What it lacks in finesse, it makes up for in logic. Mike Nesbitt suggests we return the Belfast Agreement to its factory settings:
Frankly, to get Sinn Fein, the SDLP and the government of Ireland (who subsequently amended their constitution) to accept the consent principle was a quite remarkable achievement by David Trimble and his team.
Now that it is accepted by all, the time has come to return the Belfast Agreement to its factory settings, shred the corruptions engineered in subsequent agreements and start negotiating from the 1998 baseline. Even there, there may be more agreement that you imagine: the petition of concern needs radical surgery, to name but one aspect.
The only thing we need to surrender is the idea that compromise is appeasement. It’s not. The only certainty we need to embrace is that no one is going away.
Be it five or 50 years from now, there will still be republicans, nationalists, unionists, loyalists and others on this little piece of earth.
The factory setting of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement is to acknowledge that and work on building the relationships that are the fundamental foundation for progress.
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