It's time to take stock of Sinn Fein. For a moment, I wavered as to whether to direct this open letter to you or your colleague, the Deputy First Minister.
However, I still think, despite his prominence, you are the Republican daddy of them all — Sinn Fein's most formidable strategic thinker. Still exerting from the backbenches of Stormont, a Svengali-like influence over the party at large and your four ministers in particular.
For example, I would blame you — possibly even more so than Caitriona Ruane — for the party's doctrinaire position on education. I would blame you, too, as many of my media colleagues have already done, for last year's General Election debacle in the Republic.
Never was I surer that a leader had shot himself in the foot as when I watched your TV appearance with the other party leaders during that election and could barely believe how ill-prepared you were to discuss southern politics.
But that said, I congratulate you too. On two major issues.
The first is for hanging in there and biting your lip during the past 13 months of the new Stormont Assembly whenever it was evident your party was not getting its way.
And secondly, on your successful campaign down south in saying 'No' to the Lisbon Treaty.
Whether by dogma or desire, you and your party gauged the Republic's mood and left the unquestioning bunch of pro-European spin doctors, political leaders and Dublin newspapers with considerable Brussels sprout stains all over their shirts.
I'm not against European unity the way you are, but it was still nice to see at least the half of the electorate who bothered to vote asserting themselves and their independence.
But back to Stormont. I think Sinn Fein has surprised many of us by its degree of political patience. In the bad old days a car bomb here or a shooting there would soon have brought our political masters to heel and made them take notice of you.
You know now that no such action would be tolerated in the free world — not since September 11, 2001 — and you have adapted your strategy brilliantly to suit the change of international mood and opinion.
You played a long game when the IRA campaign was in full swing and you are clearly in for the long haul now that you recognise the ballot box has replaced the Armalite for ever.
However, the transformation is not proving either easy or impressive.
One has only to look at the performance of your Minister for Education, Caitriona Ruane to see that.
Violence such as the IRA engaged in is not about give and take. Politics most certainly is and I'm afraid your policy on secondary education is a graphic illustration of failure to date. I still think this will be worked through and the impasse overcome and all the more so when I see you have secured a £6m grant from Gordon Brown for Irish language broadcasting.
The noises coming out of the meeting between Messrs Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness suggest to me that another bout of political choreography is taking the Stormont stage and that over the coming weeks and months this will be played out through various acts. The plot for this new dance is likely to include settling the education issue and transferring police and justice powers from London to Belfast.
How such issues could possibly be linked or what they have in common — other than deadlock — is beyond comprehension to all but those who, like you and other Stormont leaders, are well used to behind closed doors deals at places such as St Andrews.
The Democratic Unionists think they have rubbed your collective Republican noses in the sand in the past year and brought you to a new state of political reality. To date, they can show plenty of evidence for this but you and I know that Sinn Fein doesn't think in terms of 13 months or even 13 years.
On the transfer of justice and policing powers, I suspect there is hardly a unionist in the country who could accept Gerry Kelly as the responsible minister given his own notorious past.
Yet, the same was said of Martin McGuinness and I don't see too many protests about him these days. Nevertheless, given the remit of justice and policing it would be more difficult to have Mr Kelly as minister for justice and policing than to have Deputy First Minister McGuinness.
That being so, why not go for some interim solution in the knowledge that long-term you know you'll get what you want anyway. For example, if it's so important to have a non-unionist, why not give the job to the SDLP?
Can Sinn Fein bend its purist rules?
That's the bigger picture for the future. It seems to me that the party in Ireland, north and south, is a bit like old Labour was in 1980s and the Tories were also before David Cameron came along. It needs to leave behind some of the baggage of the past. That means having a team with new generation politicians. I recognise that you cannot do this overnight otherwise the old activists might start feeling active again.
But as Sinn Fein stands, it may be popular up north but looks fairly unelectable across the island of Ireland.
You need to refresh your image beyond the Armani suits. You need to wake up to the real world and stop barking at American Imperialism, and banging on about capitalists in general. You need to produce a message that is as much about creating prosperity as highlighting poverty.