Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Let's Do The Timewarp-The Queen In Ireland

I heard an interesting piece on the radio this morning and thought it was part of the BBC's Domesday Project. Either that or that I had actually travelled back in time to the 1980s when the IRA were blowing people up and the Liberal Democrats had an ounce of credibility. But no, it was definitely being broadcast live, this very morning.

The piece was about the Queen's visit to Ireland and the participant was some kind of Irish socialist republican, he sounded extremely bitter and insular. He constantly referred to the Queen as 'Elizabeth Windsor'. He's obviously a seriously extreme revolutuionary calling her that!. When pressed he didn't want her there, or Obama when he visits soon because their governments kill innocent people in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. As most governments in Europe are sending troops to help in those places he was pressed on which heads of state he would welcome. He couldn't name any because he was talking tosh. But the old chestnuts repeatedly popped up about the potato famine, the six counties and how British troops are occupying part of Ireland and we should go and let the Irish be united.

I have no beef with anybody in Ireland be it the Republic or Northern Ireland. My view has always been that if a majority in Northern Ireland want to remain within the United Kingdom then so be it. When a majority want to be part of the Irish Republic then good luck and goodbye. I feel the same about Scotland and have said before that if the people of Cumbria wanted to join an independent Scotland then so be it. That's democracy.

What disturbed me about this particular republican on the radio is that he represents a 'dissident' Irish republican outfit. 'Dissident' being a euphemism for 'terrorist'. He sounded just like a throwback to the dark days of the 1970s and '80s. It was quite sad to hear and a timely reminder that there are still lunatics, on both sides in Ireland, just waiting to return to the path of violence. That's why I think the Queen's visit is so important to Anglo-Irish relations. The overwhelming majority of Irish peope are decent, law abiding people just wanting to live their lives in peace and prosperity just lik the res ofus. But nobody should be complacent.

One final thought. When the little Irish dissident was spouting about the cost of security for the visit in these straightened times, and wanting the British out of Ireland, I don't remember hearing him asking us to take the billions of pounds we baled them out with when we go.  Strange that.

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