Did I read somewhere that Kate Hoey was in a snit because somebody kept referring to ‘Britain’ when they should have been referring to ‘the UK’, the reason being that to say ‘Britain’ would be to leave Northern Ireland out, even though as we all know, we're all British here. Although though a good number are Irish. As well. I hope you’re keeping up with me.
If Kate said nothing of the sort, a thousand apologies Kate, these days when I don’t take the tablets you’ve no idea the things I start imagining. But this particular idea-thing seemed to have the ring of possibility, since the people living in the island next door do have a tendency to leave out NI when talking about Britain. I’m sure they don’t mean to hurt sensitive feelings on our side of the water, any more than, when there’s a Northern Ireland topic under debate in the House of Commons, those who speak sounds as though they’re addressing each other from the bottom of a well, such is the echo produced by practically nobody being present in the chamber. Those British MPs don’t want to wound those of us British separated from them by the Irish Sea, they just, um, well, it’s boring, innit, those Irish, that’s to say British over in Ulster.
Did I say Ulster? I shouldn’t have said that, should I? Unionist politicians, or a section of them, have a copyright on that word, which they use when they really mean Northern Ireland. So if Kate DID say that about Britain/UK, maybe now she knows how those twisted nationalists in the north of Ireland feel when unionist politicians blithely ignore the existence of three of Ulster’s nine counties.
But hey, we’re talking about Britain here, aren’t we? All of us in NI are British citizens, with all the rights and privileges and joys that go with that, right? Which is why I got such a shock when I was over in London today (no, not Londonderry – I’m talking about the capital of my country), I tried to buy coffee and some buns in Knightsbridge.
When I flashed a Northern Bank £20 they said ah no, we don’t take those, sir, we only take sterling. Eh? I said. But sure this is sterling. Ah no, I’m afraid we can’t take it. What you say may be true, sir, but it’s not the kind of sterling we recognise or take in this part of the world, no offence, of course, chuckle, chuckle, yes indeed, of course we take debit card, that’ll be lovely.
Maybe I should send Kate to have a talk with them. I mean, what’s the point in us being loyal subjects and putting up arches and beating drums until our fists bleed, if they won’t even take our money?