So, the tight-rope walkers finally made it across the ravine. Martin McGuinness said the Stormont deal could give the executive a “fresh start”. Let’s hope so. We’re all heart sick of stalemate followed by crisis. The latest talks could have gone on for ever had London not called a halt.
Well-paid politicians with generous allowances are demeaning themselves by these performances.
Just as we were finally getting to the business end of the talks, a Health Trust was withdrawing home help from a woman of 107. An angry response quickly reversed the decision but isn’t it amazing that it was ever taken in the first place? Contrast that with 108 MLAs along with an ‘army’ of advisers taking so long to achieve so little.
If the price of peace is to have expensive structures at least we want them to make people’s lives better and not worse.
But without agreement on parades, for instance, another crisis could be just a marching season away. Sooner or later unionist politicians will have to find the courage to tell the Orange Order they can no longer expect to march where they’re not wanted.
We didn’t get other things like an Irish Language Act but we got good progress on social welfare and the past. Sinn Féin held out, enduring months of patronising lectures from the DUP that there was no more money, to deliver £2 billion in new cash and loans.
Now we’re desperate for that “fresh start” to actually work. We’re all sick of the high-wire acts.