So Bertie and Tony have had a chin wag and agreed that ‘something must be done’ (to quote Daniel Webster). The British PM is to make a speech in a few weeks time to lay out a practical road to back to devolved power.Mark Brennock has the key stumbling block in the third paragraph:
The governments will be watching Sinn Féin for any signal that the party is willing to sign up fully to the North’s political institutions, and watching the DUP for any indication that they will contemplate serious talks towards renewed power-sharing with Sinn Féin.
However, Blair clearly understands this is not going to be a sprint start:
It’s very hard to see every last little bit fall into place immediately,” said Mr Blair, apparently anticipating a more equivocal report. “We watch the one in a few months’ time. It’s important that we see incremental progress and we do not see any sliding back.” He hoped to see “no obvious and evident breaches” by the IRA.
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