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As others see us… a continuing series January 23, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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This from the Atlantic is fascinating. A piece that suggests that the UK post-Brexit (or in the throes of Brexit, choose as applicable), might do worse than follow the Canadian model in terms of its geopolitical orientation. That is that…

…a medium-size economy flourishing next to a trading superpower; an open, multicultural democracy bound by trade agreements but not supranational institutions and law; and a country that has navigated the position in which it finds itself in the world—geographically in the New World but with ties to the old, spread out and linguistically divided, multicultural and multiethnic.

But some Canadians interviewed make the point, albeit rather more tactfully, that unlike the UK they are not burdened with over-exaggerated senses of their place in the world, or their historic importance.

And that matters. Because as the piece notes, coming much closer to home:

Britain will have to lean on its diplomatic skill to maintain its relations once it leaves the EU. But this may require it to think and act like a smaller power—like Canada—which might prove challenging. In Britain’s negotiations with Ireland over Brexit, some senior politicians in London were dismissive of the effectiveness of Irish diplomacy. One cabinet minister, who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, told me that Ireland was a small country, which meant that the quality of its ministers could not match that of those in the U.K.. And yet this attitude proved part of London’s undoing in the negotiations, which saw Ireland win more of its objectives than Britain did.

Comments»

1. Roger Cole - January 23, 2020

For generation after generation the British Imperial State has been the main enemy of the Irish people. In seeking the ending of their occupation of Ireland we have sought the support of other powers, Spain, France and Germany to name the larger such states. The BIS wanted to impose a hard British Border in Ireland, so the Irish people sought and gained the backing of Germany, France, Spain and other European states and the BIS was forced to place the border in the Irish Sea. This was a major victory. The BIS has other problems in that the Scots want to leave it, and the BIS supporters in Ireland, the DUP have had to stop calling themselves Scots-Irish and had to invent a new term, Ulster-British, and are now a minority even within the 6 counties. The BIS is to become like Canada, and accept that it is a smaller power, then it has to end its occupation of Ireland and leave Scotland, replaced with a Scottish, Irish and English/Welsh state ( better still a separate Welsh State). The termination of the BIS will be better for the English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh people. Shorn of there Imperial culture and values, they can have a better NHS. Will this happen? I don’t know, but there is evidence that it might, and it certainly an objective all progressives in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales should seek.

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tafkaGW - January 23, 2020

Firstly, it was not the Irish people who sought and obtained the backing of individual European states. The Irish government (rightly) obtained the backing of the *EU*, and the EU prevented the British state making individual deals with individual member states. In other words natural allies of Brexitania, like Orbán’s Hungary and PiSer Poland, who would happily of done side-deals with an essentially right-wing authoritarian project, were prevented from breaking ranks.

I know your nationalist ideology would have it otherwise, but that’s what happened.

On the question of the NHS, any chance of a unitary state on the island of Ireland has to based on an offer from the South of a health service that is at least as good as the NHS. The latter will doubtless be further part-privatised by stealth during the first Johnson term in Parliament, but the South needs to offer something as good a people’s memories of the NHS in NI.

So part of the election manifesto of any political party that claims to be ‘republican’ must be a universal health service, free at the point of provision, funded by progressive income and wealth taxation and the proper taxation of corporations.

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CL - January 23, 2020

Also any political party that claims to be republican must demand an end to state support for segregated, sectarian education,-north and south of the border.

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2. Bartholomew - January 23, 2020

‘Ireland was a small country, which meant that the quality of its ministers could not match that of those in the U.K.’

Now that is funny!

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WorldbyStorm - January 23, 2020

Heheh, yes. And yet, and yet… seemingly they could!

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benmadigan - January 24, 2020

Ireland was a small country, which meant that the quality of its ministers had to out-match that of those in the U.K.’

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