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Thursday, July 28, 2005


1st item on the news today though it caused a lotless fuss than it would a few years ago. The question is, of course, whether they really mean it this time - I think that by & large they do. The real problem for Sinn Fein/IRA is that there electoral success is to a large extent built on their funding, which in turn, has been obtained by what can politely be called extorting donations & on various sorts of crime as well as donations from Irish patriots living in Boston.

It may be that the recent unpopularity of terrorism in the US has dried up that source & that, with the recent murder, NI's catholics votes are no longer to be gained by lavish funding.

The difference between this promise & previous promises to give up violence real soon seems to me to be that in this case the IRA have nothing to gain by lying about it because Paisley is not going to do anything purely on a promise. We will see over the next few months but I am hopeful.

As for a united Ireland & silly questions about who won - if there is ever going to be a united Ireland it will have nothing to do with the war & everything to do with Ireland's economic success. One of the unstated reasons Ulstermen never wanted to be part of a union was that the south was a much poorer country. Now Eire is richer per capita than the UK let alone NI which makes it a much more attractive proposition. What the south would feel about this is a different matter. 67% of NI's economy is in the state & even the private sector gets de facto subsidy. Eire taking over NI would, even if the proddies accepted the idea, would create problems that make the takeover of East Germany look easy. Since they are both in the EU it is difficult to see why it would matter.

What this whole thing proves, yet again, is that any sort of war is bad for business & therefore while it goes on other countries, or in this case regions, pass the warriors by. Economic growth is onece again proved to be not only the best but the only way to national advancement.

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