Deal or no deal??

As the great Noel Edmunds puts it to the contestant after the Banker has given a financial offer,
'Deal or no deal'
Some cut their losses and take it if it is a reasonable offer. Others go right on to the bitter end. This has resulted in contestants going home with no more than 1p.

Is this how things are being played out in Hillsburough Castle?

Is Brian Cowan playing Noel Edmunds? Gordon Brown playing the banker (i expect lots of sniggers at this one)? Will the two big contestants say 'Deal' or 'No deal'?

Why have we come once more to crisis point in Northern Ireland politics? Are we, more particularly the political parties, addicted to the adrenaline rush of last minute crunch talks where once more 'The hand of history is upon our shoulders'?

Speculation is that there is a deal on the tables with a devolution date for policing and justice on the table. Every so often the prosaic politicians throw a few scraps of information to the hungry hacks huddled outside. The closeness of a deal is tangible, yet just out of full sight.

Both the DUP and Sinn Fein have to play the game just right in order to save both face and the institutions. I don't think either of the parties want a snap election. The DUP could be given a bloody nose by a unionist electorate who have decided to either give up on this voting thing, side with the UUP or side with the TUV. Sinn Fein have an opportunity surely? well there is the child abuse allegations that will not go away and the fig leaf of 'First Minister' as another chance to stick it to the unionist parties.

The big issue of any snap Assembly election then will not be the economy, education, health, social housing, or employment. it will again come down to the sad sectarian head count where the electorate is more motivated to vote someone in to keep the other out.

The DUP and Sinn Fein could both use this as a race to finish first leaving the race track strewn with parties tripped up under the aspect of 'you must vote for us to keep out/put in place Sinn Fein First Minister.

It is politics, i admit. It is a politics that constantly rejuvenates itself under age old threats.

No one said it was ever a nice thing and it has its own electoral strength. But it will place Northern Ireland on the world stage as a place that constantly naval gazes and is obsessed with itself.

Perhaps a deal is possible and Northern Ireland will see another new era.

We live in hope. Maybe, just maybe, our parties will play the game right and get the £800 million jackpot.



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