“the party isn’t putting anyone in front of cameras or microphones at the moment”

BBC NI’s Politics Show had intended to introduce the three latest recruits to the NI Assembly, one Ulster Unionist, one Sinn Féin and one SDLP – each selected by their parties rather than elected by the public. But only two turned up. Regarding the absence of the [next] Sinn Féin MLA, Jim Fitzpatrick explained – “the party isn’t putting anyone in front of cameras or microphones at the moment”. Not for a live discussion anyway. Sinn Féin similarly failed to put anyone forward to discuss the devolution of policing and justice powers on Stormont Live this week – not even their favourite fire-fighter John O’Dowd. But what is the party frightened of? Clarity on the latest “crisis”? Clarity within their constituency? Or some “stupid” questions from a “skitter” revealing that they’ve been “talking themselves into a corner” while making no progress on the issue itself?