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Sorry this is slightly off topic, but a must read if you wish to understand the differences between US and Irish political culture just now. How Mike Pence shat on the new carpet in Ireland's spare room
The hospitable hosts buttered up their important guest and made a big fuss of his family and hoped he would say nice things about them to the important people he would meet after his visit to Ireland.

And he told them they were wonderful and that he loved them. He even said a special prayer for everyone and then, just before he left, he turned around and kicked them where it hurts.

It came as a shock.

Like pulling out all the stops for a much-anticipated visitor to your home and thinking it has been a great success until somebody discovers he shat on the new carpet in the spare room, the one you bought specially for him.

US vice-president Mike Pence met President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Tuesday during an official visit. His Irish hosts, up to their oxters for the last three years in Brexit worry, hoped to impress upon him Ireland's fears about the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for the country.

He could, maybe, stick in a supportive word for us in his talks with Boris Johnson in London - his next port of call.

Pence, after all, is Irish American and wastes no opportunity to go misty-eyed about his love for the "Old Country" as he lards on his Mother Machree schtick on both sides of the Atlantic. He couldn't praise Ireland enough on Tuesday - "deeply humbled" and "honoured" to be going to the hometown of his mother's grandmother and so on.

But, after he said all these nice things about the "Emerald Isle" and how much his boss Donald Trump - he sent his best wishes, by the way - appreciates us and all we do to help American security in Shannon, he delivered a very strong endorsement of Boris Johnson and Brexit.

No room left for doubt. As Pence read from the autocue and Irish eyes definitely stopped smiling...

Worth reading in full...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Sep 4th, 2019 at 10:40:18 PM EST
The Irish Times view on Mike Pence's visit to Ireland: that didn't go very well
Although the courtesies were maintained during the two-day visit of US vice-president Mike Pence to Ireland, it clearly did not go very well. Cold politics triumphed over warm words as Pence followed President Trump in openly indicating his support for British prime minister Boris Johnson's approach to the Brexit negotiations.

Johnson has set out deliberately to blame Ireland for the political chaos in the UK and attempted to scapegoat Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for defending the Belfast Agreement and the integrity of the EU single market.

The Taoiseach maintained a dignified demeanour as his US guest positioned himself on the side of Johnson and his Brexit policy and had the effrontery to call on the EU to negotiate in good faith when it has done precisely that in the face of brazen dishonesty from the Brexiteers.

Pence was of course only echoing his master's voice in supporting Johnson and denigrating the EU. A central element of Trump's policy is to do everything he can to encourage the break-up of the EU. Support for the hardest possible type of Brexit is part of a strategy designed to weaken the EU and ultimately destroy it.

Varadkar rightly pointed out to Pence the impact that a hard border would have on the island of Ireland, particularly the danger it would pose to the gains linked to the Belfast Agreement, and told his visitor that was why Ireland and its EU partners would stand their ground. Reports suggest that the vice-president and the Taoiseach had a more amicable discussion in private about the role of the US as guarantor of the Agreement.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Sep 4th, 2019 at 10:55:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Florida Mans

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Sep 4th, 2019 at 11:33:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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