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Ex-PM's legacy here is one of instability

Published 13/07/2016

Your correspondent TMK is correct to point out that the war in Iraq, and the situation in the Middle East in general, should by no means be laid solely on the shoulders of Tony Blair.

However, I strongly disagree with TMK, who says "... it was only by Tony Blair's tenacity that the peace process we now enjoy ever took place".

Tony Blair's Government, with the connivance of many unionist politicians and an Irish Government with an eye to the main chance, brokered the Good Friday Agreement, which was then presented to the Northern Ireland electorate in a referendum.

The terror-weary electorate had to vote while staring down the barrels of IRA/UVF guns. The voters can be forgiven under the circumstances for agreeing to the Agreement. Those who brokered it cannot.

The result has been institutionalised separation of the community on sectarian grounds on a scale never experienced before the Agreement and total stagnation in devolved administration.

Today paramilitary bands - whether republican or loyalist - have a tighter grip than ever on the poorest communities in our country and our governments at all levels and our security force leaders are loath to properly control this.

After all, the hard-working people who are crushed by these gangs are not thought important enough to be bothered about - as long as yet more time can be bought by bartering with these thugs for another cobbled-together deal.

Tony Blair's legacy in Northern Ireland is instability, deepening sectarian division and constant appeasement of terrorism.

ALAN LOVE

Lisburn, Co Antrim

Belfast Telegraph

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