From the Balls of Montezuma

Staying on the topic of Alexandia Ocasio-Cortez, this amused:


It’s funny how the narrative of Europeans wiping out the natives and their descendants living on stolen land stops at the Mexican border. Presumably some think the indigenous peoples of central and south America were already speaking Spanish when the Conquistadors showed up and had names like, well, Ocasio-Cortez.

I have a theory that everyone wants to be an imperialist overlord, but criticism is reserved for those with the competence to actually carry it out. See this exchange, for example:


The Irish spend half the time moaning about British imperialism and the other half demanding Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, and the Falkland Islands be annexed by their neighbours against the wishes of the population. The irony in the case of Ocasio-Cortez is most Puerto Ricans are wishing the US would hurry up and annex them properly.

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82 thoughts on “From the Balls of Montezuma

  1. It’s good she has come out and told the world (given her popularity) that the united States as presently comprised does not exist except as a part of a Latino continent…..may give a few people food for thought.

  2. Yeah, funny how nobody likes to talk about Spanish and Portuguese colonialism, or their absolute massacres of whole tribes back in the day…

    And being who’s “told and criminalized simply for our identity and our status” anyway, and what does that phrase even mean?

  3. The utter shite spewed in that thread is hilarious. I’ve said it before. Stick a fork in the Common Travel Area, it’s done. Give them something tangible to whine about when the emigration safety valve to the UK is closed permanently.

    Looping back to thinly disguised communists. If they do gain power, They really won’t like the US version of Pinochet and the appropriate response required to deal with the latest manifestation of Jacobinism.

  4. Surely not mainstream commie dogma, Joe Blow.
    AOC is incapable of having an original idea so I think the FBI should tell us where she got this one.

  5. “And we cannot be told and criminalized simply for our identity and our status.”

    “Told” as an intransitive verb? Quite revealing, really. “Telling” someone (something) is on a par with criminalising them?

    “You can’t tell us anything!”. Well, quite.

  6. Presumably some think the indigenous peoples of central and south America were already speaking Spanish when the Conquistadors showed up and had names like, well, Ocasio-Cortez.

    Murpheyesque self-awareness levels with this dozy bint.

  7. Angles & Saxons for ever! (Never mind those who were here before.)

    Occasionally-Coherent is such good entertainment value, I’m surprised a Trump/AOC musical is not already on Broadway. Perhaps an update of Springtime for Hilter?

  8. The great weakness of the anti-imperialist/colonialist schtick is that it has to draw some arbitrary, even contrary, positions around when imperialism/colonialism doesn’t count as imperialism/colonialism. I once responded in agreement to the comment that ‘Jews in Israel are a product of Zionist imperialism’ with ‘and Muslims in Palestine are a product of Islamic imperialism’, but this statement of obvious and banal historical fact was called ‘trolling’. Communist regimes created entire theologies to explain why some things didn’t count when they did them, less their own logic be used against them. I once suggested to a Marxist that as Lenin claimed ‘imperialism was the highest stage of capitalism’, and he became the de facto leader of the notably imperialist polity formerly known as the ‘Russian Empire’, by his own logic he must have been an arch-capitalist, but it seemed I had erred in taking Lenin’s views too literally, his form of imperialism had handily given itself a pass.

  9. Lenin claimed ‘imperialism was the highest stage of capitalism’, and he became the de facto leader of the notably imperialist polity formerly known as the ‘Russian Empire’, by his own logic he must have been an arch-capitalist

    It was worse than that. Certain areas of Uzbekistan fought and gained independence from the collapsing Tsarist regime, only for the Soviets to promptly annex them into the USSR. If the Soviets had taken over the UK, Ireland would be just another SSR, possibly not even that. Taking the long view, meaning 100-1,000 years, Irish “independence” is likely to be temporary: whoever rules the mainland in future is almost certain to annex the ROI.

  10. So says the product of Spanish colonialism, who’s father worked hard to raise in the environment and culture of Team Wonderbread.

    I heard her talking on the radio yesterday, trying to explain her wrongheaded ideas. I can’t stand the sound of her voice,. the pitch, tone, and cadence of which is heard in any gaggle of millennial hens in a Starbucks.

    Like others have said here, her lack of self-awareness, and lack of knowledge about how anything in the world works is shocking. And the sad part is, I don’t think she’s an outlier in her generation.

    It’s sad and disturbing to see someone squawk these ideas to any mic and camera she can find, as well as twitter, with no understanding or observation that all this has been tried before to utter failure and misery.

    And these countries and cultures weren’t $20T+ in debt. She won’t get a moment of clarity util blood is running in the streets.

  11. Ah, the Irish.

    Fight for independence for a thousand years and then give it up to a different foreign power in return for some new roads and not having to exchange currencies when going on holiday.

  12. No one is every going to convince me that she is not explicit evidence that the Russians have colluded with Trump.

    She is, without a shadow of doubt, a KGB robot programmed to destroy the Democrat party.

  13. TechieDude
    ‘So says the product of Spanish colonialism, who’s father worked hard to raise in the environment and culture of Team Wonderbread.”

    But it’s even more fun than that, she is named after Cortez! The conquer of the Aztecs. She claims her native status by right of conquest!

  14. I notice a trend in the comments of this blog towards assuming that the Irish are too thick to know what we’re doing. However, since embracing globalisation, immigration and the EU, the ROI has gone from being the economically irrelevant, backwards cousin of the UK to being one of the wealthiest and most developed countries in the world. As a result, the simple fact is that the conditions in the UK that have lead Brexiteers to have such a cynical view of the EU are conspicuously absent in the ROI. And so yes, from your viewpoint we are losing our identity and sovereignty, but from ours, we’re reaching economic and social peaks that we wouldn’t have dreamed of in the 80s. And what has it cost us? Letting some Polish integrate happily into our society? Oh the horror…

    Also, nobody credible in The Republic is looking to annex the North. It’s just more Brexit hysteria that sees a conspiracy in the Irish government trying to prevent UK residents/citizens returning to violence, and also protecting our economic interests (which is their job, after all. You might have forgotten that as you’ve watched May busily fail to do the same on the UK’s behalf).

  15. It’s always struck me as weird that it’s the Brexiteers who get slapped with the empire-nostalgists label. After all, support for national sovereignty is pretty much the opposite of imperialism, whereas “Maybe this country is losing its identity and sovereignty, but it’s reaching economic and social peaks that its inhabitants wouldn’t have dreamed of before we came along” is very easy to turn into a defence of imperialism, and indeed formed the ideological basis for much 19th-century colonialism.

  16. It’s just more Brexit hysteria that sees a conspiracy in the Irish government trying to prevent UK residents/citizens returning to violence

    Pretty sure it’s not the British threatening “a return to violence”.

  17. “the ROI has gone from being the economically irrelevant, backwards cousin of the UK to being one of the wealthiest and most developed countries in the world.”

    Partly paid for by the UK’s contributions to the EEC/EU, but not that we ever get any thanks…………..

  18. Ireland has seen an economic boom, but significant parts of that were in spite of the EU. The low corporate tax rate, for example. If the EU gets its way, others will not be entitled to do the same.

    The argument that Ireland’s growth is due to the EU is a bit post hoc ergo proper hoc for me.

    Taiwan has made a faster rise without the EU. Does that mean countries shouldn’t join the EU?

  19. “the ROI has gone from being the economically irrelevant, backwards cousin of the UK to being one of the wealthiest and most developed countries in the world.”

    Yes, it moved from a quai-communist economic model to a pure neo-liberal one and was able to leverage of the gap between the US, UK and Europe.

    If the EU had bothered to notice, they most likely would have hated most of it, and have worked to undermind it. They only tolerate them because they have towed the line when it comes to the UK.

  20. My son and his GF are travelling in South America and are currently in Cusco, Peru. He’s just posted this on his blog:

    Our last [walking tour] stop takes us down to the only Inca ruins in the city proper. Before the arrival of the Spanish in 1532, Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire, seated at the crossroads of it’s 4 territories that stretched, at its height, from Colombia through Ecuador, Peru and deep in to Chile. Pre-Colombian Cusco was filled with palaces, temples and shrines, with the city itself laid out in the shape of a puma. Sadly, much of the historic city was destroyed during the Spanish conquest of Peru, the palaces and temples torn down to make way for churches and colonial buildings.

    Much of the foundations of the Inca buildings can still be seen however; in the old town the bases of many of the buildings are original Inca walls (this includes a 12-sided stone which, for some reason, is a tourist attraction and has become something of a nuisance to us as it is on the most direct path from our hostel to the old town, meaning we have to barge through the gaggle of gaping tourists milling about it taking photos and blocking the path) or are, at least, made from stones repurposed Inca buildings. Richard [tour guide] dryly observes that it was a good thing that the Spanish never found Machu Picchu, as they probably would have built a church on top of it.

    AOC really should learn some history.

  21. “Pretty sure it’s not the British threatening “a return to violence”.”
    That’s only true in a very narrow sense. It is residents of the UK (though, granted, not the British specifically) who might turn to violence if there is a hard border, and the government in London would do well to listen to Dublin’s warnings that this is a real risk. Some communities in the north still properly hate each other, yet some British seem quite happy to throw fuel on that fire (in the form of a possible hard-border and possible economic hardship) on the assumption that all the warnings against such an action are only a thinly disguised attempt to annex the UK’s territory…

    “Partly paid for by the UK’s contributions to the EEC/EU, but not that we ever get any thanks…………..”
    I see – so the natives are not sufficiently defferential to their glorious benefactors? And then people wonder why the UK is seen as having delusions of imperial grandeur… 😛
    What the UK got in thanks for helping to develop their EU neighbours, was access to tens of millions of newly wealthy consumers, and access to reasonably well-regulated new investment opportunities. And those countries will eventually become net contributors to the EU too (as Ireland has been for decades), thus reducing the burden on the other EU contributors.

    “The argument that Ireland’s growth is due to the EU is a bit post hoc ergo proper hoc for me.
    Taiwan has made a faster rise without the EU. Does that mean countries shouldn’t join the EU?”

    Two things wrong with that statement:
    – ROC and ROI both started their modern economic development at about the same (the 80s), yet the ROI’s GNP per capita is 2.5 times that of ROC, so the claim that Taiwan grew faster is demonstrably false.
    – Your argument is a straw man anyway: I never said that EU membership is mandatory for economic success, I’m just saying that the Irish are not thick for believing that EU membership was one of the major factors that brought them prosperity.

    “If the EU had bothered to notice, they most likely would have hated most of it, and have worked to undermind it. They only tolerate them because they have towed the line when it comes to the UK.”
    – That’s nothing more than a conspiracy theory: Almost all the new members from 2004 onwards are following (or trying to follow) a similar economic model to Ireland. If the EU was going to undermine this, they’d have done so already.
    – In what way is Ireland towing the line when it comes to the UK?

  22. the government in London would do well to listen to Dublin’s warnings that this is a real risk. Some communities in the north still properly hate each other, yet some British seem quite happy to throw fuel on that fire

    So the British should not vote to leave the EU because a gaggle of has-been or wannabe terrorists – who would get squashed like a bug by the government these days – want to cause trouble? Fuck that, frankly.

    on the assumption that all the warnings against such an action are only a thinly disguised attempt to annex the UK’s territory…

    This would carry more weight if politicians in the EU and Ireland weren’t continually saying things like “We can put the border in the Irish sea”, invoking the GFA which doesn’t once mention the border or the EU (except in the footnotes), and the Irish prime minister speaking of NI as if Ireland has a say in how it’s governed.

  23. OT: Tim – figured you would get a kick out of someone else taking the piss out of an odd poly setup. Odd even for poly’s I mean:

    Ahahahaha! Very good!

  24. Pretty sure it’s not the British threatening “a return to violence”.

    Actually it is almost entirely British Remainers (the Adonises, the Campbells, the Graylings, and their army of twitterers) who are threatening just that as part of their arguments to subvert the implementation of the result of the referendum.

  25. yet some British seem quite happy to throw fuel on that fire (in the form of a possible hard-border and possible economic hardship)

    I thought it was the EU insisting on a hard border? Maybe you want to direct that blame where it belongs.

    Also, I note that you’re conceding the point that the ROI needs trade with the UK, because otherwise economic hardship.

    the government in London would do well to listen to Dublin’s warnings that this is a real risk.

    Nice place you’ve got here, shame if something were to happen to it.

  26. I’m just saying that the Irish are not thick for believing that EU membership was one of the major factors that brought them prosperity.

    Yes, obviously the experiences, and therefore positions, of the cost/benefit balance for EU membership will be different for countries which are net recipients than countries which are net contributors. For the former giving up sovereignty in order to get the economic benefits may be a devil’s bargain but could well be seen as worth it. For the latter, not so much.

    Surely this difference, between net contributors and net recipients, is simply obvious?

  27. “Pretty sure it’s not the British threatening “a return to violence”.”
    That’s only true in a very narrow sense.

    A marvellously specious line of argument.

    Speaking of the Irish, I love that Tim’s twitter chum came out with: “being born in a stable doesn’t make you a horse”. Using that line is only marginally less efficient than simply typing: “I am a racist.”

  28. “a gaggle of has-been or wannabe terrorists – who would get squashed like a bug by the government these days – want to cause trouble? Fuck that, frankly.”
    I don’t agree that it will be so easy nor that the suffering would be worth it, but that is at least a coherent position to take. Time will tell which one of us is right… But also, don’t underestimate the possibility of yellow-vest-style civil strife if living conditions in NI (already not great by UK standards) get any worse…

    “This would carry more weight if politicians in the EU and Ireland weren’t continually saying things like “We can put the border in the Irish sea””
    But this is such a good way of allowing NI to effectively remain in the EU (something they voted for), and of not harming the economies of NI or ROI. And the only cost is that customs inspections will need to be done at ports, airports or on ferries, which are times when you need to stop and show your papers (or at least a ticket) and stand around anyway. I wonder how many people in NI would actually be in favour of this? The only reason it has been blocked so far is because the Conservatives have invited the DUP into government (contrary to the spirit of the GFA, by the way). Somebody should ask them if they want it (instead of just asking the DUP)…

    “invoking the GFA which doesn’t once mention the border or the EU (except in the footnotes)”
    Again, semantics: The GFA was signed in the context of being EU members. A significant change in the circumstances surrounding the agreement should surely be understood as putting the deal at risk?

    “and the Irish prime minister speaking of NI as if Ireland has a say in how it’s governed.”
    The UK government has repeatedly and explicitly confirmed that this should indeed be the case (Anglo-Irish agreement, GFA, etc.). Also, ROI has a significant economic interest in what happens to NI, so why shouldn’t they express their views?

    “I thought it was the EU insisting on a hard border? Maybe you want to direct that blame where it belongs.”
    WTO rules will require a hard border if there is a no deal Brexit. Anything else is a Brexiteer fantasy.

    “Also, I note that you’re conceding the point that the ROI needs trade with the UK, because otherwise economic hardship.”
    That is true, but isn’t actually what I said (in fact, the importance of the UK to ROI has diminished by multiples since the 80s). I meant that NI would suffer greatly in the event of a hard border (and actually would suffer much less with customs checks at the Irish sea).

    “Nice place you’ve got here, shame if something were to happen to it.”
    Hardly: We voted to change our constitution to give up our claim on NI. If there is a risk of violence, it comes from the UK and the people in it, not from the ROI.

    “Surely this difference, between net contributors and net recipients, is simply obvious?”
    Not really, since many net contributors (ROI included) are quite happy in the EU.

  29. “I see – so the natives are not sufficiently defferential to their glorious benefactors? And then people wonder why the UK is seen as having delusions of imperial grandeur… 😛”

    No, just that when your neighbour has been paying for decades into the pot that you’ve been taking out of, some acknowledgement of that fact might not go amiss…….yet there has never been an ounce of gratitude from the Irish for everything they’ve had from the UK (via the EU). They love the EU, but the EU has no money of its own, it comes from other individual countries, Germany and the UK mainly.

  30. WTO rules will require a hard border if there is a no deal Brexit

    Where is that in the WTO rulebook?

  31. But this is such a good way of allowing NI to effectively remain in the EU (something they voted for), and of not harming the economies of NI or ROI.

    This is exactly my point: the Irish seem to think the UK should agree to have its international borders moved because a country which has supposedly been independent for a 100 years finds it more convenient economically.

    Also, ROI has a significant economic interest in what happens to NI, so why shouldn’t they express their views?

    Nobody stopping you expressing your views. What you are doing is attempting to interfere in the sovereign right of a people to determine their own destiny on the grounds you may be subject to second-order effects.

  32. “No, just that when your neighbour has been paying for decades into the pot that you’ve been taking out of, some acknowledgement of that fact might not go amiss…”
    Right, because the UK was in the EU just to help out the poor Irish? No, the UK was there for her own reasons and had plenty of benefit from it (you can argue whether the benefits were worth it, but that’s a different discussion). The ROI is now paying it forward to newer members, and I think that the Irisk asking them for thanks would be a bit… well… imperial.

    “Where is that in the WTO rulebook?”
    I’m given to understand that the WTO requires countries to not offer preferential customs terms to other countries unless they sign a trade agreement. Absent such an agreement, any country with an axe to grind with the UK or the EU (of which I suspect there are many) could take an action against both parties in the WTO.
    Also, blaming the EU for a hard border is just pointless blame shifting: It would only take one busload of migrants to show up in the UK having crossed from Belfast before the rest of the UK decided that “taking back control” probably, on reflection, does require controlling one’s land borders (not an unreasonable position, if you ask me…).
    And the EU can’t have the Irish border being used for smuggling non-EU standard goods or for avoiding import duties… neither can the UK, for that matter.

    “This is exactly my point: the Irish seem to think the UK should agree to have its international borders moved because a country which has supposedly been independent for a 100 years finds it more convenient economically.”
    Not just ROI – NI (which is far more vulnerable than ROI) would also stand to gain from such an arrangement. I think it is a misrepresentation to say that the border is moving: The international border would remain where it is, and it would remain in it’s current form. All NI governance would remain exactly the same, except that customs checks could be performed at the airports and on ferries, when people/vehicles are standing around anyway.

    “Nobody stopping you expressing your views. What you are doing is attempting to interfere in the sovereign right of a people to determine their own destiny on the grounds you may be subject to second-order effects”
    Not really – this is a negotiation for a trade deal. Each side has their terms, and the ROI’s intention is to avoid violence and economic harm as much as possible, and they use the levers at their disposal to achieve that. This is what governments are for. I mean, I could turn the question around and ask why should the ROI volunteer to suffer real economic harm just because the DUP feels like doing customs checks in a different place at very little economic cost would somehow give them a feeling of kinda sorta not being exactly the same as the rest of the UK (with no actual material cost)? And they’re effectively getting free EU membership out of that deal to boot. So fine, maybe they don’t want it, but this business of getting offended that ROI isn’t offering itself up on the altar of Brexit has to stop – it is an independent country that will negotiate to achieve the best terms for itself that it can – just as the UK is with Brexit.

    And this is only the start of it – when the UK comes to negotiating deals with the USA and China, there is going to be a lot more hardball negotiation…

  33. Not just ROI – NI (which is far more vulnerable than ROI) would also stand to gain from such an arrangement. I think it is a misrepresentation to say that the border is moving: The international border would remain where it is, and it would remain in it’s current form.

    This is wrong, but the point you seem to be missing is it is none of Ireland’s business. You’re sticking your nose in where it doesn’t belong and it’s not wanted. You have your independence, and your EU membership. Leave Britain and NI alone. The trouble is, the entire Irish national identity is based on your not being able to.

    Each side has their terms, and the ROI’s intention is to avoid violence and economic harm as much as possible, and they use the levers at their disposal to achieve that.

    There is zero risk of violence in the ROI, save from its own citizens who are living overseas. And “using the levers at their disposal” for economic purposes was pretty much the basis of the British Empire. The irony of the Irish behaving in much the same way will be lost on them, of course.

  34. I’m given to understand that the WTO requires countries to not offer preferential customs terms to other countries unless they sign a trade agreement.

    Okay. Explain to me what that has to do with a hard border please.

    Hint: ‘terms’ and ‘infrastructure’ are different, independent things.

    And the EU can’t have the Irish border being used for smuggling non-EU standard goods or for avoiding import duties… neither can the UK, for that matter.

    Um, you do realise that smuggling across the Irish border already happens? For things like cigarettes and petrol? And that hasn’t required a ‘hard border’?

  35. “The ROI is now paying it forward to newer members”

    No its not, or rather hasn’t been up to date. In 2014 for the first time in over 40 years of EU membership Ireland was a net contributor to the tune of about €50m (ie nothing in State spending terms). By 2015 it had returned to a net receipt of just under €400m. In 2016 the net receipt was about €350m, in 2017 the net receipt was about €40m.

    (Figures here:http://ec.europa.eu/budget/figures/interactive/index_en.cfm)

    There’s no data for 2018, but I suspect Ireland will have been a net contributor to the tune of several hundred million euros, as the GDP contribution jumped significantly in that year.

    So over the last 5 years it will have been a net taker from EU budgets, and always was prior to 2014. Its soon going to find out what being a consistent net payer-in is like, as estimates are that it will be paying over 1% of GDP (net) into the EU budget by 2022, as the EU loses the UK’s contributions. Come back to us when you’ve had a decade or two of that and see how popular the EU is in Ireland then.

  36. To establish my right to rag on the Irish (and, the Scots, who I’ll get to…), I would first like to point out that about two-thirds of my paternal ancestry came from those God-forsaken lands. Mostly forsaken, I might point out, in terms of the people He chose to settle them with. The Irish are, I fear, not a particularly competent lot, and while they’re great poets and scholars, as a self-governing people, they’re some of the most incompetent twats on the face of this planet. The Scots have other vices, but are similarly incapable of running things for themselves. You go digging back in the histories, and damn near everything the Brits inflicted on them were things that the Irish and the Scots themselves enabled through a lack of unity and sense of “We’re Scots-Irish; you lot sod off…”.

    Every single invader, from the Norse on down, has found ready and willing quislings in the Irish population, while the airy-fairy opposition to them managed to piss away every single advantage they had in disunity and argument. The Irish are great people to have around for drinking parties and such, but as neighbors with whom to form a united front against invading outsiders…? I’d rather not, because I know that someone on my left or right would be opening the postern gate late some night.

    Same with the Scots portion of my ancestry; honesty has to acknowledge that while the Sassenach is usually an asshole, most of the crap they got up to was due to the incompetence of the people they were fighting. Had the Swiss been plopped down in the Highlands, they’d still be independent, and we’d have several historically significant defeats of the English in the records. Scots are great warriors, but without the British to force discipline and common sense on them, their capacity for soldiering is low.

    I venture to predict dismal failure for both Scotland and Ireland, once the relationship with those English bastards and their Welsh confederates is severed. Fact is, neither the Scots or the Irish have it in them to run their own lives, and the feckless stupidity with which they face the world is why both nations wound up where they are, not the perfidy of the English. The English are only moderately competent at running their own and other’s affairs; whenever they’ve run into competent peer competitors, which hasn’t been that often, they don’t do so well. Scotland and Ireland? LOL… Yeah, y’all are gonna do so well, once you’re on your own. Not.

    Again, I’ve the right to say that shiite–I’m mostly Scots-Irish in family/ethnic background, and having had a lot of exposure to the actual family history, through the records we’ve managed to keep through the whole process of exile and making it here in the New World, I have come to the rueful conclusion that the majority of that travail was due to arrant stupidity on the part of my ancestors. Whose successors back on the “Olde sodde” differ from them only in costume. I’m awaiting yet another in the interminable waves of emigration from both areas, with the latest one yet again saying “OMG, we got screwed by our neighbors…” and failing to recognize that they were the ones who let it happen thru feckless incompetence. That’s how we roll, we Scots-Irish; I hate to admit it, but even considering the way the English always behave as assholes to their immediate neighbors, neither the Scots nor the Irish would have done as well on their own. We’re too much like the Poles or the Koreans; airy-fairy dreamers and drinkers, the lot of us. Not a whit of practical ability when it comes to building things other than toys or gadgets; empire? LOL… Not us; we’d piss it away in an afternoon, because of an inability to unite and focus on a goal. Arguing with ourselves is too much fun, as is stealing each others sheep to shag.

  37. “the point you seem to be missing is it is none of Ireland’s business”
    I’m not missing that point, I just disagree: As an EU member state, the deal that the EU negotiates with the UK is absolutely Ireland’s business. And since Ireland is the EU state most heavily affected by Brexit, I think it’s reasonable that the EU, on behalf of Ireland, is trying to push solutions that minimise potential harm to Ireland. I get that the UK doesn’t like that Northern Ireland is a sticking point for a free trade deal with the EU, and if they don’t want to move customs to the Irish Sea, then so be it, but Ireland is going to look out for Ireland’s interests, and the UK rapidly needs to realise that this issue isn’t going to just spontaneously vanish and start negotiating accordingly.

    “There is zero risk of violence in the ROI, save from its own citizens who are living overseas”
    Absolutely agreed, and I didn’t mean to imply this. But Ireland (and quite a bit of EU money) were instrumental in bringing peace to that part of the UK, and we just don’t want to see it undone. But you’re right, that is UK soverign territory and it is currently at peace, so I’ll stop arguing that point.

    “the entire Irish national identity is based on your not being able to … Leave Britain and NI alone ”
    In fairness, most of our national identity is based on drinking and diddly-aye music. But being serious, I agree that it is soverign territory of the UK, BUT over a third of of the population (at least) leans Republican and we can’t just turn our backs on them because the basis on which peace was achieved was that the ROI would have a say in NI in the future. Just because you want it to be otherwise does not change the fact that this is what the UK agreed to by treaty (or is the GFA technically a treaty? Maybe I should just say written agreement…)

    “And “using the levers at their disposal” for economic purposes was pretty much the basis of the British Empire. The irony of the Irish behaving in much the same way will be lost on them, of course.”
    Without the military invasions and expropriation that characterised the British Empire, I think that your point does not stand.

    A correction of myself, ref fullfact.org: NI exports to the rest of UK = 10.5bn, to ROI = 2.7bn, to rest of EU = 1.9bn, other = 3.7bn. Their trade with the rest of the EU likely travels through Britain, so from a customs-checking point of view, let’s count ROI = 2.7bn and UK = 12.4bn. ROI exports to NI are much smaller, so I’ll leave that out for brevity. That does rather put a different slant on things. So from an economics point of view, I withdraw my previous argument: Moving customs to the Irish Sea is not nearly as strong of a business case as I previously believed.

    A hard border does, however, impose all sorts of other burdens on the NI population, so would the UK please… pretty please… consult with the UK citizens of NI about where they would like their customs checks. Because right now, it seems that only the DUP is being asked, and they do not represent a majority of NI, not by a long shot…

    “Okay. Explain to me what that has to do with a hard border please.
    Hint: ‘terms’ and ‘infrastructure’ are different, independent things. ”
    You can’t enforce terms without infrastructure. Therefore: Infrastructure.

    “Um, you do realise that smuggling across the Irish border already happens? For things like cigarettes and petrol? And that hasn’t required a ‘hard border’?”
    Yes, there is intra-EU smuggling, but the scope for such activities would get much larger and more valuable after a hard Brexit and would require controls, I believe. And then there is also the question of product standards: For example, if the UK does a free-trade deal with the USA, Donald Trump has made it clear that accepting hormone-beef, GM crops and chlorinated chicken would be a condition. If the UK accepted that, the EU still wouldnt, but there would be an open border in NI that these (cheaper) good could come flooding through. And before you start shouting, “See, a hard border would be the EUs fault!” ask yourself, what else can they possibly do?

    And I notice that nobody has taken the bait on my comment that an open border would allow EU migrants free and uncontrolled access to the UK – I don’t see post-Brexit UK tolerating that for very long…

    “Everyone’s claiming the technology to avoid a hard border is available, yet”
    Is available… or is not? Because if it did exist, I imagine that, for example, the Swiss would be doing it…

    “‘There is no rule in the WTO requiring its member governments to secure their borders.’”
    Read the whole article: It repeats what I said about not being able to offer preferential customs terms without risking an action from some other WTO member.

    Finally (and I think I should stop soon because while I’m enjoying the discussion, I feel like at a certain point I’m just ranting at unwilling victims), I said that Ireland doesn’t owe any particular thanks to the UK for the EU. I stand by that for the reasons already given, but when I thought about it more, I realised that Ireland does owe thanks to the UK for their general tolerance to our immigration there, and for the CTA more generally (which, while it surely wasn’t done altruistically by the UK, was unarguably done just for us), so I gratefully conceed on that point. But you did get Oasis, Father Ted, Julian Clarey, The Smiths, Steve Coogan, Ant & Dec, Boy George, Morissey… and we did eventually become productive members of society (instead of being known for quite the opposite) so I like to think that we repaid the UK for that generosity.

    OK, I’ll stop now.

  38. “So over the last 5 years it will have been a net taker from EU budgets, and always was prior to 2014”

    On investigation, it seems I was misinformed. As far as I can tell, you are correct (though the Irish Times says it was 2016… even worse for my argument!).

    “Come back to us when you’ve had a decade or two of that and see how popular the EU is in Ireland then”
    The thing is, the EU is so critical to our economic model, I don’t see opinions changing, even when it starts costing more. Also, Ireland has benefited from EU funding so much that it would be outrageous for us to not pay our fair share as net contributors going forward…

  39. @Kirk: Sadly true of a lot of Irish history (in particular our shameful submission to the Catholic Church), but since the 80s we’ve come on in leaps and bounds – you wouldn’t even recognise us!

    Didn’t I say I was going to stop posting earlier..? 🙂

  40. @HibernoFrog,

    Yeah, I think we Scots-Irish need to face facts: We’re mostly unfit for independent states where we’re the only folks running things. Mostly because that state of affairs ain’t going to last, with the our talent for self-sabotage and essential incompetence at the enterprise.

    I’m only here in the US due to the fact that the ancestors did so well at managing things that they had to flee the homeland. Think on that, for a moment, and ponder the reasons. I’m not really fond of the English as an ethnic group, mostly because of the folks they tend to throw up as political leaders, but I have to acknowledge that they’re generally a hell of a lot more competent than the ones we produce. Our feckless lot of idiots are typified by that moron narcissistic POS that my ancestors called “Bonnie Prince Charlie”, and then followed off a cliff. I should mention that some of the ancestors were in the ranks at Culloden, where that genius had them standing fast in front of English cannon which we had nothing to answer with. The whole Rising was an enterprise in full consonance with the usual Scots stupidity, and for what? To put another, different, inbred aristo on a throne so he could tax us to death and live off our hard work?

    Say what you will of the English, at the least they didn’t lie about what they were up to–And, they did at least let a lot of us migrate to a place where we could make our own way. Although, one might look at that as “Inflicting the Scots-Irish on unsuspecting Native America…”, I suppose.

  41. @Kirk,

    Great post, some mention of backstabbers, turncoats and sectarianism might have been included to support your view as well.

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