David McKittrick notes there is a veiled threat in Blair’s latest statement: it’s the old joint authority gambit.
Tony Blair, who visited Northern Ireland yesterday to set out the scheme, declared: “Be in no doubt – at the conclusion of this period we either resolve to go forward on the basis of mature democracy, or we call time on this and seek another way to go.”
In the absence of agreement there would be “a step-change in advancing North-South co-operation and action,” a stipulation intended to convey to Mr Paisley that the present direct rule from London would assume a new, green tinge.
Suitably vague, it is unclear whether it is intended to frighten unionists, or mollify republicans.
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