Smoke signals or smoke and mirrors?

According to an AP report carried on UTV, the centre parties are dropping heavy hints that there may actually be progress being made at Leeds Castle.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan has told the assembled press corps that “”People are running out of arguments they have had on a number of issues for holding back”, while the UUP’s David Trimble is urging the PIRA to make a new and detailed statement on weapons without delay, “the sooner we hear it and the clearer the message, the better.” That, according to Trimble would mean that the question of whether “Mr Paisley`s party was serious about sharing power would be put to the test”.

There’s still no actually deal, and there is still no guarantee of a successful outcome to the three-day session, but are these the first wisps of white smoke from the castle chimney?

  • DessertSpoon

    The last line of that article sums up all we can really do – Let’s wait and see.

  • Ziznivy

    If a deal is thrashed out I would expect the Unionist vote to swing to the UUP again at the next election.

  • peteb


    That kinda defeats the objective of having a discussion site.

    The “PM’s official spokesman” also claimed “P O’Neill writes his own [statements]”, but we know that the wording of the statement issued by the PIRA this time last year was the subject of detailed negotiation prior to its release.

  • Ciaran

    Hints of progress or political posturing of a sort ie the SDLP and UU making it abundantly clear that when the wheels fall off they did the upmost to stop the more extreme partys from ‘holding back’ and looking for excuses? I’d say the latter.