A hoast

A hoast

A hoast, a hoast, the peer wee quine
Aibdy murjin like she wis swine
Backin awa, the deil’s in her!
Protective airm, wirried mither

A neese, a neese, bent auld wifie
Shufflin alang, waskit an canny
Sikkin bog roll, pasta an bried
Skirtted aboot, wished she wis deid

The fear, the fear, coorse wee virus
Bidin awa; folks fit luve us
Hidin oot; safely at hame
Stalked by deeth, plague and famine

It’s here. It’s here; Armageddon
Lambs an trumpits, riders o garron
Wyt on steilert, sins an guid deeds
Folk will aye mynd; sinners an thieves

This is a poem written in Doric, which is a dialect of the Scots language and native to the north east of Scotland. It tries to capture the feelings from a trip to the local supermarket with the coronavirus very much on folks minds.

Flying The Albatross

Flying The Albatross

After yesterday’s fanfare over the Conservative and Unionist party’s ‘solution’ for the UK/Ireland border it has already been debunked by the Irish Taoiseach and the EU, although BJ has denied that the policy had been floated by him in order to gauge the level of fire. The flack was intense so the policy has been rolled back a bit and now ‘most’ of the customs checks will be carried out in depots and warehouses, prior to lorries leaving. This would apparently mean that there would be no infrastructure required at the border. But the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister today admitted that customs checks would be required in order to have different trade policies on either side of the border, which is one of the main reasons for leaving the EU apparently.

Of course, with those different trade policies the cost of goods on either side of the border will be very different due to availability and differing tax regimes. Those differences in prices lead to smuggling, which is highly profitable. The Ireland/UK border is notoriously porous and it couldn’t be effectively sealed during the troubles, so what makes Boris think that he can seal it in 30 days?

The idea is almost as ludicrous as the Prime Minister. It is never going to be accepted by the EU, but that is not the point of it. It is an albatross, flown with the intention that it is shot, then the bad luck will fall on it’s detractors who will be labelled as something or other. Then the Tories will blame the EU for not accepting something which will never work, even in a unionist generation.

The overall Brexit strategy that we see going on at the moment is one of blame avoidance. Nobody wants to take the blame for the fallout from Brexit. Boris wants a general election, that would mean that parliament would be dissolved when Brexit hits. He would then be free to implement martial law and use all of those Henry VIII powers which old Mrs May left him. Failing that he wants to blame the EU and their intransigence for not accepting his wonderful offer.

Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t want to take the blame for Brexit either. He definitely doesn’t want to be PM when Brexit hits, he wants the Tories to carry the can. And so they should. This whole Brexit debacle exists because of the Tories and their differences over the EU. But Labour have to carry a lot of the blame as well, their ambiguity over Brexit has seen them fall to fifth place in Scotland. When leadership was required Jeremy sent the question to a focus group while he went to his allotment and tended to his kale. But Brexit suits Jeremy too, then he will be able to create a socialist utopia from the ruins of the UK.

The simple fact is that there isn’t going to be a new deal. That leaves Theresa May’s deal or No Deal as far as the deals go, but the choices before us are not binary as the politicians insist. We also have the option of revoking Article 50 and having No Brexit at all. Those are the choices facing the UK at least.

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also have another choice: that is to part company and go our separate ways. England can become an insular little pariah state if it wishes. Scotland can forge it’s path in the world and become the light in the north, a beacon of hope and tolerance as an example to the world. Northern Ireland can choose to re-unify with the Republic of Ireland or even become an independent state of their own. Wales can choose to become fully integrated into a Greater England and create the state of Wangland, or join the other Celtic nations and govern itself.

The end of the UK is nigh, don’t shoot the albatross.

A typical Ireland/UK Customs Clearance House

Once, twice, three times a border

That is the big idea from the UK government as a solution to the Ireland/UK border after Brexit. Here’s a quick rundown of how it is proposed to work:

  1. The UK will set up “customs clearing houses,” definitely not customs houses. Anyone who says that is just spreading Project Fear. These will be set up at distances of between 5 and 10 miles from the border proper. So they cannot be called border infrastructure because they’re not on the border, although they will be performing the function of border customs posts.
  2. Hope that Ireland will do the same.
  3. As goods shipments arrive at the clearance houses they will be checked and manifested, or they could be fast tracked if they were pre-cleared. So some nice delays here. Again expect Ireland to do the same.
  4. This bit is the best bit. Each consignment is sent into the de-structuralised zone (a zone 10-20 miles wide either side of the border in which no border structures are permitted.) Tracking of the consignments will be performed by GPS or mobile phones or something. When the shipment gets to the end of the de-structuralised zone (DSZ – pronounced Dee-Ess-Zee) some other bit of technology will ping someone that the tariff is now due. Oh, and hope that Ireland does the same.

So far, so vague and unattainable. Bear in mind that the DSZ and all of it’s infrastructure, processes and procedures need to be in place in 31 days. Does anyone believe that the Conservative and Unionist Party of the United Kingdom can achieve that? They can’t even organise a parliamentary recess for their conference. Mind you, I don’t suppose that most party members will notice, they’ll be too busy sexually touching the totty.

There are a couple of wee niggles with Dominic Cumming’s plan (let’s not delude ourselves that the acting Prime Minister is capable of original thought). Three wee niggles actually. There will effectively be three borders; one on the UK side, one on the Irish side and the Irish border itself. The DSZ will exist between the two outer borders (assuming that Ireland wishes to get involved in this faerie tale). The border infrastructure will eventually be built and bang, literally bang, it will all become a target for people opposed to hard borders.

The infrastructure will then need to be protected. Step in PSNI to uphold the rule of law and protect the border infrastructure which isn’t border infrastructure because it isn’t on the border. Then bang, literally bang, the police will be the target. Who will protect them?

Cue the UK armed forces, patrolling the DSZ and protecting the police who are protecting the border infrastructure. And bang, we’ve gone back 21 years. The Good Friday Agreement will be burned on the streets and the peace, such as it is, will be destroyed. I can’t see too many folk on the island of Ireland voting for that, and a vote there will be. The DUP will be the Northern Irish party who will be trying to persuade the people of the province that Dom’s Deal is a good idea. Mind you, going back 21 years probably isn’t enough for the DUP. They would rather go back 329 years.

Anyway, that’s the goods sorted out, but what about the livestock? Oh and the people, although they are one and the same to most Tories. I guess we will just have to wait for the good news to arrive.