One of the few encouraging aspects of the disgraceful situation in Belfast has been that prominent leaders from both communities in the North of Ireland have been far more willing to make unequivocal calls for a peaceful political settlement and an end to violence than was sometimes the case in the past.
For example, Peter Robinson, the Northern Ireland first minister and successor to Ian Paisley as leader of the DUP, said on television that the Union Flag will not go back up because someone throws a petrol bomb at policemen.
What was depressing about the BBC report which showed him saying this is that such an obvious display of belated common sense was described as being seen by some of the people the DUP used to stand for as some kind of sellout.
It isn't. It is a statement of reality.