Peace process consensus and partnership


Sir, – Alex Kane focuses on a lack of consensus (“Tough to avoid conclusion that NI peace process drawing to a close”, Opinion & Analysis, September 20th).

Does that not risk a false equivalence, obscuring responsibility for lack of commitment to partnership (the premise and promise of the Belfast Agreement)?

Martin McGuinness’s partnership with Arlene Foster’s predecessors is remembered positively, although it had no more consensus on what Alex Kane calls “the big-ticket issues”. It had a functioning level of respectful partnership which many nationalists say was then burnt by the self-styled “leader of Northern Ireland” and the tendency of her colleagues to “curry yoghurt”.

Does this not show that respect is a lot more important than consensus? That might explain the impetus for a breakthrough on parity of esteem, for example an Irish Language Act. – Yours, etc,