The trouble with these deals that we have not yet seen, nor has the likely putative Justice Minister is that we don’t know what they contain. But as raised here a few weeks ago, we still don’t know what might remotely trigger Robinson’s resignation. Lord Ken Magennis in last night’s Tele:
Reports have suggested that the price extracted for their support for Hillsborough is a post-dated letter of resignation from the First Minister, to be cashed-in if the DUP decides at a later date that Sinn Fein has reneged on whatever has been arranged. If we are being asked to back the DUP-Sinn Fein deal, we are surely entitled to know in what circumstances that resignation letter would be put into effect. We also need to know who would make that decision.
Again, according to reports, the decision would be taken by the DUP executive, which would mean that the First Minister could be dumped even if the DUP Assembly party wanted him to remain in office for the sake of their jobs. In any walk of life prudent people like to know who they are doing business with and it is a legitimate point of public and cross-party interest to ask where the power of decision now lies in the DUP.
In clarifying this, the DUP can also end the confusion about what they think happens, or what they intend should happen, after the devolution vote next month.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty