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The corruption and pathetic naievity of the EU is damning. It seems that yet again the EU is at the heart of the cause of the problem, rather than its solution.

Anybody want to bet that the EU will nonetheless continue to funnel money to the Hamas-dominated "Palestinian Authority"?

Excellent article from Dr Tannock.

Isn't it amazing that some people still take Chris Patten at his own estimation? It must be his rather grand, wordlywise manner that bewitches journalists and other politicians - "He sounds like he knows what he's talking about" - and disarms their critical faculties. He is one of the most functionally useless people to have entered public life in the last half century. In fact, he's worse than useless - his blinkered and aggressive application of Establishment recieved wisdom has caused real damage in places like Northern Ireland - and, as Charles Tannock so correctly observes, in the Middle East.

And, to add insult to injury, he still calls himself a Tory!

It would all be so much easier if we just left the EU...

But I doubt that EU withdrawal features on the radars of party "modernisers", despite it being a step that would be good for the country and popular with the electorate.

Perhaps Patten's experience in Northern Ireland, where he destroyed the RUC to placate the IRA, gave him the idea that all terrorists could be appeased?

What would leaving the EU do for ensuring they spend the money they receive properly?

It would stop them mis-spending our money, greg.

'Terrorism' is a subjective word. I deplore the use of violence to achieve political aims, without exception.

But if I was a Palestinian living in a refugee camp, I cannot truthfully say that I would not resort to it. I suppose that a similar argument could be made if I was a Catholic living in Belfast in the 1960's with the sectarian prejudice that I would have encountered.

Mandela was imprisoned for terrorism, yet most would argue now that he was opposing an oppresive and racist police state.

I hate the thought of pandering to extremists like Hamas, but unless we stop the reason why Hamas CAN recruit with their policies of hatred, then the problem won't go away. Don't forget that on the other side of the coin, a man who later became president of the state of Israel was imprisoned by the British for terrorism.

Jon,

I hope your last post was not a serious one. There can never ever be any excuse for terrorism, terrorism in the examples you highlighted is the murder of innocent men, women and children simply because they are Israeli or British.

How could you understand or empathise with these evil murderers? Worse still how could you even consider doing what they do?

I suggest you go to Israel and talk to the victims of terrorism, maybe then you wouldn't make such awful comments.

I have been to Israel and I have spent time in the Palestinian Territories. Yes life for some Palestinians is not easy, but is that an excuse to murder innocent people?

Israel is the only fully functioning democracy in the Middle East that affords Arabs within her borders more rights than they enjoy in almost any other country in the Arab World.


Let's dispel the myth that Chris Patten is a Tory. He is in essence a Liberal Democrat with an appetite for self-aggrandisement and the many good things that high table has to offer. The Roy Jenkins of his day. The deal Patten did with Blair in 1997 was that he would become Tony's Tethered Tory. He would run around doing Blair's bidding (e.g. in Northern Ireland) and making life difficult for his former party, while Blair would heap preferment on him in return....which he did, especially by making him a European Commissioner. Patten continued to fly the Tory flag of convenience because it suited his master, Blair, to be able to point to a "decent Tory" (i.e. Patten) who agreed with Blair on most things and could always be counted on to sling mud at his former party. This charade only ended when the Big Tent emptied out over Iraq....on which Patten was well to the left of Blair.

Patten would now appear to be trying to ingratiate himself with Cameron & Co. Logical enough given that the new dogma is that the Lib Dems and the Tories see eye to eye on most things.


Jon, Palestinians do have some legitimate grievances - but also illegitimate grievances. They had the chance of a deal in 1947 that would have given them most of what's now Israel/West Bank. They wanted it all, and they wanted it cleansed of Jews. Many (perhaps most) still want it all and cleansed of Jews.

There was nothing in the circumstances of Northern Ireland in the sixties to justify a terrorist campaign.

Sean, I agree.....and as a Catholic myself, I can safely say that vicious sectarian bigotry is not confined to Protestants in Northern Ireland, however much the Guardian and the BBC would like to pretend otherwise.

"Chris Patten moved on. Many more Israelis died in suicide bombings."

Does Charles Tannock seriously think that the EU in general and Chris Patten in particular, is responsible for Palestinian suicide bombers? He seems to have let his dual obsessions with hatred of the EU and the tory left cloud his judgment to a quite extraordinary degree.

Sean

Most of the palestinians of 1947 are dead, the choices they made are in another time. The majority of today's Palestinians are people brought up in camps or under occupation. To them Israel & the "Jews" aren't democrats building a nation, they are the enemy.

Israelis too don't always see the Palestinians as individuals - they also lump them together as "the enemy". As we saw in Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Rwanda and see in Chechnya, in the Sudan ethic hatreds run deep.

We cannot afford to ignore the Palestinians - we did until the PLO and Black September in late 60's started the current terrorist campaigns. We need to start from where we are now not from 1947 or 1968 or 1974 and look at what the outlines of a future peace can look like.

The EU was right to look at building a strong civil society in Gaza & the West Bank but in its usual ineffective way it played into the hands of a corrupt administration. This failure has resulted in a worse case - a more radical government, same levels of poverty and joblessness as before. Chris Patten should be ashamed.

I fail to understand why Patten has become such a bogey-man.

In Northern Ireland he did an honest job.

As European Commissioner I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt that he understood the political picture better than Tannock.

IMO, the worst thing he did was accidental: to be architect of the '92 victory - the one where it would have been better if we'd lost, but with our reputation in tact.

Chris Patten was instrumental in winning us the 1992 election (Cue: whines along the lines of 'I wish we'd never won the 1992 election etc. etc. ad nauseam') He worked assiduously and with distinction for Margaret Thatcher at the research department. He skilfuly implemented far reaching reforms during his time in government (largely under Mrs T).

When you've done as much for the party at him, you can tell me he's 'not a conservative'.

Believe it or not, just because someone disagrees with you, Michael, they are not automatically 'unconservative'.


"Most of the palestinians of 1947 are dead, the choices they made are in another time. The majority of today's Palestinians are people brought up in camps or under occupation. To them Israel & the "Jews" aren't democrats building a nation, they are the enemy."

Quite correct. My reason for referring to 1947 is to point out why they now face their current predicament. Their ancestors *could* have chosen terms that would have given them most of what they wanted.

I think Patten is a conservative but his record is patchy.
Credit side - He was a good party chairman, the Hong Kong settlement seems to have protected some measure of freedom and he tried to do his best for the British subjects rejected by our Government.

In Northern Ireland he gave away too much without guarantee of return - has Catholic support for NI Police really improved? As EU Commissioner he was no better than most but probably no worse but he had responsibility for this area and it failed - his responsibility, his fault.

Ted,

Are you seriously suggesting Patten had 'responsibility' for bringing peace to the Middle East or stopping suicide bombings?

Do you think, perhaps, Mr Tannock ought to have weighed the other causes of Palestinian suicide bombings before laying the blame at the feet of Mr Patten and the EU? [The answer to that question, btw, is 'yes'].


The EU faced the same problem with the PLO that the US faces with the Saudis; they were riding a tiger. They propped up the PLO regime for fear of getting something worse if they didn't.

What is the definition of a refugee camp? How can one be a refugee 50 years or more after the event?

I'm not sure why you criticise Jon White so harshly Richard.The behaviour of the Isrealis and in particulat their army has also been at times fairly reprehensible.I too lived in Israel for a while and left much less pro Israeli than when I arrived.

Gareth, what an absurd remark, even by your surreal standards. I don't think Patten believes in much which could be defined as of the centre-right. That's what I said. Not that he isn't conservative because he disagrees with me.

Tannock never said that Patten was responsible for suicide bombings. I suspect that you are allowing your visceral hatred of Tannock to obscure Patten's acquiescence in ongoing EU subsidy of the brutal and corrupt Arafat regime. Or do you think that was a good thing?

As for Patten's wonderful record in government, read Nigel Lawson's biography and his description of Patten's time at Environment
in the late eighties. "What astonished me most about Patten's behaviour was that, while he was well aware that the Poll Tax was a political disaster, he made no effort whatsoever to abort it, even though he was in a strong position to do so."

His "honest job" in Northern Ireland has helped create a police force which is great at handing out speeding fines but rather less great at controlling the rampant gangsterism and racketeering of those to whom the PSNI is accountable. Patten's legacy is the setting-up of a police force to be scrutinised by mafiosi. Not even Al Capone managed that. Maybe Mark Fulford should try living on the Short Strand or the Falls Road, and experience the rigours of paramilitary "restorative justice", before he rushes to praise Chris Patten.

Michael,

Your actual words in respect of Patten were,

"Let's dispel the myth that Chris Patten is a Tory. He is in essence a Liberal Democrat with an appetite for self-aggrandisement"

You then proceeded, not to dispel any myths about Patten, but rather to give us the beneift of your hyperbole which, by the way, does not an argument make.

Your choice of battleground to attack Mr Patten's incompetence in government is fascinating. The criticism seems to be that Patten recognised that the poll tax would be a political disaster but failed to stop it. Two things flwo from this of course. First, at least he had the wit to see that the poll tax would be a catastrophe (unlike a certain Margaret Hilda) and second, you are adopting Nigel Lawson's criticism of him that he loyally implemented Mrs Thatcher's most controversial policy, whilst simultaneously accusing him of being a 'Liberal Democrat'.

There's only one surreal argument here Michael, and you just made it.

"Maybe Mark Fulford should try living on the Short Strand or the Falls Road, and experience the rigours of paramilitary "restorative justice", before he rushes to praise Chris Patten."

A situation which never existed, of course, when the beloved RUC were running the show.

Gareth, it's only hyperbole because you have no convincing counterargument. You of course have never stooped to hyperbole with your abuse of rank and file Tory supporters as rednecks and bigots.

You are so busy frothing at the mouth that you completely miss the point on the Poll Tax. Lawson vigorously opposed that disastrous experiment. Patten had a golden opportunity to help him to bury it which he flunked .....no doubt because he preferred to play political games, rather than do the right thing. How very Lib Dem.

I thought Patten's remit was to improve the police force in Northern Ireland....yet I don't remember the godfathers of loyalism and the IRA actually helping to run the RUC. If Chris Patten did such a great job, perhaps he should recommend that Abu Hamza and the Yardies have a say in the running of the Met. Or is Government by Gangster good enough for the great unwashed of the Bogside and Andersonstown but not for sophisticated urban intellectuals like you, Gareth?

Does anyone take Chris Patten seriously?
Like Heseltine and others, he has consistently allowed himself to be used by hostile media to portray the conservative party as "extreme".
Rather than keeping his trap shut he has consistently allowed his considerable vanity to get the better of him.
Trouble is this type of person is pathologically incapable of keeping his trap shut in the face of constant temptation from the BBC to appear on Today, Question Time, etc. etc.

"A situation which never existed, of course, when the beloved RUC were running the show"

By any yardstick, the RUC were a much more effective force than that created as a result of the Patten report. Patten can't be blamed for every inane suggestion adopted by his committee, but he shouldn't have given his blessing to their inane suggestions.

Sorry, Sean, you are wrong. You have failed to imbibe the "truth" from the BBC and the Guardian. The RUC was the Irish Gestapo. The Provisional IRA was engaged in a heroic life and death struggle to protect Catholics from the murderous Apartheid State in which they were forced to live. Hasn't the penny dropped after all these years? No A List for you, dear boy.


The frightening thing is Michael, that (outside Republican circles) there are people who believe that. Johan Hari for example, once described the RUC as a terrorist organisation similar to the IRA; he also believed that no Catholic was ever elected to the Stormont Parliament.

The Patten Report and implementation of the report are two quite separate issues. Chris Patten was responsible for making recommendations, not for implementing them. The main recommendations he made:

1. that the police pay attention to human rights;
2. that the police be depoliticized with a Policing Board, half non-political, to appoint chief officers, to set the agenda and hold the police to account;
3. local policing;
4. demilitarization of police stations and vehicles;
5. bring anti-terror powers into line with the rest of the UK;
6. introduce video into the custody suite;
7. sufficient manpower to deal with public order emergencies;
8. restrict use of the plastic baton round and research alternatives;
9. the police population should be representative of the general population and have equal numbers of Protestants and Catholics;
10. that the police service be renamed;
11. that the Union flag should not be flown above police stations.

I would expect some frothing over 10 and 11, but which of the rest would you take issue with?

Mark
the problem was the context of the Patten Report within a political struggle between terrorists and democrats- in his report and particularly in the last two recommendations he appeared to accept the Sinn Fein IRA (& BBC & US Democrat) position that the RUC was an illegitimate loyalist organ with rampant bad practices and corruption.

There were within the Ulster Constabulary a few who like police everywhere fought the threats by illegal means but many more very brave individuals stood for democratic laws and risked their lives to protect the law abiding citizens through decades of terror. Their reward was loss of jobs and betrayal by their government of the very symbols of their professional dedication and history, monarchy and country.

This sacrifice might have been worth it had we seen a positive response in getting full community support but the IRA/Sinn Fein did not want civil governance in "their" areas. Patten had all the right intentions, as in Palestine, but in both cases the outcome was predicated on the honour of corrupt criminalised organisations.

A better politician would have looked to match rewards with performance, not to have offered much for very little. Patten acted fully within Tony Blair's appeasement agenda with IRA/Sinn Fein that has done so much to destroy the moderate SDLP & UUP and increase the polarity of NI politics.

I don't blame Patten as the leading actor in either the state of Palestinian or Irish politics but he was a player and if I were him I wouldn't be proud of my part in either.

"the problem was the context of the Patten Report within a political struggle between terrorists and democrats"

The whole point of the report was to allow both Protestants and Catholics to trust their police service. For that to happen it is essential that the police aren't used as a political tool. Linking "rewards" (a trustworthy, fair police service) to "performance" (IRA decommissioning, Sinn Fein good behaviour?) would be totally counterproductive and an abject failure.

Well, Mark, isn't that interesting coming from a self-styled moderate Conservative. Ted is of course spot on (although too charitable to Patten who knew the score from the outset). Like many on the left of the Tory Party, you, Mark, seem to subscribe wholeheartedly to Tony Blair's appeasement agenda. You presumably regard the oversight of the PSNI given to the likes of Adams and McGuinness as entirely acceptable in a society where the rule of law is supposed to prevail?

You also conveniently fail to point out that (a) Protestants did trust their police service; and (b) once the B Specials were disbanded, there would have been far more Catholics in the RUC had it not been for a thirty-year campaign of republican terror against RUC members, especially those who were Catholic. Even Patten acknowledged this at the time.


What was the disbandment of the RUC if not a political move, Mark?

Precisely. The whole point of the process in which Patten played such a leading role was to buy into Sinn Fein's line that the RUC was a latter-day Gestapo which had to be disbanded, while softpeddling on decommissioning, gangsterism and vigilante justice.

Michael and Sean, quoting from the Patten Report:

"that while we have not accepted the argument that the Royal Ulster Constabulary should be disbanded, it should henceforth be named the Northern Ireland Police Service

The RUC was renamed to remove political associations from its name – part of the process of empowering the police by gaining them the trust of all sections of the community.

there would have been far more Catholics in the RUC had it not been for a thirty-year campaign of republican terror against RUC members, especially those who were Catholic.

Michael, this is an example of what happens if the police are perceived as being a political tool and a reason why politics and the police have to be clearly separate.

...you, Mark, seem to subscribe wholeheartedly to Tony Blair's appeasement agenda.

I don't consider it appeasement to treat reasonable requests reasonably. It’s obvious that the police in Northern Ireland won’t work until it is trusted by all sections of the community and sensible that we do what we reasonably can to foster that trust.

isn't that interesting coming from a self-styled moderate Conservative

I'm interested that you mock me as a self-styled moderate on the left of the party. I don't know whether you're accurate, but I can't see how it makes my argument any less substantial.

What was the disbandment of the RUC if not a political move, Mark?

Of course it’s a political move to take the politics out of the police. Do you dispute that it’s the right move?

You seem to be arguing Mark, that if a particular section of the population murder people who join the police force, the onus is on the police force to accomodate them.

I see no evidence at all that the PSNI is any more acceptable to the IRA and their supporters than the RUC was; I see plenty of evidence that this new force is less well-regarded among law-abiding people than the old force was.

You seem to be arguing Mark, that if a particular section of the population murder people who join the police force, the onus is on the police force to accomodate them.

No, I'm arguing that the police should be non-partisan and non-political. Do you agree?

This is a bizarre arguement. While some people are asserting conservative "principles" are being broken such as "dealing with terrorists" and "giving in when the other side are not showing goodwill", etc. (because they don't understand that these are merely tactics and strategies), people like Patten have been pragmatic and achieved remarkable results in Northern Ireland.

That someone can still argue, in 2006, that what he did for NI was a failure shows a rather blinkered approach, and an inability to admit that (in hindsight) you were wrong, and he was right.

Mark, the most charitable thing I can say about you is that you are incurably naive....but then so was Neville Chaamberlain in his dealings with the Fuhrer, Carrington in his dealings with Mugabe and Ted Heath in making excuses for the Tien An Men Square Massacre. So at least you are following in a fine One Nation Tory tradition.

As Sean says, you are basically making excuses for the fact that the IRA systematically terrorised members of the RUC, especially Catholic members. It became effectively impossible for a Catholic to even contemplate joining the RUC. Patten bent over backwards to appease Sinn Fein (or in Fulford-speak, to treat reasonable requests reasonably). Not least he gave Sinn Fein and its friends in the IRA oversight of the PSNI via the Policing Board. Not only is this the first time that an active terrorist organisation has been given oversight of the police but it hasn't even worked. The PSNI is still a political football. Sinn Fein doesn't want the PSNI to succeed and will provent it doing so, because it wants to police its own areas with its own vigilantes. If you buy the Sinn Fein point of view (which some "compassionate Conservatives" now seem to do), the Northern Ireland police service will only be non-political when it answers to the IRA Army Council.

Northern Ireland is only a success story for the flourishing "far away country of which we know nothing" wing of the Conservative Party. Unlike many Dublin politicians, they couldn't care less about the health of Irish democracy north and south of the Border so long as bombs don't go off in London. Ireland is the one part of the British Isles where a racist, fascist political party with its own private army collects vast public subsidies, runs a gangster empire with impunity and terrorises the very people it claims to protect. Much the same is true of the Loyalists. If the BNP (which has no private army or gangster empire) ran Bradford City Council, Compassionate Conservatives would be up in arms. Apparently, a similar scenario in Ireland doesn't matter, nor does the fact that the Peace Process has effectively destroyed moderate unionism and nationalism.


Mark, a police force, in a democracy, can't be impartial between those who, on the one hand, wish to use force to overthrow the State, and on the other, law-abiding citizens who accept that the State has the right to exist.

The IRA, and its supporters, hated the RUC because they believed their armed struggle to take Northern Ireland out of the UK was justified - and they realised the efficiency and bravery of the RUC was one reason why that armed struggle had failed.

Since the Patten report, the force has been completely demoralised; good officers have been pushed out; a discriminatory recruitment policy has been implmented; the Special Branch has been wound up; the RUC Reserve has been wound up; and the force (uniquely in the UK) has been rid of any sign that it is a British police force - to the point where officers aren't even allowed to keep photos of murdered colleagues, in case this should prove offensive to Republicans.

"people like Patten have been pragmatic and achieved remarkable results in Northern Ireland. "

They have indeed achieved remarkable results. A province in which Republican and "loyalist" terrorists can run "their" areas without fear of interference by the police.

We seem to be dangerously close to the point where some left-leaning Conservatives treat Sinn Fein and the IRA as the authentic voice of democratic Irish nationalism.....a position which would wholly unacceptable to most members of the Dail. But why should we be surprised? In the 1930's, there were many leading Conservatives who regarded the Nazi Party and the Italian Fascists as the authentic voice of nationalism in Germany and Italy.

"You of course have never stooped to hyperbole with your abuse of rank and file Tory supporters"

" You are so busy frothing at the mouth that you completely miss the point "

Hmmm. One might have thought it a valiant attempt at irony except, somehow, one just knows it isn't.

"thought Patten's remit was to improve the police force in Northern Ireland....yet I don't remember the godfathers of loyalism and the IRA actually helping to run the RUC. If Chris Patten did such a great job, perhaps he should recommend that Abu Hamza and the Yardies have a say in the running of the Met. Or is Government by Gangster good enough for the great unwashed of the Bogside and Andersonstown but not for sophisticated urban intellectuals like you, Gareth?"

This statement is interesting in so many ways. Firstly, note the inability to accept any possibility of nuance in the
debate. RUC = unquestionably good organisation destroyed by quasi-socialist/ quisling Patten. Can it be the Michael is the only person who hasn't heard that there is actually very good evidence that some members of the RUC, possibly dissident members or possibly unofficially sanctioned, DID co-operate with loyalist terrorists? It is certainly beyond doubt that, even before the civil rights protests of the 1960's, many N Irish Catholics perceived the RUC as a protestant force, acting against their community's interests. After 30 years of violence, it was unquestionably the case that the RUC had lost the confidence of a significant proportion of the Catholic population of NI although, ironically, the spot-light of the troubles had caused the RUC significantly to improve its practices and attempt to ensure even handed policing.

The Abu Hamza and Yardie points are exactly the sort of reductionist nonsense one finds oneself spouting if one refuses to accept that an issue is complex and difficult. If ever there was a complex issue, requiring deft and subtle management, it is that of community policing in NI.

As to 'urban intellectual', are you more interested in the views of the rural uneducated on policing in NI?

Sean and Michael - I ask again, do you agree that the police should be non-partisan and non-political?

"Reductionist nonsense" is simply a peevish attempt by you, Gareth, to sidestep the issue. Given the overall quality of your arguments, I'm not surprised Kate Hoey beat you in Vauxhall.

The smug reference to arguments being "complex and difficult" is evasive camouflage for the cynicism and intellectual dishonesty of your argument. If matters are so "complex and difficult" in Ireland that they require the IRA to have oversight of the police force while continuing to run a criminal empire, I wonder why the Spanish have not given Herri Batasuna and ETA (good friends of Sinn Fein) similar oversight of the Guardia Civil. After all, isn't the Basque problem complex, difficult and similar to that in Ireland? Perhaps the rather more successful approach of the Spanish has something to do with recent experience of a police force run by fascists?

I am just as interested in the views of the rural and uneducated on policing as yours, Gareth. No more, nor less. Oh sorry, forgot, they are probably "bigots" and "rednecks" less in touch with the metropolitan cutting edge than "social liberals" like you....so we must discount their views and defer to the self-appointed elite.

I see we get a predictable list of ludicrous views to which I am supposed to subscribe, because you find it less mentally strenuous to engage in caricature than debate. According to you, I am supposed to believe that the RUC was an "unquestionably good force" with no bad eggs. Interesting, given that I am an Irish Catholic, who has heard about the B Specials and know people involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Why not go the whole hog, Gareth, and accuse me of being a Paisleyite and a member of the Orange Lodge?

Not least he gave Sinn Fein and its friends in the IRA oversight of the PSNI via the Policing Board. Not only is this the first time that an active terrorist organisation has been given oversight of the police but it hasn't even worked.

Michael, here's a list of the members of the Northern Ireland Policing Board. As well as your views on non-political policing, I'd also be interested to know which board members you’re referring to in your comments.

10 assembly members:
Alex Atwood MLA (SDLP)
Joe Byrne (SDLP)
Fred Cobain MLA (UUP)
Sam Foster CBE (UUP)
William Hay MLA (DUP)
Lord Kilclooney MLA (UUP)
Alan McFarland MLA (UUP)
Eddie McGrady MP (SDLP)
Ian Paisley Jnr MLA (DUP)
Sammy Wilson MP, MLA (DUP)

9 non-assembly members:
Viscount Brookeborough (independent cross bench peer)
Denis Bradley (journalist and broadcaster)
Brian Dougherty (town planner)
Barry Gilligan (accountant, property developer)
Tom Kelly (company director)
Pauline McCabe (training and business consultant)
Rosaleen Moore (retired social worker)
Professor Sir Desmond Rea (university professor)
Suneil Sharma (company director)

Mark, happy to answer your question. The RUC needed some reform and needed to be seen as less partisan and less politicised. That required (a) more Catholic recruits; (b) a serious commitment by Sinn Fein to get Catholics to join and to accept the police service; and (c) an across-the-board recognition that the RUC was not all bad and had for the most part spent thirty years defending Catholics and Protestants from the forces of terror.

Instead, what we got was (a), no (b) and no (c). The result is that the PSNI is still a political football and an ineffective one because its ability to deal with paramilitary gangsterism and intimidation has been gravely compromised.....thanks in large part to Chris Patten. If you cast your mind back, when he was NI Secretary, Peter Mandelson attempted to undo some of the worst of Patten. Sinn Fein of course protested to Blair who moved Mandelson and installed John Reid, who immediately caved in to Sinn Fein, without a murmur of protest from Patten.

Now you can answer my question: why do you regard Sinn Fein and the IRA as the only legitimate voice of Irish nationalism?

"Given the overall quality of your arguments, I'm not surprised Kate Hoey beat you in Vauxhall"

Lol. I'm sure Michael, you'd have been the man to get the 30% swing necessary to unseat her.

That's enough of this, I think! Comments closed on this thread.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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