It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a disaffected people in possession of a dysfunctional government must be in want of an alternative. A lame government is a dead government. Not in Northern Ireland. Naomi Long said ahead of the election, "The public will not forget the time squandered in delay, deadlock and division."
She is articulate and assertive, and she can dispatch a determined opponent with a withering glance and stinging retort. She straddles a corner of European politics and commands respect from adversaries and allies alike. This isn't Nicola Sturgeon or Angela Merkel, but another strong and popular stateswoman - Arlene Foster.
Sinn Féin's Danny Morrison once said: "every word spoken in Irish is another bullet in the freedom struggle'' in Northern Ireland. I'd strongly disagree with such a statement, but instead, I'd like to make a new version: Every time the DUP say "Never", as Campbell said about an Irish Language Act, the party's chances of bearing a future generation weaken.
We're left with a leader that is devoid of leadership capacity, lumbered with the charisma of a damp rag, the vision of a mole and all the on-camera tact of a 14 year old pubescent man-child. A sepulchral sod. Goodness knows the manner off-camera. So let me say it again, it's the man, not the House, who's no longer fit for purpose.
Firstly, Northern Ireland is not your normal western liberal democracy. As Mick Fealty said, there exists two worlds in Northern Ireland. One is progressive, cosmopolitan, tolerant, ambitious. The other is a minority that extorts, blackmails and wields arbitrary power over a moderate majority. The politicians are complicit with these economic vandals and thugs.
The working class enclaves in inner-city Belfast have soaring poverty and joblessness rates. Once the voice of hardline unionism, the DUP has become increasingly mainstream and is seen to represent these communities less and less, with a similar process happening on the other side of the political divide.