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Bono's look of triumphant surprise as he held up the joint hands of John Hume and David Trimble last week is unforgettable. The bizarre conjunction of popular culture, so habitually chastised for its superficiality, and two cultures replete with popular culture's diametric opposites - tradition, immovability, history, precedent - could only have happened in the Britain and Ireland of the 1990s, and is none the worse for that. It has not a lot to do with the individual virtues of Blair ...

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