A united stand
Published 30/12/2010 | 08:00
Margaret Thatcher once famously described Northern Ireland to be as British as Finchley. But her own party once considered dumping the province into a united Ireland. As violence raged on the streets during the hunger strikes, Irish unity was one of the fall-back options considered by the Tories. The secret government papers released under the 3-year rule show that nothing would be ruled out if the conditions were correct. The irony is the political developments most resisted by unionists - power-sharing and the Good Friday Agreement - make the province today more like Finchley than it was in the past since it cannot be coerced into a united Ireland except with the consent of the majority.