Spot the difference

Peter Robinson has released a strange and hideously formatted press release in which he makes some bold claims. On the matter of who agreed what over the Inter Parliamentary Forum, I don’t know the details. But Peter Robinson implies that this:

The Council considered and agreed that, recognising that any development of a joint parliamentary forum is a matter for the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Houses of the Oireachtas, officials from the two administrations should make contact with officials in the elected institutions and report to the next Plenary meeting.

is proof that the UUP signed up the the Inter Parliamentary Forum. Apparently with the DUP Ulster is safe as THEY signed up to this:

The Council noted the provisions of the St. Andrews Agreement relating to the North South Parliamentary Forum. It recognised that any development of a joint parliamentary forum is a matter for the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Oireachtas.

Is it just me or do both these paragraphs say precisely the same thing? There is nothing in either of them to suggest that the Forum will ever exist (particularly given that the Assembly has already rejected the option to form it). Someone clearly knows more about what people have agreed to, but if that’s the case, surely the DUP should publish it rather than issue confused statements. The evidence given by the DUP, shows that there is no difference whatsoever between their position now, and the UUP’s in 2002.

  • Elvis Parker

    So your party colleague Alan McFarland was talking rubbish then?

  • Michael Shilliday

    I didn’t say anything like that. I’m just analyzing the “evidence” offered by the DUP.

  • fair_deal

    The confusion is enitrely your own.

    “Is it just me or do both these paragraphs say precisely the same thing?”

    That is the bloody point. The UUP did not say they had agreed to the same thing. They claimed the DUP had agreed to more than they had. Something the two basically identical statements shows to be untrue.

    “There is nothing in either of them to suggest that the Forum will ever exist”

    Exactly, maybe you should explain that to your party spokesperson who thinks it has been agreed.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Perhaps I’m reading too much into the semantics of the statement then, it seems strange for the DUP to use two different terms for the same thing, liar and deceiver. The statement seems to suggest that the UUP signed up to a Forum

  • BonarLaw

    Let’s hope Brown does go for an autumn election to finally bury the UUP and their “analyzing”.

  • Michael Shilliday

    It’s also odd to include the first statement at all, why do it unless you’re suggesting there is a difference?

  • fair_deal

    ” why do it unless you’re suggesting there is a difference? ”

    To show it is the same

  • DC

    I think we have all gathered by now that the DUP are hypocrites and Paisley is now snowed under with NSMC work rather than snowballing it into oblivion.

    But as you seem to suggest the North-South link is not severed, snowballed or moth-balled but very much alive and well.

    Don’t blame Paisley, Robinson or Slugger readers for that – you’re the Unionist opposition you and your cohorts should not have lost the fight nor the ground to Paisley’s DUP over his unfounded claims. But you did. No point going over old coals.

    If there is a forum and it better enlightens the politicians in Northern Ireland to policy development in Ireland and around the border then so what.

    Constitutionally nothing is moving but mentally barriers are being broken and intolerance dismantled through constuctive integration.

    Lets hope we can also get the peacewalls down to as a result of co-operation and trust building with our Southern neighbour.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Which is a great way to show that you’re handling the situation better – try to demonstrate that you’re doing things the same way the last lot did! Which isn’t to say that they are.

  • DC

    I wish you could just remove the post eh Michael?

  • ignoramous

    You gotta wonder about a young blogger with so little to do he examines DUP press releases..

  • Michael Shilliday

    No DC I don’t, because I still think I’m right.

    Why, also, is this issue coming up at all? It was dealt with in 2002, it was debated by the Assembly, and killed, yet it appears in the St Andrews agreement, and it appeared at the NSMC the other week. Why is this appearing again, unless of course the forum is to be convened?

  • Elvis Parker

    Michael
    Let me spell it out for you. The DUP, being more media savvy than the UUP, did not want to rain on the PR parade of BIC and NSMC and annoy Gordie and Bertie and let a meaningless reference to the Forum go into the Communique.
    It is up to the Assembly so if unionists want to kill this idea they can.
    Mr McFarland suggestions that they had ‘signed up’ to something extra or indeed anything – is simply not true.
    Hasnt Basil McCrea got some work for you to do?
    Last I heard he was recruiting supporters for his leadership campaign.

  • Dewi

    How did NSMC go anyway ? I can’t remember reading noet about it.

  • pith

    Ignoramus,

    It’s worse than that. We could even be commenting on him doing it. How sad would that be?

  • inuit_g

    Why is either Unionist party opposed to the idea anyway? We already have the British-Irish Parliamentary Forum which has been pretty much a success.

    My objections if any would be on the grounds that this is more gravy-train stuff, but otoh if its important for nationalists and its no threat to the Union then I dont see the problem with it at all.