Friday, December 16, 2005


New Tory leader backs peace process

The Conservative party's great white hope, David Cameron, has pledged to promote the Irish peace process wherever he can.

Speaking yesterday during a visit to Belfast, he said the IRA must prove it has ended its paramilitary and criminal behaviour to ensure progress.

"Today is 12 years to the day that John Major and Albert Reynolds signed the Downing Street Declaration that started the move towards the peace process and the Belfast Agreement," he said.

"What I will do as leader of the Conservative Party, is work with the government, where possible, to try and help bring peace and progress to Northern Ireland.

"Today, most of all I am here to listen and here to learn. I hope that it is the first of many trips that I will be making."

Mr Cameron also said he was maintaining his party's opposition to controversial paramilitary 'on-the-runs' legislation.

"My party in parliament has been very, very clear that people who have committed dreadful crimes in the past must appear in court," he said.

"I hear rumours today that the government is making some moves on this legislation and we will respond constructively to them".

While I admire Mr Cameron's stance on the OTR legislation, even though he probably opposes it for different reasons than I do, I find it hard to take a Tory seriously since they have been in such a diabolical state in recent years. Will Cameron change all that? I'm not convinced.

What I am convinced of is that the British have no interest in subsidising the white elephant that is Ireland's north.

It's bleeding British coffers dry and in my opinion, the British parties probably want a United Ireland far more than the parties in the Irish Republic do!


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