Plastic Paddy and the four camels of the Apocalypse

Newton Emerson, writing in the Irish News, is a very persuasive chap, and it's difficult not to agree with him all through this piece, as he argues in the last paragraph as follows:

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness were first flown to meet British government representatives in London in 1972. Today they sit in Stormont. As the events of the intervening years emerge it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell where the British state ends and the republican movement begins. Government officials and the intelligence services now routinely complain that British Islamists have spawned no real organisation to negotiate with and no realistic demands to negotiate over. Will the authorities look so hard for the opponent they want that they eventually end up creating it?
If they're of the Blairite persuasion they will. Compromising principle and calling it 'modernisation' is the merest peccadillo to them; the surrender of all principle is likely to be the subject of only an afternoon's debate, and that not in Parliament.

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