The BBC, the Rising and the Royal

Colin O’Carroll has been reflecting on the differences between the local BBC’s coverage of the Easter Rising commemorations and the Royal birthday. Whilst one is defined by ‘robust and uncompromising debate’, the other, he concludes, is seemingly best approached by asking ‘who makes the dresses and the china.’

  • Mick Fealty

    I refer Colin to the Now Show and Newsnight here, not to mention Jonathan Freedland’s piece – admittedly in the Guardian. Shoulda been reading Slugger!!

  • Pete Baker

    Not to mention Madeline Bunting’s article, or even Oliver Miles, both in the Grauniad.

    Ah well.. whatever doesn’t fit the argument being promoted gets ignored..

    C’est la vie..

  • the queen

    Apart from which, it must be very difficult to maintain such a level of venom for so long and so consistently.

    I dont think much of the comparisons between the birthday and the Rising.

    Jeez, I dont know, but cant one just say Happy Birthday and leave it there? Big deal, I didnt go and I have always refused on principle to take the day as a holiday from work. She is the patron of our charity, so we get a day off in honour. But I dont need to analyse it further than that, I think as it doesnt and hasnt affectd me profoundly.

    The Rising on the other hand is different. And I know for me why it is so different. I grew up with one single fixd belief. There was no prevarication. The Rising was a direct result of all past risings, and there was no wrong done. The men were heroes and adulated by the country, and they went out and faced the Brits and were murdered so we could be free.

    A little light and time has allowed us the maturity to question that fixed idea. Allowed us to examine Pearse and his ideas, his fixation on sacrifice. I believe some are even questioning his motivation in setting up a boys school, but I wont go there.

    We are now allowed to ask “What about Home Rule””What more did we get by having the Rising”

    And so many more questions that have been covered here in depth over the last week.

    We are a more mature people with the confidence and ability to question those ideas and to come away with the knowledge that the new answers are different to what we expected, but hey, so what we can live with it.

    The Queen, well she was born on April 21st. Its her birthday. No more, no less. Get over it.

  • Shore Road Resident

    But of course, this has nothing to do with the monarchy and everything do to with Daily Ireland’s extremely hostile line against the BBC, pursued by the paper from day one. I could speculate that browbeating other media outlets was one reason why Sinn Fein decided to set up its own – although I’ll admit I have no evidence of that beyond the browbeating itself, which has included a campaign against paying the licence fee by a columnist who is himself a former BBC NI employee. Really, you couldn’t make it up.

    However, what is clear is that BBC NI has curtsied before Daily Ireland in a manner that would humiliate the most loyal royal flunky. Talkback has been particularly outrageous – ironically, it even broadcast a special item marking Daily Ireland’s first birthday. No complaints from Colin Carroll about that particular piece of deferential forlock tugging, I notice.

  • Cahal

    SRR
    Having read your many many attacks on the newspaper Daily Ireland, I think you just have to accept that we live in a free country and we have a free press.

    DI can and will say whatever they want, as much as you dislike it.

  • There are many problems with the approach of the BBC to Irish affairs.

    Not least is the refusal to use the terms Taoiseach, Dáil Éireann, An Garda Síochána etc.

    There is no Irish Prime Minister, there is only a Taiseach – The term used when speaking either English or Irish

  • ingram

    Hi,

    If this had been produced a by a ” Proper” Newspaper and not? well lets not go , we all know who this paper fronts and more importantly who funds it. A very sad and bitter piece from a paper going down the tubes “MK19 Tubes”

    Happy Birthday Maaaaam enjoy it even if some OF YOUR SUBJECTS are less than respectful.

    Marty

  • ingram

    Ha Beeb,

    Quote”There is no Irish Prime Minister, there is only a Taiseach – The term used when speaking either English or Irish” Unquote LOL

    The British public would not understand the term
    Taoiseach, they would and do understand the term Prime Minister. The bottom line is not much concerning Sourthern Irish politics makes the News on the BBC cos it aint a big story. Ireland is a little state with no real impact on day to day life in the UK, the opposite is true for RTE who just love UK news.

    As you may know BBC NI always refer to it correctly unlike you , you do not even spell it correctly.

    Marty

  • downmarket

    I don’t know anyone who could be ‘deeply angered’ by the queen or any other oul wan celebrating their 80th birthday. What drugs is Carroll on?

    Secondly, as a republican i couldn’t give a hoot whether a monarch was catholic, protestant or just ‘deeply angered’ – its just another sectarian side track that anyone with any sense would leave alone.

    Finally, to ask questions about the impact of 1916 on subsequent events, motivations or justifications is not to be either ‘brit loving’ or ‘self loathing’- thankfully southern repubicans now have the selfconfidence and maturity to ask these questions, perhaps someday northern provisionals will follow.

  • J McConnell

    Ha beeb

    > There is no Irish Prime Minister, there is only a Taiseach

    So there is no German chancellor only a Kanzler. No Prime Minister of Holland but a Minister-President, or in Denmark the Statsminister..

    Well I suppose France does have a Premier ministre.

    Was n’t a taoiseach a petty king or a small time tribal leader who dabbled in cattle rustling? Sounds like a suitable title for Bertie and most of his predecessors .

  • Chris Donnelly

    I think the commenters have missed the point O’Carroll is raising (whether intentionally I won’t speculate.)

    Mick and Pete are right to point to examples of how the British-based media organisations (the main BBC, newspapers and political discussion websites- including our own dear Slugger) have used this occasion to tackle the question of monarchy’s relevance in the 21st century, with lively discussion and debate over the issue.

    In a similar manner, the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising last week precipitated much debate and discussion in the mainstream media across Ireland about the event, not least by BBC NI in its reporting of the Rising.

    O’Carroll’s piece would seem to be contrasting the willingness of the local BBC to include considerably diverse opinions of the Rising (as reflective of the local community in the north of Ireland) with the one-dimensional approach presented by the much beloved recipient of all our licence fees (well, most of us anyway…)

    That would appear to be quite a relevant point to make.

  • missfitz

    But is it Chris? As a lot of people here have said, this was a birthday party.

    Now, if it had been a coronation, or her funeral, or some other RELEVANT event, then fair dues, lets talk about it.

    But this was just “an auld wans birthday” to quote from above.

    Time and place for everything, and all that

  • Henry94

    If it is true that we had a serious debate on our occasion and they didn’t then it is we who are better off.

    1916 visibly evolved through the debate and is stronger now in the hearts and minds of Irish people than ever before in my view.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Missfitz

    I appreciate your point. But it’s important to remember that the Queen is the personification of the monarchy: her birthday is a de facto anniversary/ commemoration of the monarchy (isn’t this the reason why she actually has two birthdays a year?)

    I would also argue that the coincidence of the two events within one week made a comparison relevant, particularly in our local context.

    But just to be clear, I too appreciate that anyone reaching octogenarian status deserves hearty congratulations- and that’s not just because its a feat I hope I will achieve one day….

  • slug

    If the national BBC is having the debate whats the problem?

  • Shore Road Resident

    Cahal – I never suggested that Daily Ireland shouldn’t be published or hasn’t every right to print whatever it wants.
    My problem is also with the BBC, which gives Daily Ireland clear special treatment, having apparently suffered some form of media-variety Stockholm Syndrome in the face of sustained republican attack.

    However, I would like Daily Ireland’s editor to acknowledge that BBC Northern Ireland put out a special item on his newspaper’s birthday. Shouldn’t Mr O’Carroll really have mentioned that in his piece?

  • lib2016

    In Nepal ‘chanting peasants’ are beig shot down in the streets for the heinous crime of wanting a republic. When the time comes I’ll be happy to support the ‘chanting peasants’ on our neighbouring island.

    In fact I’d be happy to suggest a swap. We’ll take the English democrats in if the Brits will supply council houses in Bolton for those residents of the Gold Coast who find the whole republican thing rather too declasse.

  • Keith M

    I think Chris (and also Colin O’Carroll) have completly missed the point here. This birthday is the the queen’s personal birthday. It is not her official birthday and therefore debate o yhe monarchy could be seen as inappropriate.

    At the time of the jubilee there were several programmes on the BBC regaing the role and future of the monarchy.

    As for 1916, would commentators have preferred that the BBC didn’t mark it or (even worse) provide no real analysis of the events leading up to and after the event?

  • Brian Boru

    I’m not going to begrudge the British their right to State occasions and celebrations. I will say though that if we had a ban on non-Catholics becoming Irish President, we would be accused of “Rome Rule” by some of the very people that support the Protestant-only sucession to the throne. This does smack of double-standards. Some would counterargue that the Queen is head of the Church of England and that then she can hardly be a Catholic. That this is an untenable excuse is shown by the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland, where a Representative Church Body controls the organisation. If you need a figurehead for the Anglican church, then why not the Archbishop of Canterbury?

    How can British Catholics regard her as their Queen when Catholic relatives of the monarch, like Prince Michael of Kent, a Catholic, cannot ever hope to inherit the throne? The Protestant-only succession arguably legitimises Protestant discrimination against Catholics in the eyes of bigots. The British state, if it is against bigotry, should demonstrate this by removing the ban on Catholics ascending the throne. This is 2006 not 1688.

  • the queen

    Brian
    Sorry your logic doesnt go all the way through.

    As Head of the Church of England, the Queen must be of that religion. How on earth does that relate to the disestablishment of 1871? I see no grounds at all to relate the two things.

  • Brian Boru

    “Brian
    Sorry your logic doesnt go all the way through.

    As Head of the Church of England, the Queen must be of that religion. How on earth does that relate to the disestablishment of 1871? I see no grounds at all to relate the two things.”

    It relates to it because the monarch is no longer head of the Church of Ireland – and was not from 1871 under the UK. It shows that an Anglican church does not have to be headed by a monarch. Having a state religion is so backward.

  • slug

    Brian – there is no state religion in NI or Wales the state religion in Scotland is presbyterian.

  • slug

    Brian

    Although the Queen is not the head of the Church of Scotland, she attends Church of Scotland services when in Scotland.

  • Brian Boru

    “Brian

    Although the Queen is not the head of the Church of Scotland, she attends Church of Scotland services when in Scotland.”

    Do you mean the Episcopalian Church of Scotland? The Church of Scotland is Presbyterian. Confusing me here.

  • slug

    No, she is a Presbyterian worshiper when in Scotland, as the established religion of Scotland is the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland.

    Although the Queen is not the head of the Church of Scotland, she worships in the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland when in Scotland.

    There is no established church in Wales or in NI.

  • downmarket

    Slug,
    AFAIK, the Anglican church in Scotland is known as ‘The Church In Scotland’ rather than the Church of Scotland which is indeed Presbyterian.

    Secondly, the Church of Ireland is a catholic church (it says so in the creed!) just not a Roman Catholic church.. In fact, the only Irish Catholics are those who are lead by Robin Eames at the minute, Bradys crowd are a just a shower of Romans – go home ye b*****ds!!
    What has Rome ever done for us poor gaels and picts??

    SO, if the CofI is catholic, is the CofE also catholic, is the queen, in fact the head of a catholic church??
    I think Benedict should be told.

  • missfitz

    Time for a history lesson, I see.

    Will have to wait until someone delivers, as missfitz is off to a party, but we need a little clarity here on the position of the church prior to the reformation

  • Chris from Brooklyn

    As a romanticizing Irish-American with over simplistic views of the conflict in the North, I find this thread hilarious.

  • kensei

    “SO, if the CofI is catholic, is the CofE also catholic, is the queen, in fact the head of a catholic church??
    I think Benedict should be told.”

    I have covered this before. I think Paisely should be told that the Queens is actually the antichrist.

  • Taigs

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Pearse#Radical_nationalism
    It seems this wiki entry is being subject to massive rewrites by revisionists and Provo Daily Ireland types. Check out the “usual suspects” references.

  • Doctor Who

    The Queen in actual fact is “the defender of the Faith”. Prior to Henry VIII, the established faith being Roman Catholic.

    The establishment of the Anglican church came from England falling out with Rome (seriously editted version of Simon Schama….), and then adapting certain elements from the reformation which was completely seperate from the establishment of the Church Of England.

    The problem some posters have is the use of the WORD Catholic, the word Anglican started to be used more and more by worshippers around 1650, prior to that it was common to use the term English Catholics to signify the seperation from Rome.

    Kensei I hope that makes sense, but I thought you would of known that already as you say uou are a committed Catholic (english or roman).

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    which has included a campaign against paying the licence fee by a columnist who is himself a former BBC NI employee.

    Shore Road Resident should get his facts straight.
    1) The columnist in question has a TV column in the Andersonstown News, not Daily Ireland.
    2) He went to court to answer this charge – and was told by the TV Licensing representative outside the court that the case against him was being dropped because ‘we don’t prosecute people on the Irish question’.
    3) The reason for not paying your tv licence in the North is simple if you’re an Irish speaker:
    In Wales, the BBC spends an average of £256 per Welsh speaker on Welsh language programmes.
    In Scotland, the Corporation spends £122 per Scots Gaelic speaker.
    In the North, it spends just £3 per Irish speaker.
    Yet on 1 April this year, the price of the TV licence was raised from £126.50 to £131.50.

    Irish speakers are not going to be fooled into paying a fee for a service they’re not getting.

  • Doctor Who

    ” The reason for not paying your tv licence in the North is simple if you’re an Irish speaker:
    In Wales, the BBC spends an average of £256 per Welsh speaker on Welsh language programmes.
    In Scotland, the Corporation spends £122 per Scots Gaelic speaker.
    In the North, it spends just £3 per Irish speaker.
    Yet on 1 April this year, the price of the TV licence was raised from £126.50 to £131.50″.

    Figures of course you made up from the top of your head.

    Pay up or turn off republican free loader

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    These are actual figures based on the figures produced by the BBC in their annual reports in conjunction with the British Census figures. Perhaps Dr Who has some other source to back his counter claim or else he should shut up himself.
    There’s no problem turning off BBC Northern Ireland either, as the output from the station amounts to a negative value in the cultural calculus.