Whatever you say, say nothing?

Interesting postscript to Jim Fitzpatrick’s trailer for tomorrow’s Politics Show – with some recent analysis of the US role here in mind

PS – At a book launch in Belfast last night, Lord Trimble revealed how talks with Sinn Fein during the “Mitchell Review” moved to the American Ambassador’s residence in London.

Hitherto, he recalled, the talks had been bad tempered and unproductive. But the London venue proved very fruitful. “Winfield House”, he assured his unionist delegation “is probably the only building in London that isn’t bugged by MI5.”

Did that explain the much improved tone of the talks? Apparently not. As the American Ambassador’s residence it was most likely bugged by the CIA and according to David Trimble his republican opponents were simply afraid that a transcript of the daily discussions would be landing on Bill Clinton’s desk each morning.

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  • Gum

    [i]according to David Trimble his republican opponents were simply afraid that a transcript of the daily discussions would be landing on Bill Clinton’s desk each morning[/i]

    Yeah, cause that would scare a group of men who had faced force feeding, hunger strikes and beatings in custody.

  • Dewi

    Interesting in the trailer about the Barnett formula also. One of the unnoticed scandals of our times is the treatment of spening on the Olympics.

    a) Nations / Regions have been raped of sporting expenditure as the Lottery becomes an Olympics raffle.

    b) Then the Olympic spending is classified as “UK Wide” and taken outside the Barnett formula so we don’t get a fair allocation !!

    Astonishing and scandalous.

  • The Dubliner

    Gum, it certainly ‘scared’ them enough to cry loudly to Mo Mowlan when she authorised their bugging during the talks. I mean g-d forbid that they could be overheard saying “I think we’ll get more if we break off the talks and bomb Canary Wharf. That’ll put manners on them.”

  • Gum

    Err… bit different Dubliner. My point was that Trimble’s arguement that they were worried about Bill Clinton being cross with them doesn’t seem very likely.

    As for being bugged by the British, you know the other parties would have reacted the same way.

  • Token Dissent

    Gum, common sense and logic tell you that the Shinners wanted to present a different image to Clinton than was the reality of their talks strategy.

    Stop presenting Sinn Fein as macho innocents.

  • Shawn

    Stop presenting Sinn Fein as macho innocents.

    Posted by Token Dissent on Nov 17, 2007 @ 02:32 PM

    So you present the americans as naieve innocents who take the words of Sinn Fein at face value? They enjoy interfering way to much not to have the same rooms bugged as MI5

  • ivor bell

    One hardly needs to bug such venues when several of the talks participants report back to these foreign intelligence agencies anyway.

  • June 76

    “Hitherto, he recalled, the talks had been bad tempered and unproductive.”
    It takes two to tango and frankly “bad tempered and unproductive” sounds much more like David Trimble than any of his Republican opponents.

    I would think that the Ulster Unionists would be just as concerned how their words and actions during negotiation would play in Washington. After all was it not the Unionists that Senator Mitchell branded as intransigent? I think David may be getting his retaliation in just a little too early.

  • ulsterfan

    June 76
    I am pleased the UU came over as intransigent as at that time many thought they were too soft in negotiation.
    Perhaps they were tougher than we gave credit.

  • June 76


    I’m not sure that their intransigence was a negotiating tactic – more of an instinct

  • Gum

    Token Dissent – it’s Trimble’s argument I find amusing. Who’s trying to present SF as anything?

  • lib2016

    Poor rejected Trimble knows that the only way to flog his book is to claim that it provides information about more successful politicans than himself.

    Loved the line in McDonald’s story (see The Observer) where it claimed for the hundredth time that he was being considered for the Conservative front bench. Guess he’ll never realise just how completely the Brits screwed him.