In the recent past, discussions between Tony Blair and the main Northern Ireland political parties were likely to have been greeted with howls of protest from Ian Paisley and the DUP.
Yesterday (Tuesday), Mr Paisley personally led his colleagues into Downing Street for talks with the Prime Minister and said afterwards that the encounter had been 'very useful'.
Following its strong performance in last month's assembly elections, the London meeting was further evidence that the DUP is striving to present itself as a mainstream political movement.
There were still hardline elements within the DUP's message, including a declaration that the party would never sit in government with Sinn Féin.
However, Mr Paisley's previous insistence that he required nothing less than the total disbandment of Sinn Féin seemed to have disappeared from the agenda.
His declaration that any Stormont adminis-tration could not contain groups which were 'tied up in violence' was also open to interpretation.
Presumably Mr Paisley did not intend to exclude those who were previously involved with para-military organisations such as Ulster Resistance and the Third Force.
The suspicion persists that, given further acts of decommissioning, the DUP will indeed find ways of doing business with Sinn Féin.
If the DUP is serious about providing a 'stable and lasting' form of government, it is difficult to see how this prospect can be indefinitely avoided.
Of course, Mr Paisley has yet to reveal the details of his plans for political progress.
It may be that the pragmatists in his party will have to await their opportunity for an unspecified period of time.
It is equally possible that the ambitions of DUP figures for ministerial responsibilities will not be indefinitely delayed.