Peter Hain was not sent to nurse local egos through yet another soporific period of non change. The game appears to have shifted to hardball with a threat to stop paying MLA’s salaries. Along with his hint that there will be no elections in May 2007 if there is no agreement, he may simply be reflecting what have local politicians have allowed de facto to happen in the last seven and a half years – ie the almost complete unravelling of the Belfast Agreement. In an interview with the Sun yesterday, his boss Tony Blair said he is not going anywhere soon.
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