22 JUNE 2002, Page 30

Depraved scenario

From Mr David Vance Sir: Andrew Gimson's article (The end of Protestant Belfast', 15 June) draws together many of the correct facts but arrives at the wrong conclusion. The question of how Belfast now has a Sinn Fein lord mayor elected from a party 'inextricably linked' with the murderous IRA terrorist network is surely the more salient consideration. It is the end of democratic Belfast that should be mourned. Pseudodemocrats have gained the ascendancy, and religious conviction has little to do with this depraved scenario.

The Belfast Agreement is predicated on the morally bankrupt premise that by lowering democratic standards to accommodate terrorists peace will somehow prevail. Andrew Gimson demonstrates that this is not what is happening on the ground. Instead, society turns toxic as the fiefdoms of the terrorist warlords grow greater.

Tony Blair carries full responsibility for institutionalising 'see no evil, hear no evil'. It is a shame that the British public has become anaesthetised into accepting this sickening abrogation of democracy. In the name of peace, all evil is possible.

David Vance

Craigavon. Northern Ireland