Thursday, September 29, 2005


'Endgame' - But for who?

I see Secretary of State Peter Hain has been busy giving his thoughts on the Irish peace process at the Labour Party conference. Mr Hain has stated that the endgame to decades of conflict in Ireland's north is about to be played out.

Mr Hain outlined the position of the British government which he said sought to "take the last, painfully difficult steps towards a political settlement that will finally guarantee peace, stability, democracy and human rights".

In a clear call to unionists not to hold back he added:

"The endgame is the hardest because the two sides may have journeyed miles towards each other, but, when they are just feet apart, they want to draw back.

"We are at this key moment now, and it's time for the politicians of Northern Ireland to be courageous, because we have come such a long way".

I agree with Mr Hain's sentiments but it appears to me, and many unionists it would seem, that in the eyes of Peter Hain and the British government as a whole, 'endgame' means what it means to Irish nationalists - Irish reunification.

It seems quite clear that the British want nothing to do with the Sterling-sapping six-county statelet any more.

In that sense, 'endgame' is just fine by me!


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