The meeting of extremes in contemporary philosophy
That’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into,’ quipped David Trimble with black humour as he bounded in to meet with Paul Murphy, the Northern Ireland Secretary, in the Lady Grey Room at Hillsborough Castle last Saturday. As well he might: for the first

That’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into,’ quipped David Trimble with black humour as he bounded in to meet with Paul Murphy, the Northern Ireland Secretary, in the Lady Grey Room at Hillsborough Castle last Saturday. As well he might: for the first time, Ian Paisley’s anti-Agreement Democratic Unionists had won more seats than the moderate Ulster Unionists in a Stormont election.

The drift away from the parties of the centre ground in last Wednesday’s poll was even more dramatic on the nationalist side, where Gerry Adams’s Sinn Fein inflicted a ‘Redmond moment’ upon the Social Democratic and Labour party led by Mark Durkan. In other words, an overwhelming defeat not far removed from the death blow suffered by John Redmond’s Irish Parliamentary party at the hands of republicans in the 1918 general election.

No. 10 claimed privately to be shocked over this outcome on the morning after. But should they be so surprised? And are the British and the Irish governments really that unhappy? Did they, in fact, see certain advantages in a victory of the two extremes, which has been termed as the ‘Molotov’Ribbentrop pact by the Lagan’?

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Meeting Place:  Adult Group lessons meet at the base area between the Red Lady Lift and the Silver Queen Lift. Look for the tall, green “Ski and Ride School” flags.

That’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into,’ quipped David Trimble with black humour as he bounded in to meet with Paul Murphy, the Northern Ireland Secretary, in the Lady Grey Room at Hillsborough Castle last Saturday. As well he might: for the first time, Ian Paisley’s anti-Agreement Democratic Unionists had won more seats than the moderate Ulster Unionists in a Stormont election.

The drift away from the parties of the centre ground in last Wednesday’s poll was even more dramatic on the nationalist side, where Gerry Adams’s Sinn Fein inflicted a ‘Redmond moment’ upon the Social Democratic and Labour party led by Mark Durkan. In other words, an overwhelming defeat not far removed from the death blow suffered by John Redmond’s Irish Parliamentary party at the hands of republicans in the 1918 general election.

No. 10 claimed privately to be shocked over this outcome on the morning after. But should they be so surprised? And are the British and the Irish governments really that unhappy? Did they, in fact, see certain advantages in a victory of the two extremes, which has been termed as the ‘Molotov’Ribbentrop pact by the Lagan’?

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