Running down the clock?
With post-election talks at Stormont entering their final week, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the British Government is simply running down the clock and has no real intention of delivering the change people of the North voted for on 3 March.
The Tory climbdown over Chancellor Hammond’s recent budget — an increase in taxes for the self-employed was introduced and shelved in seven days — shows that Theresa May can be turned.
However, when it comes to the Irish peace process, she has a tin ear. How else do you explain the British Prime Minister’s response to our 56 per cent vote to remain at the heart of Europe? We voted to stay but would be getting a “red, white and blue” Brexit, she said, because “we are four nations but one people at heart”.
At least, now you know that why the Good Friday Agreement acknowledgement of two great traditions in the North and the pledge of parity of esteem for both doesn’t cut any ice in the Palace of Westminster.
None of which will stop those who want to see peace and progress from pushing confidently towards the 27 March finish line so that talks can conclude with an agreement which embraces equality and respect.
However, with lack of movement on an Irish Language Act, legacy issues or a commitment to real powersharing, you might suggest that I am guilty of wishful thinking in believing the Assembly and Executive can be restored!