Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Anglo-Irish relations and the Queen's visit to the Irish Republic

The Queen's visit to the Irish Republic - the first British monarch since George V - will inevitably stir up strong passions as witnessed in this report. If she uses the visit to genuinely apologise for past British actions in Ireland and to build a spirit of reconciliation between the two islands and the two peoples, then it will be an opportunity for the best. But there are still many outstanding issues, not lease the future position of Northern Ireland.

Millions of euros are being spent on the visit by the supposedly cash strapped country, facing a possible default of its European Central Bank debt, and to a large extent the trip is seen as huge tourism and business PR exercise to increase levels of UK tourism and investment in the Republic. The security operation is also unprecedented and questions need to be asked about the crackdown on the right to protest etc, which is protected by the Irish constitution. Even the Guardian's Irish editor was threatened with arrest earlier today.

There are also questions to be asked about the role of the British security services in the bombings in Dublin and Monaghan in the 70s, which saw the biggest loss of life in the 'Troubles' and where the UK has refused to co-operate in opening the files despite a request from the Irish parliament to do so.

Here is a satirical video the classic UK Sky News view of Ireland and of the Irish economy. Worth pointing out though that Osborne was praising this economy only a few years ago and the joke doing the rounds is that the UK is just 2 years behind Ireland in its economic trajectory. The adage "he who laughs first, laughs last" may be true in this case.

Sky News HD Spoof - Ireland Financial Bailout - BANNED FROM YOUTUBE from Nathan Butler on Vimeo.

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