SECRETARY of State, Owen Paterson has been talking tough. As the Peter and Martin air miles clock up again flying to London with begging bowl held out to HM Treasury, Owen has been saying where said begging bowl can be thrust!
Speaking on Thursday, he said a settlement was a settlement not the opening gambit in a negotiation.
Keen to point out that Norn Iron had already gotten a good deal and that Scotland and Wales had already set their Budgets, Mr Paterson called for an urgent agreement so as work can get underway on the NI Budget.
Mr Paterson may have visited this part of the UK/part of the island of Ireland/etc many, many times but he seems to have missed that old Belfast witticism that could be applied to any member of the NI Executive: “Sure, yer man would start a row in an empty house!” And against such a backdrop there ain’t much hope of agreement within the same party let alone across the varied political affiliations in the Executive. Much easier to extend the begging paw...
Next week: the First Minister and deputy First Minister guest write for the Big Issue, and flog copies across London.