Tim McGarry: For advice on the benefits of Brexit, just ask the Shinners

Dear readers,

By Tim McGarry
Thursday, 26th August 2021, 12:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th August 2021, 12:19 pm
Tim McGarry, who writes a column for the News Letter every other Thursday
Tim McGarry, who writes a column for the News Letter every other Thursday

Be honest, until this week, could any of you name a single UK trade ambassador?

Apart from, well, you know who ... but we don’t like to mention Prince Andrew any more.

It was announced on Monday that Sir Ian Botham was going to “bat for Britain” as trade ambassador for Australia.

The notion that Ian Botham is qualified to be aw trade ambassador is hilarious

And Kate Hoey would do the same for Ghana.

The notion that Botham and Hoey are even vaguely qualified to be trade ambassadors seems hilarious, until you remember that this is a government which has Gavin Williamson in it.

And Michael Gove.

Whatever happened to the Govester by the way?

The trade ambassador appointments seem absurd, until you remember that this government has Gavin Williamson in it

Is he driving a HGV somewhere or picking fruit in Kent in a dismal attempt to prove that leaving the EU has been a fantastic success?

Gove is like the INLA — you don’t see him for ages and happily forget he exists and then he suddenly re-appears and you think “Oh God is he still about? Was he not decommissioned years ago?”

It then came as a shock to find out that our very own Sir Jeffrey Donaldson had been awarded one of these posts and is now trade ambassador to Cameroon.

Congratulations to Jeffrey but it does beg the question.

Michael Gove. Is the Govester driving a HGV somewhere or picking fruit in Kent to prove that leaving the EU has been a success?

Is being the DUP leader just a gig economy job?

Is Jeffrey actually on a zero hours contract?

Apparently he was already a trade ambassador to Egypt.

Who knew?

The INLA has been described as the Andrew Ridgeley of Irish republicanism. Ridgeley, right, was the fella in Wham beside George Michael

Anyone in Egypt?

These countries seem rather random.

What is Sir Jeffrey’s connection to Cameroon?

Has he twinned Lisburn with Yaounde?

Or is he going to Cameroon simply because he heard that over there you can actually get a Nando’s and a milkshake in McDonalds?

I am not for a moment suggesting that these ambassador gigs are meaningless sinecures handed out to loyal Brexiteers but when Sir Jeffrey Donaldson got Cameroon the immediate reaction from the people of Ulster was “surely Ian Paisley must get the Maldives and Sri Lanka”.

I have spoken to Uncle Andy and he has kindly offered to do the Bahamas.

Of course we only seem to need these trade ambassadors because we have successfully cut ourselves off from the EU.

Good old Brexit.

It really is going swimmingly.

The government recently created a job for an “independent advisor” to tell us about all the “benefits of Brexit”.

And every Sinn Feiner, like excited schoolchildren, leapt out of their chairs, stuck their arms up in the air and screamed at the teacher “Pick me! Pick me!”

Finding a Brexiteer who will tell you how well Brexit is going is like finding a taxi in Belfast after 11 o clock at night.

I believe that Brexit was the stupidest thing any nation has done to itself since the Trojans thought that that large wooden horse would look great in the middle of the city.

Brexit was like a man deliberately sawing off his legs with a rusty knife because he thought he would be quite good at wheelchair basketball. But now instead of winning a gold at the Paralympics he’s had his disability benefits cut by the Tories.

We were promised sunlit uplands and global Britain.

Global Britain now has all the authority and gravitas of Ronald McDonald at a clown convention.

Hence the UK’s pathetic reaction to events in Afghanistan.

Dominic Raab was on holiday and didn’t want to make any calls in case he incurred roaming charges. And Boris was reduced to pleading with the Taliban to please be nice to women.

He tried to sound tough but Boris threatening the Taliban is like me threatening Conor McGregor.

I’ll bet the Taliban are quaking in their sandals.

The whole thing has been a disaster for Boris.

Mainly because it’s a crisis where he can’t hand his mates billions of pounds in contracts.

The UK has offered to take 20,000 Afghan refugees.

Some people say the UK is already ‘full’.

It’s not.

And the good news is that the refugees will have plenty of space to sleep — on our empty supermarket shelves.

INLA is Andrew Ridgeley of Irish republicanism

In Seamus O’Reilly’s highly acclaimed book ‘Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?” he brilliantly describes the INLA as “very much the Andrew Ridgeley of Republicanism”.

(Younger readers — Ridgeley was the fella in Wham beside George Michael.)

Well, like a bad 1980s band, the Irish National Liberation Army made a very unwelcome comeback this week.

A lot of people were understandably upset.

The PSNI chief constable spent another few days banging his head off his desk and mumbling “why did I come here?”

To be honest I do not think that the INLA show of strength was an actual show of strength but rather it was an embarrassing display of pathetic impotence.

I am not minimising their poisonous malignancy but let us face it — the Irish National Liberation Army is neither national nor an army and the main liberation they are interested in is the freedom to deal drugs.

If the INLA are going to ‘free Ireland’ they are clearly going to do it one kneecap at a time.

Between the INLA and the Wolfe Tones at Feile, republicans have been doing a superb job of persuading unionists of the benefits of staying in the Union.

I am not a public relations expert but if I was running a campaign to entice unionists in to a shiny new and united Ireland I probably would not go with the slogan: ‘Oooh ah, up the Ra!’

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