Anyone with half a brain can see there's only one party blocking the way to fair talks leading to devolved government in Ulster - the DUP. Despite IRA disarmament, clear signals at Sinn Féin's annual conference (Ard Fheis) that SF can now see itself supporting the police force (in the right circumstances) and - above all - a convincing electoral mandate for Gerry Adams' party, the 'Democratic' Unionist Party is steadfastly refusing to engage with them.
Just when I thought the DUP had gone bananas yesterday, today's 'headline' statement by Ian Paisley is, "There will only be progress when Sinn Fein/IRA is told that democrats are going on without them and they no longer hold a veto".
Can you believe the cheek? Good Lord, it's the DUP that are veto-ing the start-up of political talks. It's the DUP that aren't embracing democracy, and it's the DUP who are in danger of being left out in the cold - if not actually, then certainly in terms of world opinion.
Actually, this isn't cheekiness. It betrays something much worse: a serious disconnect from reality. Reality is that
(a) the world of kingdoms and protectorates has long since given way to one-man-one-vote democracies,
(b) everyone else acknowledges Republicanism has committed itself permanently to democracy,
(c) The English don't give a stuff about Ulster, and their main parties know it,
(d) Éire is well down the path of shaking off the political grip of Rome,
(e) Ordinary Ulster Protestants just want to build a community of equals and live in peace and friendship.
The sad truth is that the DUP is living in a cloud-cuckoo land of 1950's Unionist dominion. They see themselves as the moral arbiters of Ulster society to whom everyone else, including the British government, must bow. Unless the people of Ulster give their votes to someone else, Unionism will die a long, screaming death over the next 20 years.
How much better, how much Bigger, how much kinder to our grandchildren it would be to evolve in partnership with equals.