One of the most enjoyable aspects of last week was watching the mental gymnastics of Arlene Foster and other Democratic Unionist Party officials as they went through the national and international newsrooms and the UK-European Union agreement after the transition as condemned a threat to the constitutional status of “Northern Ireland” and at the same time as a “gate of opportunity” for the region. In reality, the DUP has used the turmoil of the past four years to accidentally shit throughout the UK Constitutional Bed and is now trying to disclaim all responsibility for the bed shitting while claiming that adding shit actually improves the overall performance of the bed .
Of course, all sorts of excuses are being used by DUP apologists in the Irish and UK press to explain the cover-up of the past few days, and we still hear the tired old story that the hardline pro-union party had no intention of doing any of this. when it decided to support Brexit in 2016. That Foster and Company are the real victims here. Which is its own form of bullshit. Some of us remember that the Fermanagh politician joined Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists for rejecting the Good Friday Agreement and that a far more plausible explanation is that she and her colleagues saw the anti-EU referendum as an opportunity to undermine the regional and international peace accord of 1998. Teeth on the toothless border between the British rump colony in the northeast of the island and the rest of the country.
Simply put, the DUP played and lost everything on the return of a tough border with Britain’s withdrawal from Europe. Instead, the Conservative Party government in London saw the union minority in Ireland as nothing more than a useful pawn in their own high-stakes diplomatic chess game and a figure to be sacrificed in order to achieve some sort of stalemate with their opponents. So, of course, the Good Friday Agreement came about in the first place. And the Anglo-Irish agreement before that. And the Sunningdale Agreement before that. And the Anglo-Irish treaty before that. And … well, you get the picture, even if most union leaders don’t.
Arlene Foster’s new focus on the promised mechanism in the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, which theoretically gives the Stormont multi-community assembly the power to remove the six counties from the agreement in four years, clearly shows that they themselves are unionized thinks ahead (while contradicting her own “gateway” spin). Just like the renewed demands of the DUP and its journalistic allies for a union-friendly election pact in order to guarantee an anti-EU majority in Stormont. Hopefully this particular nightmare scenario will not materialize and instead the only vote we will see will be one calling for a referendum from the UK authorities on reunification in the north. It seems more than unlikely that the history of successive British governments over the past century will meet this demand.