The DUP and UUP are gas men (and women, although mainly men). When asked if they would serve as Deputy First Minister if Sinn Féin emerge as the largest party after Thursday’s election, they say that any decision like that can only be made when they know what the new administration’s programme for government looks like, and while that programme has not yet been mapped out, it would be foolish to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
How wise they are. Who would buy a pig in a poke? Always examine your pig before purchase.
What’s gas about that? Contrast the UUP and DUP attitude to this question and their attitude to a new Ireland. Sidle up to Jeffrey or Doug and murmur “’Scuse me, gentlemen, can I interest you in some new constitutional arrangements?” and you will cause them to jump in the air and, faces turning blue, start yelling about how Ulster is British and they have no interest of any kind in becoming part of any new Ireland.
So while they won’t say Yes or No before programme for government is mapped out, they will with lightning speed say “No!” when the suggestion is made that a new Ireland should come into being. Join the conversation about a new Ireland? Consider the idea of a border poll? Non, nein, nyeht, nei, never.
Suddenly, the air is filled with laughter and a strong creaking sound as unionism stretches itself to go in two different directions at once.
Ah, you’re only gas, lads.