Why is Gordon Brown flying into Northern Ireland on Monday ?
A bad rift has publicly developed between Martin Mc Guinnness and Peter Robinson.
The deputy First Minister said last week " I regret to record I don't have a good personal working relationship with Peter Robison."
Mr Mc Guinness holds to the view that Mr Robinson is disingenuous on the return of powers to Northern Ireland on policing and justice.
He believes many of Peter Robinson's colleagues want to delay devolution because Republicans wish this to happen as soon as possible.
Mr Robison is publicly arguing he has to stress test the emerging financial package for running policing and justice.
Gordon Brown was said to be "tetchy and appeared to be fed up" according to a Dup insider because he hadn't got a proper read out on that party's intentions.
I gather he doesn't want the DUP pocketing gains only to do 'a Mr. Micawber.'
The ministers were to be back in England at the end of last week.
Peter Robinson didn't agree to go. That infuriated Martin Mc Guinness who went public on his impatience.
One Dup insider said last week " The Twelve Apostles haven't gone away and they could become a crowd."
This was a reference to the alleged anti Paisley faction who forced Ian Paisley from office.
The same Dup MLA fired this missive:
" Peter shouldn't go too far ahead of the party."
Mr Robinson claimed a gap existed up until Thursday between Treasury and local Northern Ireland agencies. They reportedly had failed to reach a common position on what the fiscal demands would be for the any sustainability of policing and justice by a local administration.
Mr Robinson refused to accommodate Gordon Brown in England for a requested meeting.
The Prime Minister has decided to fly to Stormont instead.
The question is : Is Mr Brown coming because of the stance taken by Martin Mc Guinness or is there some cunning plot afoot whereby Peter Robinson privately needs to get the Prime Minister here to help him to bring his dissidents on side.
The First Minister was scornful last week about engaging with Mr Brown again without a meeting of the waters on figures.
On the balance of probability Gordon Brown is poised to bring the devolution of policing of justice and to a close.
He should know however – ' you can take a horse to the water but you cannot make it drink.'.
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