Friday, 14 July 2017

Hanging By A Sash

"The Twelfth" normally receives extensive coverage on the national news.

But this year, there was nothing.

Aggrieved or befuddled attendees now know what it is like to be one of the two hundred thousand people at the Durham Miners' Gala.

The rest of us must not be allowed to see who is governing us.

On and on the media banged about Jeremy Corbyn's old links to Sinn Féin, to no effect apart from possibly helping Labour to win back seats in the West of Scotland.

But the DUP in its natural habitat must never be shown, lest the voters of Great Britain exclaim in disbelief, "We are being governed by that?", "We are pouring an extra billion pounds into that?" and "We fought a war for that?"

Oh, yes. On all three counts.

Speaking of "We fought a war for that?", yesterday's From Our Own Correspondent featured a report on the increasing ethnic diversity of the Falkland Islands, including "the almost Caribbean lilt of the St Helenians".

This is the first time that any British coverage of the Falklands has ever mentioned the St Helenian presence, and it was on the radio, so no one could, you know, see them. Nor was the lilt actually heard.

St Helenians in Britain have watched in shock as successive television series on the Falklands have depicted it as the rural South of England in the 1950s, as white as the driven snow.

That has happened too many times to be an accident. It is obviously a condition of filming there, imposed by a Falkland Islands Government that knows its constituency.

The retention of full British Citizenship by the Falkland Islanders and the Gibraltarians, when it was taken away from the people of all the other British Overseas Territories (even I have to hand it to Tony Blair that he put that one right), was so nakedly racist that it seems almost funny now.

As is the lavish spending on the Falklands while a population almost twice as large on St Helena is in existential crisis due to the British Government's incompetence and indifference. The difference is that that is happening in 2017.

There are 2,932 people on the Falkland Islands.

Communities far larger than that, right here in the United Kingdom, have routinely been sent to the wall over the last 35 years for the want of the tiniest sums of public investment, when compared to the cost of keeping a Union Flag flying in the middle of a muddy field full of sheep at the other end of the world.

Or when compared with an extra billion pounds, over and above what was being spent anyway, on 292,316 voters for the DUP, or even on the 1,870,451 inhabitants of Northern Ireland.

But let us warmly welcome the billion pound investment in jobs and services in Northern Ireland. Let us call for Scotland, Wales, and each of the nine English regions to receive the same per capita.

Anything less would make a mockery of the very names of the Conservative and Unionist Party, and of the Democratic Unionist Party.

The DUP has never disputed the existence of the so-called Magic Money Tree. At least in practice, that existence is now fully acknowledged by the Conservative Party as well.

Let the abundant fruits of that Tree be harvested throughout the United Kingdom.

As to the British Overseas Territories, ponder for a moment that the cost of defending the only one of them that needs it is greater than would be the cost of declaring them all independent with an annual grant of one billion pounds apiece in perpetuity.

Doing the same to Northern Ireland, entirely regardless of whether or not the Republic wanted it, would also be vastly less expensive than the present state of affairs.

Moreover, it would enable Orange marches to be shown on the news in Britain, since they would have become irrelevant to the government of Britain.

And it would enable the large non-white population of the Falkland Islands to be shown on British television, since those Islands would no longer be politically dependent on people who could not stand such a sight.

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