Monday, October 16, 2006

Agreement? What agreement?

Looks like I was right. The phrase "St Andrews Agreement" is pure Tony Blur spin.
Although the parties had little choice but to give their end-of-talks press conferences in front of a banner carrying the words "St Andrews Agreement", any St Andrews Agreement is just that: words.
I said on Friday how stilted the whole thing appeared, and how unelated the main players came across. Peter Hain may be doing the media and chat show rounds calling it an "astonishing breakthrough", but for the DUP and Sinn Féin leaders the UK government's blueprint is distinctly underwhelming.
Ian Paisley today: "Let no-one be deceived by statements from the secretary of state that there will be any move by myself or the DUP to enter into any government until Sinn Fein has delivered up front on policing ... What is more the final say on any of these arrangements will be with the people of Northern Ireland". Sloping shoulders indeed.
Gerry Adams put it more succinctly: "So far, no-one has agreed to these proposals except the British prime minister and the taoiseach". Pure Teflon.
I believe the blueprint is good for us all and should be signed up right away. It's the condescending government railroading that gets my goat.


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