“it’s something that certainly never happened under the stewardship of Tony Blair or Gordon Brown.”

The visit by the British Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband, to Stormont today may have come as a surprise to the press [and the NI Labour Party… – Ed], but the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers were ready with their latest whinge.  Apparently the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, isn’t prepared to meet them just to listen to their special little pleading.

From the breakingnews.ie report

Also accusing the coalition British government of backtracking on financial commitments made during the peace process, Mr McGuinness said Mr Cameron’s approach stood in stark contrast to that of the previous Labour government.

“We took the opportunity at the meeting we just had (with Mr Miliband) to explain the particularly difficult economic circumstances that we are faced with at this time and raised the issue of the reneging on the financial agreement made (in 2006) at St Andrews with the Labour administration by the Cameron-led Government,” he said.

“We also put on record our total dissatisfaction that in the past eight months neither the First Minister or I have met with the Prime Minister.

“This is a totally unacceptable situation and it’s something that certainly never happened under the stewardship of either Tony Blair or Gordon Brown.” [added emphasis]

Mr Robinson appeared to take a swipe at the current British government as he welcomed Mr Miliband’s offer of an open-door policy between Stormont and the Opposition.

“We very much welcome the offer you have made of an open-door approach,” he said. “Would that it was the approach we had in other places as well.”

Well, you should know the routine by now, guys.  Your first port-of-call is the NI Secretary of State.  Them’s the new ground rules.   No more ‘negotiating’ in Downing Street.  Nor dropping in for tea…

You can always invoke “the JMC dispute resolution mechanism”, as you were threatening to do…

That would show them, eh?