Will the UK go Rogue on Northern Ireland?

Introduction As we have left the EU, the “trivial” task of negotiating the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) is done. It is now a legally binding international treaty, including the Irish Protocol. We now move onto the far more complex future relationship talks. It always seemed impossible that the talks could be concluded successfully within the 10-month… Read more

Brexit visions

This was tweeted by Nick, who I know only as an Arsenal supporter but his take on Brexit serves a conclusion much wider than that! He suggests that Brexit is: “People celebrating an imaginary freedom, over an imaginary oppressor in an imaginary war. With imaginary benefits.” I really cannot improve on that. Yet is this… Read more

Emotion is essential…

A recent article from Ian Dunt sums up much of the problem: We are living in a world in which truth is a devastated property. That’s often the result of hermetically-sealed tribal identity groups online and the malicious impact of hostile actors, like Putin’s Russia. But it is also because the government we live under… Read more

A Fond Farewell to the UK from an EU27 Citizen? Part IV – class, racism and militarisation

Introduction In part I, I discussed origins, in part II three obvious differences between the UK and Ireland and in part III three differences which were less obvious. The final three, discussed in this post are ones whose power I had underestimated and thought were declining. The Royal Family, Class and Accents Racism and the… Read more

A Fond Farewell to the UK from an EU27 Citizen? Part III – politics, history and greatness

Introduction In part I, I discussed origins and in part II of this series three obvious differences between the UK and Ireland, which ultimately made Brexit more likely. The next three took longer to process: Political Culture and Structures Empire, WWII and Fake History Big vs. Small Country Syndrome First: Politically Ireland had a very… Read more

A Fond Farewell to the UK from an EU27 citizen? – part II (Education, Industry and Media)

Introduction In Part I, I discussed origins, but three cultural and historical differences struck me fairly immediately when I came to work in England in 1981. First, many scientists I met seemed to have little knowledge of the humanities. Correspondingly, knowledge of science seemed lacking among non-scientists. I was hardly the first to notice. C.P…. Read more

At least there is the tea towel

This is in the you couldn’t make it up category. This is a commemorative tea towel on sale from the Conservative Party (£12, since you ask), which announces that a jingoist Prime Minister, with his Union Jack shield, has ‘got Brexit done’. Nothing says tin-pot or tacky quite so well. If this is the level… Read more