Letters: Ulster's silent majority shares blame

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The Independent Online
Sir: For a population of one and half million people, the Northern Irish make a lot of noise. Your leading article "The Irish peace that can only come from within" (16 July), though painful, lays out clearly a suspicion I have held of my fellow countrymen for some time.

The silent majority, of which my family in Ulster is, I suppose, a part, is guilty of complacency and complicity. The violence does not happen on their streets, they make a good living (sponsored by the British taxpayer) and political discussion is carefully avoided when golfing with friends from the other side.

When asked to vote, however, they vote as their fathers voted. To vote for John Alderdice's Alliance Party seems to them a waste. When you ask for their view of a particular atrocity, they express outrage and dismay but are slightly angrier if it was committed by "one of theirs". Northern Irish politicians run a closed shop and have succeeded in excluding men and women who could lead these detached people, teach them about their responsibilities, and make intelligent contributions to the search for peace.

ADRIAN K HALL

London W11

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