St Patrick’s trip minus Obama

Isn’t there something absurd about Irish people traipsing off to America for St Patrick’s Day?

Well, there would be if they all had to pay for it. Maybe we could have the Twelfth in Rome this year? Would they swap it for the Giro d’Italia? Sure the weather would be far better and the Parades’ Commission might pay. If only they could sort out the protocol for passing Catholic churches!

For Peter and Martin the American trip must have lost its shine this year. There is displeasure at our lot’s failure to agree with Richard Haass. President Obama was ‘too busy’ to meet Peter and Martin. Let’s be clear, the blame for that rests with Peter as Sinn Féin were ready to sign up to Haass.

While the Americans were annoyed, Secretary of State Villiers wasn’t. She was there with a very up-beat message about the “real progress” we had made. Did anyone believe her?

Even the PSNI were in the march. A bit of role-reversal there then! It must have made a nice change for them.

Meanwhile, politicians left behind were debating plans to turn our 26 councils into 11.

As usual they focused on the really important issues. Ulster Unionists wanted the Union Jack flown on Belfast City Hall 365 days a year and the Alliance Party wanted it flown on all council headquarters on designated days. Wouldn’t it make more sense for these parties to gently explain to their supporters that things had changed? Still the endless political ‘game’ goes on and on. Here, Derry Council is ‘taking over’ responsibility for Strabane. Will we still be able to tell jokes