'Coyote' By Roddy Doyle- Chapter 5
2017-07-04 14:52:15 -
Immigration
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People, money and Ireland. The news came from Brussels: these would be the priorities in the divorce proceedings between Britain and the EU, the issues that would have to be resolved before negotiations on any future relationship could start.

The Coyote, back in Dublin, looked in his rearview mirror and saw the glee on the faces behind him in the taxi. He saw pride – and heard it too.

–Look at that – we’re third on the list.
The leaked details of a dinner in Downing Street delivered even more delight.
–I’ve never liked Juncker but he sure put Theresa May back in her box.
–Who’s Juncker?
–Your man – you know. The EU fella. He’s a cynical prick but he wiped the floor with Thatcher – sorry, May.
Then Theresa May accused EU officials in Brussels of trying to deliberately interfere in the British general election; they did not, she said, want Britain to prosper.
At the same time that May stood on Downing Street and made this accusation, the Coyote was back in Dermot Kelly’s kitchen. Kelly was a bachelor and everything he needed – except his bed and the toilet – was in the kitchen. The television was parked at the end of the kitchen table. He just had to move the salt and pepper to have the perfect picture.

They watched the news while they ate what Kelly called a South Armagh fry, which seemed to be five different types of bread, fried, and a slice of bacon.

–She says no deal is better than a bad deal, said Kelly. –Well, I’m betting they won’t even get as far as turning down a bad deal.
–You are right, said the Coyote.
–That’s encouraging, said Kelly. –No dissent in the team. One thing, though.
–Yes?
–You’ve been going on about Gibraltar.
–Yes.
–But there hasn’t been a mention of the place, said Kelly.
–No, the Coyote agreed. –But – .
–What?
–The tribe always needs an enemy.
–That sounds grand, said Kelly. –But what does it mean?
–I will make a prediction, said the Coyote.
–Good man, said Kelly. –How’s the grub, by the way?
–Delicious, the Coyote lied. –You wish to hear my prediction?
–Go on.
–Britain and Spain will go to war, said the Coyote.
–Ah now, said Kelly. –You’re pulling my fuckin’ leg now.
The Coyote lifted his knife and fork.
–My hands are otherwise occupied, he said. –I have no wish to pull your leg. But I have seen this happen. And so have you. Believe me. The tribe always needs an enemy.
He clicked his fingers.
–Overnight. The man who sat beside you in school becomes the man who comes to murder your family. I say it again and we must be ready. Britain and Spain will go to war.
And he was right.

On the 28th of January 2018, Britain declared war on Spain, half an hour before Spain intended declaring war on Britain. The first action of the newly crowned King William V was the break the news to the nation. (His father, Charles III, had died at Elizabeth II’s funeral two weeks earlier.) Britain was at war with Spain and, consequently, with France, Germany, Poland and the other members of the EU, including Ireland. Ireland was at war with itself, and the border at the bottom of Kelly’s field was now No Man’s Land.
What happened was this:

Old people had voted for Brexit. Theresa May understood this; she was one of them, herself. She had voted to remain – she said – but she’d had to fight the urge not to put her mark in the exit box. She had called the election in April 2017 because she wanted that vote – those votes, those old men who had loved the Falklands War, who could sometimes delude themselves that they were veterans of the Second World War, the men and women who remembered – or thought they remembered – a time before the EU, or the EEC, or the Common Market, or ‘bloody Europe’, when Britain ruled the waves, when British people all looked exactly the same, when British bananas could be any shape they wanted to be. When the Spanish knew their place – in bloody Spain – and were too afraid and hopeless to look sideways at Gibraltar, which was British.
Jingoism had worked for Trump and Farage. And it worked for May. Her tribe’s enemy was Europe and she swept to victory in June ’17. But Europe – the EU – was boring, too tricky and tedious to sustain the tribe’s hatred for the five years to the next election. An enemy was needed – a real one, with a face, a complexion, a language.
Spain.

The Coyote walked down to the border with Kelly.
–Soon, he said, –this will be a war zone and you will be a very wealthy man.
–Or a dead one, said Kelly, quite cheerfully.
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