So what’s to come next?

A reader (and retired civil servant) writes

The Secretary of State has it within his gift to determine the timelines and actions to follow. So my suggestion is this

…no immediate election, a (potentially prolonged) period of Direct Rule. That might be dressed up by the NIO, as putting manners on the local political parties, but acknowledging, reluctantly, the relevance of Brexit negotiations and ‘island of Ireland’ implications, and some other Dail associated/non-associated considerations, to create room for private talks about Fresh Start 2.

At the same time, cynically/optimistically/simultaneously offering room to UUP/SDLP to re-establish popular opinion/sympathy.  Otherwise these older parties are in danger of being – like Private Fraser in Dad’s Army used to day – ‘all doomed’.

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