Could rejoining the UK be any worse than this?
This being a largely frivolous column, we won’t dwell on the awful story that is eating up the airwaves, but, suffice to say, it doesn’t feel like a great week to be Irish.
With some justification, we have been characterised as gap-toothed half-wits whose gender politics are still stranded somewhere south of the second ice age. Those proverbial indigenous Arctic folk who abandon the elderly on ice floes seem positively civilised by comparison. I can understand why we’re being demonised. Heck, I’m demonising us.
While the international opprobrium was brewing, your correspondent was spending time at the Corona Cork Film Festival. That event is known for its promotion of short movies and, this year, it screened a very amusing, drily satirical film entitled A Kingdom Once Again. Andrew Legge’s picture lays out the wretched state of the nation and concludes (with its tongue firmly in its cheek) that the solution is to rejoin the United Kingdom. Now, there’s a thought.
It’s not such a radical idea. A one-time columnist for The Irish Times (now pontificating in another place) used to regularly make the case for re-entering the Commonwealth. If that organisation is good enough for former colonies such as India, Australia and Papua New Guinea then it’s good enough for us. After all, the Australians can’t stand the English, but they stubbornly refuse to disengage from a coalition comprising the nation’s former slave states.
Why stop there? Let’s wheel out the union flag and embrace full UK citizenship. There is precedent for such a move. In one of the less well publicised sideshows of the recent US election, the citizens of Puerto Rico voted to request full US statehood. What a weird new world. It’s as if Moctezuma II sent Hernán Cortés an invitation to invade. It’s time we got on board with the craze for colonisation.
Jedward for governor general
As Legge points out, we could end up with a proper national health service, policemen in amusing hats and – in the capital anyway – an efficient underground railway. The film-maker proposes Enda Kenny for the post of governor general. But we can almost certainly do better than that. Our new compatriots across the water voted repeatedly for Jedward and we know the boys enjoy wearing gold braid. Make it happen.
Think how less confusing life would become. Nobody would shout at Rory McIlroy for choosing the wrong squad at the Olympics. Men in berets and dark glasses have, for decades, been agitating for the annihilation of the Border. What simpler way of achieving that feat than expanding the most westerly constituent nation of the United Kingdom back to its original size?