Impact of the Robinson affair
THE problems of two little people may not amount to a hill of beans, but those of Peter and Iris Robinson have the potential to turn back the political clock on the island of Ireland by decades.
On the other hand, the Robinson affair has concentrated the minds of all parties in the Northern Assembly and of a Taoiseach and prime minister. It could speed progress on an elusive agreement on devolving policing powers.
Brian Cowen and Gordon Brown met yesterday to discuss the political uncertainty, while the DUP and Sinn Fein renewed efforts to break the long stalemate in negotiations over justice and policing.