Saturday, 30 May 2015


"He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, And all are slaves besides." - -- William Cowper

Juno and the Paycock, Yeatsian Intertextuality, and Materialism

by Natalie Prizel

Sean O'Casey was born in 1880 and came of age in the impoverished Dublin he portrays in his realist dramas. An activist in labor movements and the struggle for Irish independence, O'Casey played a prominent role in the Irish Citizen Army, a group formed to protect trade unionists from state violence that also participated in the 1916 Easter Rising in a failed attempt to violently force the issue of Irish independence.

O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock was performed at the Abbey Theater in 1924.W.B. Yeats, the managing director of the theater, extended the play beyond the standard weekly run (it was the first play to receive such an extension) because of its immediate success. Juno and the Paycock tells the story of the Boyle family, desperately poor Dubliners living amidst the sectarian violence of the early 1920's. The drama, the action of which is confined to the Boyle's home, contains three primary narratives: that of Johnny Boyle, the wounded Irish nationalist son, who has betrayed his "Diehard" (Irish nationalists who would not accept partition) ally Robby Tancred and is ultimately killed in revenge; that of Juno Boyle, the wife who desperately tries to convince her ne'er-do-well husband (Captain Boyle) to work, only to be told they have come into a small fortune, and ultimately to find that the supposed fortune does not exist; and that of Mary Boyle, the trade unionist daughter who betrays her labor leader lover, Jerry, for the charms of the manipulative school teacher Charlie Bentham, who ruins her family by misleading them about the "fortune" and then impregnates and leaves her.

Ronald Ayling argues for the uniqueness of O'Casey's "firsthand experience of urban warfare, seen from a civilian's viewpoint, with some knowledge of military matters [. . .] as a member of the the Irish Citizen Army [. . .]."This practical experience not only contributes to the realism of O'Casey's plays but also informs his materialist stance in relation to political violence. O'Casey can be fruitfully compared to W.B. Yeats in their mutual treatments of local and national political struggles in contrast to the cosmopolitanism of the other great Irish modernist, Joyce. However, O'Casey's work is marked by a materialism not present in Yeats' poetry, in no small part because of the physical immediacy of the dramatic form. Furthermore, Juno and the Paycockdraws a thematic binary between theory ("principle") and material reality, the collision of which leads to devastating ends.

Intertextuality between O'Casey and Yeats

The parallels between Juno and the Paycock and Yeats' poetry are striking; indeed, it seems that O'Casey is virtually quoting Yeats in a quotidian form that conveys the gritty reality of Dublin in a way that both Yeats' romantic and increasingly modernist verse cannot. Both writers are reflecting on an innocence lost in the violence of the early twentieth century. For example, in "September 1913," Yeats laments, "Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,/It's with O'Leary in the grave" (lines 7-8). O'Casey rewrites this in the romantic interchange between Jerry and Mary:

Jerry: [. . .]. Have you forgotten, Mary, all the happy evenin's that were as sweet as the scented hawthorn that sheltered the sides o' the road as we saunthered through the country?
Mary: That's all over now.

While here Yeats' poem is directly political and Mary and Jerry are discussing the end of erotic love, both reflect the loss of a certain innocence and potential, both personal and national. By grounding this theme in the everyday realm of young romantic love, O'Casey endows "romantic Ireland" with a specificity that removes it from the realm of abstract political discourse and into the realm of daily life.

O'Casey performs a similar rewriting of Yeats by placing poetic verse in Dublin dialect. In his 1919 poem, "The Second Coming," Yeats writes: "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/ Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,/ The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere/ The ceremony of innocence is drowned" (lines 3-6). Similarly and in contrast, Captain Boyle repeatedly asserts and in fact ends the play with the lines "th' whole worl's in a terrible state o' chassis." Clearly, O'Casey's use of dialect lends realism to his drama, and indeed this seems necessary in a dramatic production which relies on the suspension of disbelief in a way in which lyric poetry does not.

It is interesting to read this use of dialect as a perhaps incomplete assertion of Irish nationalist linguistics. O'Casey became a member of the Gaelic League in 1905, eventually becoming branch secretary and Gaelicising his name to Sean O Cathasaigh. That said, the Abbey Theater, while it did produce Gaelic plays including several by Gaelic League founder Douglas Hyde, was in fact angrily denounced by the Rev. Michael O'Flanagan of the Gaelic League in1911:
The plays are written in a new dialect of English produced by a literal translation of Gaelic idioms into Irish. This is a purely literary dialect, and is not spoken in any part of Ireland. The Gaelic League is not interested in the creation of a new dialect of English. Its concern is with the Irish language. The spirit of the Gaelic League is a thing entirely different from the spirit of the Abbey Theater, the very antithesis of it in many ways.

While I cannot speak to the question of whether the language of the Abbey (notably here, language which predates O'Casey's play) was indeed a literary creation, it is clear that O'Casey is presenting a mode of speech that reflects the reality of spoken language in a way that Yeats is not.

It is also worth looking at Yeatsian intertextuality through an examination of the character of Charlie Bentham. While Yeats and O'Casey did not fall out until 1929 when, as director of the Abbey, Yeats rejected O'Casey's play The Silver Tassie, it is possible to view Bentham as an unflattering characture of Yeats. Like Yeats, Bentham describes himself as a "Theosophist" and comically describes his beliefs as the Boyle's listen:

Betham: [. . .]. Theosophy's founded on The Vedas, the religious books of the East. Its central theme is the existence of an all-pervading Spirit-- the Life-Breath. Nothing really exists but this one Universal Life-Breath. And whatever even seems to exist separately from this Life-Breath, doesn't really exist at all. It is all vital force in man, in all animals, and in all vegetation. This Life-Breath is called the Prawna.
Mrs. Boyle: The Prawna! What a comical name!

Bentham is comically detached from the reality of daily Dublin life. Not only is his religious belief removed from the local in a way that seems nonsensical in light of the highly parochial nature of the play but its central focus on Spirit is in stark contrast to the material realities of the play. Jerry Devine, Charlie Bentham's rival in love, is described as "a type, becoming very common now in the Labor Movement". It seems that Bentham too is a type, modelled on the eastward looking, spiritualist inclinations of certain modernist authors, notably Yeats. Bentham states "dogma has no attraction for me."In "The Second Coming", Yeats writes, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity" (lines 7-8). In O'Casey's world it is the worst, despite his greater acculturation, Bentham, who lacks all conviction. representing a rejection of the elitism of Yeats' politics in which the best are the (admittedly politically passive) artistic elite.

It would seem presumptuous to mock the artist to whom O'Casey appealed to have his work staged; nevertheless, Bentham can be read as a sort of send-up of Yeats. Furthermore, it is ironic that Bentham, whose name hearkens back to utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, is so philosophically detached from the material world-- so detached indeed that he disappears by Act III, only leaving the consequence of his material presence, that is, Mary's pregnancy.
"Principle" and Reality, or O'Casey's Materialism

As O'Casey linguistically presents an alternative, material version of Yeats' treatment of Irish political strife, so does he thematically treat the conflict between theory and reality in the play. Within Juno and the Paycock itself, there are two opposing views of the relationship between theory or "principle" and material reality. Mary, defending her labor strike to her mother says, "a principle's a principle;" in contrast, Joxer, Captain Boyle's drinking companion, contends, "It's betther to be a coward than a corpse!", and Mrs. Boyle tells her son "Ah, you lost your best principle, me boy, when you lost your arm; them's the only sort o' principles that's any good to a workin' man." Ultimately, I believe, the play is situated liminally between these two positions.

Ronald Ayling argues that the play is centrally concerned with betrayal, as Bentham betrays Mary; Johnny betrays Tancred; and Boyle's indifference amounts to a "betrayal of life."Mary also is a traitor: she abandons Jerry her materialist principles to take up with a man without dogma. On one hand, the betrayal of principles has tragic consequences: Johnny is killed for his betrayal of his comrade Tancred; Mary is pregnant out of wedlock; Boyle is left again impoverished; and the family is humiliated. On the other hand, principles have left Johnny armless and Mary unemployed. In her apparent rejection of "principles", Mrs. Boyle is a truly heroic figure, particularly at the beginning of the play, when she is the only member of the family who is precluded from work on account of principle (Mary and Johnny) or lack thereof (Captain Boyle). Mrs. Boyle's necessary materialism neither dooms nor saves her but rather leaves her as a suffering survivor with a dead son, the same shiftless husband she had in the beginning, and a pregnant daughter, whom she comforts when Mary laments the fatherlessness of her child, saying, "It'll have what's far betther-- it'll have two mothers." The play ends both with the condemnation of "principles" as Mrs. Boyle says "Ah, why didn't I remember that then he wasn't a Diehard or a Stater, but only a poor dead son!", and the depiction of the utter degradation of the indifference that Boyle and Joxer represent.

Given O'Casey's apparent rejection of both abstract "principle" (Irish Independence, labor rights) and its absence, the play puts forth a quotidian heroism in the form of Mrs. Boyle. Mrs. Boyle is not without principles like her husband; she is anything but indifferent. However, her principle- supporting and protecting her family- is firmly grounded in material reality and is divorced from political and economic theory. Tellingly, Mrs. Madigan shouts at the police: "For you're the same as yous were undher the British Government-- never where yous are wanted! As far as I can see, the Polis as Polis, in this city, is Null an' Void!" Regardless of the political status of Ireland, the material reality for its citizens remains the same, particularly in the wake of continued interfactional violence.

Irish Modernism, Genre, and the Representation of Violence

In response to the Easter Rising of 1916, in which O'Casey played an active role, Yeats wrote: "All changed, changed utterly:/ A terrible beauty is born" (lines 15-16). Yeats' poetry, with its stunningly lyrical depictions of horror, exemplifies the terrible beauty he sees in the world. In contrast, O'Casey's world, though not humorless, is distinctly ugly and mundane in its treatment of violence. While we see the effects of economic deprivation on the stage, both Tancred and Johnny are mutilated and ultimately killed off-stage. For all his linguistic and thematic realism, violence is strangely abstracted in the play. At the beginning of Act One, Johnny berates Mary: "Oh, quit that readin' for God's sake! Are yous losin' all your feelin's? It'll soon be that none of you'll read anything' that's not about butcherin'!" In this line, not only does O'Casey show graphic violence as increasingly the proper subject of the written word, but he also forecasts his own refusal to participate in its depiction. Realism stops at the point of horrific violence in the play, a relief to theater-goers who would not only be asked to read it but to visualize it on the stage. Unlike Yeats, O'Casey gives us an Ireland struggling for independence with neither beauty nor terrific violence, but rather the dull, aching suffering of everyday life.

Friday, 29 May 2015


Articulated In the two clips of neutral origin above, are both the problem and the solution, for the current failure of the Irish Peace Process. Fr Reid, the primary faciltator, in the current Irish Peace Process, which is at an impasse, had a passionate belief, that the Catholic Church, had a responsibility to engage the IRA. Reid identified IRA members, prepared to actively participate in a political alternative, to the unceasing military campaign.
In October 2002 Reid told Kevin Rafter a journalist in Dublin, "One of the things I discovered very quickly, was that the people who most wanted peace, were the IRA. Who wants to live that kind of life, always on the run? These were young men in their early twenties, with wives and young children, caught up in nightmare stuff. They wanted some way of getting out of that honourably."
Twenty years after signing the Bad Friday Agreement, neither the Provisionals or the Traditional IRA, have made any progress, in resolving the current politcal impasse, in British Occupied Ireland. The only successful Template, for a reasonably successful process, that has worked, is in South Africa, which had a fundamental, active, element, of Truth & Reconcilaition, which is clearly absent in Ireland. Irish Blog believes, that until an honest, neutral broker, like Bishop Desmond Tutu in Capetown, can publicly chair such a Commision, in a full and transparent manner, in full public view, can the conditions for Justice, Peace and Reconciliation be achieved. It must engage all parties to the ongoing conflict, in an inclusive manner. In this Spirit, I ask all people of goodwill, to contact their Spiritual & political leaders, at the highest level, to facilitate this, immediately.

We are as sick as our secrets and so is the current status, of the MI5 Process presently, The only Path to Justice for Everyone, is the Truth. I call on all People of Good will Worldwide, to take the Process out of the files of Secret Services, and make it happen for the sake of ordinary people in Ireland and resolve it for future generations, to avoid anymore bloodshed. We do not have to re-invent the wheel. The precise solution, is already there from South African, Truth & Reconciliation, overseen by Bishop Tutu. If you agree, I would ask you, to please share this with your friends and colleagues or wherever you can, because it is mostly censored by Secret Services. I am not allied with any political party, organization or religion.

Thursday, 28 May 2015




Law of Attraction: Abundance

In the same way that air flows easily and always to all physical beings, unless it is artificially disrupted or prevented, Abundance flows to all. Abundance of wellness, Abundance of Energy, Abundance of enthusiasm, Abundance of joy, Abundance of all that is desired flows to you at all times -- unless it is artificially disrupted or prevented. 
- Abraham-Hicks -


The 12 Fucked Steps

A lot of people find 12 Steps programs hard to relate to- especially for non-religious and younger generations. I did not come up with this nor can I take credit for it but I do wholeheartedly endorse it. I present to you- the 12 Fucked Steps.
Step 1: I’m fucked
Step 2: There might be a way out of this fucking mess
Step 3: Decide to level the fuck up
Step 4: Take a good hard look at how fucked up I am
Step 5: Tell someone else about all the fucked up stuff I’ve been through
Step 6: Prepare to stop being such a fuck up
Step 7: Try to stop acting so fucked up
Step 8: Make a list of everyone I fucked over
Step 9: Swallow my fucking pride and tell them I really fucked up, except when doing so would fuck them harder.
Step 10: Keep an eye on my fucked up thinking and behavior
Step 11: Chill the fuck out sometimes
Step 12: Help the next poor fucker that walks through the door
Step 1: I’m fucked
Like many alcoholics & addicts I had to fully come to the conclusion that I was absolutely fucking lying to myself if I thought I could control myself under alcohol. I can’t control myself at a chinese buffet- why did I think I could control myself with something I was addicted to. Mmmmmm egg rolls.
It wasn’t until I finally figured out that if I do not give up alcohol- I’m fucked.
 Step 2: There might be a way out of this fucking mess
After deciding I could not control myself under alcohol there was a period of hopelessness. Most people usually quit drinking, narcotics, cigarettes etc. after a traumatic and embarrassing event in their life. It is their “rock bottom”. Rock bottom is one hellishly depressing place. But with the proper plan, determination and support there might just be a way out of this fucking mess.
Step 3: Decide to level the fuck up
So you’re an alcoholic- maybe you’re an addict. Who the fuck cares? When you hit rock bottom you either decide to die or to fix yourself up. Some people choose to go back to their abusive drug of choice- it seems easier at the time. Then there are others that decide to change their life around and turn a shitty situation into a success story. So what are you gonna do punk, continue what you are doing or level the fuck up?
Step 4: Take a good hard look at how fucked up I am
Once you’ve gotten sober you’re going to come to the realization that nothing really changes except for your lack of alcohol- and that sweet, sweet money saved. However, if you have underlying problems that were only masked by your alcoholism that means they are still there. Procrastination, dishonesty and poor stress coping skills were some of my underlying issues and my sobriety suffered deeply until I addressed the aspects in my life that fueled my alcoholism.
Once the alcohol is taken away what is still left about you that you dislike?
Step 5: Tell someone else about all the fucked up stuff I’ve been through
Guilt and shame can be dangerous. A lot of times people go back to drinking because the guilt is overwhelming. Taking out your internal garbage can be extremely helpful. Talking about it with someone who has been through something similar (i.e. a friend or sponsor) or someone who is trained in the subject (i.e. a therapist) can be a huge relief and a good way to map out where you need to go. Even keeping a sobriety journal can be great for releasing all of the negative feelings & issues you have when first dealing with your addiction. Go ahead- get it out- don’t keep that stuff bottled up.
Step 6: Prepare to stop being such a fuck up
Now that you’re slowly putting these issues behind you what are you going to do to change your future behavior from your past behavior? How is future you going to not be such a fuck-up? Maybe you relapsed- what are you going to do different this time to ensure your sobriety? Deciding for yourself what behaviors you are going to change can be one of the single most important aspects of overcoming your addiction.
Step 7: Try to stop acting so fucked up
This is just like step 6 but you have to put it into ACTION! So now that you have a plan on how to change you actually have to do it. Try to change yourself and your past behaviors. Do it one baby step at a time. We all fucked up a lot in the beginning but it is because we kept going slowly that we have any success at this thing. The key word is trying- just keep trying.
Step 8: Make a list of everyone I fucked over
If you’re just a regular Joe you probably have a decent list of people you’ve upset or fucked over in your life. If you’re an addict you probably have a list that is longer than my……..well, it’s long. These are people you need to make right by- not just because it is the right thing to do but also because this is a lot of guilt and shame that you will carry around with you.
I actually did this step & the 4th step together on my fourth day of sobriety because the guilt was overwhelming. I made a page in my sobriety journal that titled “Things I hate about alcohol” in which I put much detail about people I had fucked over and embarrassing shit I had done. It was a long list. One page became pages. It ended up being a map of how I was going to change my life and how to reconcile relationships lost. I am still using that map today.
Make the list- it will end up being much longer than you ever thought it would be. It will also be a bigger relief than you ever thought it could be and it will be a pretty damn good map to hit the next step head on.
Step 9: Swallow my fucking pride and tell them I really fucked up,
except when doing so would fuck them harder.
Step 9: the motherfucker. This one’s tough. Really tough. This is where you finally have to suck it up and ask for forgiveness. You’re going to have to prioritize and chip away at it. Your list will be lengthy.
This 9th step is just as much for you as it is for the people you are reconciling with. The point is to help relieve the overburdening guilt while also mending those relationships. However, forgiveness is the only thing you can ask for. You might not get the forgiveness when you want it- but showing you are changing and have changed is a huge proponent of moving forgiveness forward. Sometimes showing you have changed is the best way to ask for forgiveness.
This step comes with a disclaimer: except when doing so would fuck them harder. While it feels great to finally get things off your chest- sometimes leaving stones unturned is the better option. Don’t worsen a relationship by bringing up issues that could actually make someone’s life worse.
Step 10: Keep an eye on my fucked up thinking and behavior
Complacency can be a sobriety killer. You have to keep an eye on the fucked up stuff you were doing. Your brain can be your biggest enemy- it really is something you have to look out for. Sometimes your brain will tell you “See you made it a month without drinking; we don’t have an alcohol problem”. It is that kind of thinking- and that kind of mental trickery that gets you back to where you began.
Step 11: Chill the fuck out sometimes
You’re going to get stressed early on. It’s going to happen. You’re probably like me and had poor stress coping skills. Don’t let this be your downfall. If things ever get too stressful too fast just remember to chill the fuck out- and that alcohol solves nothing. Drinking today will be borrowing tomorrow’s happiness and your problems will still be there.
Step 12: Help the next poor fucker that walks through the door
Hardly any sober person made it on their own. I would go as far as to say probably no sober person made it on their own- short of some poor bastard that got stranded on an island. Just as you needed guidance so will the next person- be there to assist them. There is a huge land of unknown when you are fighting your addiction and it’s comforting and greatly helpful to have someone help guide you through it. The person that guided you once needed a guide themselves. Do what you can to help those who need guidance- listen to them, give advice, volunteer at your local addiction shelter, start a stupid sobriety blog- just contribute to the community that helped make you better.

10 Responses to The 12 Fucked Steps

  1. Hiroki
    I found this entertaining and I also saw how the basic model of the 12 steps can be useful to anyone trying to become a better person. But I happen to be so repulsed by the 12 steps and meetings that I can’t even bring myself to follow these fucking steps above. I read a book by a Harvard Doctor called
    • Hiroki
      Fuck my comment post incomplete, anyways the book was called Breaking Addiction: 7 Steps to Ending Any Addiction by Dr. Lance Dodes. Those steps really appealed to me because they are basically the opposite of admitting you are powerless and turning your will over to a higher power. I don’t need the 12 steps to improve my character, there’s so many richer tools and resources available to help with that.
  2. BigDumbHick
    Fuckin’ A. I have learned that there are many paths to Recovery. Some turn to Jesus, Some see a Shrink. Some use some kind of Super Brain power, Some just grow the fuck up.
    For almost 30 years (since Oct 13, 1984) I have been utilizing the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous.
    Is that the best way? Is that the only way? I don’t know. I do however know that it is the way that has worked for me. Yes, there are many different tools out there. I tried Jesus. I tried Psychiatry. I tried Sex. I tried running away. None of that other stuff worked for me. Hell, I tried 3 or 4 different 12 Step Fellowships that all did their best to help me, but it wasn’t until I made it to NA that I finally felt like I had found a place that I belonged.
    30 years (or almost 30 years) in this program has taught me that I don’t know shit about what will work for you, I only know what worked for me and I’m more than happy to share that experience, strength, and hope with you. I’m more than willing to hold your hand as you try this way of life for yourself, but I’m not going to try and make you “do” anything, or to “believe” a certain way. That’s not my job. My job is support and encouragement. The 12 Steps don’t need me to be their White Knight, I know that they worked in my life and I believe that they can be of benefit to others as well.
    Want to try a different path? Feel free. I wish you the best and I hope you find as much success and peace as I have found through NA. If you ever need me, I’m not hard to find. I’m usually at the Monday Night 5 & Dime meeting.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015


Stormont Crisis – The Product of an Unworkable System

Commenting on the Welfare Reform Bill last night Jim Allister said:

“What we are witnessing here today is the fact that the chickens are coming home to roost in the failure of mandatory coalition. For years, it has been promised to us as the panacea of good government and that it is the essential and only workable system of government. Yet today, it stands utterly exposed as that which reeks of failure. It is a collective failure of all the parties that support and sustain that unworkable system of government. Of course, as a diversion from that, the blame game has been in full swing today. One side blames the other. I suppose that, in moving the Bill today, the DUP wants to stop the music while the blame parcel rests on the lap of Sinn Féin, and so, largely, it does. One side wants simply to blame the other, instead of anyone in the House facing up to the reality that it is the system of government that has failed. The system that they continue to sustain is failing before our very eyes.

“It is the attempt to avoid that reality that has given rise to much of the rhetoric of today. Instead of this House facing up to the fact that a system that has been available and in operation for 17 years is fast coming to the inevitable point of implosion, they want to blame everything but the system and blame the parties within the system. It is the system that guarantees the logjam, and it is the system that guarantees the mutual vetoes, which have brought us to this point. Therefore, the inescapable conclusion is that this is a colossal, seismic and defining failure of the system. That is the point, and unless and until this House grasps it, we will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis.

“Of course, this has come against a backdrop of great deception. The deception, for example, that all this was sorted after long nights and long days. Mr Attwood was talking to us about, I think, the 40 days and 40 nights that were looming ahead of us. It was something like that, maybe more, that led to that great moment and great breakthrough of the Stormont House Agreement. The new dawn had arrived. The threat that was crippling the Executive over welfare reform had been removed. All had been resolved, and the first party out of the traps to endorse the Stormont House Agreement was Sinn Féin. Indeed, Mr Martin McGuinness told us it was a “remarkable achievement” and a “fresh start”. He said:

“And it is a fresh start we need to seize with both hands”.

“The same hands, on top of everything else that they are responsible for, that since have torn to shreds the Stormont House Agreement. That same party came to this House at the Consideration Stage of this same Bill and repudiated the consistent — one has to concede it is consistent — opposition of the SDLP and joined the DUP and others to sustain this very Bill that, tonight, they are going to kill.

“They had attained a remarkable achievement. They had made a fresh start. The fresh start did not last very long, because now they tell us that it was a false start. How they get themselves to that position is beyond the comprehension of most of us. Maybe it was the financial illiteracy that seems to plague them from time to time. Maybe they did think that £564 million was really the same as £1·5 billion, but they said that they had got a fresh start and made a remarkable achievement and that no one, now or in the future, was going to be less well off despite having a fraction of what it would take to ensure that. But, it was a fresh start. It was a remarkable achievement, whether or not, as I said, it was its notorious financial illiteracy at work.

“Finally, the penny dropped, whether it was that or it was the old Sinn Féin trick in negotiations of extracting what you can at any given point, you pocket what you have got, and you then come back for more. Has that not been the story of the last 20 years of what is called the peace process? Of course it has, and maybe it was encouraged in that view by some of the things that Mr O’Dowd talked about. It had forced the DUP from a parity position into negotiating for a lavish £564 million uplift by raiding the block grant to sustain welfare. Maybe it was encouraged to believe that, with a little more push, pocketing what it had got and bringing it back to the edge, it would get more. Maybe, this time, it has just pushed too far. We will see.

“Maybe it is just Sinn Féin advancing the political agenda that lies at the heart of everything that it does, because this party of Sinn Féin is not in government in Northern Ireland to give us good government and to make Northern Ireland work. This is a party that is quite happy to bankrupt Northern Ireland and to be self-fulfilling in its affirmation that Northern Ireland is a failure. How better to do it financially than to bankrupt it? That may well be the guiding principle that brings it to this point, but, whatever it is, we are at a point of reality check. It is a reality check that shows the welfare reform project in free fall and now hurtling towards irredeemable budgetary crisis.

“It is quite clear that, within days and weeks, the budgetary arrangements necessary to govern in this part of the United Kingdom will not be possible as a consequence of the killing of this Bill tonight. The free fall of welfare reform and the inevitable budgetary failure that is coming at us very fast raises fundamental questions about the sustainability and even the desirability of these institutions. What is a devolved Assembly and institution about if it is not about settling the budgetary issues in a manner where the people whom it governs can be governed effectively and efficiently? It is the very core of what devolution is about, and, if, as the Finance Minister has warned, we are hurtling towards the unattainability of a balanced Budget and that tonight will hasten that day, what is the purpose and the point of this institution if we cannot even settle a Budget? If you cannot settle a Budget, you cannot govern. It is as simple and as elementary as that.”