confrontations with EU - a cynical game designed to shore up Johnson's domestic support
5) And 2nd, an increasingly belligerent loyalist movement in NI itself that refuses to accept any responsibility for its own disastrous Brexit strategy & instead positively magnifies dangers of Johnson's strategy: whipping up exaggeration, resentment, fear & hostility.
6) DUP & Co, just admit. Any Brexit was going to cause serious trouble for NI. Tories’ Hard Brexit = worst possible outcome, with NI offered up as sacrificial lamb. If you want to oppose Johnson’s Protocol, then offer a credible alternative. What’s that? Yip - deafening silence.

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More from @mdouganlpool

May 12
"Braverman said the EU was undermining the Good Friday agreement by creating a trade barrier in the Irish Sea".

Liar.

Johnson:
- proposed that trade barrier
- won general election with his "great Brexit deal"
- signed it under international law
- passed it through Parliament
"Braverman has advised that [overriding Protocol] would be legal because [EU approach] was disproportionate and unreasonable"

Clueless liar.

EU asks UK to respect its own *clear & unambiguous* treaty rules. UK's initial bad faith, or later regrets, can't make something "legal".
"Braverman said [EU and Protocol were] fuelling civil unrest" echoing Truss' line that "this is matter of internal peace and security"

Totally outrageous.

Gravest threat to peace in NI comes from DUP + Johnson Government, directly stirring unrest against wishes of people in NI.
Read 4 tweets
May 10
DUP demanded but were denied formal veto over application of Protocol. Their tantrums are designed to destroy a system they cannot dictate over. If Truss acquiesces, for sake of her own vain ambition, I hope EU & US teach UK a hard lesson in respect for law, peace, trust, honour.
Will Truss have credible alternative to avoid hard border across Ireland, to replace Protocol she supported then destroys? Of course not. Tories hope EU & IRL will just sacrifice own territorial integrity for sake of Brexit. Painfully wrong. Johnson Regime risks disaster upon NI.
Meanwhile, Putin must be clapping with delight. Brexit continues to serve his interests well: using NI as plaything, Johnson Regime actively seeks to create Western tension & disunity, to make mockery of international law & order, and to endorse governance by lies & propaganda.
Read 4 tweets
May 7
It's beyond frustrating that the DUP seem determined to inflict a state of perpetual manufactured crisis upon NI. The Protocol is the fruit of their own machinations: they defied NI's will on Brexit & cynically plotted with English nationalists against NI's own interests. Yet...
... it's also frustrating to hear so many outside voices hype up talk of border polls & Irish reunification. Lots well-meaning; some seeing NI as a proxy to "punish" England for its Brexit madness; others using NI to stoke fears about "UK under threat" to help bolster Johnson...
... When what NI needs most is stability & leadership. Not just to address serious challenges like truly dire state of NHS. Also because key aim of GFA = to dedramatise border & identity tensions, create space for constructive collaboration, foster gradual integration. Of course:
Read 5 tweets
Apr 24
Mind you, today = also a good reminder: there is no idiot greater than the self-declared thorough-bred "socialist", so consumed with hostility towards anyone not quite so pure in leftist spirit, they'd rather see Le Pen in power than Macron. Or Johnson before Starmer. Jesus wept.
Some interesting responses to this one. And in reply, a few added observations from me.

1) if you think anyone who doesn't agree with your own version of "left", or who didn't support Corbyn, must therefore be a "centrist" or "right wing", you're only proving my point. Merci.
2) if you think supporting Corbyn made you a radical leftist, you're rather mistaken. Nationalising the trains & decent welfare for the vulnerable isn't revolutionary Marxism. It's just mainstream European social democracy. Only in post-Thatcher UK, huh... Or the US, of course.
Read 5 tweets
Mar 12
One must admire, albeit with held-nose, the capacity of hard rightists to contort every situation to their own worldview - no matter how jumbled, contradictory or divorced from reality. Here are a few things I "learned" today:
1) it's quite easy to morph from Putin-the-Strongman worshipper into Putin-the-Victim apologist. Trying to convert to anti-Putinism is trickier: wot, you mean... allying with, rather than bashing, all those lefties and liberals that actually make up "the West"?!?!
2) Because it turns out, the tragedy in Ukraine really is all about us. For example: it was the evil EU wot provoked poor Putin into this. And now the evil EU fuels the war on. Depending on who you ask, either by funding Putin, or by arming Ukrainian "fascists" (sic).
Read 7 tweets
Feb 2
We usually assume that these never-ending scandals must be a "bad thing" for the neo-Tories. Certainly, they seem not to understand / care about the depths of contempt their behaviour inspires across a large part of the population. But things aren't necessarily so clear cut...
First & less important: a bloated narcissist on the monstrous scale occupied by Johnson must be simply thrilled that the UK's entire national life, attention and debate is dominated by stories about him. He's not in power for us or for the country. Just to hear his own name.
Secondly & more important: hard right populism thrives on cynicism and alienation. They take it for granted that millions will despise them. But we're not their audience. Every new wave of lies & corruption feeds their dangerous narrative: "they're all the same, leave them to it"
Read 4 tweets

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