Failed U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was booed as a “war criminal” in Northern Ireland ahead of her inauguration as the first woman Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast.
Footage uploaded to social media shows the 73-year-old Democrat walking through the streets of the British city in ceremonial black and gold robes, a child in traditional dress carrying its hem behind her, being heckled by protesters chanting “war criminal!”, “shame on you!”, and “shame on Queen’s!”
The ceremony had been much delayed, with the university having first appointed her to her largely symbolic role at the beginning of 2020 but her inaugural address unable to take place due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
Mrs Clinton, who famously missed out on a much more prestigious inauguration in 2017 after losing the previous year’s U.S. presidential race to Donald Trump in a stunning upset defeat, gave a speech declaring that “Northern Ireland has become a symbol of democracy’s power to transcend divisions and deliver peace” — words which may ring hollow to many in the British province, also known as Ulster, as they are reduced to a kind of vassal status by the terms of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal with the European Union, against the wishes of the region’s largest political party.
The American also told her audience that “with hope comes responsibilities, the responsibility to be a citizen, to be willing to discuss and learn from people unlike yourselves” — another rather eyebrow-raising statement, given her infamous claim that “half of Trump’s supporters” could be put in the so-called “basket of deplorables… racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic – you name it.”
Clinton told her supporters that this demographic — amounting to many millions of American citizens — in some cases “are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”