The recent declaration has the present government agreeing that it is a matter for the people of the island of Ireland and, although preserving the right of a majority in Northern Ireland to veto unification, that represents an important distinction with a difference in approach.
In any event, in any democracy worthy of the name the cessation of violence is the sine qua non of progress in this matter. Sadly, when I suggested, from the audience, to Sir Robin chairing Question Time during Mrs Thatcher's premiership, that he should chair a joint convention including government and church ministers, otherwise in disagreement, proclaiming unity on that prerequisite, he diverted the suggestion by indicating that his modesty knew no bounds.
Head of Political Studies
St John's College
8 JanuaryReuse content