How do you make new talks here live up to that description?

Convince people that this time this will be different – something better than the dysfunctional mess that has characterised the politics of this place throughout the past year.

It will take much more than a new Secretary of State.

The next round of negotiations will be confirmed on Thursday – and are expected to begin next week.

From inside and outside politics, the Northern Ireland Office has been told that Independent facilitation is needed.

Have they listened? Have they heard? Will there be this NEW element?

We will know on Thursday.

What we know already is that this must be a last chance to try to fix a broken Stormont.

There is no mood for more endless talking.

Will there be a deadline that means something this time?

In the absence of agreement within a short timeframe, might there be another election as one last roll of the Stormont dice?

Elections change numbers – not issues.

We should not kid ourselves that the better tone of the past few days is the magic wand to make politics better.

It is not.

The outstanding issues are still the issues.

New has to mean New. A Deadline has to be a Deadline. These talks need a chair – someone who has the confidence of those in the room.

After a year of talking and not talking, it should take no more than a few days to work out whether this can be fixed before the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

New Talks – will they live up to that billing?

One thought on “LAST ROLL OF THE STORMONT DICE – By Brian Rowan

  1. People throughout the island of Ireland, irregardless of their religion and politics will be the real winners once talks recommence and a fair resolution is reached to restore the NIE. Sincere Best Wishes to All involved.

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