This may be something to savour in the months to come. It’s the Conservatives latest anti Labour campaign ahead of May’s General Election in which they picture Ed Miliband in a triple coalition with the SNP and Sinn Fein.
Two problems with it that I can see. One, the Sinn Fein story is, apparently, complete and utter balls. Two, it could be a massive hostage to fortune if the Conservatives end up looking to Alex Salmond to shore up the next administration.
In Ireland, which has had to handle coalition government for generations, political parties have had to develop a sideways approach to electioneering (and politics) which Westminster’s FPTP two party hegemony does not readily facilitate. Never say never. And never openly taunt your opponent with something you may eventually have to do yourself..
As for the story of Sinn Fein taking their seats, there has been oddly feverish speculation in London about that for months now.
Maybe someone in Sinn Fein has just been teasing? Or may be they (possibly correctly) think that taking their seats would be an effective way to obliterate yet another distinction between themselves and the SDLP.
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