The wheels of power sharing have only started rolling in recent weeks. However, already it seems that promises are not being kept.

That, of course, should come as no surprise after events of these past few years. “Never trust a Tory” should be the mantra when it comes to Irish affairs.

I say ‘Irish’ here because they’ve been using this island as a career plaything long before the Border was created.

Throughout history, they’ve said one thing, and done another.

Maybe that’s because it works well in their own constituencies, as proven in every election cycle, where English voters turn into goldfish.

Tories have become masters at bluffing the electorate with promises they don’t keep.

They do this on rinse and repeat. They keep people poor and hungry. Then rally them around the flag. And it seems to work.

People forget that flags don’t put food on the table, to paraphrase John Hume.

On this side of the water, people have longer memories and are more politically astute. That’s why it’s unforgivable to see games already being played with government funding.

£150million of a promised educational budget has already been ‘repurposed’ within the Treasury's £3.3billion financial package for the restoration of the powersharing Executive.

That money was intended as support for the so-called Fresh Start Agreement, partly designed to boost integrated education projects. Now, ten such projects are going to have their funding withdrawn.

Amongst these, Brookeborough Shared Education Campus is Fermanagh’s sole victim of the cuts. Once again, what the Tories say they want, and what they actually do, are very different things.

Just a few weeks ago, there was a lot of talk about a shared society – normality, prosperity, integration, and all the rest. And the vision of a Brookeborough Campus represents those very same values.

But deep down, such values are of secondary importance in the game of politics played by a pack of careerists.

Brookeborough – and everywhere east of it, out to the Irish Sea – doesn’t really matter in Westminster.

Then again, maybe nor does Bradford or Blackburn – but such places haven’t come through the same legacy of conflict.

Yet, if such places don’t get a second glance until somebody like George Galloway comes along, then they’re not losing sleep over Brookeborough’s campus.

But that integrated campus could and should be integral to their policies. A few months back, the village of Brookeborough featured in this paper, with locals talking about its loss of shops, services and so on.

For decades now, Brookeborough has been bypassed on the road between Belfast and Enniskillen. As villages in Fermanagh have grown, from one end to the other, this one has largely stayed the same.

Possibly that’s to do with a lack of available land to build houses. Sometimes it’s said that farmers just won’t sell suitable sites for development, for various reasons.

Maybe partly it’s to do with history and legacy – a bit like Bull McCabe in John B. Keane’s play.

Whether in 1960s Kerry or 21st Century Fermanagh, people just want to hold on to ‘The Field’ and not let go.

So there are lots of background reasons as to why villages like Brookeborough haven’t had the space or chance to grow, over time. But that’s all the more reason for the government supporting development.

One of the great things about the notion of a Shared Education Campus is that the place is perfectly suited to it. Over these past few decades, Brookeborough has become a champion of cross-community relations.

There have been all sorts of commendable activities down through the years. These include cross-Border partnerships and community festivals.

Often, these were instigated by the local primary schools and the teachers in their spare time.

Of course, like everywhere else, Brookeborough’s schools are separated on the basis of denominations (not religions, because – as far as I know – there are possibly no Sikhs, Hindus or Muslims, etc., in town).

But unlike a great many communities in Northern Ireland, the area is ‘mixed’.

It’s probably a quite different experience growing up in Brookeborough to places that are exclusively one or the other.

Therefore, Brookeborough’s a perfect location for such a campus. If British politicians are serious about integrating this society, they should be showcasing that integration and not stifling it.

Deep down, would they prefer a situation like that at the other end of the road from Belfast to Enniskillen?

There, on the bus journey out of Belfast, you can see two City Farms. One’s in the ‘Protestant’ Village area, and the other’s across the carriageway, in ‘Catholic’ West Belfast.

As many city farms as possible for kids is a great idea. but I doubt that those on either side would ever cross over to the other. That’s very sad.

If you talk to people who grew up on the Shankill Road, for example, they’ll admit to never knowing Catholics in their whole childhoods.

I’m very glad not to have lived in such a place. Mind you, spending a lot of time with grandparents as a child, most of the Protestant neighbours that I knew were much older than me, in my early years.

So I’ve an odd memory of my first encounters with those of the same age. They took place on the borders of the Lakeland Forum swimming pool, as they were getting out. and we were getting in.

We used to go into Enniskillen on different buses at the same time. Then one school would go to gymnastics, and the other would go to the swimming pool, before we’d swap around at half time.

That was as close as we got but it was probably still closer than 90 per cent of those in the towns and the counties that surrounded us.

And out of those seeds planted by headmasters such as Phil McCrystal, and the recently deceased Sam Blair, a stronger oak of partnership has grown.

That tree was nourished too by so many influential female teachers who were instrumental in the formative years of partnership, including Sheila Carson, Christine Taylor and Bridget Maguire.

It’s a pity then that the government has taken an axe to funding for visions such as Brookeborough’s Shared Education campus.

It’s yet another shallow decision by the Tories, relating to a place they don’t care about. Maybe they’re just addicted to political gymnastics.

Hopefully though, one day, such a vision of partnership will become a reality – revitalising Brookeborough and its green-belt surrounds.

We can all work together without losing our own identities. We can even share the same swimming pools, political forums, sites, and Saint Patrick’s Day.

Paul Breen is @CharltonMen on Twitter/X.