“Now meetings seem almost routine and we have dispensed with the fig leaf…”

Like boiling a frog…  After the party’s opposition to her first truly historic official visit to Ireland, this week, on the third occasion of the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Fein’s forgetful Martin McGuinness, being presented to the UK Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II, the earlier pretence has finally been dropped.  As Liam Clarke notes in the Belfast Telegraph

In another sense, the Queen and Martin McGuinness may look back on how difficult that first meeting between them had been to arrange and choreograph and how much things have moved on since. Now meetings seem almost routine and we have dispensed with the fig leaf – employed by Mr McGuinness the last time she was here – that he wasn’t meeting her in an official capacity.

There was a lot of flim-flam to get it all through the Sinn Fein ard chomhairle, which had, a year earlier, opposed a royal visit to the Republic. The meeting wasn’t on the Queen’s home turf and wasn’t even, it was said without much conviction, part of her visit to Belfast. It was a charity event in a theatre which they both happened to be attending alongside Michael D Higgins, the Irish President.

Now that has all been dispensed with. Mr McGuinness is, just like Peter Robinson and Theresa Villiers, the Secretary of State, enjoying an audience with the Queen at her official royal residence in Northern Ireland.

Ouch, again.  ["Republicans don't accept that!" - Ed]  There are a lot of things that Sinn Féin have said they don’t accept in this new dispensation

Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins was unavailable for comment.

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  • megatron

    Captain Pete Ahab catches SF out again. They must be shitting themselves at the impact this will have on their support.

  • SK

    I just think it’s nice to have them all back after their mysterious absence during the Peter Punt scandal.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “being presented to the UK Head of State”

    Pete, you’ve apparently failed to note that Martin was representing Team Ireland, not Team UK. Isn’t it time you got up to speed and recognised the limitations of an archive?

    Martin ‘reaffirmed his commitment to reconciliation between the people of Ireland and Britain .. I am committed to working towards reconciliation and promoting mutual respect and tolerance among all the people of this island .. There is an onus on all political leaders to take big steps to move the process of reconciliation forward’.

    ‘Northern Ireland’ and ‘the United Kingdom’ did not pass his lips. The only reaching out that Martin will be doing will be to poke unionists in the eye. Athboy (still) rules OK ;)

  • Morpheus
  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “Like boiling a frog”

    Perhaps the wrong metaphor as Gerry Adams had this to say in ‘Before the Dawn':

    “It’s Gerry’s frog,” said Joe Magee. “He got it. Finders is keepers.”

    “I wouldn’t mind seeing it getting blown up,” said our Paddy.

    “You can make it so big it’s like the bladder of a football sometimes. You blow and blow and blow. And then the frog goes pop!” .. source

  • Dec

    To borrow a quote from ‘The Psychiatrists’ episode of Fawlty Towers regarding the obsession on display here
    (and here and here and here ,etc), ‘there’s enough for a whole conference’.

  • Mick Fealty

    All linked above Dec. Dirty work, but someone’s got to watch the farm…

  • Son of Strongbow

    What is it with some nationalists and commentary about Sinn Fein?

    After a number of items about Peter Robinson and the Whitewell ayatollah, and the plethora of regular visits to loyalist marching, I don’t recall many unionists calling time on raising those subjects almost as soon as the threads are opened.

    Yet here again within seven posts on Commandant Marty and the Queen (sounds like the title of a fairytale but isn’t ;) ) we see the knee jerk phenomenon of nationalist attempts to cry how very dare anyone speak anything other than servile adulation to the Shinner Gods.

    Is the Ministry of Truth up at Connolly House increasing the size of its Defence Against the Dark Arts Department? In the ‘Ireland of Equals’ [sic] will critical comment result in a one-way trip to a lonely bog?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hey Morpheus! A bit of a “wake up Neo” for me with your posting! I was animation line producer on that “Charlie Brown”.

  • Morpheus

    Kudos Seaan, fair play!

    SoS, I don’t think anyone has any issue with anyone having a go at SF but recently it’s been a case of “here’s what a journalist said about this from decades ago” and “here’s what another journalist said about that thing from decades ago from a slightly different perspective” and “here’s what another journalist said about that thing from decades ago from another slightly different perspective’

    Martin McGuinness meeting the Queen, or any other head of State for that matter, is part and parcel of the job that he holds. Meeting her, despite the juvenile hints to the contrary, does not take away any sense of his republicanism just as Peter Robinson meeting Michael D Higgins doesn’t take away any of his unionist beliefs.

    There’s bound to me more out there to interest Charlie Brown that ‘ahhhhh look, Marty met the Queen, na na nana na”

  • Pete Baker

    Morp

    “but recently it’s been a case of “here’s what a journalist said about this from decades ago” and “here’s what another journalist said about that thing from decades ago from a slightly different perspective” and “here’s what another journalist said about that thing from decades ago from another slightly different perspective’”

    I know I’m ‘fair game’, but really…

  • Morpheus

    That wasn’t just about you Pete, far from it, I think you have written some excellent pieces. Your take on the OTR ‘saga’ in particular was very impressive.

    But ask yourself: Martin McGuinness met the Queen, so what? What was the motivation behind writing this piece? To embarrass Marty?

    We the users of SOT are at the mercy of those who are allowed to contribute – we can only comment on what you lot deem important enough to comment on so how about a few threads about what we can do to make this place better…

  • Dec

    Mick

    ‘someone’s got to watch the farm’

    If only other farms were watched with the same diligence…ah, wishful thinking

  • Pete Baker

    Morph

    “That wasn’t just about you Pete,”

    If you say so.

    “I think you have written some excellent pieces. Your take on the OTR ‘saga’ in particular was very impressive.

    But ask yourself: Martin McGuinness met the Queen, so what? What was the motivation behind writing this piece? To embarrass Marty?”

    It’s to try to get a clearer view of what’s actually going on. For myself, and for anyone else who’s interested in that.

    But some people only appreciate that clearer view some of the time…

  • Morpheus

    Marty met the Queen in a successful visit – what’s unclear about that? Do you think that there is actually some Machiavellian sub-plot going on here? If so, what’s that based on? If not, I ask again, what was the motivation behind this piece?

  • Zeno

    To borrow a quote from ‘The Psychiatrists’ episode of Fawlty Towers regarding the obsession………..

    Dec
    Much preferred the Don’t mention the war episode.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “Mr McGuinness is, just like Peter Robinson and Theresa Villiers, the Secretary of State, enjoying an audience with the Queen at her official royal residence in Northern Ireland.”

    … though SF MPs still unwelcome in the Speaker’s house:

    Speaker John Bercow has clashed with Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers after barring Sinn Fein MPs from a party at the Commons to mark a century of Irish Home Rule.

    He agreed to host a reception in his grace-and-favour Commons apartment next month to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Home Rule Act, which paved the way for Ireland’s independence from the UK.

    But Mr Bercow later changed his mind after he realised that five Sinn Fein MPs – who refuse to take up their seats at Westminster because of their Republican beliefs – were included on the guest list.