So I would suggest (tongue in cheek) that Britain, helpfully trying to stiffen Irish resolve in the tough times ahead, adopts the following:An approach that's working for Latvia apparently and obviously more exciting than a "bilateral bail-out";)
1) Insist that Ireland was legally part of the United Kingdom and that the Act of Union in 1801 was ‘in accordance with international law at the time'; 2) quibble about the circumstances of Irish independence; 3) patronisingly and inaccurately refer to Ireland as the ‘Irish Free State' or ‘Our Erin'; 4) tar Ireland as a land of ‘fascists' for its complex wartime politics; 5) highlight the civilising benefits of British rule, while rejecting responsibility for the Irish Famine; 6) treat the status of the ‘Anglophone minority' in Gaelic-speaking parts of Ireland as a political issue deserving intense scrutiny from international human-rights watchdogs; 7) regularly conduct large military exercises, backed with nuclear sabre-rattling, to rehearse the re-conquest of Ireland as a response to a ‘terrorist' threat by ‘nationalists'; 8) endorse schoolbooks and curricula that distort Irish history, glorify British war criminals and mock Irish heroes; 9) criminalise all alternative viewpoints as ‘IRA terrorism'; 10) fund pro-British political parties that regard Irish independence as temporary, the Irish language as ridiculous, and that want to strengthen economic, political and cultural ties with the ‘motherland' of Britain.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
We hate you really (does that help?)
From The Economist's Central and East European correspondent: