Michael Burleigh

It’s Good To Talk?

Talking to Terrorists: Making Peace in Northern Ireland and the Basque Country


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The old British Telecom advert ‘It’s good to talk’ has become an article of faith for the current British government in recommending how other states deal with terrorists. They have certainly been very free with their advice to all and sundry. One might call them evangelists of garrulousness.

The Northern Ireland example has also given birth to conflict-resolution tourism. Tony Blair frequently advised successive Spanish governments regarding ETA, before dividing his time, as they say, between his faith foundation, instructing the Pope, and solving ‘the Middle East conflict’, in apparent ignorance that there are a couple of dozen conflicts in that region. 

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