SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood wrote (Online, November 6) that Sinn Fein supporters must be wondering if Gerry Adams can continue as leader.
His speech was cringeworthy, a mixture of "there's something in it for everyone in the audience" to an "I have a dream" take-off that turned into a nightmare for the SDLP. He wanted to appeal to middle-class unionists, while attempting to appease nationalists with the tricolour.
He decided that collusion was not, after all, Sinn Fein propaganda, but then went on to praise the very people involved in it – the RUC. He spoke about equality, while defending the Spad Bill and his hierarchy of victims.
He spoke against austerity, while lauding one of its chief enforcers, the Tanaiste, Eamonn Gilmore, and then finally described the SDLP as a republican party, while pledging to fight for Britain to stay in the EU.
Leadership is definitely one element not in abundance in the SDLP and we will probably see another challenge for Alasdair's job, either before, or straight after, the next election.
But one thing you can be sure of is that Gerry Adams will be leading Sinn Fein to greater things long after Alasdair McDonnell is gone, with the full support of the republican community.