By next April, Northern Ireland will have been without a devolved government for more than two years.
This is entirely — entirely — due to Sinn Fein. They pulled the plug on local government and then issued a series of red lines before they would accept Stormont’s return.
This is not to say that the only thing that was ever done wrong at assembly was done by republicans– of course not.
This newspaper has been extensively covering the RHI shambles and will continue to do so. We called early on for an inquiry to be set up that would have the power to compel documents.
But such an inquiry is under way and so the fact of RHI is no excuse to topple Stormont.
And in any event, even if no such inquiry was under way it would be no reason to thwart the assembly. The much more grave and unresolved scandal of decades of orchestrated past terrorism was never accepted as a reason for unionists to refuse to share power.
Sinn Fein pretended to have red lines on issues such as gay marriage but its sectarian colours always shine through and its only real red line is an Irish language act.
Now, it has some odd plan to nominate ministers next April. It shall follow its own course, it seems, but one thing is clear: there must be no reward for this political vandalism or it will merely ensure a repeat of it.