Unlike the author of this article, I saw first-hand how the peace process was actually progressing. My wife worked for 17 years for JC and accompanied him several times to Ireland (North and South). Unfortunately Anthony is at Breach most of the facts. It was not Blair`s inauguration that broke the block, but a statement by a Conservative minister, Brooke, who said: « Britain does not now have selfish interests in Ireland and is ready to talk about peace. » At the same time, John Hume and Gerry Adams had begun many discussions on what a ceasefire and negotiations might be. Unfortunately, not realizing that it was a conservative regime that started it. When Labour was elected in 1997, the process was stalled again – and Mo Mowlam (on behalf of the government) asked Jeremy to act as an « interlude, » which he has done many times. The big problem was « Liberation of prisoners, » and Jeremy and my wife went there many times. Jeremy convinced Mo to go into blocks H to talk directly to the prisoners, and it ended up working. Jeremy and his collaborators have been taking over for months the anomalies of the « prisoner release programme » – we still have all the files! – without Sinn Fein – the IRA would not have been able to agree on a process. So Jeremy played a key role in the Good Friday agreement – just ask Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness if you don`t believe me. Mr. Breach lives in an imaginary world and should read a little before sabotaging ignorant articles. Northern Ireland has been a key theme for Jeremy Corbyn during his long career as a back-banker.
Mr. Corbyn, the back banker, was a Republican supporter. He supported a united Ireland and identified himself several times with Sinn Féin, with which the provisional IRA was engulfed. He voted against the Anglo-Irish agreement in 1985 on the grounds that it strengthened the border between North and South. He systematically went outside the mainstream of the Labour Party, which favoured a generally bipartisan approach to Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, he voted in favour of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, on the grounds that he offered hope for peace and reconciliation beyond the demarcation line. Corbyn voted against and opposed Parliament: « We believe that the agreement strengthens the border between the six and 26 counties rather than weakens it, and those of us who want a united Ireland are the reasons opposed to the agreement. » At the time, there were very few honest MPs on the Conservative side, but a number of good Labour. Tony Benn was an exceptional character, but everyone`s choice was Jeremy Corbyn. Due to his efforts to agree on the details of the repatriation of prisoners to their country of origin, I was released prematurely and was able to return a new sheet. I am an old man now and I still run my own small business.