24/06/2012 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


24/06/2012

Tara Mills looks at the political developments of the week and questions policy makers on the key issues.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 24/06/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

In a Northern Ireland, the Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams will be

:01:29.:01:33.

in the studio to discuss the implications for Republicans. Join

:01:33.:01:43.
:01:43.:01:43.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2023 seconds

:01:43.:35:26.

Hello and welcome to the Sunday Politics.

:35:26.:35:29.

It is just over a year since the Queen made her historic visit to

:35:29.:35:34.

the Republic of Ireland. At that time it was a step too far for the

:35:34.:35:38.

Deputy First Minister to meet her. Since then, and with the

:35:38.:35:41.

announcement of a visit here to mark the Diamond Jubilee, it is the

:35:41.:35:44.

question that would not go away. Would Martin McGuinness meet the

:35:44.:35:54.

Queen? Finally we have an answer, yes. From this is the right thing

:35:54.:36:04.
:36:04.:36:05.

to do at the right time and for the right reasons.

:36:05.:36:08.

So what does that decision mean for Sinn Fein as a republican party? We

:36:08.:36:10.

will be putting that question to the party's president.

:36:10.:36:13.

Also on the programme, it is 30 years since homosexuality was

:36:13.:36:15.

decriminalised. Are politicians doing enough to tackle

:36:15.:36:18.

discrimination? Here to discuss all of this DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson

:36:18.:36:26.

and commentator Brian Feeney. It is not that long ago that it

:36:26.:36:29.

would have been unthinkable for a member of Sinn Fein to meet the

:36:29.:36:32.

Queen. This week though history will be made. Our political

:36:32.:36:34.

correspondent looks back and traces Martin McGuinness's journey from

:36:34.:36:44.

IRA leader to peacemaker. A sign of the Times in 1977. The

:36:44.:36:49.

Queen marked 25 years from the throne and the IRA marked another

:36:49.:36:53.

year in it last war. The face of that campaign was Martin McGuinness

:36:53.:37:02.

who joined as a teenager. Can you say whether the bombing as a likely

:37:02.:37:11.

to stop in the near future? Well, I will always take it under

:37:11.:37:18.

consideration. Later he went on the run and was imprisoned for IRA

:37:18.:37:24.

membership. He has since claimed that he left the organisation in

:37:24.:37:29.

1974 but made no secret of his support for the IRA and opposition

:37:29.:37:35.

to the union. The Queen's Silver Jubilee visit brought a 21 gun

:37:35.:37:41.

salute to Belfast, but it was a tale of two tribes. The sound from

:37:41.:37:46.

nationalists was one of protests. Security was tight in the face of

:37:46.:37:51.

the Queen's visit. Tensions deepened when a republican teenager

:37:51.:37:58.

was shot dead by the army on the eve of the visit. These scenes

:37:58.:38:03.

accompanied the visit. For the have watched events with deep concern

:38:03.:38:09.

and sadness. -- we have watched events. No one could remain unmoved

:38:09.:38:14.

by the violence and the grief that follows. The Queen spoke of

:38:14.:38:19.

reconciliation, but two years later the monarch was personally touched

:38:19.:38:27.

when her cousin was murdered by the IRA. His campaign, Martin

:38:27.:38:36.

McGuinness continued to front. the end of the day it will be the

:38:36.:38:41.

cutting edge of the IRA that will bring freedom. Sinn Fein was

:38:41.:38:44.

changing but the message of violence was not. Our position is

:38:44.:38:50.

clear that it will never change. The war against the British must

:38:51.:38:54.

continue until freedom is achieved. But a new decade brought a new

:38:54.:39:04.
:39:04.:39:05.

message, peace and a ceasefire. Martin McGuinness became the chief

:39:05.:39:11.

-- became very a vault higher up and the IRA. Let's not give them

:39:11.:39:15.

what they want. Power-sharing brought Sinn Fein to Stormont, but

:39:15.:39:20.

the party stayed away when the Queen visited to mark the Golden

:39:20.:39:25.

Jubilee. Martin McGuinness stayed home last year where they are then

:39:25.:39:28.

joined the First Minister in greeting the Queen. But month later,

:39:29.:39:33.

during an Irish presidential election, the attitude had shifted.

:39:33.:39:38.

The day in which a Queen of England comes to meet with Martin

:39:38.:39:41.

McGuinness as president of Ireland would be a huge occasion. That was

:39:41.:39:48.

not to be. Instead, the Queen will creep Martin McGuinness soon as

:39:48.:39:58.
:39:58.:39:59.

they bitty first minister. -- will Just watching those pictures, how

:39:59.:40:04.

significant is this meeting? It is very significant in that the

:40:04.:40:11.

journey that we are on. Republicans, I think, are, on the one hand,

:40:11.:40:17.

divided into two constituencies. There are those who are tragically

:40:17.:40:23.

against us and those who are for us. There are those who suffered under

:40:23.:40:27.

British state guidance and they are hoping that it works out well. Why

:40:27.:40:32.

are we doing this and why are we doing it at this time? We think

:40:32.:40:39.

that as we continue on the path as we would see it towards a united

:40:39.:40:44.

Ireland, we know that cannot happen unless the Unionists are part of

:40:44.:40:49.

aid. We have to give space out of respect for our neighbours who have

:40:49.:40:57.

a loyalty to the Queen of England that we do not have. There is a

:40:57.:41:04.

very significant step that might bring us into a new platform and

:41:04.:41:09.

into other phases which can be built upon. It is a big ask for

:41:09.:41:16.

republicans and a big ask for the Queen as well. I think everyone

:41:16.:41:20.

involved... The Queen will be there and Martin will be there and Peter

:41:20.:41:30.
:41:30.:41:32.

Robinson will be there. Many people have suffered including the Queen

:41:32.:41:42.

herself. Her family have been bereaved as a cause of the conflict.

:41:42.:41:47.

-- as a result of the conflict. There are others here who will not

:41:47.:41:52.

engage in talks and will stand back from the peace process. They do

:41:52.:41:57.

need the cover of the Irish President -- did you need the cover

:41:57.:42:04.

of the Irish President to sell it to your constituency? We have an

:42:04.:42:10.

ongoing process Of Equality building. Martin McGuinness will

:42:10.:42:20.
:42:20.:42:22.

meet the Queen of England as an equal. The hosts will be an All

:42:22.:42:26.

Ireland a charitable organisation. This all makes it easier to

:42:26.:42:35.

represent where we have gone and where we have come to as an island

:42:35.:42:43.

-- tu as an island... Thankfully we are out of all of that. He said on

:42:43.:42:48.

Friday it was not a unanimous decision but it was a clear

:42:48.:42:53.

majority for those who did not degree -- agreed. What happens with

:42:53.:42:57.

them? Are they accepting it, or is there a chance that you will

:42:57.:43:04.

increase the ranks of the dissidents? We did 40 meetings

:43:04.:43:12.

across the island on Thursday evening and we brought together

:43:12.:43:17.

1,500 republicans. We got as many people as we could together to

:43:17.:43:22.

discuss these matters. We have been engaging on a one-to-one basis with

:43:22.:43:28.

people. We have spoken to families of the dead. The victims' groups

:43:28.:43:36.

have suffered under British state guidance. We want to have a healthy

:43:36.:43:41.

climate of dissent. I did a number of the meetings in my constituency

:43:41.:43:46.

and I talked to people in West Belfast yesterday. One of the

:43:46.:43:51.

things I've found quite marked is that the argument has been put

:43:51.:43:56.

trenchantly by those who are for and against us and at the end

:43:56.:44:04.

people stood behind and they were very quarter will and our party and

:44:04.:44:09.

our constituency may disagree on some situations but they are united

:44:09.:44:15.

on the fundamentals that most of us want the most change. We have been

:44:15.:44:19.

talking for a long time to Unionists and issuing policy

:44:19.:44:24.

statements, trying to reach out and verbally. This goes beyond the

:44:24.:44:29.

rhetoric. Those who think we are not serious about the ability of

:44:29.:44:36.

someone to be British and come from the island of Ireland and Unionists

:44:36.:44:40.

will see in this gesture that we are moving significantly beyond

:44:40.:44:45.

rhetoric. But there is more to reconciliation that Sinn Fein's

:44:45.:44:54.

Martin McGuinness meeting the Queen. Of course. We are engaged in those

:44:54.:45:00.

ongoing initiatives. Some of it is going on at the grass roots level.

:45:00.:45:05.

If you are are on the dole, if you are in poverty and cannot get

:45:05.:45:11.

access to education, if you do not have a proper quality of life, than

:45:11.:45:18.

equality is just an abstract ideal. -- than many quality is just an

:45:18.:45:28.
:45:28.:45:37.

We are so divided. We are living apart and working apart and we are

:45:37.:45:46.

too small for that. What does Conor Murphy's role have to do with this?

:45:46.:45:53.

What message does he sent to Unionists? He has absolutely

:45:54.:46:01.

rejected this. Protocols were followed and decisions are made.

:46:01.:46:07.

One can question anything that one wants to question. Accepting

:46:07.:46:11.

everything is fallible. That is the fallacy of a lot of what has

:46:11.:46:18.

happened on this island. But look, the issues of uniting and agreeing

:46:18.:46:27.

to disagree and defending the accommodation between loyalists and

:46:27.:46:32.

Unionists, that will be a continuing challenging exercise.

:46:32.:46:38.

What this engagement next week will do is show what is possible. I

:46:38.:46:45.

would like to think that when it is over people, those of us who want

:46:45.:46:48.

positivity in our future and harmony and a better Ireland,

:46:48.:46:55.

because we deserve a better society, will see this as a good thing.

:46:55.:47:00.

you reluctant to have a photograph released of Martin McGuinness

:47:00.:47:05.

having a handshake with the Queen? We understand there will not be a

:47:05.:47:10.

picture released. I would not suggest that there has been any

:47:10.:47:13.

notification from Buckingham Palace but there is certainly no objection

:47:13.:47:18.

from Sinn Fein. We are doing this as pout republicans. We are

:47:18.:47:27.

confident and modern in our vision. We think it is the right thing to

:47:27.:47:31.

do. The handshake or whatever greetings are involved between the

:47:31.:47:39.

principles, of course we have no objection to that. Jefferey, how do

:47:39.:47:44.

you view this? Well, it is something that we have waited a

:47:45.:47:50.

long time to see. I think that we recognise that Her Majesty the

:47:50.:47:56.

Queen is coming to Northern Ireland as part of her Diamond Jubilee

:47:56.:47:59.

celebrations and a lot of people are looking forward to her visit.

:47:59.:48:05.

As part of that, the Deputy First Minister, he is a minister in the

:48:05.:48:10.

Northern Ireland executive, will be meeting Her Majesty. That is a good

:48:10.:48:19.

thing and perhaps long overdue. you recognise that this is a

:48:19.:48:25.

nucleus and the peace process? would not put it that way but it is

:48:25.:48:31.

part of moving Northern Ireland forward. This visit is very

:48:31.:48:34.

important to the Unionist community, but even beyond that, there are

:48:34.:48:38.

many people who I think will welcome the visit of the Queen who

:48:38.:48:42.

are not Unionist. I think it is important that Her Majesty feels

:48:42.:48:46.

welcome in Northern Ireland and it is important that people recognise

:48:46.:48:50.

her position as the head of state. Therefore I think this is progress.

:48:50.:48:55.

Of course it is difficult for Her Majesty. She lost a member of her

:48:55.:49:01.

family, a very close member of her family, during the Troubles. There

:49:01.:49:07.

will be many people, victims of IRA terrorism who will find the

:49:07.:49:11.

encounter a difficult. But the peace process is about tackling the

:49:11.:49:16.

difficult issues, making the difficult decisions. Her Majesty

:49:16.:49:19.

support the peace process and she is making a very valuable

:49:20.:49:23.

contribution to helping Northern Ireland with a foreword to a place

:49:23.:49:27.

where we can move - never live together on a basis of mutual

:49:27.:49:31.

respect and Anders -- where we can live together on a basis of mutual

:49:32.:49:38.

respect and understanding. I am sure that there is an appreciation

:49:38.:49:42.

that there are difficulties and that has required a lot of

:49:42.:49:47.

organisation and planning behind the scenes to produce the

:49:47.:49:52.

circumstances. I think it has been very cleverly done, where the

:49:52.:49:58.

meeting is going to take place. Mr Adams says that the fact that the

:49:58.:50:04.

meeting is under the auspices of an All Ireland Organisation, Unionists

:50:04.:50:07.

must know from the planning that has gone into it that this is a big

:50:07.:50:17.
:50:17.:50:20.

We heard about the reconciliation talks. Our reconciliation moves

:50:20.:50:29.

coming from one side, or de Unionists need to do more? I think

:50:29.:50:34.

Unionists have to do a lot of work, actually. There has been a lot of

:50:34.:50:39.

work by Republicans. This brings it to another phase. This would be

:50:39.:50:44.

complete the circle. The relationship between the parties

:50:44.:50:49.

have developed enormously. This was something that was required. In

:50:49.:50:54.

many ways it was inevitable after the Queen had gone to Dublin.

:50:54.:50:57.

Republicans could not take the risk last year or until they had seen

:50:57.:51:06.

what the Queen did. The fact the Queen paid her respects to the war

:51:06.:51:10.

dead from the war of independence, tried to master a couple of words

:51:11.:51:17.

in Irish, all of that was very important. It was impossible not to

:51:17.:51:22.

reciprocate the gestures the Queen had done. They did the clear, the

:51:22.:51:29.

Queen does not do these things are wrong initiative. -- letter of us.

:51:29.:51:33.

The Queen will meet anybody the British Government tells her to

:51:33.:51:38.

meet. She is a symbol for the British Government. There is a lot

:51:38.:51:41.

of political and diplomatic work that goes into this. The Queen does

:51:41.:51:50.

what she has told. Did the Queen pave the way for this? At the time

:51:50.:51:55.

I did recognise and acknowledge the significance of her words, her

:51:55.:51:59.

laying of the wreath at the Garden of Remembrance, what she said,

:51:59.:52:04.

particularly about all of the victims. I think Brian makes an

:52:04.:52:10.

important point. This would not have happened without the British

:52:10.:52:19.

Government. You asked how significant this is beyond a symbol.

:52:19.:52:28.

That depends on how we build on it. And I mean all of us. What can

:52:28.:52:36.

Unionists do? There should be no excuse for people not talking now.

:52:36.:52:42.

We are going into the month of July. There should be no issue around

:52:42.:52:48.

Irish language of rights when you have the English Mark being

:52:48.:52:55.

prepared to use a few words. -- English mark. There is an example

:52:55.:53:02.

being set by the four principles. Peter Robinson, Martin McGuinness,

:53:02.:53:06.

the Queen of England and the president of Ireland. Why would

:53:06.:53:12.

have thought not get together and try to resolve our problems? Why

:53:12.:53:19.

can we not imagine a different type of Ireland? The Irish striker is

:53:19.:53:27.

orange. It is one of our national colours. -- Irish tricolour.

:53:27.:53:35.

Harmony between the green and the orange. Letter us try to develop a

:53:35.:53:41.

cordial Union. Even this discussion would not have happened 10 years

:53:41.:53:49.

ago. Here is Jeffrey, a former member of the UDR, a man who served

:53:49.:53:56.

in military service. All of us have come a very long distance. Keep

:53:56.:54:05.

moving forward. Fundamentally your views are still not the same?

:54:05.:54:11.

but we can accommodate. We can work out. The big bit of the Good Friday

:54:11.:54:20.

agreement is that the Government of Ireland Act has gone. There is a

:54:20.:54:25.

clear acknowledgement that we need the Union of Catholics, Protestants

:54:25.:54:30.

and dissenters. That is a big challenge for Republicans. I think

:54:30.:54:36.

it is a big challenge for Unionists. Even if you're against a United

:54:36.:54:39.

Ireland, and I do not suggest Unionists are changing their tune,

:54:39.:54:44.

but what they have changed their view on is that with a land mass

:54:44.:54:50.

this size, co-operation across the island to the mutual benefit of the

:54:50.:54:55.

people is the right thing to do. What we also need to do is to

:54:55.:55:00.

translate the words into practical action. Gerry Cox about the Orange

:55:00.:55:06.

tradition. Yet we still hear the refrain from Republicans, nor

:55:06.:55:11.

Orange feet here. Surely we want to move to a situation where people do

:55:11.:55:14.

not get upset because somebody else wants to exercise their tradition

:55:14.:55:18.

and their culture? That is the shared future Peter Robinson has

:55:18.:55:23.

been talking about. We need to move beyond the words and we need to

:55:23.:55:30.

give that practical effect. We're no longer into no go areas and

:55:30.:55:37.

peace walls. We want to move to a situation in Northern Ireland where

:55:37.:55:40.

it is truly about respect and accommodating each other's culture

:55:40.:55:45.

and tradition. That means the Orange tradition has to be

:55:46.:55:50.

accommodated. As for a United Ireland, Unionists are very clearly

:55:50.:55:56.

winning the argument. More people from a Catholic background

:55:56.:55:59.

accepting and embracing the benefits of remaining within the

:55:59.:56:04.

United Kingdom. It is a debate we are happy to engage in. But we are

:56:04.:56:07.

very clear that more people in Northern Ireland are backing the

:56:07.:56:13.

union. The Queen is the queen of the United Kingdom. I am not

:56:13.:56:17.

English. She is the queen of the United Kingdom. Gerry Cox about

:56:17.:56:22.

language. Proper use of the language is important. And

:56:22.:56:26.

recognising the Queen is not just the Queen of England, she is the

:56:26.:56:33.

queen of the United Kingdom. She is my queen. I respect that but she is

:56:33.:56:38.

not my Queen and she is not Martin McGuinness's Queen. He is a proud

:56:38.:56:43.

Republican. The reason why Martin is going to meet the Queen is out

:56:43.:56:50.

of respect to you. You'll are a progressive. You talk about Orange

:56:50.:57:00.
:57:00.:57:06.

marchers. The Orangemen will still not be -- will still not talk to us.

:57:06.:57:09.

If there are issues around contentious parades, we should talk

:57:09.:57:13.

about it. That is a debate for another day. Thank you very much

:57:13.:57:17.

indeed. It's 30 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in

:57:17.:57:22.

Northern Ireland. But how far have we come in terms of our attitudes?

:57:22.:57:26.

Ken Maginnis - now Lord Maginnis - recently caused a storm with his

:57:26.:57:29.

views. And on this programme last week, the Health Minister Edwin

:57:29.:57:32.

Poots stood by his controversial lifetime ban on gay men giving

:57:32.:57:36.

blood. Yvette Shapiro asks if Northern Ireland's a cold house for

:57:36.:57:46.
:57:46.:57:57.

The next thing is some sort of beast reality. People who engage in

:57:57.:58:06.

high-risk sexual behaviour should be excluded from giving blood.

:58:06.:58:10.

actor is gay and HIV positive. He was bullied at school and had to

:58:10.:58:14.

move house because of threats. He said recent pronouncements from

:58:14.:58:18.

politicians are hurtful. It is difficult for me to get my head

:58:18.:58:23.

around it. I come from a very loving family. I have had a great

:58:23.:58:28.

support network of friends. I come from a Christian family. I was just

:58:28.:58:33.

accepted with open arms. Then you have these politicians who are

:58:33.:58:39.

ministers, men of God, that are not showing God's low of two fellow

:58:39.:58:48.

people. They are just showing hate and judging them. It is 30 years

:58:48.:58:53.

since, sexuality was decriminalised in Northern Ireland. Recent surveys

:58:53.:58:58.

suggest a hardening of attitudes. In 2005, 14% up people said they

:58:58.:59:03.

would be unhappy about a gay person living next door. That figure

:59:03.:59:07.

doubled in the latest survey. Around one third of people would

:59:07.:59:14.

mind a transgender person as a work colleague. 40% as a neighbour and

:59:14.:59:23.

53% as an end of. Infrastructure needs to be amended to include

:59:23.:59:31.

gender relations. It is a community relations issue and a good

:59:31.:59:36.

relations this year. Work on a strategy on sexual orientation

:59:36.:59:41.

began at Stormont six years ago. The Office of First Minister and

:59:41.:59:43.

Deputy First Minister promise it will be published before the end of

:59:43.:59:49.

the year. I have always felt Northern Ireland is more liberal

:59:49.:59:54.

than its reputation. Certainly I and others who have come out as gay

:59:54.:59:59.

have survived perfectly adequately. It was this man's case that led to

:59:59.:00:03.

the legalisation of homosexuality here. He says gay people will wish

:00:03.:00:07.

to donate blood, get married or adopt children will not find

:00:07.:00:14.

support in Stormont. It will have to be endorsed by the Democratic

:00:14.:00:22.

Unionist Party. It is all about mood music. The fact of the matter

:00:22.:00:28.

is that strategy will come up against changes in the law that

:00:28.:00:36.

will be needed. I suspect the court will end up being bigger friends

:00:36.:00:40.

than Government. Representatives instalment are cautious by nature.

:00:40.:00:45.

They tend not to lead but to follow. They take the temperature of what

:00:45.:00:49.

is going on in their particular constituency. I do not think that

:00:49.:00:55.

his leadership. I do hope that other politicians will actually

:00:55.:01:03.

take the lead. They need to stand up and fight for us. The people

:01:03.:01:08.

standing up and fighting are the people who are negative about it.

:01:08.:01:14.

The people who think it is OK to be gay are not shouting about it.

:01:14.:01:20.

Jeffrey Donaldson, it does seem in some circumstances that

:01:20.:01:23.

sectarianism is the only crime in Northern Ireland. It is OK to be

:01:23.:01:28.

homophobic? That is not the case at all. We have the strongest equality

:01:28.:01:35.

legislation in the Union. Section 75. There is no one else in the EU

:01:35.:01:38.

where you will find equality legislation as strong as we have.

:01:38.:01:43.

We have also got the strongest anti-discrimination laws. This week

:01:43.:01:48.

we find as Sinn Fein minister discriminating against prominent --

:01:48.:01:52.

Protestants. There is a big issue that has to be tackled. It is

:01:52.:01:57.

ending sectarianism. We are out of time. What's the connection between

:01:57.:01:59.

Sammy Wilson's shed and missing budget papers - Stephen Walker has

:01:59.:02:09.
:02:09.:02:13.

the answers in this week's This week money mattered. The

:02:13.:02:16.

finance minister was wanted for questioning and told to bring his

:02:16.:02:20.

figures to the table. It would be better in terms of constructive

:02:20.:02:24.

engagement if he would wind his neck in and offer a proper

:02:24.:02:30.

explanation. They waited and waited. When Sammy Wilson finally appeared,

:02:30.:02:37.

he seemed quite at home. I had been looking forward to this all week.

:02:37.:02:41.

Former minister Conor Murphy found himself in hot water over an

:02:41.:02:47.

appointment process. The Old Bailey bomber that prison for a hospital.

:02:47.:02:52.

Survivors and victims formed a new group and vowed to work together.

:02:52.:02:58.

There is far more that unites people than divides them. Who says

:02:58.:03:02.

Gough and giants don't mix? Politicians played political

:03:02.:03:12.
:03:12.:03:12.

football. But they could not resist a blame game. Typical Unionists.

:03:12.:03:16.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS