You know, I can’t even remember the details of the last time the head of state of a mid sized power visited this country.
But it’s a big deal all of a sudden. Why, I’m not too sure.
I mean, at the very base level, this should be a simple matter of reciprocation. The British have never objected to our Taisigh and Presidents visiting them. Why should we?
Oh, the north and atrocity and Bloody Sunday and all that. Please. If we should have learned anything as an island over the last, what, 80 years?, it’s that eye for an eye doesn’t especially work. Holding that kind of crap over Queen Elizabeth, when she has no objection to Irish leaders visiting Britain despite Omagh, Guildford and Birmingham to name a few is hypocritical in the extreme.
She’s just another head of state. Nothing more, nothing less. The only presence or aura of controversy and tyranny incarnate she has is one which we award to her ourselves.
I mean, even if you object to her visiting this nation over the state of the north (amazing that some people still consider that an issue) isn’t it better for Ireland to be the bigger person? We’re not going to be bowing in supplication when she steps off the plane after all. What we will see is two heads of state meeting on equal terms…just as they have previously done in London. Hurrah for equal sovereignty.
Besides, I think all of these objections are so much bluster and hot air. Queen Elizabeth is just a frail old woman at the end of the day, no more a representation of English tyranny then Nick Clegg is.
Where were all these objectors when Princes William and Andrew came to Dublin for rugby games? Where were they when Blair, Brown and various PMs came for visits?
Remember when England played Ireland in Croke Park for the first time? Remember the complaints, the controversy, the claims of inevitable massive protests?
And then, do you remember what happened when God Save The Queen rang out in Croke Park?
The Irish crowd applauded politely.
Queen Elizabeth’s planned visit is little different. You’ll have some small protests, the overly loud minority. Gerry Adams will get his head in the papers again, leading a charge in the name of a manufactured outrage. The rest of the country will go about their day as per normal at the same time that McAleese has some tea with an 80+ year old woman.
Present day guys. She’s Queen Elizabeth, not Oliver Cromwell.
I am actually reminded of a quote from the movie Kingdom of Heaven of all places:
“We fight over an offence we did not give, against those who were not alive to be offended.”
Think about it. Why are YOU really against Queen Elizabeth stepping foot on this island?