We can only guess what was going through the minds of Martin McGuiness and Elizabeth Windsor as they shook hands in Belfast last week. Several commentators recognised the symbolism of a painful process of reconciliation. Lessons from Northern Ireland about the futility of violence need to be applied in other parts of the world, and in other areas of life.
While David Cameron rushes through the glitzy world of manifesto launches and pre-election speeches, he may be thankful that there have been few questions about his party's strategy in Northern Ireland. Yet a dispute over who's backing whom in the constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone highlights both the problems of the Tories' approach and the absurdities of the current electoral system.