It is long past the point of comedy and satire to hear Michelle O’Neill get on her high horse about the revival of Stormont.
Most of the stalemate of the last 15 months has happened under her disastrous leadership of Sinn Fein north of the border.
The woman who, like a protesting student stormed out of a meeting with the Secretary of State saying ‘waffle, waffle, waffle,’ and who allowed a storm to develop when Arlene Foster said flattering but gauche things about her appearance, and who not only sang the praises of the Loughgall IRA murderers but said that the “war came to them,” was yesterday pontificating on the return of devolution.
Not only must all her demands be dismissed forthwith, there needs to be a serious rethink across unionism about some red lines that might be set before there is any question of Sinn Fein returning to power.
First, there needs to be full cross-party political support for robust action against loyalist and republican terrorism, ranging from gangsterism and racketeering and smuggling to paramilitary parades, let alone violence.
There must be support for an overhaul of the feeble bail policy for terror charges.
There must be no question of legacy structures proceeding without a clear pro rata funding figure for legacy inquests, set against Historical Investigations Unit, and clear assurances that the HIU will proportionately chase the biggest killers, ie overwhelmingly terrorist.
There must be no glorification of past mass murderers such as Raymond McCreesh and no prospect of unionist co-operation with victims bodies that consider bombers to be victims.
And there must be no question of reward for culture wars.
This it not to suggest that republicans should or will stop being republicans. Of course not. But there must be the decency and integrity in the republican leadership that they repeatedly demand of others, in particular unionists.