I’ll help you downsize Stormont says Paterson. But answer came there none.

So my first reaction when I saw today’s top story on Nuzhound was straightforward enough… When the Secretary of State says something like “plans to slash the number of our MLAs and create an opposition — could be included in a Bill set to go before Parliament” I think, well you have as much chance of doing that as the FM and DFM have of getting into 10 Downing Street these days…

Except it’s a wee bit cleverer than that… The message intended runs more like this, ‘I’m willing to take some waste out of your system, but you’ll maybe want to ask your own chosen local representatives why they cannot make their mind up on the matter?

Of course, the DUP say (and to be fair to them have always said) that they would favour a smaller Assembly.. In fact they once proposed doing away with the whole super structure of the Executive (albeit when there was no Executive to speak of)…

But apart from trying to twist the DEL portfolio from the smallest party in the Executive, there seems to be no collective appetite for change in OFMDFM just now… And of course with their industrial wage structure in place (and four unemployed MPs now to feed), for Sinn Fein more than most seats means useful disposable income

Mr Paterson and his successors may be waiting for some that that agreement in the real powers that be in Stormont Castle…

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