Another Rattle Tossed From The DUPers Pram?

They’re at it again. As if more evidence were needed that the DUP have their sights set on Belfast’s own President Mary McAleese, Ian Paisley and Nigel Dodds’ tag-team effort yesterday provides more confirmation that the DUP are having immense difficulty coming to terms with the President’s popularity amongst nationalists AND unionists/ loyalists in the north. The demand that the Irish President be treated like any other foreign leader on her visits to the six counties goes to the crux of the matter, as virtually half of the population in the North regard Mrs. McAleese as anything but another ‘foreign’ leader.

  • well spotted chris.

  • TAFKABO

    Sorry, but i’m getting a bit bored with everything Unionists say or do being cited as their inability to accept the equality agenda or the growing realistion of this or that blah blah blah….

    It’s a lame excuse for an argument, from those with nothing to offer but the continued stereotyping and scapegoating of people they can’t accept have a bigger vote than them.

    You may not agree with them, but isn’t it at least feasible that they are genuinely offended by the presidents ill judged remarks?

  • why

    Testing

  • Tafkabo. It probably is feasible. But i think it was political motivated rather then out of moral outrage.

  • Crusty Burke

    If anything, Paisley’s remarks about the President “hating” Northern Ireland were the usual childish hateful tripe he himself serves up as political comment. It is unlikely however that Paisley’s comments were ill-judged, as he sought to give maximum offence to Irish citizens everywhere, and maximum pleasure to his followers.

    It would be nice if the DUP could once act their age rather than a bunch of immature corner boys…

  • TAFKABO

    From where I’m standing, it’s the predictable knee jerk reaction to anything and everything the DUP say or do that seems childish and immature.A total and complete inability to accept their mandate or right to hold the views they do.

  • Brian Boru

    She never said that the Protestants were Nazis. The word she used was “people”. She did not use the word “Protestant”. Unfortunately, the term “people” can be relative i.e. some people, all you people etc. However she obviously mean “some people”. That is an important point to make in the midst of the demonisation of the president by the bigots.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    The woman appears to be a rather embarrassing loose cannon, particularly in her ‘difficult’ second term. Her recent comments that the Irish people were ‘horrified’ by the cartoons of Mohammed are well wide of the mark. The Pope, Catholicism and indeed the Irish in general have been lampooned for centuries, and I don’t recall any ayatollahs informing either of the Mary’s that they were horrified by Father Ted.
    As for the DUP reaction to Ireland’s version of Prince Philip, it’s classic playground tactics from a party who have consistently failed to grasp that their enemy is not the Republic per se, but rather militant Republicanism.

  • Henry94

    I agree with GLC that the Presidents remarks in Saudi Arabia were wrong. In fact they were a disgrace and caused me to lose the respect I had for her.

    It’s time we had a think about the job. The stature of Paddy Hilary is growing as neither of his successors managed to resist the temptation to use the office to promote their own political agenda.

    Paisley’s outburst shouldn’t blind us the the problem we have with McAleese.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Perhaps a one-term limit would be a good place to start. Seven years, isn’t it? That’s a long time for any political animal to hold a ceremonial role – it’s inevitable that they’ll get dangerously bored and/or deluded eventually.
    I think Mary Robinson made pretty much the same point, before heading off to the UN, which ironically enough has now gone to her head regardless.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    SRR: “Perhaps a one-term limit would be a good place to start. Seven years, isn’t it? That’s a long time for any political animal to hold a ceremonial role – it’s inevitable that they’ll get dangerously bored and/or deluded eventually.
    I think Mary Robinson made pretty much the same point, before heading off to the UN, which ironically enough has now gone to her head regardless. ”

    Well, God Save the Queen, SRR…

  • fair_deal

    “The demand that the Irish President be treated like any other foreign leader on her visits to the six counties goes to the crux of the matter, as virtually half of the population in the North regard Mrs. McAleese as anything but another ‘foreign’ leader.”

    The Unionist community was told the present constitutional position was settled and accepted by Irish nationalism. The practical outworking of such is that proper protocols for a visit should be followed.
    While a significant proportion may desire Mary McAleese to be their head of state the accepted political reality is that she is not. The nationalist community in Northern Ireland accepted this when they voted for the Belfast Agreement and agreed the mechanism for that reality to change.
    If this is not the case then irish nationalism is prepared to sign anything but doesn’t mean any of it.

    Plus this seems to be a reaction to the heat rather than the substance. Doddds comments clearly imply if the RoI President follows the proper protocols then Unionism will engage with her on her visits. For some quid pro quo irish nationalism gets what it claims it wants an improving relationship with Unionists.

    Brian Boru

    ‘What she meant to say defence’ is always foolish. She said something stupid, she admits a mistake, she apologised. Why is it that so difficult to accept? Why the desperate justification?

  • fair_deal

    From fair deal

    That last comment was by me not TAFKABO. Something must be slightly awry with the commenting system

  • Is Ian Paisley’s “WE HATE McALEESE AND SHE HATES US” campaign his belated reply to Britain’s Sunday Times report of a few years ago? The august British organ just happened to mention that Queen Elizabeth is known to “loathe” Ian Paisley. No wonder Her Majesty and President McAleese get on so well together!

  • George

    Fair deal,
    “The practical outworking of such is that proper protocols for a visit should be followed”

    Proper protocols were followed.

    Dodds has a problem that he wasn’t notified of the visit to his constituency.

    His argument was that a TD would have been notified.
    However, we are talking about a foreign head of state here. It was for the senior British civil servant responsible for the visit of a foreign head of state to notify Dodds.

    Dodds, on the one hand wants McAleese to be treated like a foreign head of state and on the other, he wants to be treated like a TD.

    SRR,
    “That’s a long time for any political animal to hold a ceremonial role”

    It is not only a ceremonial role, she is also one of the guardians of the constitution and does have some power.

    For example, Mary Robinson outrageously overstepped the mark when she said she would refuse to dissolve Dail Eireann following the Whelehan affair which meant we had a Rainbow coalition rather than a general election.

  • George

    That last post wasn’t from Tafkabo that was from me. This new commenting system could get interesting.
    George

  • fair_deal

    From fair_deal to George

    The comment in the paper about being informed is an example of how proper protocols are not followed. The DUP have raised the issue with the government and the Irish government. The proper protocols of a dignitary visiting NI as part of the UK are not followed by the Irish President.

    Again see the bigger picture follow the protocols and you have the opportunity of a better relationship.

  • George

    To Fair_Deal from George,
    what protocols weren’t followed?

  • George

    Fair_Deal from George,
    just to repeat what I already said in my earlier post, it is for the senior British Civil Servant responsible for the visit to notify Dodds, not President McAleese or her party. She followed protocol.

    The DUP seem to want her act as a foreign head of state but want to be treated like TDs.

  • fair_deal

    To george from fair deal

    1. The standard diplomatic protocols for a visit by a non-UK dignitary.
    2. If the office of the RoI President does not follow them then no civil servant (senior or otherwise) is under any obligation to inform anyone about her visit.
    3. The practice in the RoI of informing TD’s is not what is being debated.

  • George

    Fair_Deal from George,

    “1. The standard diplomatic protocols for a visit by a non-UK dignitary.”

    What protocols do believe McAleese did not follow? Can you state them?

    “2. If the office of the RoI President does not follow them then no civil servant (senior or otherwise) is under any obligation to inform anyone about her visit.”

    But she did follow protocol so it was the job of the responsible civil servant to do his/her job.

    “3. The practice in the RoI of informing TD’s is not what is being debated.”

    But Dodds wants to be treated like a TD. This is what he said:

    “If a junior Northern Ireland Office Minister was visiting my constituency or an MP from England or Scotland, I would get a note advising me of their presence. With McAleese, MPs are told nothing directly and left to find out for themselves.

    “That’s what’s annoying, it’s just a lack of good manners. I bet if she was planning to visit Cork, every TD in Cork would be told.”

    The DUP says McAleese should follow protocol as a foreign head of state but Dodds then says he wants McAleese to follow the protocol of a British Minister and at the same time that McAleese follow the protocol for the Irish President with TDs.

    So the DUP want McAleese to treat them like they are TDs, like she’s a British Minister and they are MPs, and a foreign head of state. All at the same time. This isn’t possible.

    No wonder they get offended.

  • fair_deal

    You are not seeing the woods for the trees.

    Points 1 & 2
    Protocols
    1. She does not make official visits to Northern Ireland only ‘private’ ones. However, this facade is blown as the press are invited by her office.
    2. The visits do not follow the usual diplomatic procedure i.e. not arranged through the embassy in Dublin and Foreign Office. While practical arrangements would be promptly handed over to the NIO it is a display of acceptance and respect for NI’s position in the UK.
    3. On her visit she would be received and accompanied by the lord lieutenant (or similar as a representative of the head of state) during her visit.
    4. She doesn’t do any of this so no one is obligated to do anything on her behalf.

    Point 3
    Informed about dignitaries visits
    1. Who gets informed about an offical visit to a constituency by a dignitary is the same whether its a UK or non-UK dignitary. So it is not asking her to be a british minster and foreign head at the same time. It is how the process begins that is different not the practical arrangement of who gets told.
    2. The comparison with the TD’s is to exemplify what is good practice and good manners. Common courtesy is common courtesy in the UK and RoI. If the President displays such good graces in the RoI it should be done in the UK.

    You can’t see the woods for the trees. If you don’t think a few letters or phone calls to the approriate body and being accompanied by a nice old geezer are worth it to see the head of the Irish state being greeted by Unionist representatives and developing a better relationship with Unionism so be it.

  • lib2016

    From lib2016,

    The problem actually seems to be that the President was visiting ordinary unionists and nationalists and building friendly links with them. The DUP, as always, object to having any truck with themmuns.

  • George

    Fair_Deal from George,

    “1. . She does not make official visits to Northern Ireland only ‘private’ ones. However, this facade is blown as the press are invited by her office.”

    If it is a private visit, is there any law against inviting the press on a private visit? Is this a break with protocol? I don’t think so.

    Prince Charles comes on private visits to the Irish Republic and the press is informed.

    “2. The visits do not follow the usual diplomatic procedure i.e. not arranged through the embassy in Dublin and Foreign Office.”

    If the Foreign Office isn’t “organising” it how come they had the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast Lady Carswell welcoming her at Belfast airport? Who organised this?

    Also if it is a private visit, then the Foreign office needs to be informed but doesn’t have to organise things.

    3″. On her visit she would be received and accompanied by the lord lieutenant (or similar as a representative of the head of state) during her visit.”

    She was received by the Lord Lieutanant on this visit so this protocol was met.

    On point 3.
    Why is it the responsibility of the Irish President or Irish government to inform Dodds that she will be in North Belfast?

    You could argue that it would be nice for the Irish government to drop Nigel a line but protocol? I don’t think so.

    Nigel knew she was coming but he wanted the Irish government to tell him personally. Why should they?

    I think you and Nigel should be asking why the British government didn’t tell him. If he wants to be treated like a TD in the future, I’m sure the Irish government will be only too happy to oblige.

    But he is an MP so the should give out to the NIO. But nobody would listen so he decides to have a go at the Irish government.

    As for meeting unionists, she was in Belfast to meet unionists, it just wasn’t DUP unionists.

  • Jill Robinson

    You guys! Get this into perspective. It’s like the governor of Connecticut visiting Rhode Island. I don’t want to insult you people but that’s the scale of this thing. Where I live, we would not even consider this visit a news story. Isn’t Mary from Belfast? Isn’t Nigel Dodds? Think school reunion. Is he sore because she got to be homecoming queen? 🙂

    If you really want to burn Mary, maybe you should ask what she thought she was doing in Saudi Arabia, sucking up to the ragheads. Uh, sorry, I meant the democratically elected heads of state of the most progressive nation in the Middle East, if not the world.

    She’s a disgrace to her race. I can’t believe that this woman can turn a blind eye to institutionalized corruption, torture and repression (like a woman can be beheaded for ALLOWING herself to be raped) just so Ireland can sell the Saudis butter, to make up for the Danish butter they don’t want, because the Danes exercised their free speech.

    This is what I mean by perspective.

  • Jill Robinson

    Hmm, why did I become Why?

    That last post was from Jill Robinson!

    Jill Robinson

  • aquifer

    If the DUP need protocol, do protocol.

    Its just the diplomatic version of good manners and the DUP should be shown what they are, and all for the cost of a phone call from dublin.