Spain and Ireland

Since the Spanish government banned Batasuna, there has been a lot of coverage in British newspapers. The line taken by the Daily Telegraph (also taken says that that Blair should follow Aznar. However Unionist commentator Stephen King, suggests caution to hardliners, pointing to the fact that in the whilst the left in Spain is behind the ban, not much support is likely to come from the British left. David McKitterick in the Independent offers the Northern Ireland experience as an example for Spain:

“The lesson learnt in Belfast, painfully slowly after so many years in which so many other tactics were tried, was that an outlaw community preferred to remain outlawed and to remain associated with violence, if the alternative was simply ignominious surrender. In Belfast the sense developed that everyone had to be given an honourable way out, a means of exiting from the troubles with dignity and the possibility of entry into politics and the wider society.”