Eamonn Mallie addresses the ever-bubbling stew of Northern Irish politics:

What, I thought, if the events of the day had been otherwise and Arlene Foster mindful of all our human physical frailties had acted graciously in the circumstances?

Northern Ireland would potentially be a different place not just now but possibly for ever.

One single act of grace, of leadership, at the hands of Arlene Foster would probably have melted the possibility of what she now expects to be a ‘brutal election.’

When will principle of ‘Noblesse Oblige’ hit the Hill?

(Responsibilities of the rich, famous and powerful, notably to provide good examples of behaviour or to exceed minimal standards of decency. It has also been used to describe a person taking the blame for something in order to solve an issue or save someone else)

Mallie expounds on grace as the choice not to fight, but to embrace. It’s the choice to step back from the brink of yet more Them’n’Us ugliness.

It’s a powerful piece of writing, the more so for being true—and even more for the hint of sorrow at imagining what could be but is not.