“there is nothing like an election to purge the system”

Stephen King, writing in the Irish Examiner, argues that “an election to purge the system” “cannot come soon enough”

If policing has become too big a deal, perhaps a measure of confidence can be restored by making progress on other fronts. Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin, in a comprehensive statement to the Seanad earlier this month, listed a whole array of outstanding issues on which the DUP and Sinn Féin need to move forward, from a policy to promote reconciliation, to dealing with the past, to human rights, to parades, to the Irish language.

What the minister didn’t dare say was that we are witnessing the outworkings of the failed policy pursued so eagerly for years of relying on the extremes to deliver a stable peace. A coalition of opposites, the DUP and Sinn Féin, was supposed to be invulnerable to attack from the Orange ‘right’ and Green ‘left’ respectively. That has proved to be a false hope. Instead, Stormont teeters on the brink. Decision-making is paralysed. Why? Because power rests with two parties incapable of making reasonable compromises for the common good.