Is that a ministerial hat you’re wearing?

In a statement on the Sinn Féin website, Michelle Gildernew, MP, MLA, marks out the latest target in the “freedom struggle”. The headline on the statement is “Gildernew calls for the removal of UK status for exported products”. But, despite failing to appear yet on the Northern Ireland Executive website, the statement quotes Michelle Gildernew in her official ministerial capacity..

The Minister for Agriculture concluded, “I think it was often said, during the BSE crisis, that there is no such thing as a British cow in Ulster. I would agree whole heartedly with this sentiment and feel now is the time to remove this impediment from our farmers.” [added emphasis]

Is that the Departmental position? Do her NI Executive colleagues know of this? Of course, as the Minister well knows, the most recent health scare to affect agricultural products here was Irish in origin.

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  • Mack

    Certainly was Irish (as in cross-border) a combination of Carlow meat processing plant and a Tyrone firm supplying contaminated waste, IIRC.

  • “The Razor blade was German made
    But the sheet was Irish Linen!”

    Irish is a good brand-wagon. It suited us when we still made stuff in Belfast. We should keep using it now.

  • Her objective towards ensuring that Northern Ireland benefits from a “disease-free” status is correct.

    However, given the Minister’s record on putting ideology before animal welfare by failing to promptly promote Animal Welfare legislation back in January, one has to be a bit sceptical about the manner in which she presented the problem.

    I thought her remarks were racist. There was a gleeful undertone of racism in her statement. With her “British cow” remark, she might just as well have called “Blue tongue” “Red, white and Blue tongue.”

  • Bill

    By the same token some might say that there isn’t an Irish cow in ‘Ulster’ (and by this I assume she is meaning Northern Ireland)?

    So perhaps the position should be a recognition of Northern Ireland and as such ‘Made in Northern Ireland’ would suffice.

  • Glenn

    I’m sure all the republicans in West and North Belfast and the Creggen will be raising a few glasses of their favourite tipple knowing Michelle Gildernue has made a major advancement in Irish unity.

    I listened to Barbra Brown being interview on Talk Back, and the message I was picking up was that Sinn Fein were not doing at all well in their traditional republican heart lands.

  • eranu

    Cows from the UK are not actually from the UK says UK minister….??

    its daft things like that that get the chuckies laughed at!! i could see a chuckling news reader doing a ‘…and finally’ feature at the end of the old 10 o’clock news 🙂

  • alan56

    Seymour Major

    I think you are being a wee bit churlish…’British Cow’. Bit of fun surely.
    On the broader point Michelle Glidernew has been getting on with the job and unlike Catriona does not politicise everything. She is an effective minister who is prepared to listen and not dictate. Catriona should take note!

  • Big Maggie


    “I listened to Barbra Brown”

    Who she? Do I know her?

    A terrible Streisand-Gordon hybrid comes to mind :^)

    Perhaps you mean Bairbre de Brún….

  • Big Maggie


    They’re all at it now.

  • alan56

    Big Maggie

    Spelling never was my strong poient

  • Mirko

    Here being where Paul B – London or Belfast?

  • Big Maggie


    Don’t worry about it. I wonder what Glenn’s excuse is.

  • Glenn
  • George

    Don’t be too hard on Glenn.

    His own name is an English translation of Irish so in his need for a sense of belonging probably wants to inflict the same fate on everyone else.

  • Pete Baker


    If we could try to keep focussed on the actual topic..

  • alan56


    you’re such a spoil sport (should that have been hyphenated?)

  • JD

    Well done Michelle, most nationalist farmers resent these tags and it would be appropriate to get this issue sorted.

  • British cows for Her Majesties’ grass !

    Bad job Michelle, most Unionist farmers enjoy these tags and it is inappropriate to try and impose a foreign state designation on them, against their wishes and against reality. We have a duty to label produce accurately. We must respect, not impose upon, the accurate ethnic designation of cows. Dem cows were born in the Queens territory so they were, and they are British. Indeed, if we look into Hibernian Bovine Genealogy, we may discover certain realities contrary to our feelings……

    Also, it is nothing more than inter-special triumphalism and bully girl tactics to presume that a cow shares the politics of the farmer or that the farmer, with all his privilege, can impose identity upon the cow, indeed we might assume some opposition ! Could it be that Nationalist Farmers have Unionist cows and vise versa ? I’m just saying I never seen one vote sinn fein (then again round here……). The days of second class species, discrimination and denial of rights are over Michele. Get used to it ! Those cows are asserting their rights after years of oppression and the biltong-ist wing of sinn fein have to face up to reality.

    Furthermore, my cows, and indeed my bulls, are British – and I have just parachuted one (col. R J mooworthy, (RAF-retired)) into county Cavan where he is under orders to increase the British cow population by roging all those doe eyed Irish heffers and show them how the real men (or rather bulls) do it for glorious Britannia. Oh Yes my son !

  • circles

    pete is there any reason why my post to Glenn from last night was deleted and yet all his still stand?

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