There are some very silly things being said about Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness these days. They’ve attended the Ryder Cup in Scotland – and suddenly voiced raised – why aren’t they here, don’t they know how serious the situation is, we don’t pay them to go waltzing off, yamma yamma yoooo.
Dear God. Hasn’t anybody noticed that Stormont isn’t a two-man band? Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, as well as being First and Deputy First Minister (at the moment, Virginia, at the moment), are also leaders of political parties. Just as in a school, the principal may be gone attending a conference or meeting of School Heads, the work goes on. The children aren’t sent home and the teachers don’t put their feet up. So too with Stormont. The work goes on.
If anything, they might be faulted for not going. By being in Gleneagles together, they are showing Scotland – itself a country divided – showing them the face of unity. How political opponents can stand together and work for the common good. The Ryder Cup has a huge audience, in Europe and the US. What better platform to show the two leaders standing shoulder-to-shoulder?
And just as many’s a deal has been done on the golf course, who’s to say that the cooler, more detached setting of Gleneagles taking the place of the bubbling cauldron that Stormont’s become – who’s to say this atmosphere mightn’t deliver the agreement we all need? It wouldn’t be the first time our politicians have found discussion easier in an overseas setting.