“The peace process always has to be broken down, has to be in a state of crisis for it to be protected.”

Sinn Fein continue to throw every last stick of furniture at the wall in order to keep attention. Declan Kearney had this to say about the DUP and the British Government:

…both want the political institutions back up again, of course; but they don’t want to have to tackle institutionalised bigotry, sectarianism or intolerance within the North.

In recent weeks they and others have been maliciously saying publicly and privately, that in the absence of Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin does not want a deal which re-establishes the political institutions; is seeking to humiliate the DUP; and is weaponising the Irish language.

They have instead attempted to deflect away from their joint opposition against rights-based government and society in the North.

Meantime, Colum Eastwood, despite the fact that Sinn Fein is giving the impression it’s never heard of this incipient anti-Brexit pact with the Greens (Alliance has said no and SF appears somewhat conflicted about coming forward).

Elsewhere Anthony McIntyre features in a piece by Simon Carswell that was published last week’s Irish Times which perhaps suggests why Sinn Fein after the highs of the March election seem to be grasping for reasons to blame everyone else but themselves for the breakdown:

McIntyre sees the argument that unionists would be better off economically in a united Ireland within the EU than they would in a post-Brexit UK as a “crass case of economic reductionism”. He pours cold water on the possibility of a nationalist majority in the North voting for Irish reunification in light of the unionists losing their majority for the first time in last month’s Assembly elections.
Unionist opposition to a united Ireland is, as he sees it, considerably stronger than nationalist opposition to staying within the UK if treated equally. “Anybody who has ever fought in the Provisional IRA, as distinct to those who hid in the Provisional IRA, or joined after the ceasefires, will never live to see a united Ireland,” he says. “I think it’s all guff.”
As for the warnings made by diplomats, bureaucrats and Eurocrats about the threats to the peace process from Brexit, McIntyre says it is similar to Sinn Féin’s use of the peace process to expand its political influence, where “the process must always undermine the peace”.
“The peace process is dead if you can’t throw up the old monster of potential violence,” he says. “The peace process always has to be broken down, has to be in a state of crisis for it to be protected.”
I’ve never heard it put so succinctly, or accurately. What’s the worst that can happen? Drift, poor government, and detachment from voters. That worked well back in the 70s when people were genuinely angry about genuinely deep inequalities.
Now, says McIntyre:
Where’s the insurrectionary energy going to come from? The cops and the security services have been so on top of the armed republican groups that have been operating in the wake of the Provisional IRA. What have they achieved?
Maybe a lot of huff and puff – but nothing is going to get blown down.
One indelible fact of recent history remains, it was Sinn Fein whol pulled the walls down, and it doesn’t look to me if they know what they want in order to build them back up. That fact will weigh heavier on them as time moves on.
Another blow to the union. Here’s the BBC report on this afternoon’s passing of the Northern Ireland (Minister Appointments) Bill:

Chair of the Northern Ireland Committee Laurence Robertson expresses concern that political instability is putting off companies who might otherwise choose to invest in Northern Ireland.

Most people don’t want to see direct rule, he says, but argues that if the alternative is “chaos” people will chose the former. He says that is ironic that the party opposed to direct rule (ie Sinn Féin) will be responsible for bringing it about.

And giving power you lauded to your base less than a year ago, is not exactly what you might call ‘putting it up to the Unionists’:

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