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The real lessons of Ulster

The Northern Ireland conflict is now fought over the lessons of the Troubles. One apparent lesson is that only extremists can make deals stick. But perhaps the real conclusion is that the late-colonial British did not properly study their own history

By Dean Godson   140

Why should anyone still care about the Ulster Unionist party, the Orange Order or, for that matter, Northern Ireland itself? The UUP, the ruling party for the first half century of Northern Ireland’s existence, from 1921 to 1972, is about as healthy as Ariel Sharon—nominally alive but, to all intents and purposes, a goner. The Orange Order seems destined to enter one of its extended periods of quiescence, such as it went through in the 19th century. Even the novelty of Ian Paisley’s danse macabre with Martin McGuinness has attracted less attention in Britain than might have been expected.


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