03 Jan

A Wry Eye – Welcome to Instability

AS we open our eyes, blinking into the new dawn that is 2017, the shine of the next trip around the sun is somewhat tarnished by the sure fact that stability is something long gone into the dusk of the past.

A new President of the United States is set to be inaugurated, Brexit is to be triggered within months, and the Middle East remains in turmoil.

Here in Northern Ireland our parochial concerns remain. The stable functioning of the political system that is referred to as ‘government’ is wobbling like a New Year’s reveller who has imbibed too much.

The RHI scandal is still unfolding, with its implications for the DUP and Arlene Foster. With the trickle of stories continuing the party have a tricky couple of weeks ahead.

Sinn Féin’s deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, is reportedly suffering from health conditions, which may or may not mean that he cannot continue in that post.

And, that’s just the bare facts. There is still the spectre of NAMA looming over the Assembly, the size, shape and ability of the opposition and questions remaining over the interaction between officials and Special Advisers.

Trust is a shaky thing at the best of times.

Still, life goes on…

People make their New Year Resolutions, start back to work and go on to social media to swap pictures of cats, meals and rants about politics.

With Westminster pre-occupied with negotiations over Brexit and President-elect Trump’s foreign policy regarding trade still not clear, it is unlikely that any white knights will be riding to the rescue of the Norn Iron populace.

Which means that our political leaders will have to do it themselves whether we like it or not…

Or, heaven forbid we may face an election. As if commentators didn’t have enough material to work on, electioneering will offer them a bounteous seam to mine.

Right now we can say one thing for certain. As usual there is no certainty in Northern Ireland politics. It has an uncanny ability to stumble along. Like the aforementioned drunken reveller, oft-times, through luck, they find their way home.