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Marching Orders

Ronan Bennett: The new future of Northern Ireland, 30 July 1998

... Craig, a hard-line former minister of home affairs, whose principal lieutenant was the young David Trimble. By 1976 the VUPP’s leader had softened to the extent of advocating a coalition with the Nationalist SDLP. This was too much for his deputy leader, Ernest Baird, who broke away to found the UUUM with the aim of promoting Unionist ...

What happened to Good Friday?

Garret FitzGerald, 2 September 1999

... the terms of the Agreement, despite the defection at that point of one of their key negotiators, David Trimble and his colleagues were clearly influenced by a private letter they received from Tony Blair, saying that he interpreted the Agreement to mean that decommissioning ‘should’ begin straightaway. This was, however, a unilateral statement that ...

An Escalation of Reasonableness

Conor Gearty: Northern Ireland, 6 September 2001

To Raise up a New Northern Ireland: Articles and Speeches 1998-2000 
by David Trimble.
Belfast Press, 166 pp., £5.99, July 2001, 0 9539287 1 3
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... the way for the IRA ceasefire of August 1994. The programmes give most of the credit to Hume, whom David Trimble also praises in one of the articles in To Raise up a New Northern Ireland: it was thanks to Hume’s redefinition of Irish nationalism, Trimble says, that ‘a common ground, where dialogue might take ...


Tom Paulin: The Belfast agreement, 18 June 1998

... day I remember how precarious the talks had been. Reading an article in the Daily Telegraph where David Trimble concludes his argument for a Yes vote by saying ‘we must have confidence in ourselves to face the future, not use the troubles of the past as a comfort blanket,’ I wonder how many Unionists will follow his advice. The vote will be Yes, but ...


Tom Paulin: Trimble’s virtues, 7 October 2004

... his offer of a Sweet Afton, and as I do so he notices my copy of Dean Godson’s biography of David Trimble, Himself Alone, lying in the back seat with David McDuff’s new translation of The Idiot and some other holiday books. When I say I want to write about Himself Alone, he exclaims: ‘A thick brick like ...

Ahead of the Game

Daniel Finn: The Official IRA, 7 October 2010

The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers’ Party 
by Brian Hanley and Scott Millar.
Penguin, 658 pp., £9.99, April 2010, 978 0 14 102845 3
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... republican critics upbraided the Provos for adopting the policies of their former rivals, while David Trimble had two former Officials – Eoghan Harris and Paul Bew – as advisers. There is a great deal in their theory and practice that can be left to gather dust; yet politics in Ireland could use a bit of the utopian energy and optimism with which ...

Into the Second Term

R.W. Johnson: New Labour, 5 April 2001

Servants of the People: The Inside Story of New Labour 
by Andrew Rawnsley.
Hamish Hamilton, 434 pp., £17.99, September 2000, 0 241 14029 3
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Mandelson and the Making of New Labour 
by Donald Macintyre.
HarperCollins, 638 pp., £6.99, September 2000, 0 00 653062 1
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Mo Mowlam: The Biography 
by Julia Langdon.
Little, Brown, 324 pp., £16.99, September 2000, 0 316 85304 6
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Ann Widdecombe: Right from the Beginning 
by Nicholas Kochan.
Politico’s, 302 pp., September 2000, 1 902301 55 2
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The Paymaster: Geoffrey Robinson, Maxwell and New Labour 
by Tom Bower.
Simon and Schuster, 272 pp., £17.99, March 2001, 0 7432 0689 4
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The Future of Politics 
by Charles Kennedy.
HarperCollins, 235 pp., £17.99, September 2000, 0 00 710131 7
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... Blair took Alistair Campbell into the room with him and insisted that Mo Mowlam remain outside. David Trimble was astonished but that’s how it always is with New Labour. Andrew Rawnsley records how the momentous decision that Britain would not join the euro during the current Parliament was taken. Aware of the increase in Euroscepticism from Philip ...

Preacher on a Tank

David Runciman: Blair Drills Down, 7 October 2010

A Journey 
by Tony Blair.
Hutchinson, 718 pp., £25, September 2010, 978 0 09 192555 0
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... thing’. He gathers his close advisers, who in this case include his chief scientific adviser, David King. King explains to him what needs to be done. ‘Essentially, by means of graphs and charts he set out how the disease would spread, how we could contain it if we took the right culling measures, and how over time we would eradicate it.’ Blair was ...

Partnership of Loss

Roy Foster: Ireland since 1789, 13 December 2007

Ireland: The Politics of Enmity 1789-2006 
by Paul Bew.
Oxford, 613 pp., £35, August 2007, 978 0 19 820555 5
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... from a loose identification with the Workers’ Party to becoming a behind-the-scenes adviser to David Trimble in his brave attempt to bring Unionism to the middle ground of power-sharing with a domesticated Sinn Féin. Bew is allegedly the originator of the pithy identification of Trimble’s desired power base as ...

On (Not) Saying What You Mean

Colm Tóibín, 30 November 1995

... opposite of what they mean, and it is this more than anything that makes the new Unionist leader David Trimble look so angry. When John Major told the House of Commons that it ‘would turn his stomach’ to negotiate with Gerry Adams, he meant exactly the opposite, and when this became clear, there was a fuss, but no one really minded too much because ...

The Party and the Army

Ronan Bennett, 21 March 1996

... Protestant people, to use their weapons if Britain tried to force constitutional change on them. David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, now hailed in many quarters as a ‘moderate’, was himself a supporter of Vanguard, the militant Unionist body which in the early Seventies had links with Loyalist paramilitaries. After the abolition of ...

Notes on a Notebook

Andrew O’Hagan, 30 September 1999

... house. Within hours of her murder Tony Blair spoke of it as ‘a disgusting act of barbarity’. David Andrews, the Irish Foreign Minister, said that it was ‘clearly designed to sabotage the peace process at this very critical time’. A crowd of about two hundred young people marched on the RUC station at Lurgan. A few of them threw petrol bombs at ...

The dogs in the street know that

Nick Laird: A Week in Mid-Ulster, 5 May 2005

... for the fourth time in its brief history, to prevent the resignation of the first minister, David Trimble. Just over a year later, on 26 November 2003, the much postponed Assembly election took place, with the DUP and Sinn Féin emerging as the largest parties, gaining ground from moderate unionists and nationalists. A review of the working of the ...

The Virgin

David Plante, 3 April 1986

... speak to you.’ The social worker appeared at that moment, a smiling woman, who said she was Mrs Trimble. As he followed her into her office, she told him she’d just got back from her holiday in Torquay, where, unfortunately, it rained most of the time, but never mind. At her desk, she asked, ‘Do you have any idea who your contact was?’ ‘Yes, I ...


Tom Paulin: Summer in Donegal, 16 September 1999

... have four dozen, which I pack into my towel. A plenary line of Seamus Heaney’s about the singer David Hammond’s thatched cottage at Dooey comes to mind – ‘I say to myself Gweebarra.’ Then I think of these lines from another poem, ‘Oysters’: Alive and violated They lay on their beds of ice: Bivalves: the split bulb And philandering sigh of ...

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