All parties call for all letters to be produced…

After an initiative by David Ford within the Preparation for Government Committee, all parties have agreed that all the ‘side letters’ issued to each of the parties should be put in the public domain. That, if the British government grants it, should make very interesting reading!!

The committee agreed that all letters from St Andrews should be produced. This would, if it happened, reveal any side deals in Scotland. Alliance leader David Ford, whose party put forward the proposal, claimed a victory for openness � though it remains to be seen how government reacts.

He said: “In the Preparation for Government Committee I asked the other parties to support my request to government to make public all correspondence relating to the St Andrews deal. This request was unanimously accepted. Transparency and openness are the keys to political progress.

“We are trying to get the full story surrounding the Government’s promises to various parties. These appear to cover a raft of issues, some hinted at and others undisclosed. This will ensure that there is complete openness in the process, for the benefit of everyone in Northern Ireland.”

  • Pat Taffe

    the process from day one has been characterised by side deals and concealing the details from the public. If the DUP have such a letter (any body believe it?) flush it out. Why should the public not know what is being done in their name? The DUP could be caught short here, trying to do what we discussed on an earlier thread, mischief making for Martin McGuinness. If Martin did not agree to such a pledge, and there is no evidence that he did, Sinn Fein should go for it.

  • Nevin

    Pat, it seems likely that the DUP ‘letter’ was probably a minuted note of a conversation. I wonder how it might compare with a similar note made by a government official.

  • Buterknife

    Dear Ian

    F**K YOU. I am PM you are not!


  • Pat Taffe

    Butterknife, great, but past form with PM Blair would suggest something different. An additional thought – if Blair were to say that he might annoy Brown more than Paisley

  • Yokel

    Note..ALL parties have agreed to make this request..ALL. Does that suggest that they are fed up with the UK government playing about?

    Why the UK goverments release of papers for some reason. Is it because they are really the ones who make the deals, Bertie is kind of along to give encouragement or has Bertie agreed to release documentation at his end?

  • just visiting

    Presumably they asked the British Government for papers because they are the ones who make the side deals with both DUP and Sinn Fein.

    The Irish are hardly likely to have made promises to Paisley – who might not believe them, though I am sure he believes Blair and Hain after all the side deals and assurances that Trimble got in the past.

  • Yokel

    I think the reality is that Bertie can’t make promises to anyone iof the UK government doesn’t agree.

    Christ its Empire by another name…

  • Mark

    I must be thick.

    Why can’t the parties release them without asking teacher?

  • Pat Taffe

    Britain is boss Mark

  • Yokel

    Thanks Pat Taafe

    That statement pretty much cleared that up.

  • Just visiting


    The parties ahve to ask teacher, or else it’s: “I’ll show you my side deals if you show me yours.”

    Asking the party (ie the British Government) who made all the side deals with one or other group to release them all at once seems the only way in which there is openness for everyone.