“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bulls*!t.”

So if you think these recent backroom changes in Sinn Fein have no visible effects, you might be right.

Dropping Leo Green and then losing Vincent Parker (both of whom were highly rated by those outwith the party), may have not changed what happened to poor Phil Flanagan yesterday when he showed up on Nolan with a bat already thoroughly smashed to bits by his own team captain:

But still, the Adams dictum of oppose everything only really works when you are not actually responsible for anything. Sinn Fein used to be more careful with how they played the blame game.

Maybe that’s because there’s now so little in the way of a political challenge function within northern nationalism, or perhaps it’s that that liberal reflex against the DUP’s ‘unenlightenment’ faction has always paid off before.

Not sure old WC Fields had this particular scenario in mind

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