Did you know that all our ills are to be blamed on direct rule, that far away fields look green and that once devolution is back, all our troubles will be over? But that is what they are saying.
Our direct rule ministers are birds of passage indeed, with little knowledge in depth of this disputed part of the United Kingdom. They come and go, the egos of the less notable briefly massaged by a ministerial post they otherwise would never have had; and the more able working their passage for a few months, on the way to higher things, knowing that Stormont for them will soon be forgotten.
But it is a bit much to blame them for all the ills in the land, from water charges and higher rates to lost jobs and closing schools. To do so is utter nonsense. By what exercise in mental gymnastics do these people convince themselves that, with the Assembly back, all problems will disappear?
One reason we now face a brutal collision with higher rates, water charges and closing schools is that the Executive and the Assembly, when in office, brazenly funked facing these problems - because they knew each of them would involve taking unpopular decisions. The sewerage system in parts of this territory is a disgrace.
We have known that for years. Symbolically, in 1966, the first outrage of the sectarian "war" was the blowing up of a water main in south Antrim by loyalist terrorists.
But political crisis was an excuse to do nothing; and the money that would have paid for the improvements was spent on the Army, the police and making good the wanton destruction of the IRA.
On schools, demographers have warned for decades that the slowing of the increase in the birthrate would mean there would be many surplus school places in the new century. So it has been. But the incredibly wasteful - and socially self-denying - schools system was left to march onwards almost as if nothing had changed.
Only now is the obvious but revolutionary notion of state and religious schools sharing expensive facilities to be promoted systematically; but all that is heard is grumbling at the temerity of direct rule ministers who are ordaining it!
Their critics inhabit a dream world. If an Executive takes office next year, it will face some very fraught decisions. Northern Ireland is no longer the automatic poor relation of the rest of the United Kingdom. Its unemployment has fallen below the UK average. Already, two years ago, its unemployment was lower than that in London, the West Midlands, the North-East and Scotland. So the Treasury is already applying a sharper yardstick to Stormont finance.
Running Northern Ireland, by the end of the next financial year, will be a £16bn-a-year business.
This will represent a budget increase of 50% in the space of a decade, largesse provided by a public expenditure level now nearly 30% ahead of the UK average.
Put bluntly, we are no longer the poorest; but we are still being cosseted as if we were.
The current Treasury subsidy is running at more than £5bn a year, a sum which, among other things, helps make up the deficit on local services not being met by the antiquated rating system. Revaluation is changing that - with the coarseness of a meat cleaver. This is an unavoidable operation, though capital value is a doubtful basis for it; and the mean and deliberate withholding of a cap at the upper end of the property ladder only replaces an old anomaly with a new one.
Meantime, the Secretary of State claims to be going to war on excessive bureaucracy: "We must only have as much administration and other overhead costs as are absolutely essential". Time will tell. A territory with a population smaller than an English city does not require 11 separate departments of government, each with a full panoply of permanent secretary, minister and back-up staff. The spectacle last time was - and again would be - ridiculous.
The old Stormont, fashionably derided, but progenitor of much sound administration, made do with six. Of course, we know why we have 11. It is a matter of Buggins' turn, except that no one has to wait: everyone gets a job at once. Jobs for the boys and girls. But are they all necessary? Of course not!
With this machinery of built-in waste, the new administration, if and when it arrives, will start off with a baleful ball and chain of extravagance attached.
Hain's professed conversion to strict economy will be taken seriously when he starts urging that we should have a machine designed to fit the job, not the other way round.