7 signs that there won’t be a government by Monday’s dreadline…

1. MPs say the Government could find the time for emergency legislation to extend or alter the March 26 deadline if they want.

2. The economic package for Northern Ireland announced by the Chancellor today represents only a “modest” improvement on his previously ridiculed proposals – most of the ‘new’ money in it was actually from the Republic’s national development plan.

3. Secretary of State Peter Hain, devoid of any credibility, is now talking about offering politicians a ‘breathing space’ to get things under way. Translated, it means nominations on Monday, but no Ministers taking up their positions for months.

4. While primary legislation is an issue, “temporary amending legislation would be less of a problem for Mr Blair“.

5. Gerry Adams has been telling Sinn Fein not to get “fixated” on the deadline.

6. At the DUP executive meeting on Saturday, the officers won’t be able to tick off progress on matters like parades, which are crucial to the party. The DUP has said it will be condition-led, not calendar-led, and it will look stupid otherwise.

7. I’ve been predicting it won’t happen until the second half of 2007 for over a year.

Can you make it a top 10?