Meddling in Northern Ireland for the sake of power – a risky little game – Guest Blog – Christoph Fischer

Stormont Parliament building outside Belfast, ...

Stormont Parliament building outside Belfast, Northern Ireland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Theresa May has reached out to her Unionist ‘friends’ in Northern Ireland to find support for her new government. There are several legal issues to consider, such as the UK governments’ role as neutral guarantor of peace, and the inability of NI MP’s to vote on certain legislation in parliament.

Despite these limitations, fear of unforeseen consequences and inadvertent chain reactions has spread through the ranks of (not only) progressive and moderate voters. The DUP got a lot of criticism in the press for their far right-wing stand, which are certainly worrying, but which may not be as relevant as we are led to believe. In this article

some of the scariest prospects of a DUP involvement in Westminster are being played down, and some of them quite convincingly I must say.  Their fear of JC as IRA supporting PM might lead them to throttle down their demands.

Yet, I agree with John Major,

who reminded Theresa May of just how long it took to come to this part in the Irish peace process. It can easily unravel, and in my opinion, is not worth the risk for the sake of Tory party short term gains of power and face saving.

The DPU is very likely to gain concessions from May that will unbalance the currently stressed situation in Ireland. The negotiations between DPU and Conservatives have already emboldened their leader Arlene Foster to make some sharp statements, directed at Sinn Fein.

Sinn Fein in turn are on a trip to Westminster themselves, raising concerns that they may break with their non-participation in parliament, once provoked enough.

They are adamant that the UK government can no longer cast itself as a neutral facilitator in the process, given Theresa May’s intent to form a minority government with the help of a confidence-and-supply deal with the unionist party.

And after listening to Arlene Foster, I can’t blame them, even though it is true that Sinn Fein walked away from the Assembly in Stormont:

Arlene Foster told Sinn Fein leaders if they are concerned about her party’s enhanced influence at Westminster they should move to restore devolution at Stormont.
“If others decide that they are not coming back into the devolved administration here in Northern Ireland then those issues will have to be dealt with at Westminster,” she said. “It is really for Sinn Fein to decide where they want those powers to lie.”

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Christoph Fischer

Opinion – The Hidden Debt Burden of Emerging Markets by Carmen Reinhart – Project Syndicate – John Gelmini

Irish version of a 1939 British poster, create...

Irish version of a 1939 British poster, created in response to the 2010 Irish banking crisis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like Dr Alf, I am optimistic too because as the Chinese ambassador said last night on Channel 4 whilst making mincemeat of the left-wing news presenter Jon Snow, the fundamentals of the Chinese economy were strong.

The last banking crisis was, of course, an engineered collapse, designed to look like something that the public throughout the world had caused through their own profligacy supposedly egged on by bankers recklessly lending money to people with no prospect of repayment.

This is why before the crisis there was plenty of money but during it there was supposedly none followed by a situation in which the top 1/10th of 1% of people suddenly doubled their money and had it all transmuted into gold bullion, buy to leave properties, fine art, gems and expensive real estate.

There will be a repeat of this at some future point but the Chinese are better prepared than they were the first time as are many of the developing countries.

This does not mean that the financial wolves have been bested but since more people know who they are,how they operate and to a certain extent how they think the road ahead for them is a little harder although the right wars, provided that they are containable, can provide the opportunity they seek.

John Gelmini