There was a great letter a few nights ago in the Belfast Telegraph. So good, in fact, that i'm going to spend the next 10 minutes typing it out verbatum. It was signed P Mann, Co Antrim and goes something like this :-
'An American friend of mine was recently in Northern Ireland and requested that i take him to Parliament Buildings.
While gazing at the building's splendor, the conversation turned to conflict transformation and how former terrorists have integrated into a post-conflict society. I pointed at Stormont and said 'there are a few in there you could ask'. Puzzled, he nervously laughed and asked that i explained my blaze remark.
I informed him that our Deputy First Minister was a former IRA commander, one of the Junior Ministers was a convicted IRA bomber and prison escapee, two female MLA's were convicted bombers, and a further MLA was an IRA hunger striker.
He laughed again telling me in his unique Texan accent: 'Many people laugh at us Yanks, but thats like us voting for Al Qaeda after 9-11'. He is right.
In an interesting twist my friend then tripped on a loose paving stone. Embarrassingly, i told him that the Minister responsible for roads was imprisoned for IRA membership and posssession of explosives'
Excellent. I couldn't have put it better myself.