That first draft of the letter has been passed to us here at the 1690 affices by a DUP insider, and we can exclusively reveal Rabinson's original thoughts on the matter - with pictures, the lot.
An Open Letter from First Minister P
Dear DUP Folk, Unionist People, Jim Allister, Belfast Newsletter, Jimmy Nesbitt and Marty,
As youse will all know I am on my holidays in the America with Iris, but even while relaxing abroad I have been giving a wild lot of thought to the Maze Prison and what should be done with it. I've decided that the current plans are not cross community enough, failing til reflect all of the different aspects of our troubled history. Therefore I have come up with a class plan that will cover all the angles, with a range of buildings and facilities that will interpret our past in a sensitive and equitable manner. This I would like to present til youse now for til look at.
The Car Park.
The first thing any visitor sees when they go to somewhere is the car park. This facility should be as inclusive as possible, a facility which looks to the future while at the same time addressing our troubled past. Thus all signage in the carpark should be multi-bilingual - Car Park for English speakers, An Cyar Parc for Irish Language enthusiasts, and Yoke Spat for the Ulster Scot. In order to help visitors gain an insight into life here during the troubles all vehicles will be searched by a military patrol on arrival, with one random car a day blown up by the army in a controlled explosion.
The Visitor Centre
If allowed to park by the army, visitors will then make their way to the Welcome Area, or "Holding Centre" as it will also be known. They will be greeted by some civilian searchers and frisked thoroughly before paying a huge sum of money and making their way through a set of security gates into the centre itself. It is essential that the site's exhibition provides the visitor with a fair, unbiased and historically accurate interpretation of our past, so all visitors will be asked which foot they kick with on arrival. Depending on their answer, they will make their way into one of two separate facilities, each one thoroughly examining how themuns started it.
The Gift Shap/Canteen
No visitor experience is complete without a badly made, overpriced sangwich and the purchase of a piece of souvenir plastic tat, and the Maze prison will be no exception. The Bobby Sands Canteen will have something for all tastes, offering snacks and meals in a relaxed yet politically charged environment, with chicken suppers a speciality. Meanwhile the Gusty Spence gift shap will sell all manner of troubles related memorabilia as well as a wide range of illegal substances and protection services. I'm not sure who will run the gift shap, but Iris reckons she has just the boy to help out in the canteen.
Goes without saying that these must be covered in shite at all times.
The Peace and Reconciliation Centre.
I have thunk long and hard about this, and have come to the conclusion that whatever we build at the Maze must help to build a better future, as well a interpreting our difficult past. Therefore I am proposing that we turn the centre into a 'micro-campus' of themed buildings, dedicated to the promotion of both Business and the Arts. Each one must help to improve the employment prospects of our people, while at the same time acknowledging the role of key individuals from across the political divide. These will include.....
The Lord Laird of Artigarvan School of Marketing.
Students at this centre will be invited to learn the key tenets of business and marketing by studying the work of one of Ulster Unionism's finest brains. Marvel at how he turned the Belfast Twelfth into the cultural extravaganza that is Orangefest, leaving behind the drunken violence of the past, learn how you too can be paid by different interest groups for doing absolutely nothing in the House of Lords.
Dog acts and urban dance troupes have been sweeping the boards at Britain's Got Talent, but where is the 21st Century's Harry Houdini? He is, of course, up at Stormont, but is willing to share his knowledge with a new generation of young people eager to learn how to get out of chained up boxes dangling from helicopters. Kelly will demonstrate his patented escapology techniques, including Tunneling, Landrover Hang Gliding and Historical Airbrushing.
The Michael Stone Academy of the Performing Arts
Northern Ireland has produced many great artists but few can surpass the genius of Michael Stone. Although indisposed at the moment, Stone has kindly agreed to provide video lectures on some of his finest work, including "Fat Man Stuck in a Door" and "A Walk in the Graveyard".
If we are going to take our place in the global marketplace it is essential that we promote our country as a place to do business. In recent years no-one has done more to promote Northern Ireland on the world stage than Jamie Bryson, with his fleg protests putting us on front pages around the world. Part of this must come down to Bryson's charismatic leadership, and he has very kindly agreed to provide lessons in speech writing, deportment and elocution for the political and business leaders of the future.
The children of Northern Ireland attend separate schools, they visit different play parks, play different sports, support different teams. If we are to move forward as a people and as a country, it is essential that we build on this division, ensuring that the voters of the future know which camp they are in.
Thus while the adults learn at the feet of some of Northern Ireland's finest brains, their children can play at the Long Creche childcare facility, with a series of historically themed workshops run by bigots that are guaranteed to keep their young minds closed. If they get sick of that they can have a go on a giant inflatable bouncy H Block or play Pin the Tail on Jim Allister.
And so I must return to my holiday. A cool beer is waiting for me by the pool and Iris is getting ready to rub the factor 30 into my manly shoulders. But as I sign off I would urge all right thinking people to get behind these proposals, to accept the need to address our shared history, and to back me, Peter Rabinson, as we move forward into the 20th century.
Peter Rabinson. MP, MLA
First and Deputy First Minister of Ulster.