Yesterday, Iain McWhirter suggested that It might be Scottish Labour MPs who will determine the future of health and education in England and Wales.
Today it’s Brian Feeney’s turn to suggest that Ian Paisley and the DUP will also be significant players.
Do you think Blair isn’t going to court their votes on something like ID cards?
If it comes to it on education reform or benefit reform will Blair make concessions to gain nine votes if he needs them?
Will Blair care whose nine votes they are? Will the prospect of infuriating northern nationalists outweigh the chance of pushing through major changes in the welfare state written into Labour’s May election manifesto? What do you think?
The hard political truth is that the DUP would be mad to make a deal with SF before they see how bad the trouble gets for Blair in Westminster. We’ve been here before in 1976-79 and 1992-97. Nationalists were paying well into the 1980s for deals done about Belfast housing in 1978-79. We still don’t know all the dirty deals John Major’s NIO ministers did in the mid-90s to buy UUP votes in crucial divisions on EU matters. We do know they postponed the peace process by four years. How many years will it be this time? (Irish news via Nuzhound)