Letter: How we can force Ulster to grow up

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The Independent Online
Sir: To talk of our options in Northern Ireland as "a choice . . . of two evils" ("Marchers trample peace hopes", 7 July) is a confession of political sterility. We have one excellent, practical, positive choice to make - to give Northern Ireland its independence, as a small state within the EU.

Its government would learn, the hard way, to obey EU laws and standards, to co-operate closely with its twin, the Republic of Ireland, and generally to grow up politically. As for the IRA, they would have to confront the Irish, of all varieties. Even they would grow up.

GEORGE DELF

Durham

Sir: When will the British media realise that with freedom comes responsibility? The treatment of the leaked Drumcree document ("The Ulster gamble that failed", 8 July) is thoroughly irresponsible and should lead to control of the media on issues of national security.

The Conservative Party has continued the tradition of all-party support on the issue of Northern Ireland and as a result there were no comments from Conservative politicians on the leaked document. Instead it was left to the British media to publicise the document. The result has effectively helped to undermine Mo Mowlam's very difficult position of being seen as an independent negotiator seeking a peaceful solution. We have heard leaders of both sides of the Northern Ireland divide state that they could no longer trust Ms Mowlam.

The Government should move quickly to seek an extension of the concept of all-party support to cover the media. This is an issue of national security and in such circumstances the media should behave responsibly. If they do not, perhaps it is time for their freedom to be curtailed.

FRANK NEALE

Watford, Hertfordshire

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