After another week of wrangling, Shi'ite and Kurdish groups have finally reached a draft agreement on exactly how the deck chairs should have been arranged on the Titanic.
However, there are still doubts about whether representatives of Iraq's Sunni community will accept some recommendations within the agreement. The major dispute centres on whether the Sunnis, a minority comprising little more than 20% of Iraq's population, should be allocated a share of the deckchairs on the notional ship in accordance with their numbers, or in accordance with their collective weight.
‘This is a detail which it is absolutely vital that we get right.‘ Said Maleh Sutlak, one of 15 Sunnis on the drafting committee. ‘Acceptance of such a shoddy compromise could have terrible consequences for our country. And it could also lead to me having to leave the Green Zone.'
Other sources of potential conflict revolve around the role that Islam should have played on the doomed twentieth century liner, and whose turn it was to make the tea.
‘We want a good solid decision.' Said Hoshya Daddi, one of the Shia representatives who presented the latest proposals to the council. ‘We certainly don't want to force a deal on any group that they're uncomfortable with. Even so, it is definitely not my turn to put the kettle on.'
Many ordinary Iraqis also seem to share this view. State run TV later showed scenes of exuberant applause and dancing in the Shia run town of Najaf, where citizens celebrated the fact that there were heavily armed men watching them.
U.S. Embassy officials, who just happened to be passing by Iraq's completely independent legislative body, also remained optimistic.
‘Democracy is a painful business.' One insider said. ‘Especially when people vote to clusterbomb a third world country. But thanks to the courage and determination of these brave men and women, Iraqis will have soon reached a compromise position on exactly how the Titanic's deckchairs should have been arranged.'
Upon being asked about the failure of US forces to halt the steady growth of the insurgency the insider said ‘Oooh look ! A Tiger !' and quickly left the building.