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UUP has given two main parties a wake up call

The pulling-out of the Executive by the UUP has focused minds in unionist and republican quarters and is maybe exactly what the deadlocked Assembly needs.

Politics has slumbered for months, from one crisis to another, with the DUP appearing indecisive and adrift.

The UUP have right on their side - and it can be a very powerful ally, especially when society wants to move away from violence. The public have endured Sinn Fein and the DUP in government for long enough and it's just not working.

The DUP and Sinn Fein represent the most radical parties in Northern Ireland and the odds of a power-sharing Executive being functional on the basis of extremely polarised politics was in hope rather than expectation.

Many may have believed that republicans in government may change their ways, but unfortunately there are serious doubts and the exercise has been a failure.

In any case, the public view the Assembly as making no progress and cannot see the value in a devolved government system that spends more time in dispute than anything else.

The net result of the Assembly has been massive financial loss, doubts about those in the Executive and their commitment to peace and the dis-improvement of public services.

Power-sharing for the sake of it is not tenable with the DUP and Sinn Fein. The UUP have broken the ice and the deadlock and given both unionism and republicanism a good kick up the backside.


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