Enforced coalition at Stormont is failed

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The moment McGuinness pulled the trap door lever and dumped Arlene Foster out of office exploded the DUP myth that the First Minister was in a superior position.

It was an indisputable object lesson in the reality that what they shared was a joint office, with no independent existence or powers for the first minister without McGuinness.

Yet, again, in this election the DUP is trying to peddle the deception that only they can keep Sinn Fein from becoming first minister.

He already was joint first minister, as his resignation demonstrated, and, of course, Sinn Fein could only ever become first minister if the DUP is willing to serve with them – a question they won’t answer.

Instead of demanding real change at Stormont, particularly the abandonment of failed mandatory coalition, it seems the DUP is preparing to return to office with the Sinn Fein wreckers, even though they know the price will be filling Sinn Fein’s boots with fresh concessions.

A few days ago Ian Paisley – after he had eulogised McGuinness – gave us the benefit of this opinion in respect of politics in the Republic: “The thirst for power and holding on to power is always unquenchable...”

What an apt description and explanation of his own party partnering IRA/Sinn Fein for the last decade in government, even when the folly of such pandering is now so self-evident.

This Stormont and its system of mandatory coalition is a busted flush. The DUP would serve the public better if they – and the UUP – recognised that reality and moved on to requiring devolution that works.

Jim Allister, TUV leader, North Antrim