Nationalism has responded to the prospect of DUP-Tory rule by raising two points: how can the British government exercise “rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people”, as required by the Good Friday Agreement; and how can secretary of state James Brokenshire be independent as he chairs Stormont talks? These are valid questions.
On the face of it Monday was déjà vu at Stormont with groups of MLAs and newly elected MPs trailing down the staircase in the Great Hall to dough-nut round a party spokesperson speaking to the cameras.
Theresa May, Arlene Foster, Michelle O’Neill, Ruth Davidson and Nicola Sturgeon are so wildly different in views and personality that no woman commentator should surely any longer face the gormless ‘How would you compare A with B?’ To which the only honest answer is ‘I really wouldn’t.
Re-elected DUP MPs David Simpson and Jim Shannon began their acceptance speeches with lengthy thanks to God - not in the figurative sense of thanking God the Westminster contest was over, but in the literal sense, as if they had piled up proxy votes from Jesus.
With the ‘distraction’ of the general election out of the way (and, at the time of writing, I have no idea how good or bad their day has been) the local parties will be back to Stormont on Monday to see if they can avoid another Assembly election in October.