Tony Blair admits he lied to save Irish peace process
Talked God with Paisley and admired Sinn Fein leaders
Tony Blair has admitted he lied to prevent the collapse of the North's peace process, in his new memoir “A Journey’ which launches today.
Blair said said he took “horrendous” chances and stretched the truth “past breaking point” as he sought to carve out a deal between unionists and nationalists who were often deadlocked on issues.
He also revealed a shocking incident with a leading Orangeman who described him as unfit to be prime minister because “my wife was a painted jezebel who claimed her allegiance to Rome”.
In his new autobiography Tony Blair has also stated that he developed very strong relationships with Sinn Féin leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, and admitted he came to like them both greatly.
"They were an extraordinary couple," he said of the two men, who have been at the highest levels of republican movement since the early 1970s. "Over time I came to like both greatly, probably more than I should have, if truth be told … They were supreme masters of the distinction between tactics and strategy. They knew the destination and they were determined to bring their followers with them, or at least the vast bulk of them."
Recalling the first meeting with Sinn Féin leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, Blair wrote: “They were not just hesitant or distrustful, they were sitting down with the enemy.
“For countless meetings at first, Martin would not simply want to negotiate, most of all he would want to explain his side’s purpose, its pain, its anger and its expectations.
“It took time before he came to regard me as a partner and even a friend.”
He says he never accepted that Sinn Fein and the IRA were one and the same.: "I came to the view that the SF/IRA relationship was a bit like that of the Labour leadership and the Labour party NEC [national executive committee]: yes the leadership is powerful, yes it usually gets its way, but not always and rarely without a lot of persuasion and discussion,”
He also reveals that he advised Ian Paisley to "let God guide him" in the final stages of the Northern Ireland peace negotiations that led to the end of The Troubles and the power-sharing government between the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Féin in 2007.
Blair writes that he held long discussions about faith with the Reverend Ian Paisley, then leader of the DUP.
Blair writes that his meetings with Paisley in his Downing Street "den" were often "at a spiritual rather than a temporal level". Once Paisley gave him a prayer book for his youngest child, Leo.
Of one such meeting, he writes: "Once, near the end, he asked me whether I thought God wanted him to make the deal that would seal the peace process. I wanted to say yes, but I hesitated; though I was sure God would want peace, God is not a negotiator. I felt it would be wrong, manipulative, to say yes, and so I couldn't answer that question, that only he could and I hoped he would let God guide him.
- An open letter in strong defence of capitalism.
- Sarah Palin is saving Christmas
- Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent...
- Gay teacher fired from Catholic school after...
- Gay wedding cakes latest target of anti-gay...
- Virginia governor slammed by doctor over...
- Top Christmas Irish ads that will be bring...
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- Irish drugs mule to escape full trial and...
- Families as well as Catholic Church and governm
I find it funny how "DaddyMac22" is in fact Cormac the afterbirth but he refuses to identify himself properly. Ashamed, no doubt, of his ownGay wedding cakes latest target of anti-gay bigots
I don't really care about baking, what caught my eye is the typical radical liberal notion that anyone who disagrees with your position is a bigot.Baby dies in horror birth at Belfast hospital as father calls for inquest
monsters in that apartheid sliver of death.Gay wedding cakes latest target of anti-gay bigots
About 20 years ago, I went into the restroom at a restaurant where I was a frequent customer. As I opened the door, a young male claimed that I hit hi