Negotiations: another day one

The horse trading begins with meetings at Downing Street today, between Tony Blair and each of the only two serious players left in the game – Sinn Fein and the DUP. How long will it take. Sinn Fein want the DUP to talk with them face to face now. But the DUP are playing this long. One senior source in the party joked yesterday that it may not take four months, so much as four years to do a deal. But of course, this is politics and things can change, for the better or the worse.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty