The Alliance Party’s decision to pull out of ‘shared future’ talks is an astonishing admission of defeat.
Could there be a more potent symbol of just how powerless Alliance is within this Executive and how spectacularly the party has failed to deliver on its promises?
Let’s remember that the Programme for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration (CSI) was the flimsy pretext which persuaded David Ford to join carve-up government and become minister for justice in the first place.
Now he has effectively admitted that the Executive’s strategy, which Alliance attempted to sell to voters as an achievement, contains very little cohesion, or sharing and is a gaping hole when it comes to integration.
This cuts to the very heart of what is wrong with the government at Stormont. Since 2007 there has been no meaningful progress towards creating a shared future.
The truth is that division is unlikely to be addressed by carve-up government. It’s up to politicians from all parties, who want to see an end to segregation, to start building an Opposition and holding the Executive to account for its failure to build a shared future.