Why the St Andrews Agreement is basket case?

Bob McCartney MLA does not usually mince his words, and he didn’t disappoint in yesterday’s Sunday Life. He accuses the DUP of collapsing the Unionist case in the face of heavy pressure from the British and Irish governments. Point one has distinct shades of Danny Morrison’s memorable line about Ian Paisley having to eat his manifesto to sign up to an agreement that includes Sinn Fein in government.Most of the points he makes, refer to the apparent U turn on the part of the DUP. That perhaps is only to be expected if we are talking about a genuine shift in the political paradigm. But, more intriguingly, he points to potential trouble further down the road, even after devolution takes hold:

3. How can democratic government work when the DUP and Sinn Fein will have mutual powers to veto each other’s proposals? Does this not give a minority an equal veto and make for an even worse deadlock than that demonstrated by the UUP and the SDLP?

4. How will rate-capping without banding help the vast bulk of ratepayers? Since Sinn Fein favour the proposed new system, what is to prevent it vetoing any proposal to cap and band the rates?

5. How will academic selection be implemented if any proposed method of selection is vetoed in the Assembly by the SDLP and Sinn Fein, who are both opposed to selection as a principle?

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