by Citizen Smith
FOR SOME time, a campaign has been developing in Dublin to hasten a state visit by the British monarch.
The Irish Times has editorialised and attempted to browbeat the citizenry, categorizing anyone who would not welcome her as a fanatic.
It is argued that after the conflict of centuries the Irish and British sovereign states have as normal, civilised and civil a relationship as Germany and France, Sweden and Denmark, Norway and Germany.
This is manifestly false. Norway does not publicly commemorate those of its sons who died alongside those of Germany fighting the Soviets, although far more of them thus perished than were killed fighting for the Resistance.
Although modern Germany has repudiated Hitler's regime I would be surprised if leading newspapers in any of the countries which suffered under his heel would carry the self-glorifying diary of one of their citizens serving n Germany's army.
The ,em>Irish Times has carried such a diary for an Irish citizen serving in the British army in Afghanistan.
The Irish constitution, enacted by free citizens 70-years back, states that fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the state are fundamental political duties of all citizens.
It would seem that the Irish Times, lacking the courage to ask the electorate to amend this law, encourages them to break it. What would a Norwegian citizen, for instance, make of that ?
When Mary Robinson was president of Ireland she made a couple of visits to London. Not state visits, mind you, but she made quiet visits to Queen Elizabeth. She gave an interview to the Irish media where she seemed to take pride recalling that during the reign of the late Victoria, one of her relations had been a flunkey at the Palace.
Not, I would hope, a groom of the stool, the official whose duty in former times was to wipe the Royal hindquarters, but I got the impression that would have been cause for pride too.
The following day the court circular, published in the Times and other papers announced that Her Majesty had been pleased to receive "The President of the Republic of Ireland."
Mary Robinson, like Douglas Hyde, Sean T. O Ceallaigh, Eamon de Valera, Erskine Childers, Cearbhaill O Dalaigh, and Patrick Hillery before her, was PRESIDENT OF IRELAND under Ireland's constitution. The court circular was a snub to the Irish presidency and to constitutional nationalists, over whom the president " takes precedence over all other persons in the(Irish) State."
Lesser Irish persons are very jealous of their personal titles in which no healthy citizen need have any interest.
For instance, the disc-jockey Terry Wogan, who gets as upset if he's not addressed as " Sir Terence", as he does when foreigners don't vote for UK Eurovision competitors.
Also, the magnate formerly known as Tony O'Reilly, who would once get upset if not called "Dr O'Reilly", now insists on "Sir Anthony O'Reilly," no less.
Personally, I could not give a monkey's what those worthies are called. But I think I have a right to be angry when a fellow citizen, elected to the highest office in Ireland and swears to uphold the constitution and is then snubbed by another head of state.
A state visit by that head of state to Dublin would not atone for that snub - the least of the insults and injuries inflicted on Irish people by her instruments during her long reign.
Michael Davitt claimed that the Land League had destroyed "the Politics of Deference" in Ireland. Some years later James Connolly claimed the " toady, the lickspittle and the crawler" had been given the Bum's Rush by the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union.
Alas, they either spoke too soon, or another batch has been washed up on Ireland's shores.
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