“for as long as it is needed..”

As that meeting begins in Downing St, time to look back at yesterday. Máirtín thought it a “good speech in the round”, and picks up on the proverb noted by Mick, while WorldbyStorm suggests “Not much chuckling for the future then..” but, as well as the reference to vetos, “a safeguard, for as long as it is needed”, what struck me was the comparison between the new Northern Ireland First Minister’s speech’s references to “the people of Northern Ireland” and the deputy First Minister’s division of those people into “the planter and the gael”.[see below the fold] We’ve discussed identity before.. It was left to the leaders of other parties to provide the overt criticism. [also below the fold] Here’s part of Peter Robinson’s speech.
And a comparable part of Martin McGuinness’

UUP leader Reg Empey,

And SDLP’s Mark Durkan.

Adds It’s worthwhile including the quote from the deputy First Minister’s speech

In a speech in the United States in 2006, the new First Minister made the following remarks;

‘I hope that the sons and daughters of the Planter and Gael have found a way to share the land of their birth and live together in peace.’

I share that hope and as joint First Ministers, the new First Minister and I, as the leaders of the Planter and the Gael, are charged with the responsibility to lead the way on behalf of the Executive. [added emphasis]

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  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Day 1: Life ambition achieved for Robbo: Excellent speech – statesmanlike and reasonable with praise from Nationalists and to cap it all an awful speech from Reg sounding like DUP 5 years ago.

    A new era for Unionism under DUP?

    Day 2: Reality: Irish govenrment turn up at Gordo’s/SF’s invite for discussions on Non Iron’s ‘internal’ affairs and Robbo is outside Downing St Ten(t) pissing in again. Quareone launches verbal attack on gays after one of their number is assaulted and left for dead.

    No. Same old Unionism.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    if P and J difficulties were just an internal matter for SF and their Ard Fheis (as you suggested very many times) how come all these other people (including the 2 governments) turned up for STA implementation talks?

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “First Minister’s speech’s references to “the people of Northern Ireland” and the deputy First Minister’s division of those people into “the planter and the gael””

    Pete, McGuinness quoted Robinson’s use of Planter and Gael language in the USA and endorsed it; he also referred to (the island of) Ireland as the context for his remarks.

  • http://ulstersdoomed.blogspot.com Horseman

    I wasn’t fully convinced of Peter Robinson’s bona fides with respect to the use of vetoes. He said something like “the DUP has used them, but only as a safeguard for the interests of everyone” (that from memory, and somewhat paraphrased).

    But it’s quite clear that the ‘veto’ against the ILA was not in everyone’s best interests. Maybe he didn’t mean the ILA since it was a simple refusal to propose, rather than a veto, but I think the principle is the same.

    What precisely is he ‘safeguarding ‘everyone’ from? And are speakers, users, and supporters of Irish not part of ‘everyone’?

    Maybe the next few days will clarify his position on this.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    Did someone pull a stroke on Robbo? Why is Micheál missing from the family photo?

    “Mr Robinson said he had not been aware that an Irish government representative would be at the talks.

    “As these are internal Northern Ireland matters, I will be dealing with the British prime minister and the deputy first minister,” he said.” BBC

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    As P & J is not (yet) devolved Robinson is, er, wrong.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    Robbo/Unionists define a matter as internal to Non Iron on the basis of it being a strand 2 matter – he is therfore, er, correct – using this definition.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    strand 1?

  • http://ulstersdoomed.blogspot.com Horseman

    Peter Robinson’s new commitment to building a better Northern Ireland could start at home … !


    Iris Robinson, chair of the Stormont health committee, said on BBC Radio Ulster’s Nolan Show on Friday, that ‘with help, gay people could be “turned around’.

    She said she would defend her right to express religious beliefs, while also condemning violence against the gay community.

    I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices and his Christian background is that he tries to help homosexuals – trying to turn away from what they are engaged in,” she said.

    I’m happy to put any homosexual in touch with this gentleman and I have met people who have turned around and become heterosexuals.”

    In a statement the Royal College of Psychiatry said that homosexuality was not a psychiatrict disorder.

    Maybe someone should ask the Royal College of Psychiatry if raving intolerance is a pychiatric disorder!

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    Horseman, here’s the Robinson quote:

    n the last few weeks there has been much talk of how the DUP has exercised the veto it negotiated at St Andrews. Yes, we have exercised our veto and we have not been alone in doing that. But applying a veto is not an indication of strength or success. It is simply an indication of a failure to agree.

    Let me make it clear I did not negotiate these changes as a weapon to be used against other parties, but as a safeguard, for as long as it is needed, of the interests of everyone in Northern Ireland.

    Can we take it that the FM will not be promoting partisan issues?

  • kensei


    Can we take it that the FM will not be promoting partisan issues?

    No, we can take it he was lying through his teeth.

  • Ian


    “Can we take it that the FM will not be promoting partisan issues?”

    With the marching season a matter of weeks away, that would be a very foolish assumption to make…

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Can we take it that the FM will not be promoting partisan issues?”

    It is technically impossible to serve people who have diametrically opposed opinions on the very issue they deem the most important – the national issue – without “promoting partisan issues”. This applies just as much to Nationalists as it does to Unionists.

    The minute they start trying to they will end up in the Aliance party with very few willing to vote for them.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    Sammy McN, perhaps I should have expanded. P & J policy and day-to-day decisions in NI have been jointly processed by London and Dublin officials since 1985. Perhaps it’s time Robinson played catch-up.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    Sammy, Robinson claims that he was, is and will be safeguarding the interests of everyone in NI, not just his ‘select’.

  • http://ulstersdoomed.blogspot.com Horseman


    What is not clear, however, is Robinson’s interpretation of the word ‘everyone’.

    There are almost no conceivable policies that can benefit ‘everyone’, so all policymakers have to chose who will win, and who will lose. If Robinson decides to make these decisions on the basis of the ‘greater number’, then we’re back to square one.

    Some decisions have to be taken that benefit a minority only – in some cases a tiny minority. Things like laws against racial discrimination, or in favour of gay rights. On the latter, he needs to law down the law at home!

  • slug

    “There are almost no conceivable policies that can benefit ‘everyone’”

    Economic development.

  • http://ulstersdoomed.blogspot.com Horseman


    ‘Economic development’ is a bit vague. If you mean building a factory fust over my garden fence then I lose out. The Chinese went hell-for-leather for ‘economic development and now live in a toxic country. There are always losers as well as winners.

  • Bob Wilson

    Iris Robinson
    ‘I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices’

    Keep up with the therapy love!

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    Bob, I understood from her explanation on the Nolan show that he wasn’t there in his professional role as a psychiatrist.

  • joeCanuck

    Iris Robinson may be able to turn a few DUP heads as she waltzes by but I doubt her ability to turn gays. What an attitude in these days – these people (gays) are sick and need to be treated. Geez.