Eamonn Mallie tackles one of the big debate in Northern politics these days, asking whether the joint co-equal office of the First and Deputy First Minister is in fact dead.
Referring to the ongoing row over the devolution of policing and justice and the DUP’s requirement for community consultation – by which he reads unionist community consultation – Mallie writes:
Peter Robinson is one of the finest parliamentarians of his generation. He is ‘too big’ to be ‘so petty’ in his behaviour.
He should be the custodian and guardian of OFMDFM.
He should guard against any diminution or dilution of the status of that office.
How does he think what is going on is reading in the broad community and in the eyes of the outer world ?
He must think long term. The Dup might not always be the biggest party in the Assembly.
He should be building guarantees into all processes during his tenure to be instructive to those who follow in the next generation.
That is what true leadership demands.