Wednesday 28 June 2017

The prospect of hanging concentrates the mind wonderfully. - Dr Johnson

DR SAMUEL Johnson's remarks in the 18th Century have a contemporary relevance for all those shaping the form and future of constitutional politics in Northern Ireland in the months ahead. On May 15, the Northern Ireland Assembly will meet for the first time since October, 2002. And on November 24, unless the DUP and Sinn Fein have by then agreed to share power in a restored N

DR SAMUEL Johnson's remarks in the 18th Century have a contemporary relevance for all those shaping the form and future of constitutional politics in Northern Ireland in the months ahead. On May 15, the Northern Ireland Assembly will meet for the first time since October, 2002. And on November 24, unless the DUP and Sinn Fein have by then agreed to share power in a restored Northern Ireland executive, the Assembly will be wound up, and the salaries and allowances of its 108 members will be stopped.

Will the deadline for delivery of devolved government, and the political and financial sanctions for failure concentrate minds sufficiently to produce an agreement this time? On past form, the political outlook is not encouraging, despite some positive developments last week.

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