Lord Trimble amongst The Dead

Lord Trimble,  arch Unionist, intellectual Loyalist and convinced  Brexiteer, was laid to rest.

An Orangeman, a man of fascist-type Vanguard rallies, whose leaders worked with Loyalist paramilitaries and called for Catholics to be exterminated. A man who supported the reactionary Loyalist Workers Strike. A man who participated in  the Orange Order Siege of Drumcree and the  Garvaghy Road stand-off which was linked to the death of 3 children.

British, Unionist, anti-Catholic, anti-Irish  to his finger-tips.

An unpleasant character, by all reports. Rude, cold, arrogant, easy to anger.

Ostensibly, a man of peace, authority and caution, far-seeing, percipient, worthy recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

In the run-up to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement Lord Trimble insisted his  people must not linger on in the past but embrace the present.

Yet he did exactly the opposite.

Lately he supported Brexit,  hindering any move forward on the Northern Irish Protocol (NIP), contradicting judicial  findings  that the NIP breached the 1801 Act of Union  and supporting Unionist refusal to accept a SF First Minister in Northern Ireland.

He ultimately encouraged a tribute to the past, the supremacist  past of Unionism that lives on in present Unionist  parties.

Comment: RIP Let the dead bury the dead

Lord Trimble acquiesced to  the 1998 (Belfast/Good Friday) Agreement because

 a) he had no other choice. The British, Irish  and USA governments offered no alternatives to Sunningdale Mark 2, except Joint Sovreignty with the Irish Republic. A fate worse than death for Unionists/Loyalists.

 b) the IRA/SF were already on board pursuing peace. Being off-side and left out, was not a good look for the Unionist/Loyalist image and

c) the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement secured another 25 and counting years of Unionist hegemony in Northern Ireland.

Queries: What was there  not to like?

A mere quibble about power-sharing for slow learners?

 Lord Trimble knew Unionist/Loyalist  hard-liners were not slow learners.

A long, long time ago they had learnt  how to wield slogans in their favour.

   “No Surrender” and “Never, Never, Never”  guaranteed their place in Northern Ireland and  Westminster, particularly when  the Conservative Party needed to be make up numbers  to form a government.

NB: The Conservative party in England were comparatively slow learners in this regard.

“Brexit is Brexit” and “Take Back Control” came much later.

Unionists/Loyalists had no intention of, nor are they ever  going to, share power with the IRA/SF.

Parity of esteem is a foreign (EU?)  concept to them.

Since 1998, the Stormont Assembly has staggered from one debacle and collapse to to the next.

Unionists  forever walk in smaller “No No No” circles, a minority in the “wee pravince”  they once dominated.

After the latest elections the DUP refuse to participate in the Stormont Assembly, thus blocking everything.

Ostensibly because they do not like the NIP which the British government they supported negotiatiated, ratified and attempted to implement to a certain extent.

Ostensibly because they will not play “bridesmaid” to a SF First Minister.

Comment: Unionists/Loyalists and Westminster are not yet sick of Ireland, not yet sick of being where their supremacism is  unwanted.

Remember: Unionist/Loyalist  attraction to Northern Ireland  is not rooted in love of place and people but in their desire to control the people and impose their will upon everybody living there

Today Unionism/Loyalism/The Loyal Orders are shadows of a past, flickering in a world in which the living and the dead meet, haunted in these summer months by the legacy of 10 dead IRA Hunger Strikers.  

The Stormont Assembly  music has stopped.

Unionists/Loyalists will not permit the Assembly to function unless they get what they demand.

The rest of the parties and MLAs gather at the door, coats on, ready to leave if the DUP gets what it wants. 

If not, what are all the conversations about a “New /Shared Ireland about?

Payback time for the DUP

 Today, hardline Brexiteers in the ERG (a Conservative party group who will use anything and anyone, no matter what ensues, to fulfil their Britannia Unchained fantasies and ideology) and their henchmen and women in the DUP  had  their demands satisfied. They warmly welcomed the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill to Westminster parliament.

It shows that:

  • the European court of justice will not have a role in Northern Ireland
  • a green/red lane  set-up i.e. no checks on goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland; checks for those going to the Republic of Ireland

Query:  What does a lorry with a mixed load do? Which lane does it use? British? Irish? Both?

  • the NIP has no effect in the UK
  • UK ministers reserve powers to override other parts of the NIP (and presumably any other International Treaty) if they deem it necessary.

Remember: 1) domestic legislation cannot overrule an international treaty – it if could, no government in its right mind would ever sign one.

2) Any attempt to vary the provisions NI Protocol by use of UK law is illegal as it violates  Article 27 of the Vienna Treaty governing Treaties. A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty. This rule is without prejudice to article 46.

Back in 2017 the DUP negotiated a £1 billion“Confidence and Supply” agreement, as brokered by Jacob Rees-Mogg of the ERG, to prop up PM May’s minority government.Mutual interests converged and the deal was done.

True to their supremacist instincts and desire to wield power, the DUP and NI Unionism in general have carried on pushing with the ERG for the hardest of hard Brexits ever since.

The NIP blocked Unionism’s drive to conserve power and hegemony i.e.  Unionist /Orange Order leadership or dominance over all others, in NI.  The border shifted to the Irish Sea, thus subverting their place in the UK. NI remained in the Single market and Customs Union, thus  potentially subverting their unfettered power in NI.

Add in the SF victory in the May 2022 Local Assembly  elections, coming top in the number of seats, flanked by the constitutionally neutral Alliance Party of Northern Ireland. The only surprise was how long it took for the UK Government to prepare its long-announced NIP Bill to redress Unionism’s “manufactured grievances”.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and the EU, Liz Truss said the government is basing its move on the “doctrine of necessity,” saying it has no choice but to act.

The UK government’s “doctrine of necessity”  means the necessity of Johnson keeping his job by placating the ERG and DUP.

It means the necessity  for the ERG and DUP to lie,  cheat,  break the law, anything, to gain power and keep hold of it.

Remember: Legally, necessity rarely excuses a breach, and only when (inter alia) the State’s act is the only way to safeguard an essential interest against a grave and imminent peril, and when no other essential interest is seriously impaired by the breach

Well Unionism would say their essential interest in NI was in grave and imminent peril, wouldn’t they? Because it is, isn’t it?

 If the UK Govt  hadn’t acted to prop up Unionism in NI, they were facing a SF administration in Northern Ireland, further loss of Unionist supremacy and a probable SF administration in Dublin within a couple of years.

Which certainly wouldn’t suit the Minister for the Union, PM Boris Johnson himself.

Or the DUP which has no intention of ever playing “bridesmaid” to Sinn Fein in Stormont