This just in from Colum Eastwood (see how many of Richard Bullick’s points you can spot?):
The talks in London are clearly undermining the talks here. We need a resolution to that uncertainty so that we can get on with the job of getting the deal done here.
The chaotic talks between the DUP and the Tories are holding the politics of the North to ransom. If there is an economic package coming from London then it needs to be targeted to those areas and those people in the North who have been left behind.
The DUP needs to understand that it is not their money. It belongs to all the people of Northern Ireland. It must be targeted where objective need exists, not the parochial political desires of one party.
During previous Executives, under the watch of the DUP and Sinn Féin, the North faced further economic re-partitioning – with the West of the Bann losing out again and again.
That specifically means that the road infrastructure projects of the A5 and the A6 must be delivered. A new programme of house building to tackle the significant lengths of, and inequalities in, housing waiting lists.
Investment in higher education, including the expansion of the Magee campus. And an end to the choice between working or raising a family faced by too many working parents.
It is clear from these negotiations that both the DUP and Sinn Féin are eager to get back into government but just haven’t yet worked out how and what timing will best suit them.
Despite all the speculation, I’m not sure SF as a corporate body has yet been told what it wants to do viz a viz Stormont.
But you can be pretty sure if there is a restart, health spending (a quagmire for both DUP and SF ministers) and roads (Derry is doubly cursed by A5 and A6 failures) will feature highly as the carrot to get them back on track.
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