LETTER: The Framework Document: presentation, history, hopes, fears and troubles

From Mr Stephen O'Reilly

Sir: Conor Cruise O'Brien's paranoia is as consistent as ever ("First victim may be Major's government", 23 February). The Government will fall. London will conspire with Dublin against the Unionists. The IRA lurks behind every paragraph.

The guns are silent and I believe that the peace process has built up sufficient momentum to overcome Dr O'Brien's misgivings. The Unionists' fears and aspirations will be addressed, because we cannot afford to make the same mistake as was made 25 years ago and give birth to another cycle of violence by trying to impose peace from London or Dublin. As for the Government falling, I am sure the Unionists would rather do business with the Devil they know rather than Tony Blair's Labour.

The Framework Document will not allay all our fears for the future. I hope it will provoke constructive discussion on the methods of achieving a lasting peace, which will satisfy all parties involved. If anything has been learned in the last six months, it is that we cannot go back to the quagmire it took so long to escape from, or the attitudes that held us there.

Yours sincerely,


Croydon, Surrey

21 February