Monday, 31 August 2009

10 Downing Street and petition to retract Senator Kennedy’s Knighthood

When people of great stature, such as Senator Edward Kennedy, pass on, the opinions and reminisces of politicians, statesmen, diplomats, and celebrities of all hues and colours are solicited in the media frenzy, which follows such a passing.

One of my first thoughts on hearing of the death of Senator Kennedy was, well other than a need to satisfy my own ego, there was no reason for myself on the lowly Soñar Blog to pass any comment. Everything that could possibly be said or written about Senator Kennedy will have been done by others.

The Office of the First Minister, and Deputy First Minister both issued statements praising the legacy of the Senator and their condolences to the Kennedy family. First Minister, Peter Robinson, said, "Edward Kennedy was a politician of world renowned whose influence was felt across the world including Northern Ireland. I may not have always agreed with his politics but his commitment to non-violence and to the success of devolved government was unquestionable in recent years. My thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy family.”

“The passing of Edward Kennedy,” said Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, “will be felt by many across the world, and in particular the Irish Diaspora in America. Senator Kennedy played a central role in American domestic political life and contributed significantly to the development of the peace process here. It was an honour to have him with us in Parliament Buildings in May 2007 to witness the re-establishment of the Institutions. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his dedication to the creation of a better society for everyone here. I would like to pass my deepest condolences to the Kennedy family.”

Tributes from many other Irish political figures featured prominently in the press, including: Irish President Mary Robinson, Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Alliance Party leader David Ford, Democratic Unionist Party MLA Peter Weir, SDLP leader Mark Durkin, former SDLP leader John Hume, and Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, and Ulster Unionist Party Deputy Leader, Danny Kennedy. Taoiseach Cowen, Mark Durkin, John Hume, and Martin McGuinness, would travel to Boston for the Funeral Mass.

The DUP MLA Peter Weir had this to say, “Latterly he came to recognise the validity of the Unionist argument and the reality of partition: he went as far as snubbing Republican political representatives over their failure to come up to the democratic standards set by the DUP and accepted an honorary knighthood from Her Majesty The Queen.”

With all these laudatory statements to the late Senator from Unionist politicians, something was troubling me, which I could not quite put my finger on. It took some time for the penny to drop. There would be no Unionist politician at the Funeral Mass for the late Senator. The secret society to which the majority of Unionist politicians belong have strict edicts on members crossing the threshold of a Catholic Church for any reason whatsoever, much less a Funeral Mass. Members who ignore these dictates, especially politicians, do so at their peril.

As often happens in politics, sometimes the left hand does not know what the right hand, and in this case right with a capital R, is doing. As the DUP First Minister was professing condolences to the family of Senator Kennedy, one of his own Councillors, John Montgomery from North Down, is calling for support for the petition to retract the Knighthood of “Tiresome Ted Kennedy”.

Councillor Montgomery has this to say, “Sometimes the affection shown to terrorists and their friends becomes a little tiresome. We hear about the former terrorists, reformed terrorists or those who have found the lord. If someone commits murder they are forever a murderer, or if child molestation they are forever a child molester. Why should it be any different for a terrorist, no nice words or membership of a religious sect will erase their evil.”

“Which brings me to a petition on the number10 website:- 'We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Retract the Knighthood offered to Teddy Kennedy'.

Finally, in this sad tale of intolerance Northern Ireland style, on the theme of, “You couldn’t make this up.”

British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, penned an article on the passing of Senator Kennedy for the Boston Globe, on August 28, where he stated,

“He asked in detail what Britain was doing on health care, welfare, and education, about our international engagement on disarmament and later, terror. His abiding interest in an Irish settlement helped the United Kingdom enormously. He was a massive force in bringing the factions together to make peace in Northern Ireland possible. This was one of the many reasons why this year Her Majesty The Queen awarded Senator Kennedy an honorary British knighthood.”

The petition is hosted on the Official Website of No. 10 Downing Street.

The petition is Submitted by one Stephen Clements – Deadline to sign up by 06 March 2010 – Signatures: 5,391

No comments:

Post a Comment