Bertie to address joint session of Westminster…

Bertie is to make a (triumphal?) address to the British Commons and the Lords in May… Just as President Prime Minister Blair steps down and Bertie seeks to get back in for a third bite of the cherry… H/T Seamus..

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  • againtthehead

    yet another example of the improving relations between the 2 nations. What odds for a United Kingdom of Eng, Scot, Wales and Ireland?

  • Owen Lee Joe King

    A suggested opener for his speechwriter….

    We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people.

  • SuperSoupy

    15th May? Is it safe to say he could only be invited/attend if the election wasn’t in progress?

  • Mick Fealty

    On what grounds Soupy?

  • jaffa

    Because parliament would be dissolved dummy.

  • SuperSoupy

    Mick,

    Nothing concrete other than a feeling about diplomatic protocol.

    Bertie wouldn’t be Taoiseach if the Dail was dissolved.

    It would be Westminster giving a profile/endorsement to one party of a neighbouring country during an election.

    Something so high profile would surely rate as a state visit? Could Bertie do that if the Dail was dissolved?

    I’m not sure but it seems like an obvious protocol issue to me.

  • Mick Fealty

    jaffa,

    It’s my job sometimes to ask dumb questions… 😉

  • ahh but will Blair be invited to address the Dail?

  • Whatever Next

    I wonder if Berdie will meet any businessmen friends in London? I’d certainly visit the mainland more often if I cam back home with the suitcases he has.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Parcifal

    “ahh but will Blair be invited to address the Dail?”

    That question is, like, soooo last century…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/events/northern_ireland/latest_news/222450.stm

  • smcgiff

    ‘ahh but will Blair be invited to address the Dail?’

    He deserves more than that after the time he has put into NI. Freedom of Dublin – you heard it here first! 🙂

    againthehead,

    I think the relationship between the UK and the ROI will only improve. However, I hope the UK and Ireland (whole of) can have an even more integrated future in time to come, but it won’t be a full unification.

    For starters we (in the ROI or UI) couldn’t afford it! 😉

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Againstthehead

    “What odds for a United Kingdom of Eng, Scot, Wales and Ireland?”

    Pretty long, I’d say. No-one wants it and no-one sees any need for it. But the ever-improving relationships are a boon for us all. And in truth, these growing friendships probably represent the natural order of things on these islands.

    Now if we can only address that last divisive issue of the Irish border…

  • smcgiff

    ‘That question is, like, soooo last century…’

    I’d forgotten about that too!

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Supersoupy

    “Bertie wouldn’t be Taoiseach if the Dail was dissolved.”

    As far as I know, the Taoiseach remains Taoiseach, and the government remains the government, until the President asks someone else to take over. (Which she does after the people elect the Dail and the Dail “elects” the government.) Ireland, like Britain and any other parliamentary democracy, still has a government during an election campaign.

    “It would be Westminster giving a profile/endorsement to one party of a neighbouring country during an election.”

    One of the privileges of power, I suppose.

    “Something so high profile would surely rate as a state visit?”

    As far as I know, “state visit” has a very specific diplomatic meaning. For it to be a “state visit”, the heads of state would have to be involved – so an Irish “state visit” to the UK would be the President visiting the Queen/King, not the head of government addressing the British parliament.

    “Could Bertie do that if the Dail was dissolved?”

    He’s going to, so I guess the answer is yes.

  • Paul O

    I take it the union question was a joke! Closer relations will be great for both parties, but there wont be any unified state again. The only way that Ireland and the UK will form one state is a unified Europe, which is more likely than an Act of Union for the 21st century!

  • SuperSoupy

    Billy,

    You are right the government remains in place until the new one is appointed as per Article 28 11.2

    My main question was on the diplomatic protocol of such a visit. If the election was in progress it could be interpreted as favouring one side (and not the side they are a sister party of, the ILP)and this seems to be against normal standards during elections.

  • I should have known he’s visited .. oops me thicko

  • jaffa

    “jaffa,

    It’s my job sometimes to ask dumb questions… ;-)”

    Aha! The standard excuse of senior management everywhere.

    What’s that for? WTF is that? Naive questioning as Drucker (and I think Tom Peters) calls it. There’s a bit about it here.

    http://cmdr-scott.blogspot.com/2004/02/part-iii-paul-depodesta-if-you.html

  • Ian

    ““Could Bertie do that if the Dail was dissolved?”

    He’s going to, so I guess the answer is yes.”

    You’re assuming that he’ll have dissolved the Dail by then. It was assumed he would have done so already this week, but he hasn’t.

  • slug

    I do hope that Her Britannic Majesty will make a historic state visit to the Irish Republic soon.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”Now if we can only address that last divisive issue of the Irish border…”

    We have done Billy. It’s called the principle of consent and even SF have signed up to it.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Gerry

    “We have done Billy. It’s called the principle of consent and even SF have signed up to it.”

    How does the principle of consent resolve the issue of partition? It clarifies the issue, certainly. It makes clear the basis on which it is to be resolved, and everyone has signed up to the rules of the game. And that’s a hugely important thing.

    But last time I checked, we still have the old pro-union/pro-unity difference of opinion. The game’s only starting.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”The game’s only starting.”

    ‘The game’ you refer to is presumably the ‘border poll’ endgame whereby NI votes itself out of the UK. On current population trends this looks unlikely to happen on a purely Prod/RC basis, so the ‘game’ must therefore be persausion.

    Republicanism must convince Unionism of the advantages of a UI and Unionism must convince Nationalism of the advantages of the status quo. Thus far there have been no signs of either.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Gerry

    “‘The game’ you refer to is presumably the ‘border poll’ endgame whereby NI votes itself out of the UK. On current population trends this looks unlikely to happen on a purely Prod/RC basis, so the ‘game’ must therefore be persausion.”

    Indeed.

    “Thus far there have been no signs of either.”

    I think the most important thing that has happened has been the calming-down of the situation. Haven’t you noticed the way some of the tension in the air has lifted, even in the few weeks since Gerry and Ian sat down together?

    I think we’re moving to a situation where we can all make up our minds on the issue in a peaceful environment where the focus is on politics, and where we can look at the issue without necessarily being wracked by existential angst. Republicans will consider this to be beneficial to republican goals, as the case for reunification is objectively very strong, whereas the only thing you could say that objectively underpins the status quo, is that it is the status quo.

    But as I say, the game’s only beginning. The beauty is that we can now have the debate, and disagree, without falling out about it.

  • Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Bertie’s visit to Westminster is presumably to counter the suggestion that by going to the opening of assembly it infers/suggests an institutional role for ROI in affairs of occupied territories.

  • slug

    Word has it that Bertie will use the opportunity to speak positively about the unionist tradition in Ireland.

  • jaffa

    jake

    He was on.ly.jo.king. FFS read!

  • The Dubliner

    Jake, why would the Irish government refuse to sign the Good Friday Agreement that Northern Ireland’s nationalist parties, the SDLP and PSF, both negotiated?

    If the GFA sold out Irish unity, then it was sold out by the two nationalist parties who negotiated it and not by the Irish government – who merely acted as impartial guarantor of whatever the parities agreed, and not as negotiator.

    Slug, I sincerely hope Bertie does highlight the positive contributions that unionist have made to Ireland both north and south – not least in the arts. He is a pluralist republican (not a sectarian nationalist masquerading as a republican as PSF supporters are) and he sees both traditions as being equal.

  • Crow

    I supposed he will use address the parliament with a cupla focal as gaeilge. Will that be a first for Westminster?

  • crossofstpatrick

    It would be a great opportunity for Bertie to annonce Ireland’s rejoining of the Commonwealth of Nations. Something that he mentioned long long ago as a possiblilty. A great non-threatening way to express visibly the improved relationship between our two countries.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Paddy X

    The time may be right after a United Ireland – so maybe in 20 years time – or whenever the demographics kick in.
    It would be madness for any country to associate themselves too closely with the UK (or whats left of it )at any time in the future until the Englezes changed their disastrous foreign policy.

  • Nathan

    Cross of st patrick,
    There isnt a snowballs chance in hell that Bertie Ahern would generate controversy back home, by advocating an initiative which is devoid any significant public support…so less of the unconstructive comments please.

    Don’t expect British parliamentatians to probe the Taoiseach about (re)entry either…such comments would reek of diplomatic ineptness.

    Given the cordial relations which now exist between the 2 jurisdictions, whether perceived or actual, I think its more feasible to suggest that the Queen of GB and N.Ireland will be paying a visit to the Irish public in Dublin within the next 2-3 years.

  • Mr Ahern receives a briefing from his top man before he goes a-calling on his hero :

    http://11sixtynine.blogsome.com/2007/04/28/republican-socialist-gears-up-to-attack-westminster/

    We believe his canary tracksuit is still with the dry-cleaners (those Bass stains are a right devil to remove!) but he has managed to borrow a suit for the occasion …..

    Sharon.

  • Winder

    It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    “The time may be right after a United Ireland – so maybe in 20 years time – or whenever the demographics kick in.”

    What demographics? Catholic “community background” children are now the minority in every primary school year.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Windy

    Are there 2 sets of stats ? One for Prods and one for the good guys? The fenian version of the census stats (2001) I saw showed a majority of the good guys in all age groups – I think under 21 – but I may be wrong.

    What is source of you figures for the bad guys being in a majority primary schools?

  • C-X

    Bertie will have a lot to talk about. Him addressing Westminster and who would have thought Sinn Fein would end up working for the British Government?

    We might be closer than we think to that United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland ‘)

    Then Her Majesty might warm to the idea of taking a visit to Dublin.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    “We might be closer than we think to that United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland”

    With SF part-running the occupied territories and possibly soon part-running the unoccupied territories we might be further away than some might think.

  • C-X

    Aren’t Current polls showing the opposite? That Fianna Fail may end up with an alternative of Fine Gael and Labour??

    I read that even the Green party had better prospects than the Shinners.

  • The Dubliner

    “It would be a great opportunity for Bertie to annonce Ireland’s rejoining of the Commonwealth of Nations.” – crossofstpatrick

    Not an option. Keep in mind that unionists comprise less than 10% of the Ireland’s population. By the time Irish unity ever gets on the political agenda (decades hence), they’ll be a smaller group than the Polish, et al. No fundamental changes will be made to accommodate such a tiny minority. Equality of citizenship is all the Republic has to offer any ethnic group. Unless you guys strike oil up north, the citizens of the south won’t make any fundamental changes (or incur any great costs) for Irish unity. It would have been different had nationalists not disgraced their cause by embracing sectarian violence with such fervour. But who can predict 40 years hence?