David Adams in today’s Irish Times, reckons (subs needed) the play being rehearsed at Stormont is high political farce. It’s all to do with that committee, which:
…will serve only as a platform for rehearsing, without room for question or explanation, the mutually incompatible and now boringly familiar party positions. Though one might have imagined it scarcely possible to further limit the potential for agreement, Paisley then managed to do even that. He also declared that neither would he be having any more dealings with Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey because of the UUP’s recent co-option of PUP leader David Ervine into its Assembly grouping.
For Sinn Fein’s part, he argues:
It has been argued as a positive that there is a short-term incentive for Sinn Féin to reach agreement, because ministerial positions in a Northern Ireland Executive would give a boost to their upcoming election campaign in the Republic. For the rest of us, an Executive formed solely, and temporarily, to facilitate the electoral ambitions of a single party would not constitute political progress. But even aside from that, Sinn Féin has no need to go to the bother. Playing the role of the thwarted peacemakers, at which they excel, will serve the same purpose.
Sinn Fein’s only real concern is to ensure the DUP takes full blame for the inevitable failure, and that won’t prove too difficult.