If the DUP and UUP are monitoring the NI social media websites over this last few weeks, they will be well aware of the animosity that is building up between the unionist electorate and the unionist political elites.
The already significant gap between the unionist parties and the public appears to be widening.
The unionist political parties ignore the sentiments of the unionist electorate at their peril.
The only mainstream views suggesting the unionist parties get back into Stormont are those of government ministers, nationalists, broadcasters and the NI health unions.
The unionist public using the social media websites have been using language such as ‘betrayal’ and ‘traitors’ in order to try to influence the outcome of the political discussions and to reinforce upon the political elites that they will sooner or later have to come cap in hand for unionist votes.
There is no unionist voices on the social media websites calling for political unionism to get back into bed with Michelle O’Neill and Mary Lou McDonald.
From reading the profiles of some of the social media commentators there is a hardening from all sections of unionism, not just loyalists, in their dissatisfaction with the unionist political parties.
I suggest, that rather than try to get a dysfunctional Stormont resurrected, the unionist political parties should be primarily concerned about further alienating unionist voter support.
The unionist voting public desperately need some form of political victory otherwise the next NI Assembly election will already be lost.
The unionist political elites should have argued that Stormont could not return, irrespective of the wishes of the British and Irish governments, until the RHI inquiry report is published and its recommendations on good governance are known.
Dr Edward Cooke, Newtownabbey