As the SKWAWKBOX reported yesterday, the issue of the post-brexit ‘Irish Sea border’ insisted on by Irish Taoiseach (PM) Leo Varadkar could tear apart the Tory-DUP collaboration, as the DUP will not accept a sole, coast-based border that essentially merges Northern Ireland with the Irish Republic behind a single frontier.
Irish insiders insist that the Irish move is steered by chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in fulfilment of a 17yo promise to former SDLP leader and former Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume, with the likely additional aim of putting pressure on the Tory-DUP relationship.
The DUP’s approach to this thorny issue? So far, the main contributor appears to be DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr, the son of the late firebrand preacher-turned-peace-promoter Ian Paisley Sr.
Paisley’s first contribution was to suggest that the Republic of Ireland should leave the EU to avoid a ‘hard border’:
His second was even less sensitive and far – far – more offensive:
To understand how crass that tweet is, you only need to know that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is Ireland’s first openly gay politician:
‘That’ll tighten him’ has the obvious, ignorant and deeply homophobic connotations – hardly surprising from a politician in an anti-gay party, but still shockingly offensive and bigoted.
The significance of it wasn’t missed. Twitter account @namawinelake picked up on another Paisley comment and put two and two together:
But humour doesn’t detract from the hatefulness of the tweet or the attitude behind it.
If Theresa May wants to claim the slightest status as a defender of human rights against bigotry, she must denounce this hateful behaviour . But it’s far more likely she will simply turn a blind eye to it – which should raise a storm of protest and disapproval in Britain.
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