God, we needed that.
For so many reasons we needed to beat New Zealand but not least, may I submit, as an antidote to all this Brexit bullshit we’ve been enduring for what seems like the last fifty years.
We needed our boys to make a statement on that field at Lansdowne Road — I will never use the A-word when referring to that place — and by Jesus they stood up and gave the world a big, loud message.
It’s over. We’re no longer satisfied with being second. We’re here and it’s time to get used to us.
Oddly, this is the same message we’ve sent out in regard to Brexit, to the utter incomprehension of the smug, superior Tory toffs who have been goading Britain over the cliff edge for the last two years. How ironic that this is the centenary of the bloodbath when the Brexiteers’ antecedents goaded poor British people over the walls of the trenches in France and Belgium to be slaughtered.
Our message to them? Precisely the same: We’re here, it’s time to get used to us and no, we don’t do what you tell us. Ireland’s victory in rugby demonstrates a different kind of independence. A new, self-confident freedom that doesn’t rely on anyone else to define it and that doesn’t exist in opposition to anything.
New Zealand’s captain, Kieran Read, to his credit, came straight out after the game and said “They were better than us”. No bullshit. No messing around. Just a straight acknowledgement that a superior opponent prevailed on the day.
Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nigel Fromage, the cheesy con-man of Europe, on the other hand, trapped in a centuries-old bubble of incomprehension, aren’t quite able to process the ugly fact that the annoying neighbours refuse to do as they’re told, no matter how plummy the vowels one adopts.
Can you believe that Nadine Dorries (MP!!!) is today complaining that Theresa May’s deal with the EU means Britain will no longer have any MEPs or EU commissioners?
That is the level of stupidity that exists within the British governing party.
Imagine leaving the EU and having no MEPs. Who’d have guessed? That is the level of crass ignorance we have to endure every day in this country when we listen to the ruling party of our nearest neighbours and that is something we have finally decided to stop engaging with.
We have decided to move on, be the adults in the room and let the toddlers at the other end of the playschool slap each other. Let the parents take over. They’re not our problem.
Yes, they’ll leave a mess, but we’ve cleaned up messes before and we’ll get this place nice and tidy too, when the playschool management decide enough is enough and they’re no longer prepared to put up with ill-mannered brats.
There’s too much talk these days about existential issues. When I was a lad, existentialism was all about trying to look moody and interesting while reading French authors you didn’t really understand or enjoy. But these days, everyone likes to warn us about existential crises and I don’t like it. An existential crisis should involve being unshaven, wearing a vest and smoking a Gauloise. It should not be about countries collapsing.
Let me make a prediction, which as everyone knows, will probably be wrong, but why break the habit of a lifetime?
I predict that even if the Tories completely fuck up Brexit and crash out of the EU, we here in Ireland will be just fine after a bit of a bumpy ride.
Britain will try, disastrously, to trade on WTO rules, the only country in the world to do so.
They’ll quickly run out of Mars bars and mushy peas.
Spain will send all their train robbers back home.
Provence will eject all their authors manqué.
And then, after a few months of food riots, they’ll apply to rejoin an EU they didn’t understand in the first place, even though it was their idea.
They’ll be refused of course but we’ll welcome them into the new Irish Commonwealth, as long as they accept our rules. And they’ll have to wear a green shirt when they play New Zealand.
We’re decent like that.