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An Ulster betrayal

By going soft on Sinn Féin, Tony Blair and Jonathan Powell allowed Ulster's centrists to be sidelined

By David Trimble   June 2008

In his article, “What I learned in Belfast” (May 2008), Jonathan Powell denies that the British government deliberately sacrificed the moderate centre of Northern Ireland politics. I have never claimed that Tony Blair deliberately sacrificed the centre ground. But the centre did lose out, because of several factors which require more careful consideration than Powell gives. The same applies to the global lessons of the conflict.

Powell says that he and Blair wanted to build from the centre, “but we were stymied by the refusal of the SDLP to move ahead without Sinn Féin. John Hume had sold that pass…

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