Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday, 28 November 2003

Northern Ireland elections

Here is a link to results as they come in. For comment on what has happened, a good source is sluggerotoole.

I suspect like many British people who don't live in Northern Ireland, or have much connection with contemporary Ireland (the whole island, that is), I have only a limited interest in what happens there. The interminable nature of the 'troubles' has probably reduced whatever greater interest I may once have had in the matter. My knowledge of the complexities of Northern Irish politics, within the province and as they relate to the Republic of ireland, is scant.

On the other hand, I know it is important - if only because of the ever-present risk the 'troubles' might again cross the Irish Sea to pollute the relatively peaceful political scene, by comparison, in England, Scotland and Wales. However, I can't disguise my wish that the whole problem would simply go away.

With 84 of the 108 results in, the last time I looked, it seems that the big gainers this time around are the DUP (led by the Rev Ian Paisley) and Sinn Fein (led by Gerry Adams). The two main moderate 'Unionist' and 'Nationalist' parties, the UUP and the SDLP, seem to have lost some support, specially the latter. There have been occasions in the past when seemingly intractable opponents have made surprising progress in resolving their disputes and 'concocting' a modus operandi in which the two main communities could live in harmony, but it requires a leap of faith at present to believe that the DUP and Sinn Fein can do so.

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