The political situation has become more polarised than ever.
It has also become more irrelevant.
The demise of moderates like Mike Nesbitt, Alex Attwood, and Eamonn McCann is a tragic outcome.
It was David Trimble and John Hume who won the Nobel Peace Prize, not our current leaders. Sadly the Good Friday Agreement institutionalised the divisions of the past and excluded the moderates.
Today the DUP is beating the Orange drum louder than ever, even though the Catholic church has lost its temporal power.
Gone are the days of the domineering Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid. Home Rule is no longer Rome Rule. The church is in disarray with the Magdalene laundries, the Tuam graveyards and the paedophile priest scandals, first in Ireland, then the US and Australia. Nevertheless the current Pope is a popular figure everywhere; some joke he is almost a communist.
Meanwhile Sinn Fein campaigns on inequality, when many, if not most, top jobs in the public sector are held by Catholics. As for income disparity in the population, look at The Sunday Times Rich List; inequality yes but not sectarian.
So here we are squabbling about a language that almost nobody speaks, and abolishing a frontier that barely exists, in a world that is upside down.
Our politicians seem more interested in retaining their seats than the causes they espouse.
Time to move cautiously toward a more united form of Ireland, preferably within a united Kingdom. Some however may be in for a surprise. Benefit handouts are not as generous in Dublin, and the health service not totally free in the Republic. We may find more homeless sleeping in shop doorways.
Time for all sides to look in the crystal ball and get their act together. Tempus fugit
William Lowry, Bangor, Co Down