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A united Ireland is being created, not by arms but by the lure of cash

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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 07:39 AM
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A united Ireland is being created, not by arms but by the lure of cash
New elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly are being held today.

If that sounds like wild, lunatic fantasy, it is - for the Middle East at any rate. But something very much like it is happening before our eyes in Northern Ireland. In Sharon's place is Ian Paisley, the octogenarian embodiment of Unionist intransigence, whose Democratic Unionist party is likely to emerge as the largest single party in today's elections for the Northern Ireland embassy. For Ismail Haniyeh, read Martin McGuinness who will serve as deputy first minister. That's right: McGuinness, widely famed as a former IRA commander, will team up with Paisley, who made a reputation denouncing the IRA as bloodthirsty, murdering bastards whose only place was frying in the fires of hell.

At Paisley's side, as education minister, we may well see Gerry Kelly, a former hunger striker jailed for his part in the IRA bombings of the Old Bailey and Scotland Yard. And yes, one of the big issues before the Paisley administration will be the price of Northern Irish water.
The driving force is the economic success of the Irish republic, a surge in prosperity which the north wants a part of. All the main parties are calling on London to reduce Northern Ireland's rate of corporation tax, for example, to bring it into line with the investment-attracting south. Even Ian Paisley is in favour of this little piece of all-Ireland harmonisation.

Meanwhile, the secretary of state Peter Hain won plaudits when he demanded mobile phone companies drop their "roaming" charges across the Irish border, replacing them with one rate for the entire island. He's also legislated for a single electricity market covering north and south. Indeed, Hain has said that a single, Northern Irish economy is unsustainable, that only an "island of Ireland economy" makes sense. Paisley heard that as a pro-nationalist message and called for Hain's resignation. But when business leaders backed Hain, Paisley quietly dropped it.,,2028046,00.h...
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 08:06 AM
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1. I'm very interested in how this all works out
NI can't continue as a dysfunctional statelet governed from outside; it needs to take up the burden of self-government and get past the "war" mentality to a place where political life is workable. There are signs that this is happening, altho you might not believe that if you read some of the commentators on the various sides. Today may be a watershed, if the hate-mongers (any side) don't find some way to re-light the fires.
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