#SluggerReport on Stormont: “Suspect too much sweet-talk, but never close your mind.”

Well, Slugger hears that the SDLP parliamentary meeting takes place today at 4pm, so it may be that Brian gets his wish in the timely manner he may be hoping for. We’ll really have to wait and see what precisely emerges.

As Brian notes, Newton Emerson has a particularly useful piece in the Irish Times today, in which he notes:

…yet suddenly Stormont is transformed. In a matter of days, opposition has gone from a potential mutation in mandatory coalition to an established branch of political life. It is a reasonable expectation of every party other than the largest nationalist and unionist parties, who may reasonably expect to govern alone.

The word transitioned might be more accurate than transformed. Nothing of any actual political worth has actually happened yet. But then if we are honest with ourselves, not much has happened since the resumption of the institutions in 2007.

That’s largely down to the near impossibility of reporting on an institution in which everyone has a major stake in government: a feature of corporatist consociation, designed largely to preserve the structures and the peace.

If no one is reporting on you do, what incentive do ministers have to take a risk with their jobs by innovating? And how do you know what innovations to look for if everyone in the legislature is as (if not more) risk averse and as cautious as you?

Here’s this morning’s #SluggerReport…

Suspect too much sweet-talk
but never close your mind.
It was a fortunate wind
that blew me here. I leave
half-ready to believe
that a crippled trust might walk

and the half-true rhyme is love.”

― Seamus Heaney, The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles’ Philoctetes

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