WELL sure we can be mates after the election, just joint mates. That sentence sort of paraphrases the offer by deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness to First Minister Peter Robinson that should Sinn Féin return the largest amount of MLAs they will offer to have the title joint First Minister in order that unionists don’t run away screaming at the prospect of having Marty as First Minister.
Leaving aside the fact that under some sort of agreement, some time ago in a past occupied by political anoraks and those with the time to give a stuff (apart from TUV leader Jim Allister, who always gives a stuff) the First and deputy First Ministers are coequals it is just a matter of titles.
Peter was canny in his reply – which translates as: “Even if it happens do you really think I’m going to contemplate answering that before the results are in?”
So, the real issue is whether the DUP will seize enough UUP votes, and Sinn Féin will seize enough SDLP votes to make it a close enough vote to at least be interesting.
As we write this we are now counting down to the real issue. With less than five weeks to go, is it long enough to get in the popcorn and sweeties, and create a nest in the home or office where you can watch the results flow in on the telly and power up the PC to pretend that you understand it all.
Because, rest assured you know just as much about it as the stuffed shirts who will be talking endlessly on the box – after all you are reading this right now and it isn’t even April yet!