And 9 DUP MPs sends out what message?

New Northern Ireland [and Wales] Secretary, Peter Hain has made his first statement – not sure how he sees that “message” from the electorate working out in terms of “[cracking] this problem and [making] sure that we get progress..”. Time will, no doubt, tell. Meanwhile, over at RTE, the Guardian’s political editor Michael White had a couple of interesting observations on Peter Hain [RealPlayer audio file]- “a slightly, sort of, awkward customer at one level.. He has a habit of speaking his mind”.. hmmm.. it would be a welcome change.. And Hain is also, seemingly, “a nice guy.. doesn’t have a great sense of humour”.. well, he’ll fit right in then..

A slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me here. You can email me using this spam-proof link if you really need to, and Slugger is @sluggerotoole on Twitter. But above all, remember, Play the ball and not the man.