So, who should call the writ for a West Belfast election?

Not an #AE11 post, but rather one referring to the retirement of Gerry Adams from Westminster which as well as leaving him in an acquiescent position viz a viz the attribution of certain offices to his name, has also left his party helpless to call for a new by election in the constituency.

Margaret thinks the SDLP should come to the aid of the people of West Belfast and move the writ on their behalf:

Sure, they risk being accused of supporting Sinn Féin’s dodgy abstention policy (which of course involves them picking up their expenses, they certainly don’t abstain from hand-outs!) in doing so they would not only possibly do themselves a few favours in the long run, but also gift the people of Belfast West with the right they are being denied — representation in Parliament. If they choose not to be represented once again (and let’s face it, they know what they’re getting when they vote Sinn Féin), so be it. But at least let them have that choice. That’s kinda what democracy is about, after all.

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