Published 27/09/2011 | 05:00
•In choosing the ground of reconciliation (for not welcoming the queen) on which to attack presidential candidate Martin McGuinness, Justice Minister Alan Shatter has committed the fundamental political error of choosing to attack an opponent at his strongest point.
For Mr McGuinness will go into the history books for achieving the greatest single act of reconciliation witnessed in Irish politics since the foundation of this State: he achieved such a cordial relationship with Dr Ian Kyle Paisley that the pair became popularly known as 'The Chuckle Brothers'. He has also achieved an excellent working relationship with the First Minister Peter Robinson.
However, since Mr Shatter has raised the issue of reconciliation, might I suggest that he use his influential position as an Irish cabinet minister to articulate what are clearly the wishes of a majority of the Irish electorate to his Israeli friends and urge them to abandon the tactics of passport theft, coercion and illegal settlements and seek lasting peace in the Middle East through achieving reconciliation with the Palestinians by allowing them have their own state?