For going on three years now, Britain has taken a holiday from sanity. A tiny island kingdom whose people once ruled nearly a fourth of the world’s land area squabbles over the terms of its self-inflicted diminishing and isolation.
And really, who cares? Those who believe that history has a wicked sense of humor should care. From the depths of British bungling, hubris and incompetence is emerging a St. Patrick’s Day miracle: the real chance of a united Ireland.
After more than 800 years, it’s not just possible but also seems inevitable that London’s ruling reach will no longer extend to part of the island west of the Irish Sea. All of the centuries when borders from India to Africa, from the Middle East to British Columbia, were drawn by besotted and bewigged Englishmen may end with the whimpering last gasps of Brexit.
Delay Brexit, redo Brexit, no-deal Brexit. It hardly matters. As with the fall of the Berlin Wall, you can sense the acceleration toward the inevitable. Don’t wait for Her Majesty’s government to resolve the sovereignty issues of Northern Ireland, which are now holding up the divorce between Britain and the European Union. There is no solution.
Bear with me while I walk through the Groundhog’s Day of this muddle. When Britain voted narrowly in 2016 to leave the union, it did so in a fit of nationalism and xenophobia, and against the will of majorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Voters were promised a migrant-free Britain, unfettered from evil globalists. Instead, they are getting a Balkanized Britain, its stagnant economy at the mercy of forces they will no longer be able to influence in Europe. The vote was a Trump-level temper tantrum that revealed the fraudulence of conservative populism.
What has bollixed the formal exit — and is the root cause of all of the rudderless rumblings in Parliament this week — is Northern Ireland. As always, the most vexing of Britain’s old colonial possessions is the one closest to Westminster.
The Brexit vote roused the ghosts from bloody eras past, those centuries when it was a crime to be Irish in Ireland. The Troubles, three decades of late-20th-century sectarian terror that took at least 3,500 lives, was the latest iteration of that dead weight of memory.
“It almost didn’t matter where you started the story: it was always there,” Patrick Radden Keefe writes in “Say Nothing,” his magnificent new account of the awful years in the north.
The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 — an instance when “hope and history rhyme” in the words of the poet Seamus Heaney — ended the Troubles. Remarkably, it has held the peace, while essentially erasing the border between the Republic of Ireland and the swath of historic Ulster belonging to Britain.
No one wants to put up guard stations and customs checks along the invisible 310-mile line separating prosperous Ireland, a member of the E.U., from the shakily peaceful six counties of the north, which would exit. And only the most hateful elements on both sides want a return of violence that is sure to come with a hard border.
The solution? It’s there in the not-so-fine print of the peace agreement. Should a majority of Northern Ireland residents desire to leave Britain, it is required to call for a vote of those people.
That majority is fast approaching. What Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain calls “our precious union” is held together by 10 members of Parliament representing the old hatreds of North Ireland — the Democratic Unionist Party. It was founded by Ian Paisley, a bigot with a Bible, who opposed the peace agreement and referred to Catholics as scum who “multiply like vermin.”
Keefe quotes an English journalist as saying that the unionists are “more British than the British, about whom the British care not at all.”
Paisley is no longer with us. Nor is most of the dark sentiment he stirred up. When the borders came down, so did many of the walls of religion and nationality. Catholics, long a persecuted minority, will soon be a majority in Northern Ireland if demographic trends continue.
But the conflict is less about one Christian sect against another. It’s more about how to thrive in an interconnected world. The Republic of Ireland is proudly progressive, led by an openly gay taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, who is of Irish and Indian heritage. After a series of scandals, the influence of the Catholic Church has greatly diminished. Last year, Ireland had the fastest-growing economy in Europe.
Given a choice, a majority in Northern Ireland could well be persuaded to ditch what is left of feckless and intemperate Britain and form a single Irish nation — if for no other reason than they like the benefits that come with being a small country in the E.U. Of course, many things would still have to fall in place. But the stars are aligning.
Remember: This was all Britain’s doing, unintentional though it was. Hope and history don’t usually rhyme. More often, they bump into each other. That happy accident could result a single Irish nation finally free of foreign rule.
I invite you to follow me on Twitter (@nytegan).
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“【呵】【呵】，【走】，【往】【哪】【走】，【你】【以】【为】【我】【们】【会】【没】【有】【准】【备】【吗】，【不】【然】，【当】【初】【灭】【门】【关】【家】【的】【时】【候】，【你】【们】【那】【些】【拥】【有】【着】【倾】【城】【之】【恋】【的】【人】【怎】【么】【一】【个】【都】【没】【能】【逃】【出】【来】。”【一】【个】【声】【音】【出】【现】。 【只】【看】【见】，【另】【一】【个】【青】【铜】【面】【具】【的】【人】【影】【出】【现】，【这】【个】【面】【具】，【正】【是】【先】【前】【偷】【袭】【过】【关】【山】【的】【那】【个】【青】【铜】【面】【具】【的】【样】【子】。 “【本】【来】【以】【为】【倾】【城】【之】【恋】【是】【在】【你】【这】【突】【然】【蹦】【出】【来】【的】【人】【身】【上】，【没】
【雨】【之】【国】，【一】【年】【到】【头】【都】【在】【下】【着】【漂】【泊】【的】【大】【雨】，【这】【里】【没】【有】【春】【天】、【也】【没】【有】【冬】【天】，【整】【个】【天】【空】【只】【有】【漫】【天】【氤】【氲】【的】【大】【雨】，【大】【滴】【大】【滴】【的】【从】【空】【中】【落】【下】，【就】【像】【老】【天】【在】【痛】【哭】【一】【样】，【泪】【水】【淹】【没】【了】【这】【个】【城】【市】。 【一】【个】【橙】【色】【头】【发】【的】【男】【人】【正】【静】【静】【的】【站】【在】【雨】【之】【国】【最】【高】【楼】【台】【的】【露】【天】【平】【台】【上】，【一】【脸】【淡】【漠】【的】【看】【着】【外】【面】【的】【大】【雨】，【颀】【长】【的】【红】【云】【服】【饰】【在】【轻】【轻】【飘】今期管家婆更新彩图“【你】【没】【事】【吧】？” 【看】【着】【反】【应】【异】【常】【激】【动】【的】【张】【宇】【尘】，【云】【尚】【武】【有】【些】【诧】【异】【的】【问】【了】【句】。 “【没】【事】【没】【事】，【我】【没】【事】。” 【张】【宇】【尘】【连】【忙】【摆】【了】【摆】【手】，【收】【起】【了】【吊】【儿】【郎】【当】【的】【模】【样】，【岳】【父】【出】【场】【的】【方】【式】【有】【些】【特】【别】，【他】【完】【全】【没】【心】【理】【准】【备】，【虽】【然】【他】【脸】【皮】【够】【厚】，【但】【这】【是】【第】【一】【次】【见】【家】【长】，【心】【情】【难】【免】【忐】【忑】。 【幸】【好】【岳】【父】【提】【前】【表】【明】【了】【身】【份】，【不】【然】【一】【会】【喝】【大】【了】
【这】【不】【是】【埋】【汰】，【真】【的】【不】【是】【埋】【汰】。 【杨】【辰】【发】【誓】，【阿】【三】【在】【某】【些】【方】【面】，【真】【的】【挺】【好】【的】。 【咳】【咳】，【挺】【好】【的】。 【是】【的】，【确】【实】【挺】【好】【的】。 【最】【起】【码】，【阿】【三】【人】【家】【里】【还】【有】【宪】【法】，【跟】【紧】【时】【代】【潮】【流】，【懂】【得】【依】【法】【治】【国】，【不】【管】【治】【的】【到】【不】【到】【位】，【至】【少】【人】【家】【有】【这】【个】【思】【想】。 【但】【是】【在】【沙】【特】，【作】【为】【一】【个】【君】【主】【制】【王】【国】，【从】【二】【十】【世】【纪】【到】【二】【十】【一】【世】【纪】，【它】【们】【都】【没】
【当】【他】【们】【刚】【踏】【上】【七】【楼】【的】【最】【后】【一】【级】【台】【阶】【时】，【她】【不】【禁】【被】【眼】【前】【的】【景】【象】【惊】【呆】【了】。 【因】【为】【七】【楼】【的】【大】【厅】【里】【一】【个】【人】【也】【没】【有】。 “【他】【真】【的】【下】【去】【了】【吗】?” 【这】【时】，【水】【大】【树】【的】【心】【突】【然】【下】【沉】，【开】【始】【剧】【烈】【地】【颤】【抖】。 【她】【之】【所】【以】【这】【么】【做】，【是】【因】【为】【她】【知】【道】，【一】【旦】【傲】【沧】【生】【出】【了】【七】【天】【楼】，【他】【还】【在】【等】【什】【么】【呢】? 【在】【五】【楼】，【坐】【和】【跳】【舞】【总】【是】【在】【对】【面】【的】【石】【墙】【上】
【周】【徐】【纺】【想】【想】【后】，【点】【了】【头】。 【林】【秋】【楠】【眼】【角】【的】【皱】【纹】【里】【都】【是】【笑】，【又】【问】【周】【清】【让】：“【清】【让】，【你】【呢】？” 【陆】【声】【抢】【着】【回】【答】：“【他】【也】【在】【这】【住】。” 【姚】【碧】【玺】【笑】【骂】【她】【不】【知】【羞】。 【饭】【桌】【上】【的】【氛】【围】【很】【好】，【吃】【着】【家】【常】【菜】，【话】【着】【家】【常】。 【饭】【后】，【姚】【碧】【玺】【要】【去】【准】【备】【房】【间】【和】【换】【洗】【的】【衣】【物】，【犹】【犹】【豫】【豫】【地】【问】【了】【江】【织】【一】【句】：“【你】【和】【徐】【纺】【住】【一】【间】【还】【是】【两】【间】？