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Adams is wrong, peace process not in crisis

GERRY Adams' latest remarks, where he stated that the peace process was in crisis and faces the greatest challenge since the Good Friday Agreement, are unfortunate and unhelpful.

Firstly, prior to 1998, no framework existed allowing discussion and negotiation over welfare reform, or budgets, as direct rule ministers would've simply applied the reforms branded as the 'bedroom tax' and cuts would've been made to budgets without any input from local politicians.

Secondly, this debate is healthy, as it is not about the politically charged question of the border, but about what could be deemed a 'normal' issue. Therefore, to bring the matter of the 'peace process' into the fray is unhelpful, negative and against the notion of normal political discourse.

The peace process is not in crisis. Instead, a difficult issue for one constituency has been brought into the public eye and is being kicked about by the governing parties – the DUP and Sinn Fein.

Twenty years ago, the Provisional IRA was still at "war" with Britain, lives were being lost and soldiers roamed the streets in order to maintain law and order.

Now those once taking life-changing decisions through other means are merely operating a system set up by Westminster and governing with their partners – unionists, who, 20 years ago, were not even talking to Sinn Fein, never mind sharing power.

So what is Gerry Adams's concern?

AREND LIJPHART

Belfast

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