• Morgan Fagg

A pfennig for his thoughts

How can the Irish president accept the US ambassador’s credentials and how can he not?

Comments made recently by Edward F Crawford have me questioning the diplomatic cost of the Trump administration as Crawford is set to become the next American Ambassador to Ireland.

What value will he bring to the table? I know little about Edward F Crawford other than the fact that he is an 81-years-old billionaire businessman who wants to be the American Ambassador to Ireland but listening to him answering questions about Brexit quickly tells me that he is not-the-full-shilling.

Maybe I am being too hard on Ambassador Crawford but it is quite a telling statement about his understanding of Ireland, Brexit and Europe that he thinks "The currencies are changing all around Europe, Brexit has put pressure on this situation." He continued to say that, "if confirmed he will support the current laws around it as it stands."

Nothing in that statement makes any sense.

What is he talking about?

Everyone knows that Europe uses Euros in many European countries and has done so since 2001.

Brexit means Brexit and could effect everything from logistics to legislation, agriculture, the aviation industry in Europe, tourism, nuclear arrangements, health and safety, sharing of security information, immigrant rights, human rights, education, R&D etc etc. Nobody knows how Brexit will effect us and there are no existing laws relating to Brexit, that I know of.

The only thing not effected by Brexit is the currencies people use. Ireland which is a small island on the peripheral of Europe, should the Ambassador wish to learn a little about the old country has two currencies, The Euro in the Republic and Pound Sterling in the North. That is not changing.

There are no plans to change the currencies before or after Brexit. What change is he talking about?

If a hard border is created than the island of Ireland could see severe disruptions such as British soldiers armed with machine guns manning checkpoints that criss-cross the Northern part of the island. This could have serious repercussions for Irish farmers who sell livestock to meat processing plants in Northern Ireland and then later buy packaged food from Northern Ireland; as they might have to pay more when England exits Europe. The picture above demonstrates the complicated path of a chicken bred in Ireland, processed in Northern Ireland and sold in Euros in Ireland. The currency they use will not change even if the rates could fluctuate if the Pound drops in value or rises dramatically.

You can bet your bottom dollar that Brexit will be costly but I don't think it should effect "The currencies." Besides everyone knows that most Irish people prefer to barter or use traditional Leprechaun gold and not the more modern Punt or Euro. I really don't think this guy is the full shilling.

I am sure the Ambassador is worth his-weight-in-gold but will he be able to cash-in on his experience when information is the currency most embassies trade in?

US Senators might be happy to question this amadán but another Senator from Ireland is probably turning in his grave. Nobel Prize winner WB Yeats helped to create Irish coins with animals on one side of the coin and from 1976-1993 he even appeared on the £20 note.

Crawford was born in WB Yeats's time but Romantic Ireland is dead and gone, we have moved on, we trade in Euros with our European neighbours and have done so for the last two decades.

Brexit is on the horizon and I wonder what two-cents this man can offer to Ireland other than making sure Donald Trump's golf course is well maintained and that he enjoys his retirement as Ambassador to Ireland.

Judging by the value of his contribution in the US Senate hearing, he probably paid a pretty penny for the honour too.

The Buck stops where?

Let me point out again that, the currencies all around Europe are not changing and Brexit will not effect this to anyone's knowledge and nobody cares if he sides on the current laws or not. When the penny drops, people might find that he has more money than cents, sorry sense.

Crawford's parents emigrated from Cork but I'm guessing there is zero chance of him telling his boss to put a cork in it when it comes to attacking immigrants.

President Higgins I believe is an Adjunct Professor at the Irish Centre for Human Rights so how will the Irish President receive this man's credentials when the Irish President himself has been a visiting Adjunct Professor to American Universities and at least knows the lay of the land there.

Will he educate his new neighbour when the Ambassador moves in? Will Crawford go back to night school with his next door neighbour Prof Higgins explaining the currency used in Ireland and Europe?

Will he explain Europe to a man who wouldn't know what change to use if he was taking a bus in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany or Ireland?

I wonder how Mr Crawford feels about the Berlin Wall. Which side of the fence does he stand on?

His answer sounds as alien to me as if an Irish ambassador had told Americans that he believed Ireland should help the US to capture Bin Laden or help Charles Lindbergh to find his baby.

This of course is where it becomes difficult to reject a businessman's credentials when he says, "I'm not a diplomat," as rejecting Crawford means that Trump can reject or expel future ambassadors or nuke the island altogether if he so wishes.

President Higgins might have protested the arrival of President Reagan in Ireland when he was younger but he knows that people need to bow to Donald Trump who has the diplomacy of a toddler and is known for hiring "the very best people". Some who have retired, resigned, been fired or even arrested in the time it has taken Trump to get around to appointing an Ambassador to Ireland.

This is the true value of a rich businessman with no political experience. He is better than nothing.

FINAL NOTE: WB Yeats's words and wisdom are still of value to Irish culture and even the €7.99 postage for this banknote for sale on e-bay is probably worth more than Ambassador Crawford's post.

I feel so short changed and wonder if Trump just wanted someone who looked like a leprechaun.

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