Mike Vickers' Blog

April 26, 2019

The Good Friday Agreement resurrected – we can only hope on this Friday one week on

The British and Irish governments have reached an agreement to establish a new round of talks involving all the main political parties in Northern Ireland, starting on 7 May.

Theresa May and the taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, credited the public response to the killing of Lyra McKee with the announcement on Friday of a fresh attempt to restore power sharing in Northern Ireland.

But see the small print

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/26/northern-ireland-fresh-attempt-to-restore-power-sharing

April 24, 2019

Nancy Pelosi on Brexit: why Irish-US diplomacy is a powerful force in border talks – Liam Kennedy

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, Good Friday Agreement, Ireland, Politics, USA — derryvickers @ 6:00 pm

Nancy Pelosi on Brexit: why Irish-US diplomacy is a powerful force in border talks – Liam Kennedy

““Let me be clear, if the Brexit deal undermines the Good Friday Accord, there will be no chance of a US-UK trade agreement.”

For the full article

https://flipboard.com/topic/nancypelosi/nancy-pelosi-on-brexit%3A-why-irish-us-diplomacy-is-a-powerful-force-in-border-tal/a-w_Ey6CIET_CQgimrtlY0Vw%3Aa%3A2815871887-ff4a09e83f/scotsman.com

Lyra McKee, A Funeral and the Good Friday Agreement for Hope in Ireland

Filed under: Brexit, Good Friday Agreement, Ireland, Politics, The Troubles — derryvickers @ 1:55 pm

One can but hope for Northern Ireland

Remember the Good Friday Agreement 22 May 1996

A catholic reporter’s funeral service in a protestant church

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/apr/24/theresa-may-to-attend-lyra-mckee-funeral

“Northern Ireland’s political parties have called a de facto truce in the region’s toxic, dysfunctional politicking. Sinn Féin and DUP leaders appeared together in Derry after the killing, drawing praise and encouragement to start talks on restoring power-sharing.”

Let’s just hope it’s a stimulus for Power Staring to begin again on 22 May 2019.

You can find more of a eulogy to Lyra McKee and the Good Friday Agreement at

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/21/killing-lyra-mckee-derry-shows-how-hard-it-is-for-wars-to-end-sinead-oshea

April 21, 2019

To Focus on a Brexit Resolution

Filed under: Europe, Good Friday Agreement, Ireland, Jeremy Corbyn, Politics, Yeats — derryvickers @ 9:45 am

I did not know how to comment on the murder of Lyra McKee in Derry last Thursday but Brian Wilson showed the way in Saturday’s Scotsman.

https://www.scotsman.com/lyra-mckee-s-murder-shows-danger-of-no-deal-brexit-in-n-ireland-brian-wilson-1-4911924

I particularly welcome: “This is not just “one issue among many” but – as I have repeatedly argued over the past couple of years – the one that must condition the whole negotiation. You cannot have a hard border within Ireland. Full stop.”

And his conclusion: “While there is no ideal solution to Brexit, there are certainly lessers of evil. There are many good reasons for real leaders to act on that principle and Irish peace is one of them.”

I am repeated reminded of Yeats ‘A Second Coming’

Let’s hope that the Good Friday Agreement remains intact.

March 31, 2019

Need to rebuild the Westminster Parliament

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, Good Friday Agreement, Left Politics, Politics, UK Parliament, Westminster — derryvickers @ 7:07 pm

Will Hutton

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/23/labour-leadership-is-at-rock-bottom-wont-be-forgiven-for-conniving-in-rightwing-brexit

The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/22/corbyn-faces-furious-backlash-over-backing-brexit

Both main UK parties are in chaos. The UK Parliament itself is in chaos.

‘Once I built a Parliament: Now it’s Gone

Brother can you spare a dime’

Take Back Control and then what?

A calm clear statement from Margaret Beckett.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/31/margaret-beckett-brexit-public-vote-dangerous-theresa-may

Gordon Brown (that forgotten leader) starts to make sense

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/30/uk-year-extension-brexit-take-back-control

The MPs are having to leave the Palace of Westminster as it is structurally falling down. Perhaps a period in the sticks will allow structural rebuilding in more senses than one.

March 18, 2019

Bercow – is he The Last Playboy of the Western World?

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, History in the making, Ireland, Politics, UK Parliament — derryvickers @ 10:33 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/18/john-bercow-commons-motion-brexit-erskine-may

John Crace – two pages rather than his usual one.

It would all be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious; as of course was the Synge’s Last Playboy.

However more serious is

Rafael Behr

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/18/john-bercow-brexit-moment-speaker-ruling

From Behr’s  last two paragraphs:

“It also retrospectively casts a darker, more terminal shadow over the decision a majority of them made to reject the deal last Tuesday. Might some Tories or members of the DUP have acted differently had they known it was May’s last shot at getting her deal through?

Certainly the prime minister’s strategy has depended on eliminating options, so that eventually MPs would conclude that the only feasible Brexit on the table was hers. For that to work, she needed to keep bluffing and keep raising the stakes. She didn’t realise that ultimately, in parliament, it’s the Speaker who runs the game. And now all bets are off.

 

BTW Why have all the best playwrights in the English Language been Irish

DUP, Brexit and The Good Friday Agreement

Filed under: Good Friday Agreement, Ireland, Politics, War — derryvickers @ 11:58 am

Following on from my Blog: Derry Girls, Bloody Sunday and the Border

I consider it a deplorable situation where a party in Northern Ireland, the DUP, is determining whether the whole UK is leaving or remining in the EU. The DUP, although the major party in Northern Ireland, JUST, has no formal political power in that country as the Northern Ireland Parliament has not met for 2 years over an issue that was at least in part due to the First Minister’s (Arlene Foster) dealings on electricity.

I state straight away that I feel that the UK leaving the EU is a disaster and am biased. During the last 50 years, Europe has been war free; not being an historian I don’t know when this occurred before, but I suspect it is quite long ago.

Oddly, some 20 years ago, I was on a plane back from Germany and I spent the whole fight defending Ian Paisley and the feeling that the protectants in Northern Ireland felt uncomfortable with the dominant catholic population in Southern Ireland next door.

So, I was elated when the Good Friday Agreement was signed, and I can still remember the photo of the Chuckle Brothers: Ian Paisley (DUP) and Martin McGuiness (Sinn Fein), (see in the article below)

Not only is the DUP now threatening the UK that they may only support Theresa May’s EU Deal if they are doled out more cash, they are, in practice at least, threatening the Good Friday Agreement itself.

For a more substantive argument than mine on the DUP’s intransigence see Patrick Cockburn’s article in today’s Independent.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/brexit-latest-northern-ireland-backstop-vote-a8822836.html

Incidentally while Tony Blair has been much criticized since leaving office, he did, as Cockburn’s article states. reach agreement with Southern Irelands Prime Minister on the Good Friday Agreement.

March 17, 2019

Derry Girls, Bloody Sunday, Brexit and the Border

Filed under: Brexit, Ireland — derryvickers @ 10:39 pm

You may enjoy the Derry Girls on Channel Four and there’s a good article in the Guardian at:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/mar/17/saoirse-monica-jackson-derry-girls-interview-series-two

But there are two sides to Derry and Londonderry, which are the same place.

Ireland North and South are at the centre of the Brexit ‘debate’ and the border which currently separates them. Of course, this was always going to be so and how Cameron ignored it (or apparently ignored it) when choosing to hold the Brexit Referendum only he can answer. The ‘Troubles’ were with us for thirty years only ending with The Good Friday Agreement. Since then the North and the South have started to work together and the physical border between them has largely been removed; but there remains simmering at the community level; a journey across the North would reveal Union Jacks fluttering on the lampposts in the North.

So Brexit, even though there was a majority vote in Northern Ireland to remain, was going to be ‘a cause of concern’ .  Wolud the border be reesatblished and what would the effect beon the separation North and South; would te catholicts in the North want to be united with the South. Only last week the Bloody Sunday enquiry recommended that only on solder be prosecuted for the shooting in Londonderry in 1972.

For a good exposition on the collision between Brexit and Ireland read Patrick Cockburn in this week’s Independent.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-bloody-sunday-boris-johnson-dup-theresa-may-northern-ireland-a8825286.html#comments

Cockburn is scathing of the interference by such fools as Boris Johnson leading to the possibility of further Bloody Sunday’s in the future.

The casual reader may thing this is a ‘local’ matter within the UK and possibly Southern Ireland (Eire) but the Bloody Sunday report this week has been taken up by the New York Times and the Washington Post.

March 8, 2019

This Day – 8 March 2019

Filed under: Brexit, economics, Europe, Ireland, Politics, Scotland — derryvickers @ 9:07 pm

I have just watched a programme  on BBC 4 on Hadrian’s Wall and its ultimate Failure to protect England at the End of Empire.

The Roman Empire imploded and England with it, for 750 years.

Is there an analogy here on 8 March 2019 to England imploding on itself following Brexit?

From the Guardian Website.  Very little to celebrate.

 

 

October 27, 2018

It’s an uncomfortable Truth but many now believe Brexit can’t be delivered – by Anna Soubry

Filed under: Anna Soubry, Brexit, Europe, History in the making, Ireland, Italian, Politics — derryvickers @ 9:50 pm
Per i miei amici italiani

È una verità scomoda, ma molti ora credono che Brexit non può essere consegnato.

Non mi fa piacere osservare il caos e la confusione dei negoziati Brexit. Non dubito che il nostro primo ministro abbia fatto della sua meglio per fornire il risultato del referendum UE e lasciare l’Unione europea.

Ma come molti ora vedono, non è solo molto più complesso e difficile di quanto si creda o sia stato detto, cercando di trovare un Brexit che soddisfa la domanda di molti che vogliono lasciare, pur garantendo la pace in Irlanda del Nord, è quasi, ma impossibile. Comitato di selezione dell’Irlanda del nord in Parlamento, i cui membri sono quasi esclusivamente sostenitori del congedo duro, ha prodotto una lunga e ponderata relazione su come evitare una linea duro tra l’Irlanda del Nord e la Repubblica.

Hanno concluso che non vi è alcuna tecnologia per risolvere il problema e ha riconosciuto l’importanza di assicurarsi che il vecchio confine fisso non ritorni.

La libera circolazione delle persone e delle merci attraverso il confine è fondamentale per il mantenimento della pace. È anche molto utile per le imprese in tutto il Regno Unito.
Quando lasciamo l’Unione europea, siamo impostiamo a lasciare l’Unione doganale e il mercato unico che permette quello che chiamiamo commercio senza attrito-che permette la libera circolazione.

La nostra adesione continua al mercato unico e all’Unione doganale è anche ciò che gli imprese britannici vogliono poiché sono fondamentali per fornire prosperità e posti di lavoro.

Ma il primo ministro e molti sostenitori di Brexit, in particolare in Parlamento, insistono che dobbiamo lasciare entrambi e fare qualche nuovo accordo commerciale con l’Unione europea.

Basato su un Blog di Anna Soubry

Regno Unito Parlamento MP

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