Ten random thoughts to kick off a lovely sunny day in Belfast.

The first is how nice it is to be here for a book festival, rather than arriving with the feeling of slight dread that often accompanied visits to Northern Ireland during the Blair years.

The second is how sad it is that the institutions the Good Friday Agreement helped bring about are currently in abeyance, and in my view at risk of permanent damage because of Brexit.

The third is my inability to fathom why the DUP, despite a majority here having voted Remain, are so determined to hold Theresa May to a hard Brexit which risks the return of a hard border everyone says they do not want, and most assume will put the peace process in peril.

The fourth is that after the Irish voted to liberalise abortion laws, the North risks projecting an image of itself to the world that is as damaging as it is backward looking.

The fifth is that if I find the DUP hard to fathom on Brexit, I find Labour even harder. Keir Starmer assures me if Labour’s six tests are not met, they will vote against the final deal. But virtually every time Jeremy Corbyn is brought into a debate he normally tries to avoid, all the signals point in the direction of Labour being the handmaiden of Brexit, not the official Opposition of a hopeless government.

The sixth is that the limited vestiges of Boris Johnson’s credibility are surely gone now that Heathrow has been added to the long list of issues on which he has been exposed as nothing but a blowhard more concerned about the soundbite of the day than the big issues for tomorrow. So get down in front of the bulldozers, Johnson, or leave the stage.

The seventh is that despite her being so weak, I think she could get rid of Johnson and be strengthened not weakened as a result.

The eighth is that as long as I live I shall never fully work out how some things make news and others don’t. My phone has finally stopped going with media bids, from as far afield as Australia and Argentina, asking me to talk about my daughter Grace calling into my LBC phone in on Sunday to challenge my feminist credentials. She was even ‘most viewed’ on the BBC website at one point yesterday for posting this the day after  As for her bold claim that one day I will be seen as ‘Grace Campbell’s father,’ … on verra, ma princesse

The ninth is that if you check my instagram or Twitter feed you will see that I finally managed to make a cup of coffee in my hotel room. But the machine in the room is way simpler than the one we have at home.

Finally, here is a link to a piece I have done for GQ on the first anniversary of one of the weirdest elections I can remember. And here is my latest GQ interview with David Lammy.

Oh let’s make it twelve random thoughts.

Make sure you get the New European out tomorrow. I have set out what the editor has called an ‘epic sweep’ covering the two years since the referendum.

And finally, or twelfthly if such a word exists, if you want to help save the country, make sure you sign up to this.