“We are sitting arsing about..”

Northern Ireland’s First and deputy First Ministers are due to appear in front of the relevant Assembly Committee today [Adds online here] but, in the meantime, the battle over the deadlocked Executive continues to played out in the media. The deputy First Minister

Mr McGuinness said that the situation was “very serious” but that the institutions could only work on a basis of “partnership and equality”. “In the course of recent days we have been engaged in a number of discussions with the DUP aimed at agreeing an agenda for an executive meeting on Thursday,” he said. “Agreeing an agenda means that all issues of concern need to be put on the agenda – not simply those of concern to the unionist community or the DUP. “Despite our efforts this has not succeeded and no progress has been made.”

We’ve heard the “very serious” warning before. And the First Minister

“The only reasons that they have publicly given for the executive not meeting are that the agenda is in some way being constrained,” said Mr Robinson. “I am saying we can have an open agenda, we can deal with whatever issues, including policing and justice, which can be raised at the executive table if they wish.”

Hard to disagree with the UUP’s Reg Empey though..

“We are sitting arsing about, arguing about something that means nothing to people in the short term.”

Of course, it is important to some in the short term..