There was great excitement on The Pat Kenny Show on RTE Radio 1 this morning (20 May 2013) when security analyst, Tom Clonan, came on to tell Pat what we can expect for the forthcoming G8 Summit in Fermanagh. This, said Tom, was a fantastic opportunity to ‘showcase’ Northern Ireland to the world! Yes indeed. Northern Ireland, land of dissident golfers, flag protestors, horsemeat processing and world-leading centre for excellence in evicting the elderly from the their homes. Oh…and Coleraine cheese. Now, the people of North have a lot of experience of being locked out of their own countryside – look at the new golf resort development planned in place of the Causeway Coast World Heritage site. But the G8 are taking it to a new level altogether. Consider the following measures, for example.
To secure the beautiful Fermanagh Lakelands for our global masters in June, the British government are moving the local population cross-country to the Maze Prison site (Arbeit Macht Frei!) and drafting in over 2000 security and intelligence personnel, some of them presently deployed foiling the evil Taleban in Afghanistan and all manner of terrorists and defenceless civilians in Iraq. After all, we know what a good job they’ve been doing in those theatres to date.
Due to the fact that every hotel and hostelry in Fermanagh will be booked up by the security entourages of the Americans, Russians, French, Chinese and Michelle Obama, these extra spooks from MI5 and other British intelligence services will be provided by so-called ‘snooze boxes’. These are basically high-spec storage containers with all the mod cons and keyless entry. Presumably, this will involve biometric technology by which a Northern Ireland accent or stare would trigger an all-out code-red alert and shut the whole county down. But if you come from Northern Ireland and you’ve ever had weird conversations with call-centre personnel based in England, you will understand that such precautions are totally unnecessary.
Apparently, and I am unable to independently verify this information, elite units of MI5 have been trained in the jungles of Borneo, using chickens and pythons, to distinguish between a Fermanagh farmer and a dissident republican. I bet Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, will be looking for more cuts to health and social services to pay for that kind of training! It doesn’t come cheap, you know, and we should be grateful to Sammy and the NI Executive for continuing the fight against terrorism and evil.
What I understand to be more definite though, at least according to Tom Clonan, is that the British government is preparing a special order that mobile phone companies shut down their networks for the duration of the summit. This is to prevent terrorists using mobile phone technology to remotely detonate whatever bombs they plan to hide in the vicinity of our defenceless masters (What? There’s a terrorist SIM card now?). So we can only hope that if we have an emergency during the Summit, we can find a telephone box. But again, this seems a very extreme measure when all they need to do is shift us all onto the Orange network.
Pat Kenny was very excited by all this but rather taken aback to hear that the Irish government would be obliged to secure its side of the border and pay for it all itself without any financial support from the G8. As Clonan pointed out, though, that’s because Ireland is a EU country and, after all, Pat, we’re all in this together.
Speak for yourself, Tom! Count me out!