DUP angry at new HR Commissioner…

Can a former politician do a deal where a human rights professor couldn’t? Clearly the DUP is not impressed with the appointment of Monica McWilliams. There may be some heat left over from past encounters. And Ian Paisley’s words have a fairly final ring to them: “The government must now remember that the unionists will have nothing to do with their commission. They will not take any part as long as they have a chairman, or chairlady, who cannot be trusted by both sides.”

Today’s Irish News editorial notes:

The fact that Dr McWilliams represented the Women’s Coalition in the first Northern Ireland Assembly seems to have particularly incensed the DUP, but she was plainly as entitled as any other citizen to seek election to sit on any of our new devolved structures. Dr McWilliams has now moved on to a new role and she should be judged on her performance in that capacity in the years ahead.

  • The Dog

    I take it that is why a certain DUP cllr and former chair of the DPP in Craigavon – Mr Bell applied and is now a commissioner on said body.

    There are way too many political placemen and women on this – from Daph T to Ms Rice (Alliance), Eamon from the stoops as well as failed politicos like Monica

  • usernamexists

    Place*ladies*, please.

  • blue-kite

    Crass… ?

    I thought dear old Ian had a monopoly on that…

    BK

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Why is someone’s previous political involvement deemed to be a bar to future involvement in the work of public bodies in some other capacity?

    Whilst I have some concerns about how Monica will overcome the particular baggage she carries in the context of the NIHRC in other ways it is a very positive thing that she got the appointment. It is good for women to hold more positions like this and it is good for politicians to be seen to have lives after politics. We often complain about good, high quality people not getting involved with politics, or running for office but we then discount the experiences and skills that people develop in those positions when we look to appoint members of other public bodies. In other countries particularly here in the USA this kind of political experience is highly respected and people are able to fluidly move from politics, to business, to academia. This is seen as normal and means that all of these areas can benefit from the cross fertilization of experiences that occurs.

    I would suggest that Northern Ireland could learn something from that and we would all benefit in the long term.

    And yes before some cutting wit points it out of course I have conflict of interest as a former politician myself but I don’t believe that negates my main point.

  • Robert Keogh

    “… who cannot be trusted by both sides.”

    Isn’t that NI code for “won’t do what OUR side wants.”?

  • Niall

    DSD,
    I agree with a lot of what you wrote especially that the USA shows the benefits of cross changing of jobs between politics, gov bodies and business. As I’ve posted before MMcW’s successor will probably be from the unionist background so you’re still in with a chance in the future.

    Slowly but surely we’re meeting in the middle.

    I didn’t know you were in the USA..?

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Niall,
    I am reading a graduate masters degree in Public Policy at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, so I currently live in Cambridge MA.

    (yes i know thats a crass droping of the H-bomb but for the money i am paying in tuition i am going to get all the play i can out of it! :)…)

  • Elvis Parker

    Prof mcwilliams was sued by the Paisley for making inapprorpriate remarks on the BBc about the Paisleys (as was the BBC). He is the Leader of the largest party is she an appropriate person to deal with him considering this history?
    Methinks not

  • Martin Dub

    She’s Charlie Haughey’s first cousin, which is news to me, and not good news!

  • usernamexists

    Oh no, now she’s become Charlie Haughey’s first cousin… has the woman no judgment at all?

  • tiny

    it’s clear that Paisley can do nothing about the appointment, so much for his influence?

  • bill

    should have made Sammy wilson HR commissioner

    At least he would have had an insight into the workings of the uvf.

  • tiny

    what’s worrying as a unionist that the DUP are clearly unable to influence the government as they claimed they would and as a result appear to be opting out with the result that unionism is walking out into the cold yet again.

  • Bored

    DUP in “we hate this bird, she’s not loyalist enough, probably has some catholic friends, perhaps once went to the west of Ireland on holiday, possibly listens to jazz, may enjoy an occasional glass of wine, more than likely speaks a second language, possesses a third-level education” shocker.

  • Jo

    I’ve seen no criticism of this appointment that does not echo the mysogynism that she and Jane Morris experienced in the Assembly.
    Same community source as well.
    Plus ca change?

  • G2

    ” I am reading a graduate masters degree in Public Policy at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, so I currently live in Cambridge MA.”

    DSH, When you have finished your degree what do you intend doing then?

    Are you returning to Norn Iron? If so its professional guys like you who are needed to help rebuild the UUP. All the old team are resigning on the 24 June at the leadership election. Hope you will give it some thought.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    G2,

    Thansk nice of you to say so but I dont graduate until June 2006. This summer I am interning for the Boston Police Department.

    I would love to come back and help rebuild the UUP but of course it is dependant on a new leader being elected next week who is committed and serious about that task. If that happens then i would enjoy the chance to come back and help out. I am a permanent resident in the US(my wife is American) but whilst lots of interesting doors are already opening here i would actually be very enthusiastic about returning to Norn Iron.

    Mind you not everyone wold share your view of the benefits of my contribution. We shall have to see what happens next friday i suppose.

  • GavBelfast

    I don’t know that much about Monica McWilliams but always felt she came across pretty well.

    And you can hardly blame people for their relatives – what would we make of Big Ian and Young Ian if we did? 😉

    Let’s see what sort of job she does and what sort of course she steers, then we can make some sensible judgment.

  • Roger

    Newtown Emerson pointed out some interesting items in his column in the Irish news today.

    I am not impressed with this appointment a pro united Ireland Secretarty of state and an anti unionist hrc this province just gets better and better.

  • bill

    Where is the ‘province’

    Oh thats right,Newtons a unionist.

    Anyone who is not a unionist sympathizer , is a threat

  • Doreen

    Prof. McWilliams has two serious flaws: she is unspeakably boring and is completely devoid of a sense of humour, quite unlike Ms Morrice. The two are very different, and it is rather unfair to Ms Morrice to lump them together.

    I know people who voted for the professor and became embarrassed to admit the fact.

  • Roger

    Where did I state Emerson was a unionist.

    Northern Ireland is a province it is not a country.

    If somebody whom abhored the IRA, dismissed calls for a UI and supported the union with Britain was either Secretary of State or HRC nationalists and Bill especially would be CRYING foul and harking back to Ulster resistance.

  • Bored

    Point of order Roger – and yes, I know this is pedantic and boring – ‘Northern Ireland’ is not a province. It contains six of the nine counties of Ulster. It also, frankly, isn’t even Northern Ireland – the most northerly point of Ireland being Donegal which isn’t included in this statelet.

  • Jo

    Doreen,
    As the risk of being pedantic both women WERE WC members of the Assembly and both were treated in a less than admirable way, most usually by DUP Members.

  • Doreen

    Jo,
    I know that both were members of the WC, but Ms Morrice was also a Deputy Speaker, arguably the best of the three Deputy Speakers, and was treated with respect by Members from all parties.

  • seanbheanbhocht

    Prof. McWilliams has two serious flaws: she is unspeakably boring and is completely devoid of a sense of humour

    She must have a sense of humour if she applied for the job.

  • Roger

    Bored

    You will find that a province is a region and NI is a region of the UK.

    I take your point about Donegal and agree that it should become part of NI giving us seven counties.

  • barnshee

    “Prof. McWilliams has two serious flaws: she is unspeakably boring and is completely devoid of a sense of humour, quite unlike Ms Morrice. The two are very different, and it is rather unfair to Ms Morrice to lump them together.

    I know people who voted for the professor and became embarrassed to admit the fact.”

    1 We can choose our friends -our relations we are unfortunately stuck with –don`t blame her for charlie.

    2 Her TV facade is not good OK -in person she is much more approachable, warm and personable she may in fact do very well.

  • Bored

    Roger – and we all know why Donegal wasn’t made part of Northern Ireland to start with……

  • serik

    Donegal should be in NI – it naturally belongs in NI not the Republic. I don’t know whether the Republic would consider giving it back but its certainly something that Blair should consider putting to Ahern.

  • Bored

    Serik – oh dear. The whole reason why Donegal did not form part of Northern Ireland at its inception and why Blair would never be allowed to agree to its accession to Northern Ireland now goes to the rotten core of the six county statelet. ‘Northern Ireland'(sic) was geo-politically constructed to have an in-built Unionist majority – if Donegal was to be added to the ‘province’ (sic) tommorrow and a plebiscite held on the re-unification of Ireland, then the whole rotten house of cards would come tumbling down. On second thoughts, your point is so preposterous that I’m starting to think that you might in fact be pulling the piss……..

  • Roger

    Bored

    I am with you on this one I would like to see NI strengthened by adding Donegal to it as it already has a significant number of protestants within it and even if NI had seven counties there would still be a unionist majority so its a win win situation.

  • Bored

    Roger – are you sure? I had always assumed that the addition of one more county with a substantial Irish population would have created a majority nationalist/republican electorate. I’d be interested to hear views/thoughts/statistics on this one.

  • serik

    “if Donegal was to be added to the province tommorrow and a plebiscite held on the re-unification of Ireland, then the whole rotten house of cards would come tumbling down.”

    This is wrong and Roger is right. In retrospect NI could have contained Donegal without dangering the union. That is why in retrospect it was a mistake not to include Donegal. Donegal is naturally part of NI not ROI.

  • seanbheanbhocht

    “Donegal should be in NI – it naturally belongs in NI not the Republic. I don’t know whether the Republic would consider giving it back but its certainly something that Blair should consider putting to Ahern.”

    Therefore it is also appropriate to argue the opposite – NI should be in the Republic. It naturally belongs in the Republic. I don’t know whether the Brits would consider giving it back but its certainly something that Ahern should consider putting to Blair.”

  • redpaul

    Monica is very personable and good craic.
    More importantly, who wants Donegal? It’s always pissing down.

  • prolefodder

    Ahem, this thread is about the (good) Professor and her appointment to the HRC and the reaction of the (bad) Dr. No to this. What’s Donegal (well named as ‘fort of the stranger’ – only Donegal could produce a singing Jeffrey Donaldson lookalike in Daniel o Donnell – has anyone seen them together in at the same time?!). Keep the issue people, go off into the sandpit and discuss Donegal/the Province whataboutry elsewhere, and wash your hands before coming back!