Not St. George after all
I was pretty sure what I wanted to blog today, which was The English Democrats’ idea for an English Parliament. I don’t like the English Democrats, because, although they say that they’re a kind of English SNP or Plaid, they are not. They have the usual dumb stuff about immigration and the Common Market that you get to hear in saloon bars pretty much everywhere. Which is a shame; if they stood on this one issue, I’d be tempted. Since I also believe in devolving greater powers to the Welsh assembly, it stands to reason that there should be a concomitant English Parliament, leaving the UK parliament to deal with stuff like foreign policy and defence. I was preparing to argue the case.
Instead, my blood has been set to boil by the leader of a major political party, and it’s not Gordon this time. It’s Cameron, and I’m thrilled to be back attacking the Real Tories, where I’m probably happiest. During his interview with Paxo tonight, he singled out Northern Ireland as being ripe for cuts. Before the election started, he made a controversial political alliance with the old Ulster Unionists; the Unionists who regarded themselves as too moderate to go in with Paisley. There are quite a few people in Northern Ireland who see themselves as largely disenfranchised during a national general election, because elections over there can always be made to focus on local issues. So Cameron linking up with the old UUP was seen in some moderate circles as a way of reconnecting with national politics. Now Cameron has stabbed his allies in the back.
Anyone looking for cheap political capital can threaten cuts in Northern Ireland, because… well, it’s not really part of the UK, is it? I mean, why should they be singled out? Things like todays bomb don’t even make the Ten o Clock News. But, you see, it is part of the UK, just as much as Surrey or the Shetlands. The moral case for a reunited Ireland is simply not there. Would you vote to get rid of the NHS? Free speech? Abortion rights for women? The BBC? Belfast is a great British city, and will remain so for the forseeable future. The case for a reunited Ireland is sentimental; that’s why Americans of Irish descent buy into it. Northern Ireland is there on our passports; this country is called The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Cuts are coming all over, and we all know that. But to single out Northern Ireland, just when it needs the support of the rest of the country is just playing into the hands of fuckwits like the ‘Real’ or ‘Continuity’ IRA. Cameron did a bad thing, and I’m sure that if he needs the support of the Ulster parties to sustain a minority government, he will be made to pay for tonight’s thoughtless gaffe.