YOU’VE got to laugh at the knots that our esteemed leaders and political thinkers are tying themselves into over the seemingly impossible task of agreeing the Northern Ireland Budget.
Every now and then Finance Minister Sammy Wilson feels obligated to spout a few words on BBC about unrealistic members of the Executive, while similarly obligated Sinn Féin members reach for the phone in hotline to tell Nolan et al that there’s money in them thar hills.
Said money is to come from the end of the rainbow, the mobile phone companies or other improbable sources.
Sammy’s improbability comes from his reluctance to suggest that there is any possibility that any more money can be prised from the notoriously tight budgets of HM Treasury.
Sinn Féin’s improbability comes from saying (on talk shows) that their position that water charges will not be introduced is “non-negotiable”.
Oh yes, there is an election coming up.
One may also note that our esteemed First and deputy First Ministers have been relatively circumspect on the whole wrangling between their respective parties.
We can only suggest a couple of alternatives. Firstly, could it be they know something the rest of us don’t. Or is it that they have decided to behave in a statesman like fashion?
Nope neither of these is plausible. More likely they are content to let their minions butt heads while they ponder the cost of a cappuccino on one of their frequent jaunts to the US, London or wherever they can go to get away from their embattled colleagues.
Meanwhile no serious budget agreement is in sight.