Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

Migration reality is biting in Ireland

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Iwas trying to work out which event gave me a greater sense of euphoria and contentment – the fall of Humza Yousaf or the birth of my daughter – when suddenly the Irish got themselves into a most terrible paddy and easily eclipsed both for sheer, untrammelled glee.

This is turning into a very good year, although I daresay my permasmirk will be wiped clean towards the end of it. It is rare in politics for policies to have such an immediate effect that one can justifiably say: ‘See? Told you.’ But that is what has happened with the Rwanda stuff. Those who have argued that sending illegal asylum seekers to Rwanda is not a deterrent no longer have a leg to stand on. It is all the more piquant, of course, because the Irish have been clamouring for an open border with Northern Ireland since late June 2016 – so here it is, fill your boots.

The Scottish Greens said they would abide by the scientific evidence – while dissing the scientific evidence

Better still, the Irish courts recently decided that the UK is not a safe country to which asylum seekers might be dispatched, on the grounds that we will send them to Africa. So the Irish have been stitched up like a kipper by that most magnificent of things, reality.

In truth, they should be glad: all those migrants will now have a safe and welcoming place to live, rather than being subjected to the famous historic brutality of the Bruddish – that’s what you wanted, isn’t it? In all your rhetoric? Because the migrant crisis hardly impinged at all. It’s one thing bobbing about in a dinghy across 20 miles of the English Channel – the Irish Sea is a whole other caboodle.

If I were the British home secretary I think I’d open a new refugee-processing centre in somewhere like Crossmaglen, with very clear directions to the border, or possibly a shuttle bus. Suddenly, from the Republic, the virtue-signalling has fallen rather quiet and been replaced by xenophobia – towards us and the migrants. But then it is always difficult to grandstand if you are in a peat bog, metaphorically of course. You just sink under the weight of your own stupid hubris. This is an uppance which has been a long time coming and has provided the rest of us, over here, with copious amounts of craic.

By comparison, the SNP/Green business was just a belly-laugh, although it is worth making the point that exactly the same thing pricked that particular bubble, reality, with its big silver pin. Oh – and a conveniently held animus towards those awful people south of the border, the one strand of ideology which has kept the SNP in power for 15 years. As the Irish have long known, it is good to have someone nearby to blame. In alliance with the Greens, the Scottish govern-ment ventured ever further into the booby-hatch of the far left, never with much genuine support from the population (which is not so different from our population in its political inclinations – independence apart – when push comes to shove).

It is a government which now, towards the end of its life, should have been sectioned and held down with leather straps. Independence is a perfectly reasonable aspiration and I disagree with many in this neck of the woods who suspect it would bring about Scotland’s ruin: there is no reason why it should, in the long run.

No, it’s the rest of the stuff which was utterly untenable. The Scots might have put up with a health service almost as bad as that of Wales, but the self-flagellation of finishing cutting carbon emissions by three quarters inside six years was not just disastrous but almost an impossibility. Fantasy-land stuff. This was largely foisted upon them by the Greens, who still cleave to the idiotic notion, much as they cleave to the obnoxious and now thoroughly discredited transgender stuff they tried ramming down the throats of the Scottish people.

I want someone that I can believe in.

After the Cass Review came out, I heard several Scottish Greens asserting that they would always abide by the scientific evidence while at the same time dissing the scientific evidence. I suppose that given the failure of independence, the SNP needed to trawl around somewhere for a raison d’être and thought they had found it in right-on, progressive politics. They are beginning to see that this was a catastrophic mistake.

Do you remember the old Greens? Perhaps while they were still called the Ecology party and led by the schoolmasterish Jonathon Porritt? Or indeed those Greens who rather surprised the country by taking 2.3 million votes – more than 14 per cent – in the 1989 European parliament elections? In the minds of the people who voted for them – mostly the affluent middle-class – they were not the lefties we see today, even if by the turn of the 1990s that is very much the direction in which the party was heading.

People voted Green, in much larger numbers than they do now, because they believed the party put protecting the environment as its first concern and this struck a chord. The policies which people liked were what are now regarded by the Green ideologues as ‘soft-green’ – being nice to animals, cutting down on the pesticides and not paving over the entire country to shove up millions of Barratt homes. These seem to me eminently sensible policies which would commend themselves to an awful lot of voters, such as those who supported the CPRE before it turned woke.

When was it that the Greens decided that protecting the Earth required them to adopt the policies of identitarian idiocy and thus to lose a vast constituency of people who might have otherwise voted for them? The Greens now do best in our inner cities and have become a repository for the votes of people who think Labour has sold out. I voted for them once in the 1980s but would never do so now: they have swallowed an ideology which is essentially irrelevant to their own   and which makes the voters run a mile.