Monday, April 21, 2008

Anything but ordinary

As inveterate readers of SQA’s pages are aware we keep an eagle eye on job advertisements in the sector, identifying rogue employers offering unsatisfactory salaries and those not requiring applicants for archives posts to be professionally qualified.

The PRONI logo

On this occasion an advertisement by the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) has been drawn to our attention. It is for the post of Director of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), in Belfast.

We are informed The post-holder will be an expert in archival and records management matters although as there is no mention of the successful applicant having to possess the postgraduate diploma in archive administration, conveniently available from University College Dublin, the NICS clearly envisages the possibility of finding such an expert who is not qualified. For its part, SQA is mystified that such a species can be considered to exist.

At £56,100 - £78,540 the salary is certainly not an issue: the devil looks after his own and while the rest of the profession laments the absence of national archives legislation which might regularise gradings at least in the public sector, civil servants sit pretty.

SQA has previously blogged its concern at similar developments elsewhere at national governmental level, particularly the appointment of Natalie Ceeney to head the UK National Archives.

We asked Benedict Crumplethorne, principal spokesman for SQA, to comment.

I heartily sympathise with SQA’s position. However, the trend in central government (if I may term the Euro Regional government of Northern Ireland such) is for non-qualified persons to be appointed to these senior positions. However laudable the retention of their original title (the Scottish Record Office, Edinburgh and Public Record Office, London having changed their titles to the National Archives of Scotland and The National Archives respectively), PRONI is clearly still dedicated to dyed in the wool civil service officialese.

And meritocracy? I note the advertisement states ALL APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT ARE CONSIDERED STRICTLY ON THE BASIS OF MERIT. Well, clearly qualified archivists are not recognised as meritorious by the meritocrats!

Intrigued by the situation in Northern Ireland, we asked Garth Bland, County Archivist of Loamshire to offer some comments on the constitutional position north of the border.

Very deceptive and messy, actually. Northern Ireland is a Euro Region exactly like London, Wales or Eastern England. The creation of devolved government there has always been viewed in the context of the Troubles but actually it would have come anyway and is merely a forerunner of planned EU regional governments throughout England and the rest of the UK. Nationalism in Ireland, Scotland and Wales has played into the integrationists’ hands perfectly.

Current elitist thinking concerning Northern Ireland is that by a process of national governments gradually relinquishing power to the EU, the devolution of power from Westminster to Belfast will make sectarian divisions irrelevant. Once the process is complete, the nationalist community will be unable to unite to the Republic of Ireland and the Loyalists will not be able to unite with, or remain united to Great Britain, because under the Treaty of Lisbon the process of the creation of the EU superstate will become complete and both states will cease to exist. The future EU is one of regions with no national governments or legislatures worthy of the name. It is not surprising Sinn Fein is campaigning against ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon.

It is hardly an issue now whether British troops will remain in Northern Ireland. British troops are just as likely to patrol southern Ireland under the Treaty of Lisbon. With a common foreign policy and common defence policy in place, German, French, Dutch or who knows one day Turkish troops are just as likely to be garrisoned in Ireland, along with the stationing there of former British and French nuclear weapons. No more neutrality, no more nuclear free zones!

Our Lady of Europe, Strasbourg Cathedral

Finally, I note applications from Roman Catholics are being especially sought. This will please the nationalist community but the appointment of a Protestant won't benefit the Loyalists in any case. The EU is predominantly Roman Catholic and the chapel of the EU is in Strasbourg Cathedral, a Roman Catholic church whose stained glass window proclaims the sovereignty of Our Lady of Europe. The image of Mary, wearing the hexagonal crown of the Holy Roman Empire, is surmounted by the EU's ring of stars.

Who said the EU was secularist?

Further reading

END OF NATIONS - EU Takeover & the Lisbon Treaty (Irish anti-Lisbon Treaty video)

The Balkanisation of Britain

Archives and the State

Tomorrow's World

Europe's Unholy Empire

Sir- We, being most concerned about matters of sovereignty arising from the signing of the Lisbon Treaty, held an informal conference in Guernsey this week. In the context of this treaty, currently being debated in Westminster, there are uncertainties as to the constitutional position of the Crown dependencies, which remain outside the European Union, as Britain cedes further powers to Brussels.
We consider it of vital importance that our people are fully informed about the implications of any constitutional changes that may arise from this treaty.

We would therefore urge Her Majesty’s Government to adopt a position of openness and honesty regarding this treaty, which affects not just the people of Britain, but also the citizens of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Deputy Paul Le Clair (Jersey)
Deputy Robert du Hamel (Jersey)
Constable Simon Crowcroft (Jersey)
Deputy David Jones (Guernsey)
Peter Karran, Member of the House of Keys (Isle of Man)
Roger Knapman MEP*
Thomas Wise MEP Guernsey*

Letter to The Daily Telegraph 27 January 2008

* Editor’s note: the European Commission has grouped the Channel Islands with the UK South-Western Euro Region, although in point of fact, unknown to most Channel Islanders, they actually come under the French Lower Normandy Euro Region.

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