More political therapy sessions for the ‘folks on the hill’ ahead…

One of the stand out quotes in tonight’s BBC documentary is that conceit from Jonathan Powell to the effect that…

The thing about extremes is that it is very difficult to be extreme when you are worrying about water rates than when you are waving a gun.

And yet, sixteen years on from the Belfast Agreement, you might hardly know we even had a government. From an Agriculture Minister who reputedly has difficulty telling a charolais from a friesian, to a former Culture Minister (more lately at Health) who in the past had difficulty distinguishing between personal conviction and the scientific method when conducting the interests of the public.

Government seems as remote now as when the ink dried at Castle Buildings all those years ago.

Now it seems, according to PA, our folk on the hill are to get yet another free round at the political therapists…

Fresh talks to break the deadlock in the Northern Ireland peace process are to be held, the British and Irish governments have signalled.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Northern Ireland secretary of state Theresa Villiers said a new round of cross party negotiations are to be convened.

All of which prompted Alex Kane to make this remark…

That’s what the turnout figures are saying, first unionist and latterly nationalist.

  • Bryan Magee

    I read somewhere that the present Culture Minister has never been to an Ulster Orchestra concert!

  • Comrade Stalin

    I would have said that a year ago, but I feel differently now.

    The assembly and executive cannot even do the basics, like agree a budget. No legislative reforms are being progressed; no action is being taken to deal with various crises at A&E wards; and most of all no progress is being made on sore spots such as flags, parades and so on. It’s time to stop pretending.

  • Gopher

    Assembly has been a complete failure and because Alliance, SDLP and UUP participated in that failure instead of leaving the executive it is damaged beyond repair.

  • Nevin

    “In the coming days I will be engaging with the five main parties and the Irish Government to discuss in more detail the precise format and agenda.
    But I believe that there is now an opportunity for the UK Government to play a more direct role as a participant in a new round of talks to help Northern Ireland’s political leadership grapple with these very difficult problems.

    And with matters under discussion which relate to the operation of 1998 Belfast Agreement it is right that there’s a place at the table for the Irish Government as well, on issues that concern them.” .. SoS, Conservative Party Conference

  • Michael Henry

    The Assembly is working great compared to Westminster- over there a Tory minister had to resign because of sex claims- another Tory MP left to join UKIP- and the idiots at Westminster voted to spend billions on a bombing campaign –

  • Dixie Elliott

    “Don’t go my friends we will lead you to the Republic…”

    Martin McGuinness (who recently toasted the British Queen.)