“11-plus examination in Northern Ireland was, in effect, privatised..”

With the failure of the polit-bureau to agree having left the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly politically impotent, the NI Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitríona Ruane, ignored the political reality and defaulted to a right-wing/libertarian unregulated post-primary transfer system – or, as Henry McDonald put it, “the 11-plus examination in Northern Ireland was, in effect, privatised”. Garibaldy adds a left-wing analysis of Sinn Féin’s position. Meanwhile, on Hearts and Minds, after their opening gambits, the DUP’s Mervyn Storey and Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd tried to look ahead [best not to look back – Ed] with John O’Dowd returning to the potential legal threats to grammar schools using their own tests. [Is that to be the new campaign? – Ed] I think it’s called consensus building..

On the other hand, Newton Emerson was remarkably laid-back about the whole thing..

But it’s worth repeating the reported comments from NI First Minister, Peter Robinson, in June last year

Resolving the problems over education is an issue which could define the executive, First Minister Peter Robinson said. He said everybody needed to get into negotiation mode and get down to the business of getting agreement. Mr Robinson said if they could agree over education it would show they could agree over anything.

And since they couldn’t agree..