Business Insider reminds its readers of Boris Johnson’s incredible plan to physically unite Scotland and Northern Ireland by building a 22-mile bridge between them. The article bears the title: “Boris Johnson takes the construction of a £ 20 billion bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland very seriously, which an engineer described as” as feasible as building a bridge to the moon. “

Here is today’s 3D definition:


A physical structure whose material reality is often less important than its symbolic value.

Contextual note

Until January 31 of this year, there was a tunnel linking Britain
towards the continent and a powerful bridge (metaphorical) called the European
Union. Now the tunnel is everything that connects England and Europe. Johnson’s
engineers are working hard to dismantle that symbolic bridge, which may explain
why Boris feels that the kingdom still united needs a new physical bridge: a
Symbol to replace a symbol. That experts believe to build and maintain it
operation may be impossible does not change the fact that Boris needs it
Because of its symbolism.

The last prime minister of Great Britain, who has so often juggled the
the truth, it should probably take a more serious form of juggling. Its past
Opportunistic decisions and promises have put him in his current position. The
now he is forced to coordinate the trajectories of several objects
which has sent flying through the air in random directions while proclaiming
to the outside world that he has total control.

At the moment, the movie is in slow motion, and we can only see the initial moments. This allows today’s viewers to admire the dangerous positions of the various objects and wonder how the master juggler will achieve the trick of maintaining the movement without any of the objects crashing against the floor.

A fixed camera that could look behind the public mask could show us that
the permanent schoolboy smile of the juggler has become a grimace of
concern. At the moment, only two months after his triumphant election, things
It hasn’t gone as well as Boris had planned. He is discovering a sea of
Trouble and an ocean of worry. Europe is still not convinced that the two
the parties may reach a definitive commercial agreement at the end of
year, and Europeans are willing to prolong it. And now its Atlantic
The strategy is in the air.

On the European front, always confident in his expert juggling ability
Boris has imposed an absolute deadline. Your insistence on getting Brexit
Fact opens the door to the great unknown. Europe be condemned. Johnson has hinted
that the problem will be solved at least partially through a quick negotiation
trade agreement with his dear friend at the head of the United States, Donald Trump.
Together, the two had devised a plan to leave the European Union.
standing on the sidelines

Unfortunately, Boris Johnson’s soulmate relationship with The Donald has
He found a serious obstacle. As Brexit itself was a kind of declaration of
independence, Johnson was shrewd enough to realize that to please his constituents
and being consistent with his values, at least he had to keep the illusion
of independence by demonstrating that he could play hard with the United States, just like him
He has been playing hard with Europe.

He thought he had found a symbolic way to do it when, in the face
of the United States objections to the purchase of Chinese technology by Britain, offered
commitment making only a partial deal with Trump’s arch nemesis, Huawei.
(Actually, Trump has many other arch nemesis, but China is clearly the most archaic,
if only for its size and power).

Trump reacted immediately, feeling that Boris was taking the symbolism too far when Johnson ignored his pleas and threats and promised to sign a modified agreement with Huawei. But even reduced to a partial commitment that claimed to avoid all security risks was not enough to satisfy Trump. Donald believes that China’s technological advances, powerfully funded and well organized, are a threat to the US primacy in the field. Trump insists that any friend or business partner of his must commit to an absolute boycott.

Johnson bravely stood firm, citing the interests of the British people and the economy. But Trump would not have it. Business Insider reports that “President Donald Trump reportedly expressed his fury with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a” apoplectic “phone call last week. By counteracting the will of his close friend Donald Trump and allowing China’s telecommunications giant Huawei to provide 5G infrastructure for the United Kingdom, Johnson is now isolated from the privileged state of being the first to make a commercial deal with States United before Europe.

So, now, without a lifeguard for Europe, does Johnson have to choose between Trump and Xi Jinping? The good news for Johnson and the bad news for Trump is that Germany and the rest of Europe are not only defending Johnson, but they are making the radical decision to openly challenge Trump, something they have failed to do in the past. Business Insider now informs us not only that “the German government is also preparing to rule out a Huawei ban,” but also that “other European leaders are ready to follow suit and challenge Trump after the president failed to comply with his threats to the United Kingdom. ”

Irony should not escape anyone. Europe is showing its solidarity with the man who canceled the solidarity of the United Kingdom with Europe. Still, that leaves Johnson with a closed door on the other side of the Canal and now, at least for the moment, a door slammed on the other side of the Atlantic. At least Canada is still in the Commonwealth.

But Johnson is aware that there is an even bigger problem in perspective: the permanence of the United Kingdom. For at least two good reasons, you run the risk of breaking up quickly. Northern Ireland is in limbo. You could compare it metaphorically with the “hanging chad” in the notorious Florida presidential elections of 2000. We don’t know if Ulster belongs to Europe, Britain or both. And Scotland seems ready to declare its candidacy for European status as an independent nation as soon as the Brexit transition period ends. Johnson wants to link Scotland and Northern Ireland with a bridge, a bridge in the United Kingdom designed to function as the knot that firmly holds the northern Celtic lands linked to England.

If the spectrum of disunity looming over Johnson’s head looks more like a Damocles sword than a Floridian chad, it becomes easier to explain the prime minister’s obsession to build a bridge that many will be tempted to call ” Johnson’s madness. ” The bridge, if it existed, would clearly have a positive economic impact on the Scottish and Irish sides of the north in a new United Kingdom. But juggling a 22-mile bridge with the left hand and Donald Trump with the right, while Europe is in front of making fun of the juggler in his face, and Scotland cries out for liberation, can end up disturbing the sense of balance and rhythm even From a star artist. as Boris Johnson

Historic note

Bridges are great symbols. Because people perceive them not only as useful means to overcome natural obstacles such as rivers or chasms, but also as symbols of a strong connection, the misuse of bridges can lead to disastrous results. If the damage is only symbolic, most people will not complain too directly, even if it causes suffering, as Brexit is more likely to do. But if a bridge becomes a public symbol of the madness of the designer or promoter, it can destroy that person’s reputation.

In many places throughout history, there have been “bridges to nowhere”, constructions that never made sense or could not be completed. As a website dedicated to these bridges informs us, “Bridges to nowhere are international monuments of failure.” Will this be the destination of the Boris Johnson bridge?

The British have had fun projects for bridges, none more fun than the maintenance project for a royal bridge, the Menai Bridge in Wales, mentioned in “The Song of the White Knight” by Lewis Carroll. Carroll wrote the song in “Through the Looking Glass” as a parody of William Wordsworth’s poem, “Resolution and Independence.” In it, Wordsworth describes his encounter with a poor collector of leeches in a desolate wasteland in the Lake District of England. Hit by the miserable condition of man, the poet asks him: “What occupation does he pursue there?”

In Carroll’s parody, the poet asks a similar question but then explains
why he, as the wandering poet of Wordsworth, was so distracted by his own thoughts
who paid no attention to what the old man said:

“Then I heard it, because I had just

Completed my design

To prevent oxidation of the Menai bridge

When boiled in wine.

Experts seem to think that the White Knight’s solution for the
The maintenance of the Menai bridge is at least as realistic as Johnson’s plan
Build a bridge over the Irish Sea. Although it lacks a strong symbolism,
Carroll would certainly be less expensive, unless the British were required
to pay heavy taxes on imported French wine.

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