You win some, you lose some
The DUP have undoubtedly been badly damaged by the Iris affair. But in Arlene Foster they’ve acquired (at least temporarily) an extremely impressive and able new First Minister.
They will lose votes though. To both the TUV and the UUP.
But while the former isn’t big enough to grasp the reins from the DUP, the latter (despite some interesting recent signings) presents no major takeover threat either. The delusional UUP (still) does not exactly offer the unionist voter what you would call an exciting alternative.
It says everything that a scandal that would shake up the UUP hierarchy might actually be a godsend.
Meanwhile, it’s not just the DUP that’s facing leadership issues right now.
The SDLP’s Mark Durkan is standing down soon (by choice) and there have recently been questions asked about the long-term future of Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams, himself at the centre of family-related controversy.
That one also hasn’t gone away, you know. Tricky times then for all four main political parties. Not to mention for the political commentators.
The already unwieldy acronym for Office of the First and Deputy First Minister is OFMDFM.
Now we have the Office of the Acting First Minister and Deputy First Minister, or OAFMDFM.
And the inevitable question.
How much will it cost to change the headed notepaper?