Monday, 3 August 2009

Why you should double check your emails.

Ooops, just received an email press release from the SDLP press office. Nothing wrong or different in that I hear you say. Nothing indeed. It was an email press release sent out on behalf of Declan O’Loan entitled ‘O’Loan wants progression on a shared future’. This was in response to the deputy First Minister’s visit to Rathlin Island. Again nothing wrong with that.

It was a nice press release. Except that this email, sent to all journos and political hacks, did not just contain the expected press release, but also the email conversation Declan had with the SDLP press office. Thankfully, Declan had the presence of mind to not to be too controversial regarding language and content of his email.

This is a real lesson in double checking what is being sent out. Also a press release should not need to be corrected and resent TWICE.

Mind you, the last line of Declan’s email read “Do a draft for me? Include some nice words about Rathlin.” I am sure the people of Rathlin are pleased.

The initial press release email, minus peoples names to prevent too many blushes, is replicated below for your delectation ..........


Immediate Release – Immediate Release – Immediate Release


SDLP North Antrim MLA Declan O’Loan said he hoped Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness would take inspiration from his visit to the Corrymeela Community and bring forward the strategy for a Shared Future (Cohesion, Sharing and Integration) as a matter of real urgency.

Mr O’Loan said: “Mr McGuinness stressed how the reconciliatory work being undertaken in Corrymeela through dialogue and sharing of experiences, provides a template for us all. In fact, working for reconciliation on behalf of society is the specific responsibility of himself and First Minister Peter Robinson and the best that can be said is that progress is painfully slow, far too slow for the problems we face.

“Two years and many promises later, the First Ministers have still not published the Shared Future strategy. Like devolution of justice, it is held up by squabbling between the DUP and Sinn Fein. The DUP is threatening North South co-operation, Sinn Fein is talking tough against the Orange Order. They hold slanging matches across the floor of the Assembly and talk the language of war at election time.

“Progress towards a Shared Future will continue to move at a snail’s pace while it is held ransom by the poor state of DUP/Sinn Fein co-operation. In the spirit of Corrymeela Martin McGuinness should insist on immediate publication of the strategy so the whole community can get on with the building of a shared society defined by tolerance and respect for diversity.”



Subject: FW: Deputy First Minister's Visit to Rathlin (ref. press statement)


See below from McGuinness on Rathlin.

Any thoughts on a not-too-begrudgery response to McGuinness along the lines of the contradiction between the nice words about Corrymeela "
The work being undertaken in Corrymeela mirrors much of what we as an Executive strive to achieve in terms of building a shared society defined by tolerance and respect for diversity",

and some of the realities :

failure to agree on devolution of j and p,
no cohesion, sharing and integration strategy, (though avoid the anorak language if possible),
slanging each other across the chamber
Robinson threatening N-S bodies
What did McGuinness say about the Orange Order?
DUP "beat Sinn Fein" language at election time
etc, etc.

Do a draft for me? Include some nice words about Rathlin.