Leaders of the world's G8 states will turn their attention not only to poverty in Africa but also to the looming problem of global warming in the years ahead when they meet in Edinburgh. By contrast over here in our dear Ulster neverneverland nobody was giving a damn about the possibility of a diverted gulf stream producing an ice age in Belfast Lough in 50 years time! Our motto, as always, is "to hell with the future long live the past".
You doubt it? Well look at the headlines, here we go again. The marching season. Funny wee men in bowler hats marching steadily backward to the 17th century led by beer-belly bandsmen banging drums to the sound of Orange flutes. They call it culture but it's all about the Battle of the Boyne away back in 1690 and they like to rub it in with hundreds of bands marching all over the place. It's OK in their own districts but some of what used to be called "kick the Pope" bandsmen take a particular pleasure in diverting to districts where the residents don't take kindly to bigoted triumphalism and jeering. This has been going on for years and was once tolerated by a unionist government which bowed the knee to the Orange Order. But that is all changed now.
A Parades Commission has intervened to prevent the Orange bully boys creating riots and turmoil at places like Drumcree. The disgraceful scenes there should have moved the Orange leaders to support the peaceful efforts of the commission, but not so, the leaders and unionist politicians are clearly attempting to undermine the commission's efforts by challenging its authority. What are they aiming at? Back to the bad old days when Stormont took its orders from the Grand Masters of Orangeism? That was their downfall.
Now what's left of the Unionist Party is fighting for its life and the Orange Order, depending largely on old men, is adrift. Paisley a member of an Independent Orange Group with a peculiar history, has been returned as unionist top dog on a minority vote. He turned up at a Carrickfergus historical re-enactment of the landing of King William and was pictured beside a rotund local dressed up as King Billy. The DUP boss wore an outsize Orange collarette, emblazoned with mystic symbols including one which looked like a medal with, I swear, a green white and orange ribbon!
After that he was off hot foot to 10 Downing Street in his unlikely new role as an elderly statesman and no longer a mob leader. He had been invited there by Prime Minister Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern, the Taoiseach, both at their wits end to get the Stormont Assembly and its unfortunate 108 still redundant elected members back in business at any price. But old habits die hard. Diplomacy does not come easily to this old Ballymena gulderer. He boasted afterwards to the press that he had been "brutally frank" during the 90-minute meeting and had told the taoiseach to "keep his dirty hands off Northern Ireland". This was in response to Bertie's mild suggestion that the Derry Orange Order could take a leaf out of the book of the local Apprentice Boys Order and confer with the local nationalists about parades.
Paisley was derisive about the promised IRA statement in answer to Gerry Adams's recent appeal.
He said he was not interested in words but in the deeds that followed. He did not think there could be an overnight settlement. It was a matter for negotiation. He said that although the International Commission had stated that it would take at least six months he was not putting a date on it.
"I'm saying let's wait and see."
That's Paisley's version of the talks at No 10. Was there another version? Or are the two prime ministers so desperate to cook up an extraordinary Paisley Adams coalition (the mind boggles) that they allowed him to get away literally with murder?
Meantime, is it to be a long haul with Secretary of State Peter Hain, who once called for a British withdrawal presiding over direct rule?
Sir Reg Empey, seeking the UUP leadership, has described direct rule as "a wolf in sheep's clothing excluding not only Sinn Féin but the unionists from government".
Finally as a warning to all concerned there is the Spanish saying "live with wolves and you will learn to howl".