LETTER : After the bomb: inclusive talks, compromise and debate

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The Independent Online
From Mr J. Holt

Sir: In the past I credited John Major with being an honest, albeit unexciting politician in respect of Northern Ireland affairs, but now one has to ask whether he is simply pandering to the Unionist vote to protect his disappearing majority.

The British and Irish governments should understand that the intransigent rantings of fringe Unionism do not represent the feelings of the ordinary Protestant people of Northern Ireland, who broadly support the Union but many of whom have a relaxed view about the possibility of a united Ireland at some point in the future.

Similarly, Sinn Fein most certainly does not speak for the majority of Ulster Catholics, who support the British link just as widely as they aspire to a single Ireland.

The time has come for some compromise all round - compromises that would have been unthinkable a quarter of a century ago. We are steeped in too much history which we twist and interpret according to our tradition. We must put much of it behind us, and look to the future for the sake of our children.

Yours faithfully,

J. Holt

Belfast

12 February

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