History is other people's mistakes. Let's do Big Things.
I was intrigued and inspired by a letter from "Interested Observer Londonderry" in today's Belfast Telegraph. It's a bit party-political, but see if you don't agree about how the twin demons interact. Here it is ...
Picture the scene: the police get a call saying a young man has been kidnapped and taken from his home by a group of men armed with wooden bats. They find him later with a broken leg. Half an hour later they stop a car, recover a wooden bat and iron bars and arrest a man. Then they stop another car and recover a gun.
The idea of St Andrews, as is now clear, was to get round the "show me yours first" stand-off between the DUP, who want an unequivocal SF commitment to policing and justice, and Sinn Féin, who want to know the DUP is up for power-sharing.
Didn't you just love the banner behind the post-talks speechers in Scotland this afternoon that read "The St Andrews Agreement"? At least Reg Empey had the presence of mind to point out that, actually, no binding agreement had been reached.
"DUP rejects governments' proposal". The BBC headline this morning is misleading. It was no great shakes, just a limp proposal to install a "Shadow First Minister and a Shadow Deputy First Minister" before Sinn Féin play their trump card, namely acceptance of policing in Northern Ireland.
Congratulations go to the Ulster Unionist Party for blogging the St Andrews devolution talks currently underway. Great to read the progress in real time from the horses' mouths (as it were).
I know well enough that Ulstermen of all persuasions are a stubborn lot and that we generally need to be dragged kicking and screaming in the direction of progress (just ask the Big Ulsterwoman), but Tony Blur's laying it on thick these days.
"Deal or No Deal" is set to be the most hackneyed headline on Irish political blogs in the next two months. Will we get devolved government up and running again, or will Paisley and Adams face each other down? Again.