“I know that sometimes the rhetoric can be perplexing..”

The NIO has helpfully provided Northern Ireland Secretary of State Shaun Woodward’s address to an audience at Harvard University’s School of Government.

“It is about a partnership. It is about creating a climate of stability and the will to succeed and politics is succeeding. “Our partnership with the Irish Government has never been stronger. At Downing Street this week, the two Prime Ministers reviewed the enormous progress made by the Executive. “The road to completing Devolution, despite the occasional loud rhetoric, also is one of progress. The British Government will make, even in this recession, almost £1 billion available if policing and justice is devolved. “The Executive and Assembly yesterday passed a Bill to create a Justice Department. “There are still some issues to be resolved and they can be. There are also outstanding issues from St. Andrew’s to which we will ensure there are processes to take these further.”

That’s a “climate of stability”, not another manufactured “crisis”. As Ken Reid suggests – “What is clearly required is a short cooling down period and a more positive attitude to breaking the deadlock.”