Posted on 28th September 2019

Slane Castle

I’m not sure what to say about this week as unfortunately for me it started with 24 hours in A & E in St. James’s Hospital in Dublin.  So what is happening in the world out there has come to me in snatches.  Leo and the gang were in New York pushing hard to secure a seat on the Security Council.  He was wearing the shades but wasn’t that cool because U2 weren’t there to add the glamour.  Instead we had Michael D burning up the air miles with Leo keeping his fingers crossed that he didn’t transgress too far from the constraints within which he is supposed to act.  Incidentally word has got back to me that the President thinks that I no longer hold him in high regard.  It may be the medication I have been given but he may be right.  To the Taoiseach’s credit I think the government are starting to take Climate Change seriously.  It may be driven by electoral considerations and the fact that the Greens are likely to be a central component in the next government.  I’m not knocking the new approach and I think stopping drilling offshore an excellent idea and I hope it will prove to be an example to other nations.

Now to the shambles over Brexit.  I managed to watch some of the theatrics in the House of Commons.  Talk about bear pit politics.  This was it.  You got a real sense of the rancour and division that is pervasive in the DisUnited Kingdom.  Brexit has become toxic.  Families are divided.  Husbands hold different views from their wives.  However, there is a growing sense of resentment that arises from one central fact.  A Remainer parliament that seems incapable of finding a way to honour the result of the 2016 Referendum.  It is this that has led to the rise of Boris Johnson.  I will never forget being in the U.S. Embassy in London in the run-in to the 2016 Referendum when the U.S. Ambassador asked me what I thought would happen.  This was before Boris joined the Leave campaign.  I told him that night if Boris made that leap the Leave campaign would win because he had a special sort of political charisma capable of tipping the balance.  Of course, Johnson at the moment has one great advantage, the state of the British Labour Party.  They have taken so many positions on Brexit that they have even confused their own supporters.  Jeremy Corbyn has been calling repeatedly for a General Election but will not call the No Confidence vote to trigger it.  On my hospital bed I am exhausted by all of this and I haven’t even started on Donald Trump so I will sign off and wish you a good weekend.

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