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.

I used to write and get paid, now I read and don’t.

Former UUP staffer, currently living in London. @mjshilliday