Probably worth noting that as we speculate on the chances of devolved government in Northern Ireland, most European countries are having problems with their executive branch.In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi has resigned as Prime Minister, but is still reported to hold lingering arguments for going on, based on his Party increasing its share of the vote, and his claim that his coalition “won the consensus” in the recent election.
In France Dominique de Villepin, having been accused of a smear campaign against a rival for the Presidency claims that he will not resign because “France cannot afford to lose time”, although it sounds like he may have meant “France cannot afford to lose me”.
At home, and in local election week, Tony Blair’s government has probably had the worst fortnight in UK government since Black Wednesday. His Deputy has been accused of using his office as a dating agency, the Home Secretary looks like having a Peter Mandleson moment, the Defence Secretary has had drugs found in his home, there is another ongoing police investigation into peerages, and all before scandals about postal vote factories and the now almost forgotten incident suffered by the Health Secretary last week.
And they say that we have problems.