Peter Hain was on the Today programme this morning doing a victory lap for the resumption of devolution in Northern Ireland. But he gave the game away when he predicted that this deal would stick as there are no political forces more extreme than those in government.
The consequence of the Good Friday agreement, or more accurately how it has been implemented, has been to destroy the forces of reason and moderation in Northern Ireland. We now have an executive composed of the two extremes—and it isn’t a pretty sight. Peter Mandelson’s trenchant criticisms of the way Blair has handled the process were spot on.
The most shameful thing is that on the mainland we don’t care. As long as there aren’t bombs going off here, we’re happy to leave Northern Ireland to sink ever deeper into the politics of ethnic rage