MICHAEL WATTS refers to the 1801 Act of Union as evidence that Northern Ireland is not a colony (Letters, 8 August). That is very selective use of historical fact. The Act was supported by imposed Protestant rulers in Ireland whose dominance of Irish politics was in direct inverse to their proportion of Ireland's population. The legitimacy of the Act of Union has always been, therefore, in doubt - a situation comparable to the imposition of apartheid by minority white rulers in South Africa in 1948.
Mr Watts' description of Northern Ireland as a legitimate political state ignores the fact that it is a carefully prepared political and geographical entity drawn up to ensure a Protestant majority. Unionists in Northern Ireland cannot claim legitimacy, especially when their argument is founded on the kind of religious bigotry most aggressively espoused by Ian Paisley. A similar religious bigotry underpinned the illegitimate, racist Boer regime in South Africa.