Brokenshire knows he's likely to leave
There is an old adage at Westminster concerning Prime Ministerial appointments: whoever the PM hates the most ends up as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Since Secretary of State James Brokenshire is clearly out of his depth, he has now shot the unsolvable Stormont talks with a four-iron well beyond the June fairway and into the woods.
It is obvious he already knew that a snap election was looming, which partly explains the ever-changing goalposts during the present Stormont crisis.
The other reason why he has not kept the various parties' noses to the grindstone and to tight deadlines is that he also knows he is likely to be reshuffled after the General Election - he will just leave the shambles for his unfortunate successor to try to sort out.
Hillsborough, Co Down
Belfast Telegraph Digital