UPDATE: Boris Johnson is actually the Prime Minister of Great Britain now.
After Boris Johnson published his “plan for a better Brexit” in the Telegraph, rubbishing Theresa May’s Chequers plan ahead of the Tory Party conference, he was rounded by many for a lack of coherence and reality – especially when it comes to not letting the Northern Ireland peace process fall apart.
Northern Ireland-born Patrick Kielty schooled the ex Foreign Secretary in a simple lesson of recent Northern Irish history to explain why Johnson’s reckless plotting could tear the United Kingdom apart.
The TV host who lost his father in a shooting by Loyalist paramilitaries in 1988 explained the chaos that Johnson’s claims to simplify leaving the EU would cause is a series of simple tweets that have gone viral for their simple explanation of the situation.
“Dear Boris Johnson, There is no better Brexit when it comes to the Good Friday Agreement and Northern Ireland. As you still seem bamboozled by all this Paddywackery here’s a few pointers for your next stab in the dark,” tweeted the 47-year old comedian from County Down, Northern Ireland.
The TV comic proceeded to explain in 20 simple tweets the crisis that no Brexit plan has yet come up with a solution to:
“1. Northern Ireland is made up of a majority of Unionists (as in the Conservative and Unionist Party) and, believe it or not, a rather large minority of Nationalists (as in Irish Nationalists)
“2. These Irish Nationalists don’t see themselves as British but rather inconveniently as Irish (who knew?)
“3. For over 30 years we killed each other because of these differences which means Northern Ireland is nothing like Camden or Westminster.
“4. The Good Friday Agreement ended that violence by the following devious magic –
“Unionists were guaranteed that Northern Ireland would be part of the UK until the majority voted otherwise.
“The Irish was border was removed and the island linked so Nationalists could pretend they were already living in a United Ireland (yes, Tony Blair did slight of hand much better than you)
“5. Some of these Nationalists then accepted being part of the UK as their day to day lives were essentially Irish.
“6. This cunning plan was sold to us on the basis that we were all part of the EU therefore fixation on nationality was so last World War.
“7. Implementing the Good Friday Agreement was torturous (think Brexit with actual bombs, not metaphorical suicide vests) but we finally made peace. Yet 20 years later NI remains a divided society.
“8. Thanks to your glorious Brexit vision Northern Ireland will become more divided as some form of economic border checks will become part of daily lives.
“9. If those checks take place between NI and Ireland, the Nationalists who were once happy being part of the UK will change their mind.
“10. If they take place in the Irish Sea some Unionists will be livid. However they’ll still support being part of the UK (the clue is in the Unionist bit)
“11. Your Brexit lies have opened a Pandora’s box for Northern Ireland. It’s one reason why the majority of people in NI voted to remain in the EU (almost as if they knew more about the fragile equilibrium of their politics than you)
“12. Barely mentioned before Brexit, a border poll is now inevitable thanks to your monumental ignorance.
“13. When that poll is eventually held the Nationalists who were once content being part of a Northern Ireland within the UK and EU will vote to leave the UK to feel as Irish and European as they did before Brexit.
“14. The poll will be much closer thanks to your Brexit folly and could easily be lost by Unionists, breaking up the UK.
“15. Any break up of the Union will be your fault (a tad inconvenient as a member of the Conservative and er, Unionist party)
“16. The EU is not responsible for your blundering lack of foresight. Like most people in Northern Ireland they were happy with the status quo.
“17. By the time the penny drops that you can’t preserve the Union you want without the one you don’t, it will be too late.
“18. You will be remembered not as the Churchillian visionary you delude yourself to be but the ignoramus who triggered the break up of the UK.
“19. If there’s any justice all this will come to pass when you’re Prime Minister so you can finally swim in the constitutional sewage you’ve created (though we all know you’ll be in Nice with your trotters up)
“20. Meantime, if you’re so concerned about keeping Northern Ireland totally aligned with the rest of the UK where’s your support for our same sex marriage and women’s right to choose? Your silence is deafening.”
Patrick Kielty’s family are sadly well aware of the price of instability in Northern Ireland.
Patrick’s father John “Jack” Kielty was murdered on 25 January 1988 by gunmen after he was due to be a witness in a libel trial. The Cook Report, an investigative TV programme had accused James Pratt Craig, a commander in the Ulster Defence Association of racketeering, including extorting money from Kielty and others.