Acting First Minister Arlene Foster has said there will be no deal on policing and justice 'under duress'.
But Arlene, have you not been paying attention?
Duress, and lots of it, is exactly what the DUP is under. Duress from the British – Gordon Brown and Shaun Woodward – duress from Dublin, duress from Sinn Féin, duress from virtually the whole spectrum.
Foster’s statement can only be interpreted as a rather sad little attempt to save face. She knows that the DUP is going to have to bend, sooner or not much later, and she is desperately trying to pretend that she has not acted under pressure. But she will act under pressure – either pressure from most other actors, to accept the transfer of P+J, or pressure from the nay-sayers of extreme unionism within her own party or in the TUV, to reject the transfer.
She knows that the only realistic choice is acceptance of the transfer. Pretending that it was her choice rather than the result of pressure is futile. The DUP will bend to the pressure from outside, and no attempts at face-saving will help it. It has already lost face, prestige, international standing and goodwill – so Foster’s pathetic pretence at DUP ‘control’ just looks sad.
Do the deal, Foster. Show that you’re a bigger person than Robinson. It isn't hard.