Gordon Brown visited Northern Ireland this week. He addressed the Assembly in a low key address in which he sided with those who believe that the DUP should agreeing to the setting of a date when policing and justice should be devolved. Brown was clearly seen to side with Sinn Fein which one suspects was bad politics on his part. Tony Blair – whose one really achievement was to keep ‘the process’ going – had an incredible ability to ‘balance’ his messaging to all the parties. Even when he was found to have mislead or to have failed to deliver all of the parties still maintained good relations with him. It could be that Brown’s knows that either there are simply no votes in NI for him or that in a few month’s time it won’t be his problem.
Peter Robinson will have been extremely irritated by Gordon Brown’s remarks to the Assembly.