Fences Make Good Neighbours

‘The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.’

So said Barack Obama at a speech in Berlin today.

Speaking in a continent which has spent the last fifty years erasing borders, motivated by the ideal of avoiding war and the more mundane task of easing trade, its a powerful message.

Around the same time Obama spoke in Berlin, the British and Irish governments announced in an innocuous looking statement that they had ‘agreed a range of joint and national measures specifically to strengthen our Common Travel Area.’

These included ‘state of the art border technology’ and ‘electronic border management systems so we can count people in and out of the country, and identify those people who may be of interest to our law enforcement authorities.’

The Press Association account was less obtuse. ‘The first formal border checks between Britain and Ireland in more than 80 years have been proposed by the two governments,’ it reported.

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.