Jim Allister: It is good news that bid to revive Stormont executive has failed

It is good news that efforts to re-establish the unworkable Stormont executive have failed, because only once it is recognised that the present Stormont structures can never work will the focus shift to obtaining structures that could work.

Parliament Buildings, Stormont
Parliament Buildings, Stormont

The reason for the ongoing failure is crystal clear – insatiable Sinn Fein has never been in Stormont to make Northern Ireland work, so any system dependent on their involvement at the heart of government will never work.

I trust the latest chapter of failure will even bring the slowest of learners to this realisation.

If we want Stormont rule it can only be on a different model than mandatory coalition.

By repeatedly stretching itself to meet Sinn Fein’s demands the DUP has done no service to unionism, because all it means is that the next engagement with Sinn Fein has a starting point where unionism is already weakened by concessions already offered.

It is time for the DUP to shift focus away from chasing the moonbeam of mandatory coalition to either integrating us more closely into the UK or pursuing devolution that is workable, be it voluntary coalition, a corporate assembly, legislative devolution or a combination drawing together threads of each.

So, I draw hope from today if it marks an increasing realisation that we can’t go on like this and need to start afresh if pursuing devolution options.

Jim Allister QC, Stormont