Monday, 1 October 2018

Sleep Walking to disaster

I am in Northern Ireland at present with my daughter, grandson and her partner.

All I can say is: they are increasingly scared of the violence that will be unleashed on ordinary people as the PIRA and UDVF fight to control the cross border rackets and act in "protection" of their respective Catholic and Protestant communities, violence that is the inevitable outcome of a no deal Brexit and a hard border between the North and the South of this island of Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Police Force is already returning to pre "Good Friday" precautions for both their stations and their own safety. Irish Sea Ferry security checks are once again more stringent with mirror and boot checks the norm. Families once again wondering if their loved ones will come home safe accompanied by the marital stress and fear that will effect yet another generation of children growing up in Northern Ireland and not just in the police force.

The hiatus at forming a new devolved government at Stormont increases the tensions between two communities slowly coming to terms with the troubles, the tit for tat violence, the trust between the two groups is fragile at best, no ordinary person wants a return to the 70's and 80's, the Northern Ireland economy and employment is recovering, the under forties by and large simply want to live normal lives and see their kids grow up in a safe environment.

UK Service personnel from Catholic families once again fear the advisory wrap on their door from the PIRA to tell them to either leave their employer or get out of their community to the mainland, or else. The PIRA knock will be better welcomed than the UDVF one which will be accompanied by a shooting of the person dead.

There are few in Northern Ireland who want this to happen but this is what Tory intransigence over Brexit will bring to the North of the Emerald Ilse. Putting over stretched squaddies back on the streets will simply pour petrol on the flames but as Tory after Tory stands at their conference to defend a "Britain" which does not exist - except in their fevered imaginations - I am listening to people, who are now friends over here, telling me of their fears and why they are justified. It is open knowledge that both the UDVF and PIRA are re-arming courtesy of funds from the Irish community in the USA and US right wing. The general feeling is the DUP are skimming NI funding and dark money donations to help the UDVF.

You can cut the growing paranoia with a knife. I was here in the 1980's during the troubles and among the 40+ age group there is a return to the same caginess, care with what they say to whom depending where they are which was the norm then, in conversations. There are once again taboo subjects in public, especially around religion, allegiances and where you live.

It will take one bomb in Belfast's booming shopping centre to destroy the last twenty years of healing to an open wound which is still sore for many in Northern Ireland, whose families and relations knew the death of loved ones first hand during the "Troubles", but it will be the Tory Party who will stand accused as as good as priming and setting off the device and returning Northern Ireland to its darkest days and nightmares.

Scotland may well become independent on Brexit but a new civil war is on the verge of going live in Northern Ireland. The Tory Conference has lighted the fuse for many over here with its complete misreading of the situation in Northern Ireland and violence returning to the streets is the real price the people of Northern will end up paying for a "Brexit" debacle which was meant to stop a Tory Civil War but has made things worse within the Tory Party as well as for all folk in the UK in all manners of ways.

The ignorance and stupidity of the Tory Government and Party on Northern Ireland, as on much else, is sleep walking the UK to disaster.