>> 17 Sep 2004


The talks about the future of Northern Ireland are still ongoing at Leeds Castle. The media reports that "some progress" is being made but whether a "deal" can be done remains to be seen. Am I alone in seeing this as a ridiculous charade? After all, what part of our democracy is up for "negotiation" precisely? Are the DUP being sucked into the same vortex which destroyed the UUP? Paisley's presence at this event gives a small degree of re-assurance, as does the looming General Election in the UK due 2005. But will we get peace in our time? Having been through a previous version of this, I imagine boredom is the dominant experience apart from the senior DUP and IRA negotiators.


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