MPs sitting in Dail today…

Well, not quite. The no representation without taxation argument won the day in the Dail, but today is the inaugural sitting of a committee that will include Northern Irish Parliamentarians in some form of oversight of the peace process. It will be interesting to see what precisely it is they are going to oversee.

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  • Nevin

    “They can take part in debates .. but will not have a right to vote or to move motions and amendments.”

    Inequality/second class citizens in the PNF (Pan-Nationalist Front)? Surely not!!

  • ulsterfan

    This appears to be the Irish version of the Lothian question.

  • Dewi

    Sad that is is automatic almost that Unionist MPs not attending. In the changed climate can’t see why not.

  • An Lochlannach

    It’s a pity that representation is restricted to Westminster MPs. If Assembly members could attend we might see the Greens (or should that be ‘the Green’?) and Alliance there too. It’s a curious arrangement given FF’s declaration that they won’t be contesting Westminster elections.

  • D’oul 32

    Its a pity that the sitting TD for North Antrim doesn’t come down. Big Ian will have to sit here at some stage anyway so he might as well pick a nice seat out for himself.

  • Nevin

    “Westminster MPs from the North have been invited to take part in a new committee of the Dail set up to help implement the Good Friday Agreement.”

    Why limit the invitation to MPs from NI? Haven’t they read Strand 3 of the Agreement?

  • interested

    Nevin,
    I wouldn’t really worry who is invited. A tin-pot committee to make nationalists in NI feel better about themselves.

    It really seems like some kind of self-help group. Did they get a grant to set it up?

  • Perhaps the SF MPs could use the opportunity to name the DUP MLAs who are engaged in a bitter and twisted campaign against the Irish language – let’s name them here, Michelle McIlveen, Sammy Wilson, Nelson McCausland, George Robinson and, the honorary DUP MLA, David McNarry. The list goes on.

  • interested

    Olibhear
    Perhaps they will use the committee to do that. After all, it doesn’t seem to have any other use.

  • “Sad that is is automatic almost that Unionist MPs not attending. In the changed climate can’t see why not.”

    And I can’t see in the current climate, or indeed in any climate in the near future, why they would. Just because you want to obfuscate Northern Ireland’s constitutional position doesn’t mean unionists have to contribute.

  • Perhaps you’re right, Interested. It’s important symbolically naturally but it’s interesting that SF leader Gerry Adams MP or the DFM M McG MP aren’t among the SF delegation. What’s behind that?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    They must have more important things to do.

  • Nevin

    Mick, the BBC report indicates that they will be able to participate in all Dail committees. Is this so?

    They might be talking about the Belfast-Derry rail upgrade.

  • Red Branch

    Amazingly the real issue is how the DUP have politically “matured” or “gone soft”.

    The thought of a Northern Ireland Minister, not to forget the Deputy First Minister, now of right can sit in a Dail committee without the DUP going ape is amazing.

    There was a time when “Ulster said No” to Dublin Interference, now Paisley and crew mildly ignore it.

  • The Dubliner

    “Big Ian will have to sit here at some stage anyway so he might as well pick a nice seat out for himself.”

    On the contrary. It pushes a united Ireland further away, not closer. The granting of speaking rights to Her Majesty’s MPs in the Dail is about hoodwinking northern nationalists into thinking that an ‘all-Ireland’ means the same thing as ‘united Ireland’ despite the constitutional status of NI remaining unchanged. As long as the natives think they’re de facto united, that’s all that matters. It works to PSF’s advantage because they can obfuscate on the constitutional issue; and it works to Paisley’s advantage simply because a happy native is not a rebellious native.

  • 0b101010

    It’s not quite the same as being able to sit in the Dail, though, is it? Being able to attend a “committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement” in Dublin is hardly exciting stuff for politicians, even Republicans, that already attempt to manage that in Belfast. Sounds like a waste of money to me.

  • joeCanuck

    Glad to see that nobody is blogging the “big” non-story of the day.
    The last thing we need is Ingram back promising his imminent political bombshells or, indeed, claiming reponsibility for this one.

    *Yawn*.

  • lib2016

    It is a very gentle move towards Northern representation in the Dail. North and South have problems in common and that seems sensible to me, and apparently to others also.

    As for unionists not taking advantage of the possiblity for them to deliver their message personally? Very little ‘spin’ will translate this as an opportunity to attack Dublin from the centre. Given recent happenings there’ll be no problem in that, from either side.

  • interested

    Red Branch,
    Ulster does say NO to Dublin interference in NI affairs. That’s why it was so important to ensure that any cross-border co-operation is accountable to the Assembly.

    However, a few NI MPs going down to a powerless committee where they can’t vote, place motions, or put down amendments hardly equates to interference. Even if it was interference it actually could only be described as as Ulster interference in Dublin affairs, not the other way round.

    Maybe its the people in the Republic who should be protesting. After all, they didn’t vote for the Shinners because they didn’t want those ‘British MPs’ like Adams down there making a mess of things. Now they’re getting their foot in the door at a committee.

    “Down with these sort of things I tells ya!”

  • Dewi

    “Obfuscate” @1.10pm from Chekov and @1.32pm from Dubliner. Lovely word.
    Either the committee is harmless so why not attend ? Or the committee is the first step toward a United Ireland in which case Unionists might see the need to attend…….

  • Or Dewi, the committee is a piece of impotent pan-nationalist symbolism, therefore why on earth would anyone who is not a nationalist attend?

  • The Dubliner

    Dewi, it isn’t “the first step toward a United Ireland.” It’s a sop to the Shinners and the Stoops, who can pacify their supporters who are of a republican disposition by pointing to “all-Ireland” initiatives that give the virtual impression of unity and claim that they are progress toward a united Ireland when they are, in actuality, a substitute for it – just like a Playstation game called “United Ireland 2007.”

    Chekov has it right: it is “a piece of impotent pan-nationalist symbolism.” Worse still, its symbolism serves to undermine Irish sovereignty by creating the precedent that it is proper for members of Her Majesty’s parliament to have interference rights in this jurisdiction’s parliament. They have no democratic mandate here; and it is a bloody disgrace that the integrity of Irish sovereignty should be undermined by a bunch of political hacks who failed to alter the constitutional issue in the GFA negotiations to the benefit of their own voters but now wish to create the utterly bogus impression that they did just that.

  • cut the bull

    I think Willie Frazer, Cedric Wilson and Bob McCartney should demand eeerrr or in the new dispensation ask for speaking rights for unelected and unelectable unionists, Jackie Mc Donald may even make an appearance also.

    Willie could scare the shite out of the Free State government by giving all the boys a lift down to the land of the grey skies in his new Sararcen.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Dubliner

    “Worse still, its symbolism serves to undermine Irish sovereignty by creating the precedent that it is proper for members of Her Majesty’s parliament to have interference rights in this jurisdiction’s parliament.”

    Accepting an invitation can hardly be described as interference, can it?

    “They have no democratic mandate here; and it is a bloody disgrace that the integrity of Irish sovereignty should be undermined…..”

    It’s perfectly normal for parliamentary committees in Ireland and elsewhere to seek input from a whole range of sources – business, trade unions, the professions, academia etc. Such contributors rarely have a democratic mandate of any description but it doesn’t undermine Irish democracy that they should be allowed to participate. After all, actual decision-making is still the exclusive preserve of those who HAVE been mandated by voters to represent them.

    The northern MPs do, at least, have democratic mandates, given to them by Irish citizens. How does their participation in Dáil committees “undermine the integrity of Irish sovereignty?”

    Indeed, how is it even possible that Irish citizens could, by participating in an Irish parliament, “undermine the integrity of Irish sovereignty”?

  • eranu

    “just like a Playstation game called “United Ireland 2007.” ”

    ive heard of this game. it didnt sell well in ireland north or south because it was impossible to get past level 1. after that you lose interest… 🙂

  • lib2016

    JoeCanuck,

    “The last thing we need is Ingram back….”

    According to the latest issue of Phoenix the Black Propaganda unit has been disbanded. Anything we hear further from that lot is from rogue agents or glove puppets.

  • Dewi

    ““a piece of impotent pan-nationalist symbolism.” Worse still, its symbolism serves to undermine Irish sovereignty by creating the precedent that it is proper for members of Her Majesty’s parliament to have interference rights in this jurisdiction’s parliament”

    Impotent…symbolism… undermine Irish sovereignty.

    That’s a fine bit of dialectical contradiction even by your noble standards Dubliner..

  • An Lochlannach

    Dublin wrote: “They have no democratic mandate here; and it is a bloody disgrace that the integrity of Irish sovereignty should be undermined…..”

    What mandate does the Dublin Government have in the North that it should exercise massive influence over the affairs of that state? None, but that isn’t the point. The politics of ‘you stay in your half and we’ll stay in ours’ are gone for good. Not everyone shares your 26 county nationalism, Dubliner.

    I wonder, Dubliner, what the men and women who founded the Irish state understood by ‘Irish sovreignity’. Your own fetishising of Oireachtas procedures or something deeper? For them, nothing undermined Irish sovreignity quite like partition. It’s hard to imagine Dev or Collins opposing this further step to all-Ireland politics.

  • Well said Lochlannach.

    If there’s one ting worse than the Black and tans it’s dem durty f**kin Dublin 26 county nationalists. To hell or to Connaught with dem? Hell isn’t hot enough for dose swine. Come back to us when you can pronounce words like “th”ing “th”is and “th”at.

  • RepublicanStones

    sure them jackeens are west brits anyway. im sickened of hearing cockney rhyming slang repeated in a DooBlin accent !

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Northern MPs should in principle be given full voting rights. Clearly there will be a ‘North Lothian question ‘ to be resolved but as ROI money is being spent on the North and we all one nation as far as the majority of people in Ireland are concerned then get the Non Ironers in. FF (probably the most corrupt political party in the world) are nominally a republican party and have a chance to show it. There probably should be a requirement to swear an oath of loyalty to the concept of a united Ireland to stop quare fellahs from having to be ‘oxtered oot’ if they tried to disrupt proceedings.

    ps Talking of Northern incursions into the ROI -Ulster could well loose to the mighty Connaught in the Magners league.

  • tweedledee

    The Dubliner,

    Worse still, its symbolism serves to undermine Irish sovereignty by creating the precedent that it is proper for members of Her Majesty’s parliament to have interference rights in this jurisdiction’s parliament.

    The First and Second Dail were all elected to His Majesty’s parliament.

  • Harry

    Billy Pilgrim: How does their [‘British’ MPs] participation in Dáil committees “undermine the integrity of Irish sovereignty?”
    By laying the groundwork for an extension of the east-west aspects of the anglo-irish relationship in a way that interjects british parliamentarianism into the executive and legislative functions of the irish state. Both structurally (in terms of actual legal power) and politically (in the way that the population are being set up to accept this) it could be said that we are being led down a road that dilutes Irish separatism and is preparing the ground for a new ‘council of the isles’ – in other words, a form of latter-day Home Rule. All of this on the basis that unionists have the right to assert some sense of nationalism against the democratic realities of this island simply because, as ever, they threaten violence if they don’t get their way and are backed up in this by a british state that has its own agenda to pursue by such support.

    We are to believe that diluting our sovereignty and embracing fulsomely a post-nationalist position with regard to our own legislative and executive branches – in partnership with a country which is currently engaged in the supreme nationalism of a foreign war and which refuses to join Schengen, which refuses to join the euro and which has wedded its military-industrial complex to the americans for its own nationalist reasons – is the best position for us and is indeed to be welcomed because the alternative is war and trouble.

    I would contend that the leaders who are selling us this view are not putting the interest of ireland to the forefront but are squeamish (and possibly well-paid) lackeys of the british. At the very least the politics we face at the moment on this island – including such things as MPs on Dáil committees – could be described as ‘ambiguous’ and unclear in its import, ultimate destination and intentions. That very fact alone should make those who have some pride in Ireland very wary.

    As for The Dubliner, unfortunately he forgets that there are 800,000 Irish people in the north who were abandoned by the south and who paid the price for the south’s freedom. These people come from the same history, the same people and the same fight as the south. Abandoning them with self-righteous flecks of spittle on your mouth as you denounce them is not an honourable position. It is a cowardly position.

  • Alan Anderson

    I dont understand why the unionists fail to see any positives of attending, the reason their Ireland broke up was because the failed to involve the masses and the reason NI is now collapsing(as in shared rule etc) is simply because they “won” their corner and they are goin to stay in it till its sufficently erroded. I believe that the errosion is simple unionisim never wanted to grow, never wanted to to expand. Their support collapsed in the 26 they abandoned 3 counties of ulster, and now they fail in anyway to outreach or try to comprehend their opposition.

    Anyways my point is they would be surprised how many in the dail would be glad to see them, I always felt the UUP and FG were very alike, minus the facisim——no wait thats not right, sorry i ment that too.

  • Harry

    Unionism never reached out to nationalism because it was always top dog and didn’t have to. Also, being fair to nationalists in the north ever since partition would have resulted in nationalists outnumbering unionists decades ago due to not having to emigrate to find work – a risk unionists chose not to take by kicking the economic crap out of nationalists with a few actual pogroms thrown in from time to time for good measure. This also prevented the equally unwanted phenomenon of Irish nationalists from the south emigrating to the north in search of work.

    But fundamentally unionists fear the Irish. This is at the root of their attitudes and is what informs their inability to deal with nationalists as equals. The fact that the british will arm them and back them up is a great boon to them in maintaining this distatsteful and preposterous position.

    Unionism is a poison in the body politic of this island.

  • Munsterman

    Superb posts from Harry.
    Thank you.