>> 29 Sep 2004


Or at least it will be if you believe Jimmy Burns in the FT today. It seems that the UK and Irish Governments have set their sights on securing a political agreement on Northern Ireland by Christmas. It would include arms decommissioning by the IRA and pave the way for a restoration of devolved government.

Ever get the feeling that you've heard this one before? A deadline that isn't really a dead-line, decommissioning that isn't really decommissioning, democracy that isn't really democracy?

According to Mr. Burns, the IRA "will" (note future tense) put it's illegal arms beyond use (whose use, when, how much, in what manner etc all left vague, naturally) and Sinn Fein, those puppet proxies for illegality, will condescend to join the Police Boards. Yeah - what a great breakthrought THAT would be.

I particularly liked Mr. Burns pay off line, "A signal of how far the peace process has come was underlined by the joint attendance yesterday at a fringe meeting in Brighton of senior officials of the DUP and Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin's chief negotiator."

I would put it slightly differently. It is a signal of how debased the so-called peace process is that a self-confessed IRA commander and alleged murderer, Martin MGuinness could attend the site of an IRA atrocity not so many years ago and be welcomes with a smile. Mind you, it was only Tories that died.


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