Alex Massie

Alice in Ulster

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A quick coda to this earlier post on the Tories and the Northern Ireland peace process: the approach taken by the Guardian (and others) is that the Tories must be a neutral, honest broker for the process, otherwise the whole thing may collapse. And how must the Tories demonstrate their honesty and neutrality? By chivvying, hectoring, persuading, bullying Reg Empey and the remaining official Unionists to support the deal on the devolution of policing and justice. In other words, by abandoning (at least one sense of) neutrality.

This may indeed be a good idea and as good a deal as you're ever likely to get but the peace process increasingly resembles the bank bailouts and stimulus packages: better than the alternatives but not something that merits as many cheers as it receives but, once passed, something that may never, in any circumstances, be questioned. Remember people: process not outcomes is what matters.

UPDATE: See Ben Brogan for more on this. 

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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