When Sinn Fein collapsed the power sharing executive the DUP MLAs looked slightly bewildered and crestfallen, as though they had just suddenly realised that Sinn Fein could bring down the institutions at any time.
So if the DUP claim to have always acted in the best interests of the unionist people, rather than the interests of their own party, they should now address the following questions.
1. Why did they refuse to participate in the negotiations leading to the so-called Good Friday Agreement, the most important negotiations since the founding of the state?
2. Having abandoned the unionist people when the people needed them most and having been critical of the Agreement, why then did the DUP enter power sharing with Sinn Fein, having vociferously opposed all power sharing initiatives in the preceding three decades?
3 Was it the pursuit of power for power’s sake, irrespective of the cost to the country and its people, putting power before principle, power before people and therefore power before peace?
These questions need to be addressed before the election as the days when people voted as much to keep some people out as to get others elected are fast coming to an end.
Mrs Foster appears to indicate she will be back in office, so one can only assume there will be a behind-the-scenes horse trading exercise which will enable the institutions to limp on until the next crisis, with perhaps the offer of a couple more seats in the House of Lords thrown in as an inducement.
A Thompson, Dungannon