Wednesday, 11 March 2009

PMQs Northern Ireland Brings Reflection

Today's PMQs took on a somber note. While in recent times the PM has normally started reading the names of fallen soldiers today they had not occurred in Helmand or Iraq but in constituencies represented by members of the House.

With the exception of Dennis Skinner this wasn't a time for Punch and Judy politics. Even when David Cameron moved off Northern Ireland it was unto another heavy issue, Iraq and rendition flights.

However, both David Simpson who was Officer Stephen Caroll's DUP MP in Upper Bann and Paul Durken the leader of the SDLP representing the two side of community were greeted with absolute silence as was much of the 30 minutes of questions. The afternoon that silence will be echoed in Belfast, Stroke City*, Lisburn and Newry as members from all Northern Irish Communities will show unity for peace in Northern Ireland. I've taken part in one before outside City Hall in Belfast when I worked down Chichester Street in the late 90s just after the Omagh Bomb. I stood beside Catholic and Protestant work colleagues that day and I'm sure that will be happening again now. Judging by the #silentprotest hashtag on Twitter that is the case.

*None Northern Irish readers will not be aware that this is how NW Northern Ireland DJ Gerry Anderson got around the politicising of the Derry/Londonderry debate over the provinces second city.

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