It’s clear the breakdown in Sinn Fein-DUP relations last year, and subsequent suspension of Executive meetings for five months, had an impact. But insiders say that despite the restoration of Executive business, stalemate remains. One source told me that last week’s Executive had only one serious paper to discuss, so it doesn’t seem like there’s going to be any late surge to get some legislation onto the books.
Opposites attract. Not in this case because the DUP and Sinn Fein suddenly love each other, but because the invisible magnetic fields that govern this process have thrown them together.
Attacks on the process from without are unlikely to succeed because the governing laws of politics are underpinned by overwhelming support.
So we have a system of government that’s pretty good at the big picture stuff now – as in keeping the peace – but seems to be struggling with the everyday business of governing.
When the current Stormont session ends in the summer, I hope someone remembers to turn the lights out.