Handshakes Come Later

Amazing day in Northern Ireland.  And it really does have the look of something which is going to last this time.  I still don’t really understand it.  I could see it coming – particularly around the time of the elections in March when it was clear that the whole atmosphere of politics had changed.  And suddenly the politicians who were mouthing what were yesterday’s conventional statements about not being ready to trust yet ….. were beginning to look like carry-overs from another age.

Two things fascinate me about it.  One is that there is no particular reason why it should all have happened now and not in 1000 years time.  So what does that tell me?  Maybe that if there is hatchet-burying to be done, then it might as well be done now.  Or maybe that there is an inevitability about the need to make peace, regardless of how unpromising the circumstances.  I think it also tells us that, if you can engender optimism and confidence, then almost anything is possible.

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