The world and Northern Ireland

Fair play to David Trimble. As Eammon McCann points out in his column in last night’s Belfast Telegraph: “To adapt an ancient remark – Typical! Given the choice between saving the planet and saving the Ulster Unionist Party, Trimble takes the easy option…”

Just across the North Channel, the whole event was seen in vastly different terms. Yes, there was a healthy dose of scepticism, but right from the beginning both media politicians were much more willing to engage intelligently with the summit and it’s bewildering array of processes.

It is a reflection of the distance we have travelled towards implementing real governance in NI, that so little intellectual capital has been accrued or spent on the global issues of the day. Our obsession with the basic rules of engagement have prevented politicians of all parties from getting down to the real business of government.

Fair play to Trimble for showing leadership, albeit poorly armed (here). Good luck to Reg Empey at the business summit taking place this week.