"... despite co-operating with Martin McGuinness in the government of Northern Ireland, despite giving tacit support to the notions of reconciliation and rebuilding, and despite calling himself a Christian, Ian Paisley consistently refuses to carry out the one simple act of shaking Martin McGuinness's hand. His refusal to do something so simple, yet so symbolic, speaks volumes about his commitment to peace, to reconciliation, even to Christianity. It is a disgrace and utterly indefensible."
After Paisley's departure the disgrace became Robinson's.
Today, finally, several years too late, the Times reports that Robinson has finally taken the basic human step of shaking his colleague's hand.
"The pair shook hands during a private meeting at Stormont. Even when McGuinness and Ian Paisley were known as the Chuckle Brothers, Robinson’s predecessor denied the Sinn Fein MP this symbolic gesture. "
Perhaps this small symbolic act is the precursor of a more fundamental change in DUP behaviour, and of a final acceptance that the two tribes are going to have to live alongside each other for generations to come. Better to live in peace than to strive always to heighten tensions and to reduce everyone's enjoyment of life. If so, better late than never.