Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Marty’s new bestest friend – the Secretary of State!

Mon 7 February 2011, 12:45pm

This is an excerpt from Hearts and Minds [about 27 mins in] Thursday night where Owen Patterson was being asked to hypothesise about the election results in May [school error to start off with there].

Noel ‘so the election of Martin McGuiness as First Minister should make no difference [to Unionists]; it wouldn’t be in any way in your view a set back?’

Secretary of State ‘Well I think it would be an extraordinary endorsement of the progress that has been made here and I think we should celebrate the fact that everybody here wants to vote’

Anyway after being asked directly about the election of MM as First Minister the Secretary of State seemed to link this prospect with ‘an extraordinary endorsement of the progress that has been made here’ Hmmmm

Firstly whether it MM or PR or anybody it’s democracy at work and the imperative here is to respect the will of the electorate [whether you like it or not]. The interesting point is whether or not Owen Patterson seemed to be endorsing MM through what he said. Clearly this will anger both Unionist parties and the SDLP as it does smells of advocacy on the Secretary of States part…

Topic:
Region:
Share 'Marty’s new bestest friend – the Secretary of State!' on Delicious Share 'Marty’s new bestest friend – the Secretary of State!' on Digg Share 'Marty’s new bestest friend – the Secretary of State!' on Facebook Share 'Marty’s new bestest friend – the Secretary of State!' on Google+ Share 'Marty’s new bestest friend – the Secretary of State!' on LinkedIn Share 'Marty’s new bestest friend – the Secretary of State!' on Pinterest Share 'Marty’s new bestest friend – the Secretary of State!' on reddit Share 'Marty’s new bestest friend – the Secretary of State!' on StumbleUpon Share 'Marty’s new bestest friend – the Secretary of State!' on Twitter Share 'Marty’s new bestest friend – the Secretary of State!' on Add to Bookmarks Share 'Marty’s new bestest friend – the Secretary of State!' on Email Share 'Marty’s new bestest friend – the Secretary of State!' on Print Friendly

Comments (33)

  1. VH He was not endorsing MM but rather “we should celebrate the fact that everybody here wants to vote.” and if SF get the vote then that should be respected in the same way that there will be no united Ireland unless a majority so decide.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  2. PaulT (profile) says:

    So, who is Martin McGuiness and Owen Patterson?

    They wouldn’t be Martin McGuinness and Owen Paterson by any chance.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  3. vanhelsing (profile) says:

    An ‘n’ and a ‘t’ – perhaps if you were taking the time to comment you could comment on the thread? :)

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  4. PaulT (profile) says:

    whats there to comment on, the first post corrected your main error, ie the SoS endorsed no-one just praised the fact that everyone wanted to vote, I merely pointed out that you failed to spell any of the names corrected, TBH if there are only 3 comments 1st pointing out your lack of understanding, 2nd pointing out your lack of knowledge and the 3rd a non-defense from you, which provoked the 4th comment which is to confirm comment 1 & 2,

    What else is there to comment on regarding the OP

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  5. Antoin Mac C. (profile) says:

    Have the various variety of secretaries not been advocating the politicsolagy of pro-union sinn-fein,ever since they realized that it’s better the divil they can control than the divils they can’t breast-feed?Has the breast dried up?Is there another breast to suckle?Is Martin still thirsty or is he now hungry for lumpy baby food?Will he please do us all a favour and CHOKE on the STEAK paid 4 by the workin-class apples/oranges who are collectively STARVIN’ 4 da want of a complicated alternative called EMPLOYMENT.
    But the path to employment is blocked by the road of the educational systym,that martin is oh so unfamiliar with because he got paid to say nothing about everything and everything about nothing and can’t actually remember much because as he will no doubt exclaim when confronted by the mob that ‘it wasn’t me,i didn’t do it and it was like that when i got here.’

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  6. Nevin (profile) says:

    Interesting that Noel didn’t query the SoS’s position on Capital Gains Tax. Surely if he saw benefits for a CGT reduction in NI he should have been asked why the Conservatives apparently aren’t promoting it as a salvation for the UK economy.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  7. vanhelsing (profile) says:

    Paul,

    With respect I was letting people comment on the thread first.

    Secondly I don’t agree with Christys analysis; the SoS refers to ‘IT’ [as a third person pronoun] which in turn refers to his previous statement,

    “the election of Martin McGuiness as First Minister should make no difference [to Unionists]; it wouldn’t be in any way in your view a set back”
    and then goes on to say,

    “it would be an extraordinary endorsement of the progress that has been made here”

    Perhaps you’d now want to add something regarding the thread or do you limit your contributions on Slugger to correcting peoples names?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  8. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Antone : “But the path to employment is blocked by the road of the educational system,that martin is oh so unfamiliar with…”

    We are indeed fortunate to have somebody as expert on these matters such as your good self, as illustrated your post, to point out Martin’s educational shortcomings with your insightful observations !

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  9. pippakin (profile) says:

    Its nothing much to do with the SOS who the people vote for. If Martin McGuinness becomes first minister that would be a good thing for democracy in the north. A clear sign that both the democratic process and the peace process are working.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  10. VH You half heartly ask/suggest that, “The interesting point is whether or not Owen Patterson seemed to be endorsing MM through what he said. Clearly this will anger both Unionist parties and the SDLP as it does smells of advocacy on the Secretary of States part…”

    In the first part of your query; no he does not endorse MM but more remarks on the possibility of MM becoming FM, as many commentators might remark of the extraordinary historical significance that that would be. He does say “I think MM should be FM.”

    Why should it anger Unionists or SDLP, I am not a SF voter and I am not outraged? If he were asked if the SDLP or UUP were to win the majority vote I would presume he would not answer much differently. He says, “the election of Martin McGuiness as First Minister should make no difference”… than… if PR or MR won the position for example?

    Rather, would you prefer that he would have belly ached at the possibility of a significant section of the community gaining access to the top position in government of NI? Because the possibility might apall you?

    It is changed times and NI governments are likely to change with it becoming less and less likely of the same old, same old holding all the power and veto.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  11. The above sentence should read “He does not say “I think MM should be FM.”

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  12. Rory Carr (profile) says:

    While it is absolutely clear that while Paterson made no endorsement of McGuinness for First Minister neither was he appalled at the prospect.

    It seems that the only one who was appalled was Van Helsing who was appalled that the Secretaryof State was not appalled.

    As Prince Charles might have it, “It’s all too, too, simply appalling.”

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  13. lover not a fighter (profile) says:

    I suggest thst the Tories have been doing their maths and this United Ireland thingy could add up nicely !

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  14. vanhelsing (profile) says:

    Rory,

    I’m not appalled if the SoS thinks it’s brilliant that folks in NI vote – in greater percentage numbers that the mainland. Neither I’m I appalled that the majority of people here have chosen the democratic route [or should that be traditional]. Anyway I would be appalled if the SoS thought we should celebrate if MM became First Minister – because he should be politically neutral…

    VH

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  15. Alf (profile) black spot says:

    “I suggest thst the Tories have been doing their maths and this United Ireland thingy could add up nicely !”

    lover not a fighter,

    Aren’t these diversions into fantasy land usually followed up with comments such as “interesting times ahead” etc?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  16. tacapall (profile) says:

    Why Van do you think people especially Nationalists would listen to the SOS or be influenced by him, do you believe that Britain is actually netural.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  17. Alf (profile) black spot says:

    Folks,

    Isn’t all this talk about Coco getting First Minister a wee bit of a Godsend to the DUP?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  18. VH In addition to attempting to put your own spin on things (questions loaded with suggestion) you have also been reading the SoS’s comments too literally. Anyone with even the briefiest encounter with NI and its troubled past would think along the same terms, for a hardline Nationalist/Republican to become first minister of NI then that would appear to be an “extraordinary endorsement” of the PP.

    “Neither I’m I appalled that the majority of people here have chosen the democratic route [or should that be traditional].”

    But you would be appalled if the majority voted for MM –[or would that be untradional]? So majority is only a valid majority if it is Unionist? Apparently the “progress that has been made here” has not extended to you?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  19. tacapall (profile) says:

    Christy, NI. I thought it was the occupied six.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  20. Rory Carr (profile) says:

    Given that, as Martin McGuinness has been at pains to stress (and as Peter Robinson has been at pains to play down), the posts of First and Deputy First Minister are co-equal and that the office of First Minister is a shared office – one that is shared jointly and equally by the leaders of the largest unionist and nationalist parties all this brouhaha is really pointless.

    It is amusing however that if Martin McGuinness were to named (and I deliberately stress “named”) First Minister in the new Assembly then any appearance (again stressed) of seniority or superiority that that postion would have over the position of Peter Robinson as Deputy First Minister would be purely delusional and due solely to the machinations of the DUP in the first place when they insisted on the “Deputy” tag in order to give a false impression of lording it over Sinn Féin.

    Sinn Féin were quite magnanimous in allowing the DUP to get away with this little cosmetic deceit and it would be most ungracious of unionists now to complain if, later this year, they find themselves saddled with a Republican First Minister. However they can at least console themselves with the reality of the office of First (and Deputy First) Minister, even though that reality is one that they have been denying for some time now.

    As one famous (fictional) British jingoist was wont to remark, albeit in a different context,

    “They don’t like it up ‘em!”

    They surely do not.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  21. vanhelsing (profile) says:

    Christy,

    That’s not what I said and your comments are unfair. At no point did I suggest I did not valid majorities – in fact I stated clearly the opposite in the thread. Which I assume you read?

    I did say ‘ I would be appalled if the SoS thought we should celebrate if MM became First Minister’ – because he should be politically neutral – that comment was clearly aimed at the SoS. I was raising a question about OPs use of language and the fact that he was not appearing neutral pre elections.

    Of course as a Unionist I would be unhappy about MM becoming FM and will naturally work against that [which is MY democratic right], in the same way as Republicans and Nationalists will no doubt work to ensure it is MR or MM!

    My issue is not about democracy [and certainly not my respect for it] my issue is with the SoS.

    VH

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  22. VH Yes I agree I was unfair with you re majorities. But the SoS’s statement is not an endorsement of MM as you percieve it to be. In fact it be be said to be one of those ambigious remarks for which SoS’s have been known to make. It is neither an endorsement nor a regret if MM were to make FM, because if he were to say something less than he has said then Republicans could rightly claim he was pro Unionist. Matter of fact what he is attempting to do is remove any sense of loss for Unionists which they might feel if MM were FM. There are a lot of pragmatic reasons why he would paint a positive picture –he would welcome (celebrate) scooby doo as FM –no matter what it is Ministers are more likely to put positive spin on things before doom and gloom –not that I would see a Nationalist FM as doom and gloom as some unionists might….each to our own in measured ways.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  23. Driftwood (profile) black spot says:

    I seriously doubt Owen Paterson cares who is sheriff or deputy over the wee parish council he is presently Landlord of. They all have to report to him on any matter that actually affects people here anyway. So he can take it up with the big boys at Westminster.
    If McGuinness becomes Sheriff, and Peter his Deputy Dawg, they might actually wake up to the fact that, there is a recession and they need national (UK) advice to deal with it. At least McGuinness is a member of the National Parliament, unlike Robinson, so he could text Robbo from the lobbies and keep him up to speed on the latest Sally Bercow gossip etc..

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  24. Frustrated Democrat (profile) says:

    It would be extraordinary if someone who admits to being a senior part of the IRA dedicated to destroying NI, accepted the post of FM that administers an NI firmly within the UK.

    Is it going to happen anytime soon? The answer is no.

    To see someone who already as dFM is trying to rebuild the NI economy when he was dedicated for decades to destoying it is sometimes bewildering, but to see the DUP supporting them is equally bewildering, we have moved a long way but have a long way to go before we are brave enough to leave our sectarian politics behind.

    The SoS only supports one party in NI that is his own, and any thoughts that he might support another party is fanciful thinking by mischief makers.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  25. Tweedybird (profile) says:

    I think there has been a knee-jerk reaction by the DUP and UUP. The way i interpret OP comments; he is commenting on how democracy has progressed in this country.”Christy Walsh” in his first post sums it up what OP was trying to emphasize.However, OP should have known better making these comments, the subject of MM becoming (maybe) FM was always going to be a hot potato. SoS is bound to know that politicians would dissect and scrutinize every word and draw their own conclusions from it. A politician of his stature should have known better, an old saying comes to my mind, “the man that knows to say nothing knows to say a whole lot.”

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  26. madraj55 (profile) says:

    vanhelsing. The most noteworthy reaction to this sterile debate over whether MMcG could get to swap seats with PR ending up with exactly the same powers he had at present, was UUP’s David McNarry letting the cat out of the bag that what unionists of both parties want, is NO nationalist in First minister’s post never mind a shinner. He clearly wants the SoS to ‘fix’ the agreement so that only a Unionist can ever hold the title. Some democrats these.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  27. Nevin (profile) says:

    madraj55, I don’t imagine that either Unionists or Nationalists would want ‘the other side’ to have the FM desk; I think they would both settle for what is in the St Andrews Agreement if they were in the largest designation:

    The Nominating Officer of the largest party in the largest designation in the Assembly shall make a nomination to the Assembly Presiding Officer for the post of First Minister. The Nominating Officer of the largest party in the second largest designation in the Assembly shall similarly nominate for the post of Deputy First Minister

    The shabby side-deal came later. It should ensure a dog-fight between the DUP and SF.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  28. vanhelsing (profile) says:

    madraj55,

    I would imagine that DM wouldn’t want MM as FM – he is after all a Unionist! Anything I’ve heard from DM regarding this also suggests he would accept the democratic will of the people.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  29. madraj55 (profile) says:

    VH. You may be right, I see the DUP have had to make the ridiculous claim that the govt misrepresented them in the final draft of SAA. ridiculous because the with all the legal eagles in that party, who could believe they would have signed it without reading it first. The DUP just won’t admit they were blackmailing their voters in allowing SF to alter the FM qualifying terms.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  30. 241934 john brennan (profile) says:

    Nevin is right. This was the original intention:

    “The Nominating Officer of the largest party in the largest designation in the Assembly shall make a nomination to the Assembly Presiding Officer for the post of First Minister. The Nominating Officer of the largest party in the second largest designation in the Assembly shall similarly nominate for the post of Deputy First Minister”

    Then the intention was that the nominated pair be jointly voted into office, by a combined majority of designated unionists and nationalists.

    But the DUP didn’t like the prospect of putting their hands up for any nationalist, never mind a Shinner. So they got the rules changed.

    In reality it doesn’t matter “two balls of roasted snow” who is First Minister. FM and DFM are co-equal. One cannot even put his name to a requisition for toilet paper, unless the other also signs it.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  31. Nevin (profile) says:

    madraj55, as I’ve already said the change took place after the StAA was published when the Act was being constructed.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  32. Greenflag (profile) says:

    ‘One cannot even put his name to a requisition for toilet paper, unless the other also signs it.’

    Someday they even get around to wiping each other’s arse -assuming they haven’t already started ;)

    Hey it’s better than bullets flying no ?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  33. madraj55 (profile) says:

    Nevin. I see now how it happened. thx.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Copyright © 2003 - 2014 Slugger O'Toole Ltd. All rights reserved.
Powered by WordPress; produced by Puffbox.
156 queries. 0.818 seconds.