The penny still hasn’t dropped.

An Executive before an agreement is putting the cart before the horse.

There should be no surprise about how swiftly and emphatically Sinn Fein dismissed the latest Arlene Foster proposal to form an Executive immediately and then, within a time-limited period, to bring forward legislation to address culture and language issues.

If this failed to win cross-community support, then the Executive would cease to exist.

The Executive cannot afford to fail again.

Not after the political mess of past months.



If the Executive is to be restored then the only way is on a basis of certainty and clarity.

The Foster proposal does not meet that test.



In the past week there has been much focus on the Irish language. This is but one issue.

Important, crucial to any agreement, but a jigsaw piece. Marriage equality, a Bill of Rights and a credible legacy process are other pieces.

Some half-baked or halfhearted approach won’t work – can’t work.

Politics would be laughed off the stage.

This time, this has to be right. Another breakdown would be disastrous.

Nor is there a Plan B as simple as direct rule.

Not anymore. The politics of this place has changed too much for that. In the last General Election, the republican/nationalist community turned its back on Westminster.

No deal will mean some London/Dublin understanding will be required – whatever that is called and however it is presented.

For now, Stormont is still upside down.


5 thoughts on “STORMONT: STILL UPSIDE DOWN – By Brian Rowan

  1. It’s a Jabberwocky jigsaw Brian. Lots of pieces waiting to be put together in a sensical way – however Stormont has become our Jabberwock as we all sit around the Tumtum tree wading through nonsense politics. Too many bandersnatches too fond of galumphing rather than putting things the right way round.

  2. Is the ILA more important than the crisis in public services? Surely they could have gone into government and released budgets to ease the suffering of the people of the North and then pulled the plug again?

  3. Brian Rowan, you must be the only journo who has the understanding of what the SF position is, and that it reflects the stand of the entire nationalist base in that equality is here and now, talk of education and health cuts are at the door of Westminster.

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