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Civil Service chief wrote off SDLP leader John Hume in 1985

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Impression: John Hume

Impression: John Hume

Impression: John Hume

The head of the Civil Service here wrote off SDLP leader John Hume as politically bankrupt in 1985.

It followed skilful and sustained unionist pressure on the MP to engage in talks about internal government, an official file said.

Following a US conference, Sir Kenneth Bloomfield wrote: "He gave a chilling impression of political bankruptcy, rather like a man who has lost a fortune by backing a particular number consistently at the roulette table and continues to stare at that number even though he no longer has a stake to play," he said.

He added that in the US, the nationalist leader "is widely regarded as occupying a position somewhere between Charles Stewart Parnell and Mother Theresa".

Hume went on to jointly win the Nobel Prize in 1998.

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