But if the politicians let this golden chance slip through their fingers they will never be forgiven.
THERE IS lack of fairness in Mr Blair's stance that is shameful in a British Prime Minister. Not only does he want to allow armed gunmen into power, he also says that, should those gunmen return to full-scale violence, the consequence would be not their expulsion from government, but the collapse of the entire structure. In other words, Northern Ireland is to be allowed an Assembly only if it contains Sinn Fein-IRA.
Thus the principles of democracy, the rule of law and natural justice are all simultaneously mocked.
The Sunday Telegraph
IT IS a testament to Tony Blair's increasing reputation as a statesman that, tired after his efforts in Kosovo, he has managed to keep the door open to a deal. Just as Sinn Fein must realise that the world will not tolerate a return to the bullet and the bomb, the Unionists must realise that there can be no return to the unreasoning use of their veto. As Menachem Begin put it, you do not make peace with your friends, but with your enemies.
IT'S BEEN a wearying, tedious week for all those who want to see the North's peace process moving ahead. Only a lunatic fringe wants to see the Good Friday agreement scuppered. It's time for the hardliners on both sides to start making real compromises. The Provos could do wonders for the peace process by giving up a few guns. Tragically, the spirit of compromise has always been in short supply in the North.
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