Alex Kane (DebateNI, September 8) lists seven political eras for the Northern Ireland state, but omits the last era.
In 2008 we finally moved into the era of "joined-up government" under Peter Robinson's DUP. And, after the 2011 Assembly elections the DUP had complete control over all of the key financial levers: health, which receives almost 50% of the spending budget, and social development; as well as trade and industry and OFMDFM, which have the potential to generate wealth and to grow the economy.
There is some irony, then, that four years into this Assembly, unless it receives an immediate cash injection, Stormont will run out of money in October and technically go bankrupt. The First Minister has been a politician for almost 50 years and yet his party has once again to call upon the Irish Government and Westminster to supervise inter-party talks.
Could you ever envisage either Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, or Carwyn Jones, the First Minister of Wales, having to ask Irish or British ministers to step in to run their government?
BERNARD J MULHOLLAND