Ambassador David Donoghue is our permanent representative at the UN and you can read all about him here if you wish. But I'd bet a pound to a penny that you neither knew nor cared about that. For most of us, the UN is kind of out there and anyway it's in America, three thousand miles offshore.
But you might become more aquatinted with our Davy-boy if things don't go smoothly back here. You see, recently there was a vote in the General Assembly in New York on whether to appoint Saudi Arabia to the Commission on Women's Rights – no, I'm not kidding. The dogs in the street are falling around laughing at the very idea. It's akin to a bunch of farmers voting to put foxes in charge of the chicken coups, isn't it?
The 2016 World Report of Saudi Arabia tries to pick its words carefully in order not to upset the wealthy rag-tops but even they had to include a few spicy bits. The World Health Organisation publishes the World Reports and you do know the WHO is just an arm of the aforementioned UN. So it's safe to conclude then that the parties to the vote would have all studied and absorbed the up-to-date facts on Saudi Arabia prior to the vote.
Facts such as, "Saudi Arabia’s discriminatory male guardianship system remains intact despite government pledges to abolish it. Under this system, ministerial policies and practices forbid women from obtaining a passport, marrying, travelling, or accessing higher education without the approval of a male guardian, usually a husband, father, brother, or son. Authorities also fail to prevent some employers from requiring male guardians to approve the hiring of adult female relatives or some hospitals requiring male guardian approval before undertaking certain medical procedures for women." Under uncodified rules on personal status, women are not allowed to marry without the permission of their guardian; unlike men, they do not have a unilateral right to divorce and often face discrimination in relation to child custody."
"All women remain banned from driving vehicles in Saudi Arabia. In December 2014, authorities arrested two Saudi women who drove a car to the United Arab Emirates-Saudi Arabia border and detained them for 73 days before releasing them without charge."
The above is the cotton wool version because we are talking about a state that flogs, tortures and beheads citizens who even raise an eyebrow in protest at their glorious regime. There is no mention of the fact that Saudi women must keep their heads and faces covered in public for fear of the lash. I have read so many harrowing accounts in the public domain about a woman's life in the home over there so you might think that the, ahem, 'International Community,' would be highly averse to having the Saudis sit at a Commission on Women's Rights at the UN. Not a bit of it though! The vote was taken by our respected betters and now the bold Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will have a say in determining women's rights all over the world. How's that for a carry-on?
But where does little Ireland and Davy-boy stand on this madness because he speaks for all of us? Did Davy write, "Are you serious?" on our ballot paper and sign it, "The Irish People?" Well, we don't know because they won't tell us. "Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has again refused to outline whether Ireland voted in favour of Saudi Arabia joining the UN Commission on the Status of Women."
Isn't that a bit rich? Ambassador David Donoghue is our permanent representative at the UN, he's paid by all of us and speaks for us at the World table, so to speak. Are you in favour of this because i'm certainly not? There is a storm in a teacup over here at the moment in this regard and so there should be. As John F. Kennedy said, "There is no place for secrecy in a Democratic Government." We have a right to know what is being done on our behalf, plain and simple. Oh! And the smart money is on us voting for sand King.
However, as reported this morning, "Last night, a spokesman for the Taoiseach said what way Ireland votes in the future will remain confidential." Confidential means "intended to be kept secret. Our leader, the Mayo schoolteacher has decided unilaterally that we are never to be told anything ever in case we catch them all with their pants down. From memory, there was a guy in Germany in the thirties who had the same idea and if I'm correct, that came to a bad end.
Watch this space.