Obama gives Ireland his full attention (not)

What a glorious piece of parochialism from Irish Voice:
“With less than a month to the presidential election, the question of where Senator Barack Obama stands on Irish issues is still up in the air.”

This almost reaches the level of the famous Skibbereen Eagle headline: ” Skibbereen has its eye of the Czar.”

We recall the row over the (non) appointment of a special envoy.. The penny must surely have dropped by now that such interventions are tokenism.

Bertie Ahern in his own fuzzy way tried to warn them to lower expectations. Obama and McCain are clearly just going through the motions, protecting their backs. The old tricks are till turning : “Like many of us, Obama and Biden come from Irish stock. Senator Obama’s great, great, great grandfather on his mother’s side set sail from Co. Offaly in 1850, arriving in New York and eventually settling in Ohio.”

But the old magic just doesn’t work the same any more.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “But the old magic just doesn’t work the same any more.”

    ….you hope!

  • An Lochlannach

    This almost reaches the level of the famous Skibbereen Eagle headline: “ Skibbereen has its eye of the Czar.”

    Reads more like a Guardian headline.

  • billiejoe_remarkable

    “glorious piece of parochialism” Hmmm.

    Do you ever notice how the BBC always let viewers know whether any britons were injured when there’s an earthquake in China or Pakistan? It’s called the local angle.

    So, maybe the Irish Voice were looking for, you know, an Irish angle on a major news story? Irish Voice, Irish angle. I said: IRISH Voice IRISH angle. Yes? No? Given that readers of that paper probably make-up part of the important Irish vote in US elections there may have been some merit in the story.

    You may feel the story has been flogged to death and in that I might agree but some might say slugger does the same. Often the same issue on two or three threads in a single day.

    But I am delighted to say that Slugger’s, ahem, considerable influence means that the Northern Ireland supporters club has removed the Scottish Flag (what was that doing there?) the Ulster Flag and the Union Jack (with their sectarian overtones)from above their doorway following my post pointing out that the same 3 flags proudly flew not far away above a UFF mural.

    A small step but one that has to be welcomed. We wouldn’t want those flags appearing among the crowds at the World Cup in South Africa. Oh….

    You’re welcome.

  • Rory

    “Senator Obama’s great, great, great grandfather on his mother’s side set sail from Co. Offaly in 1850, arriving in New York and eventually settling in Ohio.”

    So it’s official then, it is Senator O’Bama.

  • Brian Walker,

    I know you know this, but anyway …

    The Irish Voice is not really a parish newsletter, it is a fairly widely circulated paper within Irish-American circles. As such it is read by quite a lot of US voters, and some of them will be influenced by Obama’s position vis-a-vis Ireland.

    The obvious difference with respect to the (in)famous Skibbereen Eagle is that the latter really was a minor paper a long way from the stories it was reporting. The Irish Voice, read largely in the big cities of the US is right where its voice counts!

  • wasting time

    What exactly is the point of this thread? A newsletter written by Irish Americans, for Irish Americans concentrating on issues which are of interest to the Irish American community. Where’s the story? What’s new? Maybe you’ve stumbled on something. Hold on a minute……………………………………..
    Good God Man!!!! A quick google around the world and I can bring you my findings. It appears that other interest groups write newsletters that are relevant to their readers too! Take a look at this example:
    Jewish values will help us through crisis, says Brown
    http://www.thejc.com/node/6822
    How parochial!

    And the Hispanicbusiness.com seems to only focus on Hispanic Business!! what’s that all about! Has the world gone mad?? If only all Newletters were as secular and global minded as this:
    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/sectionhome.aspx?sectionID=13535
    there’s the stories everyone wants to know!

    This thread was probably meant to show up the Irish Voice, and probably the whole relationship between Ireland and the U.S., but you’d expect the Irish Voice to print articles like this (the clue is in it’s name), so who has been shown up and what has actually been revealed right here…….
    Mr Walker?

  • ulsterfan

    It reminds me of Bobby Kennedy asking for support in a fishing community and all he had to offer was a promise he would continue to eat fish every Friday.
    These fishing families were of course from Irish stock and were easily “bought”

  • Rory

    These fishing families were of course from Irish stock and were easily “bought”

    Good God! Irish-Americans voting for Bobby Kennedy. Whatever next?

  • ulsterfan

    Brian W
    In the interests of historical accuracy the Skibbereen had its eye on the Kaiser and not the Czar

  • wasting time

    #

    Brian W
    In the interests of historical accuracy the Skibbereen had its eye on the Kaiser and not the Czar
    Posted by ulsterfan on Oct 14, 2008 @ 01:26 PM

    Ouch! the only thing of slight interest on this blog and it’s incorrect. Dear, dear…

  • Greenflag

    ‘where Senator Barack Obama stands on Irish issues is still up in the air.”

    And a matter of little importance except in those states where an Irish ‘association’ won’t be a factor in the result . In places like New York , Massachussets , Illinois , Pennsylvania Obama is so far ahead in votes that any Irish contribution will hardly matter . The big cities of the USA are overwhelmingly in the Democrat camp the only question is the size of the majority.

    The only ‘population ‘ group still sitting on electoral fence i.e 50/50 are ‘white ‘ Catholics some of whom would be of Irish background but more of whom would be of German , Polish, Italian and other backgounds . The Irish Voice will have scant appeal to the latter.

    McCain still appeals to this group but ONLY on issues re national security , abortion.

    With McCain fighting to hold slim leads in Virginia and North Carolina and spending scarce dollars in those States , Obama is freed up to spend even more in Ohio, Florida and other battleground states.

    This election is and will be about the USA economy. Interms of voter’s priorities even Iraq can harness only 5% of would be voter’s primary concerns . The economy registers 55% . Ireland ? .05% maybe . It might be a bit different if Unionists/Loyalists and Nationalist/Republicans started kill each other off in significant numbers on a Balkans scale, but as we can see once the local politicians have been ‘paid off’ with salaries for doing nothing – then ‘nothing ‘ is going to happen .

  • lorraine

    Senator Obama’s great, great, great grandfather on his mother’s side set sail from Co. Offaly in 1850, arriving in New York and eventually settling in Ohio.”

    is co. offaly not land-locked?????

  • … is co. offaly not land-locked?????

    Brilliant!

    However, they could have ‘sailed’ up (or down) the Grand Canal, which cuts through Offaly, on their way to Dublin or Limerick. Since it’s a canal, though, I guess they didn’t sail, but were pulled by a horse. Or more likely, they had to slog overland without any form of transport.

  • Harry Flashman

    “Brian W
    In the interests of historical accuracy the Skibbereen had its eye on the Kaiser and not the Czar”

    No, Brian is correct, it was the Czar (and Lord Palmerston) that the Eagle had its eye on.

  • Jay

    I live in the states and in all this election converage going on ad naseum for the past year I have never heard anyone or seen on any political show any mention of the irish vote. Only here on Slugger.

    I think very few people would vote based on a candidates statements/policies with regards to Ireland and the 6 counties

  • Democratic

    “the same 3 flags proudly flew not far away above a UFF mural.”
    Not far away you say BJ! – reminds me of the old residents groups cliche – changing from “the offense caused by marching through Catholic areas” to the more recent “the offense caused by marching NEAR Catholic areas” LOL.
    Maybe your next call for political correctness will encompass the Falls Road where the Irish Tricolour flies proudly near murals of the IRA and ETA terrorists (what is that doing there?)….I won’t hold my breath of course…..

  • jackdutch

    horseman:
    you’re simply wrong – the irish voice is a struggling rag confined to some (dwindling) irish sections of new york – its circulations/sales are so small that they are not measured by the usual monitoring agencies – i have heard from insiders that if it sells 4,000 copies a week it is doing very well – shades of daily ireland?

  • Jay

    are there really murals of the ETA in West Belfast?

    What the hell.

  • Pete Baker

    Brian

    As I noted previously,

    Niall Stanage on BBC NI Hearts and Minds with some useful background information on the recent kerfuffle over one US presidential candidate’s reported opinions on Northern Ireland and the exaggarated importance of the Irish-American vote, and that of the influence of the Irish-American lobby.

  • Democratic

    “are there really murals of the ETA in West Belfast?

    What the hell.”
    Right beside the mural to Martin Meehan – you would have to be trying hard to miss it – It’s big enough – loads of tricolours fluttering from nearby lamp-posts also….

  • Jay

    I know they were sympathetic to each others liberation struggles but I really don’t understand why someone would feel the need to put a mural up in 2008 of the ETA in Belfast. What a waste of time and resources. Just put up one of General Meagher or someone more worthy of it.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “Right beside the mural to Martin Meehan – you would have to be trying hard to miss it – It’s big enough – loads of tricolours fluttering from nearby lamp-posts also….”

    The political murals of NI are so repulsive.
    Not only is their content repulsive but they are technically very bad, amounting to mawkish daubs, dipicting the hooded intellectual greats of the communities, brandishing rocket lanchers and assault rifles.
    I thought they were to be outlawed in favour of more cultural aesthetics.
    Doh, sure I forgot, hatred, intimidation and violence is so a part of NI culture! A true reflection then?

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    General Thomas Francis Meagher…

    They probably wouldn’t even know who he was….as they erect the Irish tri colours.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Francis_Meagher

  • Ellie

    Who cares what his opinions on “Irish issues” are, they are of no more concern to us that the issues of any other international country. If we are to be concerned about his opinions on anything it should be those on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “Who cares what his opinions on “Irish issues” are, they are of no more concern to us that the issues of any other international country. If we are to be concerned about his opinions on anything it should be those on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”

    Ellie,
    Only that he might become the next President of the United States of America, the most powerful and influential country on planet earth. FYR, there’s a global economic meltdown at the moment spawned from America’s difficulties and the present cowboy in charge. PM Gordon Brown no doubt will be preparing his continuing role as lackie to the new US President, whether that be Obama or McCain.

  • latcheeco

    Greagoir,
    I can’t make up my mind. Are you lionising dead Irish Republican subversives and their monuments or criticizing them?

  • RepublicanStones

    Any of you ever heard ‘The Boys that wore the green’?

  • Harry Flashman

    I’ve always wondered about Irish Republican support for ETA, surely Spain is as much a nation as the island of Ireland, the majority of Spaniards want a united Spain but a bunch of unreconstructed troglodytes up in the north east corner of the nation believe that they’re somehow not really Spanish.

    Absurd. Of course the Basques are Spanish. Just like the unionists in the north east of Ireland are Irish.

    Or have I missed something?

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “I can’t make up my mind. Are you lionising dead Irish Republican subversives and their monuments or criticizing them?”

    I know latcheeco, it’s very confusing, isn’t it.

    How about, I’m criticizing all the paramilitary murals of NI, which I find very repulsive!

  • andy

    Harry F
    Dont think so dude. I am not an expert but Spain as something approaching an united country in its present context is a relatively recent phenomenon – certainly there seemed to be a lot of discussion in the earlier 20th century about including the Basques into the current national set up – and the decision to do so seemed to be based more on party political squabbles (my memory is that he basques were traaditionally very conservative at that point and Liberals were in power).

    Also of course I dont think there is much doubt the basques are ethnically different to the Castillian spanish?
    (they arent Celts though, which is a mistake some people make)

    I would welcome any informed comment from any other readers.

  • andy

    Harry F
    Actually i have belated noticed tat you’re probably just taking the piss.

    sorry

  • Harry Flashman

    Astute is your middle name Andy.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “Just like the unionists in the north east of Ireland are Irish.”

    Aye indeed, A Unionist is a seven letter word beginning with B.
    A capital B too.

    B _ _ _ _ _ _
    Fill in the letters above.

    It’s BRITISH of course!

    Unionists say that they themselves are BRITISH first and foremost. So to me they are British, first and foremost, forget about any ‘Irish’ identity. They are BRITISH citizens of the UK living in ‘Northern Ireland’ which they themselves declare is BRITISH to all and sundry.
    Union flags, God Save the Queen, BRITISH!

    Ach….Imeacht gan teacht orthu!

  • CW

    Going by what he said in his debate with McCain, it seems that Obama knows something about where the proceeds of the Northern Bank robbery went:

    http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/sandralperkins/gGg2k8

    “let’s help families right away by providing them a tax cut — a middle-class tax cut for people making less than $200,000, and let’s allow them to access their IRA accounts without penalty if they’re experiencing a crisis.”