There was no mistaking Peter Robinson’s discomfort as an “Ulster Scot” being in the presence of the political leader of the Scottish people.
The First Minister of Northern Ireland clearly doesn’t like the idea of the Scottish people determining their own future.
Martin McGuinness chuckled as delivered the killer blow by reminding Peter Robinson of the “Consent Principle” enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement; that if the people of the Six Counties decided they wanted to leave the UK then that was enshrined in an international Treaty.
Obviously that principle means that the electorate of the Six Counties have the block on any change to Northern Ireland’s constitutional position within the UK.
It would appear that Ulster Unionists want the Consent Principle for them but not for their ethnic kith and kin in Scotland.
The DUP leader looked decidedly uncomfortable even to discuss the possibility of Scottish independence.
Salmond himself did not let the significance of the venue of this meeting of the British Irish council pass him by.
It was Nick Clegg who had to squirm in his seat in Dublin as Salmond made reference to the fact that the Irish would instinctively understand about Westminster “bullying.”
All in all this was a good outing for Salmond in Dublin.
He certainly knows who his friends are on this island which makes his government’s failure to respectfully engage with Scotland’s Irish community even more mystifying.