Conor Cruise O’Brien doesn’t think Ian Paisley will do the deal. David Vance however detects “an unbearable pragmatism in the air which will be further fuelled early in the New Year and the portents for a “walk away” scenario as outlined by Conor are poor”. Whilst what Pete often calls ‘futuring’ is often the most futile sport in Northern Irish politics, Vance’s instincts are probably the sharper on this issue. When we get close to a deal (inside or outside of current timetables), watch out for some highly flexible and modular dealing: the hand is often faster than the eye!
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