Poor fella

It must be really painful to be Gordon Brown. His predecessor, that ‘nice’ Blair fellow, had the gift of timing and a certain idea of how to get things done. During the negotiations leading up to the Good Friday Agreement, he arrived at the crucial moment, let them get on with it and then reaped the political rewards of getting the most comprehensive and realistic peace agreement in Norn Iron to date. Well done that lad.

Brown, however, didn’t learn from the later work of Blair. See, the thing isn’t that Blair had a magic touch; that was proved in later last-gasp summits to solve things that got in the way. He was just quite good at timing and had decent people do the talking for him.

Poor Gordon; he took a lesson from 1998 and ignored the later years. He thinks that just turning up will get things moving again. But it ain’t that simple.

Overnight talks aimed at averting the collapse of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing coalition have adjourned.

Sinn Fein and the DUP have been at loggerheads over the devolution of policing and justice powers.

The British and Irish prime ministers were locked in meetings until shortly after 0600 GMT on Wednesday.

Talks are due to resume mid-morning and Downing Street has said that Gordon Brown will remain in NI and miss prime minister’s questions at Westminster.

So, he waltzes over, expecting to get things sorted in a few hours and then head home. Instead, he’ll be there for days and make tiny progress, if that. Poor fella – in this, at least, he means well. It’s just that he is unlimitedly shit at actually getting anything done.

On the plus side, hough, the rest of the UK can feel safe for a day or two. Gordon is distracted, which means that he’s not screwing anything else up. Hell, the first day he was away from London the country emerged from recession; what more sign do you want that Gordon is an anti-mascot for the land?

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