Ronan Fanning comments on the changing of the guard at Stormont. He clearly rated Reid above the Northern leaders:
“…the fact that John Reid was neither easy to intimidate nor easy to impress perhaps best explains why he gave such offence. For, whatever divides unionists and nationalists, most of their leaders are united in their ludicrously inflated sense of their own self-importance. The swaggering intellectual conceit of David Trimble, the insufferably smug self-congratulation of Gerry Adams, the booming political evangelism of Ian (“I’ve got the Ace of Trumps up my sleeve and God put it there”) Paisley these are all coins cast from the same base political metal. Dr Reid, complained the leader of the SDLP, Mark Durkan, was ‘someone who appeared to be wired for broadcast rather than reception a better talker than a listener’.”
“Yet, if the petulant reaction to Dr Reid’s departure is to be deplored as yet another proof of the political immaturity of Northern Ireland, Mr Murphy’s appointment is to be warmly welcomed. Never has a Secretary of State for Northern Ireland been better prepared for the job. As junior Minister responsible for political development under Mo Mowlam he was intimately involved in putting together the Good Friday Agreement. He will need no learning curve for he already knows the issues like the back of his hand and is on first name terms with all Northern Ireland’s political leaders.”
A fairly cynical footnote from the weblogger at Conservative Commentary.