>> 17 Sep 2004

Trains, Boats and Combination Codes

Virtually every metaphor in the English language has been used to describe the tortuous process underway since the Belfast Agreement. For Blair, the 'settlement train was leaving'; for Londonderry's butcher boy come IRA Don, the 'boat was leaving the harbour'; and today we have small-time Mark Durkan talking of a 'combination code.' They all add up to same intention, however: 'how can we get democrats to grovel at the feet of Sinn Fein evil incarnate so that their alter-egos in the Provisionals can stop assassinating people?'

I went to bed feeling distinctly gloomy last night. According to the well-oiled political spin machine at BBC Northern Ireland, a deal to put Irish separatism back into power appeared to be imminent. This morning, things are looking somewhat more positive. If I am proved wrong about DUP intentions then I will be a very happy individual. Paisley and Co. seem to have held the ground well despite demonstrations of profane annoyance from 'Phony Tony'. I would like to report at 1:00pm that the talks have ended without success, thus clearing the way for stable, enduring Direct Rule entirely free from the venin of republican influence. Watch this space!!


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