Ahh, c’mon! Another deadline! There is not, as far as we know, a collective noun for a number of deadlines, but come the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary they are going to have to think of one…
The citizenry of Northern Ireland, and seasoned political commentators and correspondents have lost count of the number of deadlines they have missed*. Politicians have missed enough deadlines to close down a newspaper.
How come? Oh, there comes a point when the nuances of negotiations, the sticking points of policies, or the posturing over who won which concession matters not a bit in the grand scheme.
Of course, we all really know the issue. No-one wants to take over a department such as health or education and have to sort out the mess that has been created while they have been drinking tea and eating biccies.
As for the Department of Finance and Personnel…all those deficits to be made up and where the heck do you spend all that extra cash the Tories have found from the fruit of the “the Magic Money Tree”. Who would want that portfolio?
Even callers to radio phone in shows are sounding a little jaded listening to nothing happening quickly.
And, as the parade of (still being paid) MLAs come out to announce nothing has happened and it’s all ‘them uns’ fault that nothing has happened Mr and Mrs Public yearn for the news to be over so they can watch Emmerdale without that nagging feeling that they missed some crucial political point.
When the six o’clock news or 6:30 news comes on the reaction has been such that dogs across Northern Ireland are getting ever lengthier walks, and even the most ardent anti-shopping man has been volunteering for trips to shopping malls.
However, with the threat of direct rule looming should Monday’s talks fail then reality will sink in for some. This week the House of Commons has seen amendment laid that will allow the NHS in England to provide free abortions for women from Northern Ireland. Given that was a sticking point for the DUP, SDLP and others one wonders if Direct Rule will mean legislation being pushed through that no-one expects.
But, with the DUP holding the balance of power at Westminster don’t expect Parliament Buildings to be painted in the LGBT rainbow colours any time soon.