What seemed like a deal earlier today, Monday, is now once again under pressure because the DUP has had a last second case of the wobblies as the deadline neared to go public.
After seven days what can be left to negotiate? Sinn Fein made it obvious earlier today that they were ready to accept whatever had been agreed. The DUP indicated the same thing.
However, the DUP has now stepped back from that and are playing around at the edges of the agreement again.
That is why I believe the Irish and British governments have now made it clear there is no more wiggle room. It is hard to blame them. Gordon Brown has an election looming. Brian Cowen canceled a trip to Madrid to meet the Spanish Prime Minister.
When is enough enough? Round about now I think. If the governments tell the DUP there will be no more fancy salaries, big cars or meetings with Prime Minsters it will doubtless concentrate minds wonderfully.
It was Albert Reynolds, former Irish leader, who once famously said that the parties in Northern Ireland will "eat off your plate as long as you allow them." I think the DUP just got booted from the dinner table unless they deliver.