Tuesday 26 September 2017

North's politicians think the world owes them but they must settle problems on their own

This time it was the turn of former US diplomat Richard Haass and Harvard professor Meghan O'Sullivan, pictured in Belfast on December 28
This time it was the turn of former US diplomat Richard Haass and Harvard professor Meghan O'Sullivan, pictured in Belfast on December 28
James Downey

James Downey

Once upon a time, serious citizens -- not just the chattering classes engaged in pub and dinner-table conversation -- talked about repartition as a solution to the Northern Ireland problem.

Maps were drawn by the score. Learned papers and official briefs were written. They showed that such an enterprise was close to impossible. At best, it would require the deployment of military forces on a massive scale.

Now we know that some of these documents reached the eyes, and claimed the attention, of people at the top of the British political tree. Specifically, the British state papers for 1983 reveal that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher took sufficient interest in one of them to underline what she saw as salient passages.

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