Malachi O’Doherty had an interesting If you ask me last night. In it he suggests that thus far, public perception is that Arlene Foster isn’t doing all that well in Environment, which is perhaps fingering the wrong individual. He also alludes to the possibility of the Jim Dixon effect working against the DUP this time in F&ST.
His final point is interesting:
But if our parties are going to treat the executive primarily as a runway for the take off of political careers into Westminster, voters here might feel a little used and have something to say about that themselves.
Nigel Dodds and Gregory Campbell didn’t have that problem in 2001. The Executive is certainly a springboard, but in times gone past, Westminster wasn’t where the action was. How long before the Northern Ireland Government is once again an end in itself for political careers? When it does happen, do alliances with mainland parties become inevitable for Northern Ireland MPs?