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It is clear that a general election this side of Christmas is going to lead to an extension of the timetable beyond the end of January for any chance of Stormont to be back up and running. In the Secretary of State’s mind, at what point will stumps have to be drawn, when energies have been expended and best endeavours have been deployed but success has not been forthcoming? We cannot leave the good folk of Northern Ireland without political direction and new initiatives on health, education and welfare, as Nigel Dodds said. Where are we going to be on that?