The North & The South

Heard on Anderson Extra yesterday, 21 January 2012:

“Ireland is an island off the west of Britain, but Northern Ireland is just off the Mainland – not the Irish mainland, the British mainland. The capital of Ireland is Dublin. It has a population of 4 million people, all of whom will be shopping in Newry this afternoon. They travel to Newry because it is in the North, which is not part of Ireland but still pay in Euros.

Under the Irish Constitution the North used to be in Ireland, but a successful 30 year campaign of violence for Irish unity ensured that it is now definitely in the UK. Had the campaign lasted longer, the North might now be in France.

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. It has a population of half a million, half of whom have houses in Donegal. Donegal is in the north, but not the North. It is in the South – no, not the south, the South.

There are two parliaments in Ireland. The Dublin parliament is called the Dáil, pronounced doyle, an Irish word meaning a place where bankers receive Tax-payers’ money. The one in Belfast is called Stormont, an Anglo-Saxon word meaning placebo, or ‘deliberately ineffective drug’.

The respective jurisdictions are defined by The Border, an imaginary line on The Map to show fuel launderers where to dump chemical waste. Protestants are in favour of The Border, which generates millions of pounds in smuggling for Catholics who are opposed to The Border.

Travel between the two states is complicated because Ireland is the only country in the world to have two M1 motorways. The one in the North goes west to avoid the South and the one in the South goes north to get to the shops.

We have two types of democracy in Ireland. Dublin democracy works by holding a referendum and then allowing the Government to judge the result; if the Government thinks the result was wrong, the referendum is held again. Twice in recent years the Government decided the people’s choice was wrong and ordered another referendum. Belfast democracy works differently: it has a parliament with no opposition, so the Government is always right. This system generates envy in many world capitals, especially in Dublin.

Ireland has three economies: Northern, Southern and Black. Only the Black economy is in the black, the other two are in the red!

We in the North West are used to rapid transit: why some days we can get to Belfast from Derry by train in under three hours. The Japanese look upon us with something approaching awe, but not all our citizens welcome the bullet train.”