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Divis Sweeney BS: Paisley pulls out - no big surprise. (60* d) RE: BS: Paisley pulls out - no big surprise. 18 Oct 06

This is anything but an anti protestant thread. The protestant community in the North of Ireland need something sorted out over here as much as nationalists. They have their monthly bills appearing on bank statements like the rest of us.

Progress has been made, If you would have asked me twenty years ago what's the chances of the PIRA disarming and disbanding, I doubt I would even of answered you.

Let's look at the changes in twenty years. The two old parties, the S.D.L.P. (Still don't like protestants), sorry joke. And the Ulster Unionists Party were the two main parties. The swing to the D.U.P. and Sinn Fein came when things began to move, PIRA ceasefire held,prisoners released and North/South government bodies in place.

Nationalists saw it was Sinn Fein who were at the sharp end and could make progress, Unionists felt the D.U.P. were the party that could preserve the union. It was a pity the D.U.P. didn't take the loyalist paramilitaries on board, something the Ulster Unionist are currently trying to do.

Taking guns of people is the easy part, taking their will to use them isn't so easy. The D.U.P. fell out with the U.V.F. over the P.U.P. standing againist them in local elections and David Ervine reminding them of their past involvement with a number of groups with a colourful past.

Sinn Fein don't look towards republicans for their votes, they have now the middle class catholics on board at the expense of the S.D.L.P. Many are young people want bread and butter issues dealt with and the shinners are delivering.

All we hear from the D.U.P. is NO SURRENDER and ULSTER IS NOT FOR SALE. Words that echo fear more than anything else.

There has to be progress made here sooner rather than later and we must remember none of us are without sin.

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