THIS week the people of Northern Ireland will be subjected to the most outrageous piece of grandstanding that they have witnessed for a long time, and believe me when I say that’s quite the claim!
By DAME ARLENE FOSTER
07:32, Wed, May 25, 2022 | UPDATED: 13:11, Wed, May 25, 2022
Yes, this week on his tour around Europe to wreck what is left of community relations in Northern Ireland, Richie Neal, long-time Sinn Fein supporter will visit and tell us all that the Protocol cannot be changed and if it is then Armageddon, or something similar, will surely follow.
Now, who is Richard Neal?
Well, he has been the US Congressman for Massachusetts since 1989 and has long had an interest in “Irish” politics because he has long been an advocate for a United Ireland and hopes to see it happening in his lifetime – he is now 73 years old.
During his tenure he has worked closely with the Friends of Sinn Fein in America.
He has planted trees in memory of IRA hunger strikers and also commended their memory, despite the unalterable fact that the IRA were terrorists.
Neal also supported the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins who snubbed church leaders in Ireland by refusing to attend at interdenominational service to mark 100 years of Northern Ireland.
Hardly surprising when you know that Neal stated that Northern Ireland was not a reality but was a boundary set up by military force…
In his one of his latest offerings, Neal boasted about the changing demographics in Northern Ireland, in that there will soon, in terms of religious denominations, be more Roman Catholics than declared church going Protestants.
According to Neal’s thinking that means that a United Ireland is inevitable because more Roman Catholics means more people who want to abolish Northern Ireland.
This is just such base sectarianism and factually incorrect as there are many Roman Catholics who see their future not in some backwater of the European Union but in the fifth largest economy of the world with a strong welfare, education and healthcare system, free from bureaucracy and able to take sovereign decisions.
But of course Richie Neal along with his fellow traveller Nancy Pelosi and indeed the embattled President Biden have all bought into the Sinn Fein spin which has been so prevalent in the United States.
It seems to me Richie Neal has bought into the many lies and misrepresentations of what went on in my country during “the Troubles”.
In Sinn Fein’s skewed world, the IRA were the good guys and “the six counties” was occupied by the Brits.
I have endured many events in Washington where those of us from Northern Ireland are still treated to “Brits out” slogans at black-tie dinners, but because we are part of the problem, i.e., not Irish republicans, we just have to sit in the audience and listen to their outlandish, offensive slogans.
And let’s be honest, for too long the UK Embassy in Washington has allowed this rewriting of what happened in part of the UK, without challenge and that is so shameful and hugely damaging.
So, there you go, this is the man who is leading a cross party delegation to tell the Brits what to do.
Since 2019 Richie Neal has also been the powerful Chairman of the Ways and Means committee in Congress, second only to Speaker Pelosi in seniority, but that doesn’t prevent him from showing his partiality.
The delegation Richie Neal leads has been to Europe, simply to strengthen EU resolve against the UK proposals, (as if that were needed).
Our poor Foreign Secretary had to endure them last week and they are now in the Republic of Ireland updating their speaking notes for when they come to Northern Ireland on Thursday.
The United States, I have said before, has often been helpful In Northern Ireland, but since this Biden administration arrived it has been disastrous.
They claim they are protecting the Belfast Agreement when it is clear for all to see that they are only interested in looking after those who would seek to wipe Northern Ireland from the map.
I often wonder if those who are pronouncing on the Belfast Agreement have actually read it.
For example, we are often told that the agreement does not allow a border – where does it say that in the agreement? Spoiler alert – it doesn’t.
The reality is of course is that we do have a border. We have a different currency, VAT regime, customs system and a different legal jurisdiction to give a few examples.
The border which the Americans allude to is the militarised border which was there as a result of the IRA campaign of terrorism.
The military border was there to stop Semtex not sausages and, as I have said many times before, the issues which arose after the UK left the EU could have been dealt with by alternative arrangements if there had been a will by the Irish Government and the EU, but there wasn’t.