I noted previously Patrick Murphy’s concern about “how the assembly’s unchanging nature will influence future public engagement with elections and with what passes for politics here.” In yesterday’s Irish News he posed a challenge to the post-election SDLP.
From the Irish News
Often in Irish history, constitutional nationalism has reaped the electoral benefits of armed insurrection. This time the rebels cut out the middle man and collected the votes themselves. Their political similarity to the SDLP was obvious.
Entering politics required them merely to lay down their arms without abandoning a single ideological belief.
When armed nationalists decommissioned, they became constitutional nationalists and a war-weary electorate supported them to keep them peacefully occupied.
So you are dying through your own analysis. You built the wrong house and invited Sinn Féin into it. Now you live in their back room.
You can become politically homeless or build a new house based on a fresh political analysis. It will require you to oppose Stormont in its present form and to work towards a non-sectarian conventional political model which transcends traditional division – which is what you should have done originally.
It is a high-risk strategy but the non-voting 40 per cent of the electorate might listen.
The Stormont system appears unsustainable in the long term but an additional risk in challenging it is that you do not know whether Sinn Féin intends to defend it perpetually or produce a plan B.
Alternatively you can continue what you are doing which, with all due respect, is called dying.