01 November 2007
Podcast: Northern Ireland’s continuing “peace”

“I think the counter-terrorist people probably deserve some credit for not topping the IRA leadership.”

“A market among thieves is better than no market at all.”

The continuing ceasefire in Northern Ireland baffles me.  Ian Paisley’s decision to share power with Martin McGuinness even more so.  Brian thought my befuddlement would make a good topic for a podcast so on Monday we sat down to record our musings on the matter - musings that you can listen to by following the link at the end of this post.

I should point out that I am reasonably well qualified (some will doubtless say uniquely ill-qualified) to address the subject of Northern Ireland as I spent a year as researcher to David Trimble and am the author of a couple of pamphlets on the subject.  However, I confess I am rather rusty.

In the podcast we discussed the various theories put forward for this seemingly miraculous peace: the end of the Cold War, the start of the War on Terror, the birth of the Irish Tiger and ageing of the IRA’s leadership.

There were a few things we missed.  We forgot to examine the possibility that in fact things are really quite violent - it’s just that many incidents aren’t being reported.  And there were a few more things I wanted to say about the British-Irish Treaty.

And what is a “switherer”?

Running time: (47 mins)

Update This is the blog post Brian is referring to in the comments.

PermalinkFeedback (1)PodcastsUlster


  1. A switherer is someone who can’t make up his mind and keeps switching from one alternative to another.

    The other thing that might be worth including as an addendum at the bottom of this posting is a link to that Samizdata posting that I kept going on about.

    I am concocting a short posting at my blog, linking to this, in which I will be including a link to that Samizdata posting.  Sorry, I am not very clever at putting links in comments.  I find it a bit of a (in joke warning) pane.

    Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 01 November 2007 at 02:42am

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.