Bring back Direct Rule for Summer

John Coulter with one of his regular pieces from the Irish Daily Star. It featured in Newshound on 30 June 2014.

Suspend Stormont until September to get the North through the marching season and kick-start the Haass peace agenda.

Even the most enthusiastic supporter of the peace process must recognise that the Assembly is in serious trouble and in urgent need of repair.

Gone are the famous 'Chuckle Brothers' days when Paisley senior and McGuinness could settle any crisis with a simple, cordial chat.

Stormont has now descended into a battle a day between Robbo's Dupes and Marty's Shinners.

The only workable solution is suspension with London coming back with temporary Direct Rule to ensure the welfare reform bill is implemented.

The sticking point is that the DUP wants it; the Shinners don't!

Unionists remain puzzled as to why Sinn Féin wants to put the brakes on welfare reform given the benefits it will bring to hundreds of thousands of Northern citizens – and that includes republicans!

Is it a case of the Shinners just being pig-headed and wanting to prove a point?

Maybe the Shinners just want to mark the DUP's cards by letting Robbo's party know Sinn Féin is still an important a cog in the Executive.

The real truth is that Sinn Féin is scared of the impact which agreeing to welfare reform will have on its chances of becoming a Dáil partner in the next coalition government in Dublin.

The Shinners have the North sewn up. If Unionist voter apathy and splits continue, Sinn Féin will be the largest party at Stormont by 2016 and ex-IRA commander Marty will be First Minister.

While the Shinners now stress that the posts of First and Deputy First Minister are equal, you can rest assured if Sinn Féin wins the 2016 Assembly poll, the rules will be changed to ensure that the First Minister's throne is the main seat of power.

Sinn Féin will aim to be in power on both sides of the Irish border by the time republicans are commemorating the centenary of the doomed Easter Rising in two years' time.

To pull off this stunt, it must purge the party of the influence of all ex-IRA jailbirds. Sinn Féin must rebrand itself as a sensible centre Left movement which believes passionately in the concept of 'The Caring Republicans'.

Speaking of 'caring', the Shinners don't give a crap what happens to the election-battered Stoops.

If the European and super council bandwagon can be maintained, Sinn Féin could emerge from next year's Westminster General Election with eight MPs, adding Foyle, South Down and East Derry to its current tally of five.

The Stoops are supporting the Shinners over welfare reform as the former badly needs the latter's transfers to remain a force at Stormont.

Stoops boss Big Al McDonnell may soon be facing a leadership coup after the party's disastrous European outing.

Marty recently met Queen Bess for a private chit-chat. Is a deal underway to get the Shinners to agree an oath wording and their Commons seats?

The DUP and Stoops have representatives who take seats at Stormont and Westminster. With a hung Commons on the cards for 2015, Sinn Féin should be at the heart of the action.


  1. Here's a conspiracy theory..
    Call me Dave has had a secret meeting with Peter Robinson and told him to forget about getting re-elected in east Belfast because he'll get a life peerage if he can pull down Stormount so the welfare reforms get rail roaded in before the next election.

  2. Have to admit John has me in stitches at times. Particularly with his assessments of the 'stoops'. I think the Orange Order are in danger of destroying the union altogether out of pig headedness. They are inviting Mickey D to Rossnowlagh in Donegal next year. Is that an attempt to hood wink him into believing their antics in Belfast are as civil as they are in Donegal? Why not invite him to Belfast and let him savour the church going bandsmen and a genuine Orange reception for an Irish president?