Yesterday it almost felt as if Northern Ireland politics was suddenly leaping from the 19th to the 21st century and bypassing the 20th altogether. Long experience – and the personalities involved – nevertheless counsels caution. Yesterday, not May 8, was supposed to be the date when Northern Ireland’s two big parties began to work together in a devolved government. No agreement by March 26, no devolution, said the law passed by Westminster last year. In the end, not for the first time but hopefully for the last, the law in Ulster took second place to politics. As a result Mr Paisley can display another concession to his own sceptics. But it would be naive to think that yesterday marked the end of brinkmanship. There will still be spats and standoffs aplenty to try the patience. It was a day to remember, but still a day for two hearty cheers rather than the full-throated three.