Paisley on Salmond

Balrog points us to in interesting exchange in the Northern Ireland Assembly yesterday:

David Burnside (UUP)

asked the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister to outline what discussions it has had on constitutional issues with the First Minister of Scotland.    

Ian Paisley (DUP)

The Member will be aware that the deputy First Minister and I met the First Minister of Scotland earlier this year. At that meeting, we acknowledged our shared culture, history and interests, and discussed greater co-operation between our two Administrations for mutual benefit.

By “constitutional issues”, I assume that the Member means the position of Scotland and Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. Such issues were not discussed. The Union is secure. The First Minister of Scotland has well-known views on the future constitutional position of his country. However, that is for him — and his party — to take forward with the people of Scotland, and has no bearing on the future government of our country.

David Burnside (UUP)

Will the First Minister withdraw his support for the Scottish First Minister’s statement that he wished in the future that The Queen should become queen of Scotland? That could only take place after the ending of the 1707 Act of Union. Will he disassociate himself from those remarks and give a commitment that the only queen that we will have in the future in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will hold a unitary crown — one crown, and one queen for the whole of the United Kingdom?

William Hay (Speaker)

Please be brief, First Minister.

Ian Paisley (DUP)

The Queen is the queen of Scotland, and I would like her always to be the queen of Scotland. However, Scotland has a right to decide for itself, and whatever it decides is not our business. Everybody knows that I believe in the Union and stand for the Union; a union of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, that does not prevent me from speaking to the First Minister of Scotland. The First Minister of Scotland is a member of the Privy Council, and I would advise the honourable Member to read the oath of the Privy Council and then decide a person’s loyalty. (TheyWorkForYou.Com)







6 responses to “Paisley on Salmond”

  1. Alex avatar

    “Please be brief”.
    I think I preferred Burnside when he was mau-mauing Virgin Atlantic passengers.

  2. WorldbyStorm avatar

    Hmmm… I see what you mean Tom. Paisley’s answer is quite… well, diplomatic. Incidentally, is Salmond entirely serious about a separate Scottish monarchy? Sounds very like the old original SF Arthur Griffith idea, which of course Kevin O Higgins examined later on in the 1920s.

  3. Tom Griffin avatar

    There is a republican wing of the SNP, but it’s worth remembering that the situation before 1707 was effectively a dual monarchy, although that period isn’t perhaps an entirely happy precedent.
    I suppose both Salmond’s position on the monarchy and Paisley’s position on Salmond are examples of not picking fights unnecessarily, which is good strategy, at least on a pragmatic level.

  4. WorldbyStorm avatar

    Salmond was knighted, was he not? I’d forgotten the 1707 position.
    Still, interesting how the optics between Paisley and Salmond are remarkably good.

  5. Tom Griffin avatar

    I don’t think he has been knighted, although it might be interesting to see what happens when he steps down.
    In fairness, I’m sure the affinity between him and Paisley is in some degree genuine as well as reflecting a certain commonality of interest among the devolved administrations.
    I have a vague memory of that episode featuring on That’s Life, of all things.

  6. WorldbyStorm avatar

    Yeah, the convergence between the devolved administrations is something that seems to have been missed by UK Gov when they were first mooted. It’s the economy, isn’t it? Places England in quite a pickle in the long term, dependent upon Westminster…

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