Barack, Belfast, and “torn down” walls (CBS News)

Peter Bluff, producer at CBS News (London) since 1982, writes on his blog about the entrenchment of “peace walls” in Northern Ireland, in the context of Barack Obama’s speech last July in Berlin, when the then candidate described how walls have come down here.

I appreciate the sincerity of the positive metaphor, but I was critical of the lack of acknowledging the fact that since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, there have been MORE walls erected.

The comparison with divided Berlin and Germany may have not been the most appropriate either, where a divided common nation was separated by superpowers engaged in a global ideological Cold War, whereas this wee province can at times resemble the opposite: two provincial identities happier to remain separate and oblivious to global developments.

But that’s a cynical comment. This optimist is working for a more diverse society that will be more comfortable without the walls.

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