Before those new year party greetings fade, it’s worth noting Peter Robinson’s question about the way forward from the DUP:
…as there is now no prospect in the foreseeable future of establishing the trust essential to re-activate executive devolution in either a mandatory or voluntary form, local politicians must calculate whether they mark time hoping that somewhere in the distant future we will find the circumstances needed to propel us to that level of belief and conviction in which executive devolution can survive and flourish or whether we should attempt to get devolution off the ground by establishing a non-executive form of devolution within which local decisions can be taken while we test the paramilitary and criminal activity of republicans, curtail the excesses of the Labour government and start building the political confidence from the ground up.
It is effectively an offer to go back to the decapitated Executive or corporate Assembly model.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty