Tuesday 19 October 2004 7.13pm
His “Tonyness” has carried on with an initiative that has its roots in many earlier Administrations. I believe that John Major's Government broke the impasse. Certainly there has been contact with PIRA for many, many years at the highest levels of both Conservative and Labour Governments, in spite of many statements to the contrary. Yes there was a vote, hardly surprising that the (protestant) majority voted to remain within the UK. No great surprise either then that a disenfranchised minority that still looks on their neighbours as foreign invaders, discriminated against at every turn, should eventually embrace an armed struggle. I don't condone this either, however…..
Gerry Adams should be “welcomed into the fold” for many reasons, firstly, if it's accepted by all parties that nobody can “win” in Northern Ireland, it makes sense to negotiate. If you believe in democracy, then everybody should be encouraged to take part in an all-inclusive dialogue, Gerry Adams is also a democratically elected representative of his constituency, like it or not, those people deserve a voice. And we should demonstrate that democracy works.
As for the ANC having the support of the vast majority of the world except the Soviet bloc, I remember it very differently; The US was anti the ANC, and very much pro the apartheid era South Africa, mainly because of cold war expediency, likewise the British Conservatives. since then their has been a great deal of revisionism. The ANC, as revolutionary socialists, would have been looked on with great favour by the Soviets.
I'm especially pleased that the Church should provide a venue, I personally don't follow a religion, but the idea of redemption appeals to me strongly, if not redemption in the eyes of a God, then certainly redemption in the eyes of your fellow man.
Ignorance is bliss