LETTERS: Protestant views from Ulster

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Sir: The article by Mary Braid about Unionist reaction to the leaked framework document did not give a representative reaction (" `Mischievous' act leaves business class unmoved", 3 February). Most of the article covered the response of three Bel fast businessmen and some Shankill Road community workers, and their "optimistic reaction" is anything but typical. Belfast is only one part of Northern Ireland, and Belfast is a lot bigger than the Shankill.

Only in the last paragraph did Ms Braid come close to a representative response, with the comments from an east Belfast community worker. That response was one of fear and concern.

Within the Unionist community there in a recognition that Matthew D'Ancona's disclosure in the Times points to the ultimate aim of the civil servants in London and Dublin who have drafted the document. That aim is the removal of Northern Ireland from theUK and our incorporation into an all-Ireland state.

There is a deep fear and resentment among Unionists. That fear has not been manufactured by any politician or journalist. It is the natural and rational response of a people who are committed to democracy and who are appalled by the sinister and subversive activities of unelected civil servants.

A recent opinion poll in the Belfast Telegraph indicated that there was a deep unease among Unionists, and that was confirmed by the by-election in Newtonabbey, which took place on Wednesday against the background of the D'Ancona disclosure.

Yours faithfully, NELSON McCAUSLAND City Hall Belfast 3 February