In the banality of that observation lies not only wisdom but courage. The courage to give in order to get. No one is saying Mr Trimble has changed his spots and turned overnight into a pillar of Ulster pluralism. But his refusal to play at name-calling with Ian Paisley is almost statesmanlike. Those who feared his leadership of the Ulster Unionists would be an exercise in stiff-necked rejectionism have been proved pessimists in the most welcome way.
David Trimble's acceptance of Senator George Mitchell as chairman of the mainstream talks at Stormont is both a harbinger of what might be accomplished in the talks and itself part of the bargaining. "Of course it's a compromise. This is what happens in negotiations," he said yesterday.