I was in a taxi in Belfast shortly after the Shankill bomb. I sympathised with the driver, 'a Presbyterian man and boy'. He stopped the cab and burst into tears. 'My people are being slain, and only Hume will talk to the people who are doing it. Why can't you people see that's what we want?' He then asked me to pray with him.
There has been much talk about the meetings between Rabin and Arafat and De Klerk and the ANC, with many pointing out that these situations are in no way comparable with Northern Ireland. What they do demonstrate, however, is that when mutual self-interest is strong enough, it is possible to talk about the unthinkable with those one has regarded as unspeakable. It is the peace-makers who are blessed.
NICHOLAS A. FRAYLING
Rector of Liverpool
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