Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

“Our job is to express the concerns as we hear them in the community…”

Mon 4 March 2013, 8:55pm

If it’s not Sinn Féin complaining about ‘political policing’, it’s the DUP.

Mr Robinson said that trust needed to be rebuilt.

“It’s important that the police gain the confidence of the unionist community, or regain the confidence of that section of the unionist community who have lost confidence in the police, by showing that his actions were entirely even-handed,” Mr Robinson said.

“Our job is to express the concerns as we hear them in the community.

[Good to see both parties are still unanimous about Matt Baggott... - Ed]  But, guys, you’re the ‘government’.  For want of a better word…

[Perhaps they will find something they can all agree on? - Ed]  Indeed.  Otherwise they should fire their Chief Constable.  It’s only logical.

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Comments (84)

  1. aquifer (profile) says:

    Time for some equal opportunity arrests then.

    If there was an offense of ‘should have known better’ listening Peter and the all ears UUP should be up in the dock for putting out those leaflets.

    How many millions of PR damage now?

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  2. cat-ni (profile) says:

    I thought their job was to govern, fairly and wisely, in the best interests of all the people of Northern Ireland.

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  3. odd_number (profile) says:

    “Our job is to express the concerns as we hear them in the community”

    No, your job is to lead, educate and tell the truth to the ‘community’, however unpalatable they may find it.

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  4. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    This is an outrageous interference in the independence of the judiciary. Peter Robinson is now, in effect, calling for judicial decisions to have a political dimension.

    Apparently, Gareth Gordon reported on Twitter that Robinson visited Jamie Bryson in jail. We appear to be witnessing the DUP ceding political power to an unelected street thug, and channeling said thug’s views on the police and the courts. Robinson has loaned his personal credibility to Bryson’s position.

    This is an extremely grave development. It reads an awful lot like Robinson is signalling his blessing to the protest movement. Are we back to the days of DUP leaders telling the police “don’t come running to me if they burn you out of your homes” ?

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  5. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    I’m hearing a number of disturbing rumours from the Assembly that the DUP are actively seeking a pretext to collapse the Executive.

    Now that Robinson has pinned his authority on the response of the courts, will the DUP find that pretext in an unfavourable court decision – perhaps the aquittal of Brian Shivers ?

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  6. sherdy (profile) says:

    Are the DUP now officially supporting loyalist law-breaking?
    Willie Frazer – a paramilitary beret in one hand and a taser in the other!

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  7. GavBelfast (profile) says:

    Not said it this month yet, but here goes … Political Slum.

    :-(

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  8. willchamberlain (profile) says:

    Unbelievable. Just hours after PSNI stop mortar attack apparently destined to be fired at PSNI, our First Minister is attacking PSNI for policing the offending behaviours stirred up by DUP with 40,000 inflammatory leaflets. I reckon as soon as the Queen gets out of hospital she should tell Robinson to stand down. He is an utter disgrace.

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  9. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    willchamberlain,

    Well put.

    But not only that, consider the number of republican prisoners who have been returned to jail, in several cases validated by the courts. I think the republicans have a stronger case for arguing that the police take a greater interest in their activities.

    I’m not sure how we can have a serious and properly run government if senior politicians are going to publicly question the independence of the courts. The only possible trajectory Robinson can have in mind at this point is withdrawal from the Executive. Why exactly I do not know – it would be suicide for unionism.

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  10. Sound Bloke (profile) says:

    Yes, we must ask the policewoman petrol bombed in her parked car at Naomi Long’s office if she was acting entirely even-handedly.

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  11. sherdy (profile) says:

    Does Robinson now want the PSNI to arrest republicans because the loyalists are breaking the law with their protests and rioting and intimidation? This would be even-handed policing!
    Will – Was it Robbo’s ranting that gave the queen her bowel problems?

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  12. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    willchamberlain

    We have the security service (MI5) to thank alongside the Army and police. All the security forces played their part, showing that we need all 3 working together as a joint enterprise.

    CS
    The ‘Executive’ of a moribund assembly which doesn’t do anything will hardly be missed. Full integration as an English county saves the Treasury a lot of money.

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  13. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    BluesJazz,

    People might die. Doesn’t that concern you ?

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  14. tacapall (profile) says:

    “I’m hearing a number of disturbing rumours from the Assembly that the DUP are actively seeking a pretext to collapse the Executive.”

    Add that to the threats from one of the loyalist attendees at the negotiation of the GFA and when it was finally agreed, UPC on the Frazer thread and it seems an agreed joint approach has been launched by the DUP and the UVF directed flag protestors.

    “Matt Baggott’s current dancing to Gerry Kelly’s tune is merely proving to Loyalists that, in Northern Ireland, violence (and the threat of it) pays. I have no doubt that many Loyalists out there are learning this valuable lesson.

    An interesting summer lies ahead. Good luck everyone.”

    Obviously the bit about not using violence to achieve your aims went right out the other ear, but sure, you’ll do what you do best and we ‘ll all somehow become victims and if those victims become members of the general catholic population then we will know how far down the rabbit hole were going

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  15. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    CS
    ‘People might die’??

    Why?

    NI is basically de facto a bolt on to NW England. We watch English football and soap operas and x factor and music and Cheltenham races and our media, defence forces and foreign policy are English. And England pays for us.
    The agreement should be 2 way though. No sectarian parades. Integrated education on the mainland model, and the same laws on abortion and gay marriage.
    Unionist means accepting ALL of that. Scotland and Wales same options. otherwise no subvention.

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  16. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    If direct rule was better for unionists than devolution, the DUP would never have signed up for it. But unfortunately unionists have the memory of a goldfish.

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  17. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    BluesJazz, I don’t think you’re from these parts are you ?

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  18. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Guys

    Step back.

    And look at the wider view.

    Comrade

    “The only possible trajectory Robinson can have in mind at this point is withdrawal from the Executive.”

    Neither the DUP nor SF are walking away. They’re both staying put. And, it seems, going to continue pissing within the tent. Regardless of the consequences for the rest of society.

    As I said, the logic of both parties’ professed positions would be the firing of Matt Baggott.

    Good luck with the next recruit…

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  19. son of sam (profile) says:

    Comrade Stalin
    Given your concern about the antics of the First Minister,what position will the Alliance Minister for Justice be taking to uphold the integrity of the criminal justice system?

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  20. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    It would be good news if the DUP were looking to bring the whole farce down. The Unionist community have no faith in a process which was supposed to bring lasting peace and community-wide respect for NI’s position in UK.

    We have continuing catholic fundamentalist murders, vigilante street justice by members of a governing political party, widespread organised crime, Loyalists being tried over 40-year-old killings while Nationalists enjoy an amnesty and the glorification of past terrorism by elected ‘politicians’. Increasingly, what I’m hearing in the Unionist community is ‘this is not what I voted for’ (alongside ‘I told you so’ from those who voted ‘No’ in 1998).

    Back to direct rule please. Split the salaries and expenses savings between the elderly and low income families and we can then start a new set of negotiations which might bring about an acceptable political settlement. Here’s a few things that might get us started:

    - Glorification of terrorism made ILLEGAL
    - Flying of foreign flags ILLEGAL
    - Removal of all terrorist memorials, murals and plaques
    - HET disbanded
    - Matt Baggott’s resignation and reform of PSNI
    - Complete restructuring of education system and end to catholic church role
    - Independent commission on sectarian sports
    - Return of Sean Kelly to jail to serve out sentence
    - Fully-democratic devolved Assembly (works on Belfast council, right?)
    - Ban on anyone convicted of a crime standing in elections
    - Designated days for our national flag across every public building in NI
    - Ban on Irish language where it offends
    - Arrest of Murphy & McGuinness over illegal parading

    I’m sure the rest of you guys can think of more.

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  21. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Pete, the tea leaves are not hard to read. A few weeks ago Robinson was attacking Fraser and the UPF for trying to suggest that devolution should end; today he visited Jamie Bryson’s parents (he did not visit Bryson in jail – my mistake earlier) and issued a statement that was pretty obviously sympathetic to their position.

    It looks lawfully like backward elements in the DUP have him in a headlock. Which in turn influences the balance within the party that ensure they are able to continue participating in the Executive.

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  22. DC (profile) says:

    Designated days for our national flag across every public building in NI – including the PSNI.

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  23. DC (profile) says:

    Stop SF’s expenses at Westminster.

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  24. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    UPF – approximately 95% of unionists who voted in the last election in 2011 supported the DUP and UUP and therefore by extension supported power sharing with SF.

    But good luck getting your UVF shopping list under direct rule. The HET is not going away – your friends are going down and there’s nothing that can stop that from happening.

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  25. Hopping The Border (profile) says:

    Is Jamie out of prison or has he been afforded internet access now that he is off his lengthy hunger strike?

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  26. odd_number (profile) says:

    Sigh, where to start

    - Glorification of terrorism made ILLEGAL
    - Arrest of Murphy & McGuinness over illegal parading

    Jamie Bryson: UVF were not terrorists
    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/headlines/jamie-bryson-uvf-were-not-terrorists-1-4827410

    So Jamie should be in charged for this at least?

    - Flying of foreign flags ILLEGAL

    Includes Israeli flags, no doubt.

    “Nationalists enjoy an amnesty”

    Gerry McGeough, Martin Corey, Marian Price.

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  27. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Comrade

    You could do with demonstrating some actual thinking for yourself.

    Rather than, apparently, listening to “a number of disturbing [unsubstantiated] rumours from the Assembly”.

    As I said, step back and look at the wider view. If you can.

    Neither the DUP nor SF are walking away. They’re both staying put. And, it seems, going to continue pissing within the tent. Regardless of the consequences for the rest of society.

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  28. Hopping The Border (profile) says:

    A few points that require clarification on from Jamie’s fantastical shopping list:

    (a) Definitions of “glorification” and “terrorism”

    (b) Position re G8 nation flags in the summer and the flag of every foreign nation which plays at Windsor.

    (c) Pesky definition of “terrorist” required again

    (d) “Independent commission on sectarian sports” To do what?

    (e)”Ban on anyone convicted of a crime standing in elections” Now that will put the cat amongst the pigeons. Step forward ye without sin (even traffic ones)

    (f) “Ban on Irish language where it offends” Bizzare. How can an entire language offend?

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  29. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    CS
    I wasn’t advocating direct rule-as such.

    I was advocating full integration. I don’t agree with Scottish or Welsh devolution either, but I’m a UK Unionist.

    Westminster rules OK.
    Our local political parties are embarrassing in a way that those in the IoM and Gibraltar are not. Stormont is just a pathetic gravy train. Built on the hypocratic assumption that we’re different, we’re special. Maybe scousers and geordies feel the same but they haven’t got fundamentalist loonies in charge.

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  30. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    It seems there will be a lot to discuss at the political negotiations which arise from the upcoming collapse of the undemocratic Stormont farce.

    I am looking forward to it.

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  31. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    UPF, by all means get yourself a mandate and go ahead.

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  32. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Pete,

    I suppose there’s no hope of persuading you to talk about some of the issues here rather than banally reasserting your original opinion as fact.

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  33. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    To force my point.
    George Osborne is shortly going to make his budget speech.

    What parts of it will our vicar of dibley assembly choose to ignore? They are entirely able to oppose the welfare reform bill, but I see no such thing. They could oppose the Treasury’s public sector pay cap and pensions reform. Naomi Long voted against in the real parliament. Why don’t her party colleagues at Stormont tell Osborne to get stuffed?

    But we all know why.

    How much would it cost to hire an admin assistant, armed with a rubber stamp, compared to a 108 member ‘assembly’ (with vast support staff) to essentialy do the same thing?

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  34. DC (profile) says:

    The criminal justice system has gone all neurotic over some of the flag protesters.

    From what i saw the PSNI worked hand in glove with the vast majority of the protesters (if not massively outnumbering them) so it’s going to be interesting to hear what the defence lawyers have lined up as the prosecution attempts to move forward in charging those remanded as actually guilty.

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  35. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Comrade

    “I suppose there’s no hope of persuading you to talk about some of the issues here…”

    I’m pointing to some of the actual issues here. Rather than the ones being ported in by others.

    Hint: It’s not just about flags, guys.

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  36. Red Lion (profile) says:

    Will chamberlain good comment at 10.28.

    Well played Police up in Derry today it really is a thankless task you have. Peter Robinson, i cringe at you being NI’s leader. Its nice and safe up in your mansion on the Castlereagh Hills i bet.

    Comrade you’ve set the rumour mill off!

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  37. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    UPC, what’s wrong with the HET?

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  38. Hopping The Border (profile) says:

    It’s investigating his mates, you know, the non-terrorist UVF.

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  39. iluvni (profile) says:

    Close the farce down. With Semtex and RPGs returning to the streets, the deceit of decommissioning is exposed for all to see. No party should sit in an Executive with Sinn Fein …. . And that inventory, which Paisley casually forgot about , should be published.

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  40. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    Kevsterino: UPC, what’s wrong with the HET?

    Where have you been?

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/politics/latest/protest-over-het-bias-1-2522728

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  41. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    iluvni: Close the farce down. With Semtex and RPGs returning to the streets, the deceit of decommissioning is exposed for all to see. No party should sit in an Executive with Sinn Fein …. . And that inventory, which Paisley casually forgot about , should be published.

    Perhaps we should be looking for any Unionist contributors on Slugger who still support the ongoing undemocratic farce at Stormont and the IRA appeasement process. I doubt we’d find many.

    The wind of change has begun blowing through the Unionist community in NI – it won’t be long before it topples Stormont.

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  42. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    Unionists toppling Stormont would be the biggest own goal in Ulster history and may well lead to HMG to approach Dublin about a new regime.

    No Stormont puts Northern Ireland right back in the lap of British politicians who wish, dearly, to be rid of the duty of governing a bunch who insist upon being ungovernable.

    I don’t know how many more chances Northern Ireland has.

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  43. Robinson has completely lost the run of himself and has stepped over a line. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, “There are too many Catholics in the PSNI”. He needs to go back and have a chat with his former mentor, as to why he decided to take his Party where it went. I doubt that Robinson will find any significant role in a Joint Rule Administration. Of course, he may be wealthy enough from his previous behaviour regardless of the 5 pound donation that he doesn’t have to worry. His wife has a place in London, I believe, and he might expect elevation to the House of Lords,

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  44. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    Kevsterino: Unionists toppling Stormont would be the biggest own goal in Ulster history and may well lead to HMG to approach Dublin about a new regime.

    David Cameron has repeatedly made it clear that NI is going nowhere.

    Stormont’s imminent collapse will merely lead to protracted all party talks and a new agreement – talks where the Unionist negotiators are completely aware of just how committed to peace SF/IRA are (unlike 1998) and act accordingly.

    Education, flags, culture, sectarian sports, glorification of terrorism, etc – it’ll all be up for discussion. I can’t wait.

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  45. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    UPC, I take it you believe, or want to believe, that if Unionists force a rupture of an international treaty between Dublin and London, where both have invested major political capital, and London has spent a bloody fortune, that the result will be an improvement in the Unionist’s position? Who is left to be the Unionists’ ally in any subsequent all party talks?

    Really?

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  46. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Joe

    “Robinson has completely lost the run of himself and has stepped over a line. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, “There are too many Catholics in the PSNI”. He needs to go back and have a chat with his former mentor, as to why he decided to take his Party where it went. ”

    His party went where Peter Robinson always said it should go.

    Robinson has no more “lost the run of himself” than Sinn Féin have.

    Not that our commenters, so far, have seen the comparison…

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  47. tacapall (profile) says:

    “It seems there will be a lot to discuss at the political negotiations which arise from the upcoming collapse of the undemocratic Stormont farce.

    I am looking forward to it.”

    Lets not forget about the ensuing violence in the summer months ahead as you predicted UPC so will you one again give your word not to use violence when you enter into any new negotiations, thats if both governments have not decided to go straight to plan B – Joint authority, the direction they have been heading all along.

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  48. Pete,

    I hope you’re not suggesting that I support SF’s positions. You know better than that.
    I think that the principal responsibility of any government worldwide is the protection and safety of the population. Robinson’s reported remarks seem to imply that he doesn’t think that the PSNI are up to the “job”. I think that that is a dangerous place to go.

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  49. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    Support for the police was prerequisite to government for republicans, insisted upon by Robinson’s very own party.

    So it goes…

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  50. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    tacapall: Lets not forget about the ensuing violence in the summer months ahead as you predicted UPC so will you one again give your word not to use violence when you enter into any new negotiations, thats if both governments have not decided to go straight to plan B – Joint authority, the direction they have been heading all along.

    I don’t think Davy’s a fan of ‘Plan B’:

    http://youtu.be/qn9oOIiB8wc?t=1m55s

    Stormont’s imminent demise will lead to all-party talks – and this time no Unionist will be naive enough to believe NI’s two extremist Nationalist parties are serious about peace, reconciliation and improved cross-community relations.

    Bring it on.

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  51. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    I don’t think you’ve thought this through, UPC. For instance, what is the purpose of All Party talks, when you don’t want Unionists to negotiate with Nationalists? Why bring it on? Or, more to the point, bring what on?

    I’m glad you have such unshakable faith in Conservative Party election materials. When Unionists put their faith in the Conservative Party, it always works out well for them.

    The Agreements at Belfast and St. Andrews changed British/Irish relations for good. There will be no going back to the old days. They are gone. Forever.

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  52. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    Mister_Joe: Robinson’s reported remarks seem to imply that he doesn’t think that the PSNI are up to the “job”. I think that that is a dangerous place to go.

    In the past two weeks we have seen six men arrested in NI:

    Sean Kelly – unrepentant, religiously-motivated mass murderer released early after the GFA. He has already had his license revoked for continued involvement in terrorism – only for him to be released again shortly after. He was suspected of involvement in a Saudi-Arabian style sharia-law punishment attack on a catholic child in front of numerous witnesses in Ardoyne. He was RELEASED after the victim refused to give a statement but the PSNI’s statement was clear in that they believed he was the gunman. Why was his license not revoked???

    Sean Hughes – Former IRA Army Council member and convicted organised crime figure was charged with IRA membership in relation to the brutal Sinn Fein knife murder of catholic Robert McCartney. He was RELEASED on bail.

    Brian Shivers – Currently facing a retrial after having originally been tried and convicted of the catholic fundamentalist murder of two peacekeepers in Antrim in 2009. He was RELEASED on bail.

    Willie Frazer – Charged with minor offenses relating to civil rights marches and peaceful protests surrounding the ongoing Belfast CC flag dispute. Lost thirteen friends and family to IRA terrorism and has peacefully campaigned for justice for victims. He is currently REMANDED IN CUSTODY and being interned in Maghaberry prison.

    Jamie Bryson – Another civil rights protester facing minor charges relating to peaceful protests and protest marches. REMANDED IN CUSTODY and currently locked in a cell at Maghaberry prison.

    Jim Dowson – Charged with “encouraging or assisting offenders and five counts of taking part in an unnotified public procession.” – possibly the most minor offense currently on the UK books. He was freed on bail but is BANNED from using telephones, computers or any other electronic device. He was forced to shut his Facebook page. In a potentially illegal breach of their human rights, Jim’s family members were also forced to hand over their phones and computers too. If you read about this kind of ruling happening in China or Iran there would be uproar – but this is happening in the UK!!

    These three men are being persecuted for taking part in unnotified parades – all the while Sinn Fein politicians do the same and continue to tell Matt Baggott and his anti-protestant police force what they can and cannot do.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/sinn-fein-ministers-mcguinness-and-murphy-in-illegal-parade-28602019.html

    And still some wonder why Unionists are seething at what is going on in this country….

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  53. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    Kevsterino: For instance, what is the purpose of All Party talks, when you don’t want Unionists to negotiate with Nationalists?

    I didn’t say that. Stop telling lies.

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  54. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    UPC, you said, “Stormont’s imminent demise will lead to all-party talks – and this time no Unionist will be naive enough to believe NI’s two extremist Nationalist parties are serious about peace, reconciliation and improved cross-community relations.”

    Tell me, if no Unionist will believe that Nationalists are serious about peace, reconciliation and improved cross-community relations, what is left to negotiate? The football schedule?

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  55. Comrade[10.20] So Robbo summons the CC and whinges on at him about who gets bail and qwho doesn’t, knowing perfectly well that this is the decision solely of the judge in whichever case. So the only possible clue as to why he’s doing this is he’s seen the privatew polling and doesn’t like it one bit. I can see Stormont going down the pan well bewfore 2016, and Robbo will be doing the walking as what would sf be walking out over? A month ago PR was ridiculing the flag protesters for wanting direct rule back, but if the |DUP vote is heading downward he’ll sell his granny to get it back.

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  56. FDM (profile) black spot says:

    Let us be very clear.

    Peter Robinsons comments are a complete and utter disgrace. I actually agree with the comment above that the Queen should ask him to step down from his position. Perhaps that slap in the face is what is collectively required at this time. Surely his comments border on subversion of the state?

    He clearly undermines the credibility of the police force and their responsibilities to uphold and apply the law. He also attempts by implication to subvert the judicial process.

    These are the laws that are supposed to separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom. The laws that are to govern our human condition in this part of the world.

    Peter seemingly wants to return us to the jungle.

    I think all those advocating a collapse of the executive are just as much the irresponsible malevolent single-issue cretins as the deep-seated haters in the DUP.

    Who cares if countless more people are killed, that violence becomes the new politics again and that our children get to grow up in slums, with pitiful futures. Who cares if they have to run the gauntlet in their school uniforms as they are indentified, vilified and attacked by the brainless morons, all too many of which fester on this forum. See comments above for the usual suspects.

    The same people who would call a language and sports sectarian.

    The same whose nihilistic world-view would see them happily live out their lives in a dung-heap as long as it had a 15ft Union flag stuck in the middle of it.

    Look at their threats of violence above. Well I tell you what, the people who want peace are the overhwhelming majority and we will defeat ANY and ALL attempts to subvert democracy. Still a few cells empty.

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  57. Hopping the Border[11.36]. Perhaps Jamie gave up his pricipled hunger strike after Sean MacStiofan appeared to him in a dream and told him it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference, forty years after his own capitulation.

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  58. cat-ni (profile) says:

    Two of the main criteria in judging whether to release someone on bail are the likelihood of reoffending and the flight risk. I believe, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, that neither Mr Bryson’s or Mr Frazer’s solicitors offered any assurance that their clients would stop participating in illegal parades hence neither were granted bail. Add on the fact that neither co-operated with the PSNI (Frazer providing a false name and Bryson posting videos to FB mocking the PSNI who he was aware were looking for him) and it is obvious that the chances of bail being granted were slim.
    I was of the understanding that prior to conviction all those accused of committing a crime were judged under the same criteria and I’m sure if Frazer and Bryson were to hold their hands up, pledge to not partake in further illegal acts and co-operate fully with the PSNI they would both be bailed.

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  59. cat-ni[8.57]The whingeing from Robinson hutchinson et al about the PSNI now is obviously delayed for a couple of weeks, during which Baggott started doing his job which he should have been three months ago. Robbo and Hutch were happy enough with the ‘easy does it with ‘our people’ practised by PSNI up to then. They’ve tumbled to it now after realising preferential treatment had ended with the court case launched by a nationalist over the weekly illegal parade to the short strand and now the pips are being squeezed, the DUP is squeaking. Direct Rule return can’t be far off and London and Dublin are waiting to take over from where they left off in 2007 after yet another failed Stormont joke. .

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  60. cat-ni (profile) says:

    if we do see a return to Direct Rule I hope we can see the DUP and the Loyalist members of our society to be calling for it only on the basis that we then become fully integrated members of the British state. Abortion on demand, gay marriage, council tax, water charges, the whole nine yards. Remove our politicians from the equation, they can either merge with one of the big parties or become irrelevant. Somehow I don’t think it’s likely…

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  61. jthree (profile) says:

    Ulster Press Centre could you give me a quote for a dozen flat-face laminate kitchen doors? Chipboard rather than MDF. Thanks in advance.

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  62. DC (profile) says:

    In relation to Jamie Bryson, one of the charges was linked to an unlawful procession but were the PSNI and the Parades Commission not recently disagreeing about whether the protests came under parade regulations?

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  63. FDM (profile) black spot says:

    @DC

    You weren’t on the barricades too were you?

    Are you going to be disappearing into Musgrave policing establishment anytime soon?

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  64. cat-ni [9.50] The last time DUP went to downing st [Paisley himself] and demanded of Thatcher [after her ‘betrayal’ over anglo Irish Deal, she banged the arms of her chair and said the three NOs and that was that. No British PM would allow this place to be ‘integrated’ with Britain as they know that people in Britain wouldn’t wear it and might even call for a referendum to get rid of us completely. Unionist and loyalist ‘leaders have mistaken two months of Baggott dithering and fear, for a deliberate ‘going easy on their side’
    The penny has dropped that it wasn’t favouritism by PSNI to them, but a desire of baggott for a quiet life. Now they’re running whingeing to the media.

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  65. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Thanks, Pete. Listen to PR:

    “Our job is to express the concerns as we hear them in the community.”

    No, it isn’t, Loser Boy. Your job is to lead the community. If part of the community keeps breaking the law, your job is to tell that part of the community to stop breaking the law.

    For several months the PSNI has treated violent loyalists with astonishing mildness. In comparison with that fact, the question of who got bail and who didn’t is WORSE THAN TRIVIAL. Furthermore, the question is a matter for the courts, not for the police.

    All the supposedly unionist tit-for-tattery that we’re having to endure at present would be bad enough if it was coming from the boys’ toilets of a kindergarten. The fact that it is being generated by adults represents the utter rottenness of the unBritish loyalist creed.

    We must be allowed to do whatever we want.

    If we want to march down a public highway whose residents don’t want us to do so, we must be allowed to march down that road, and we must be protected by the police while we do so.

    If we want to block a large number of public highways and disrupt the lives of our fellow-citizens, we must be allowed to do so.

    If we try to burn a policewoman to death, we are merely exercising our British birthright.

    If we stop a man visiting his terminally ill wife in hospital, we are merely exercising our British birthright.

    This rotten creed holds sway in surprising places. More than a few people who think it wrong to vote, and think it wrong to join political parties, cherish a warm sympathy in their hearts for lawless loyalist violence.

    The DUP have lost all right to govern. Here is the party which made support for the police a touchstone of rectitude for Sinn Fein. Are the DUP supporting the police at present? No.

    Other unionist parties are equally equivocal about keeping the law. If you read the recent press releases on the TUV site, you will be appalled at their partisanal nature.

    Often in politics the biggest mouths and the loudest voices belong to timorous clucking chickens. Did Mr Dodds condemn the fascist thugs who caused the Crusaders-Cliftonville match to be cancelled? No. Mr Dodds, like his party leader, and like the leader of the TUV, is a weakling whose chief ambition is to stay where he is.

    In democratic terms the Republic of Ireland is more British than the NI of today. The Kept Women of Stormont don’t support the union. They support the Sturmabteilung.

    We must all look for something better.

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  66. David Crookes. Well said. You can tell from his tetchy tweets to the news letter andd others that he knows he’s been found out well and truly over the flags/leaflets debacle and should pack in reading the private polls for the sake of blood pressure. it’s a dead giveaway what they’re telling him.
    As for his lapdogs at uup, silence reigns. SF would be within their right s to walk out of Stormont because of DUP/uup/tuv refusal to support the police, as you pointed out, that’s where we came in back in 2007 with Paisley’s conditions.

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  67. FDM (profile) black spot says:

    Well said David Crookes.

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  68. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    Seems it’s ok for Gerry Kelly and Conall McDevitt to question the PSNI’s actions on a daily basis – but when a Unionist does likewise it’s akin to refusing to support the rule of law and possibly a breach of the ministerial code?!?

    Wise up.

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  69. Nevin (profile) says:

    “We must all look for something better.”

    David, it’s good to see you signing off on a positive note ;)

    Have you any thoughts on that matter? You’ve transformed a two-hander attack by Pete Baker into a single hander. Pete has put ‘political policing’ in quotation marks but AFAIK has failed to explore the topic and its possible ramifications. It’s perhaps not surprising that he missed the Conal McDevitt boob: “To suggest publically that the actions of the PSNI are politically motivated is outrageous and totally unjustified.” [The SDLP has used the AIIC/BIIC secretariat to unaccountably effect day-to-day policing decisions post-1985]

    I’m no great fan of the Peter and Martin Show but, in their defence, the hand of history as well as the current constitutional arrangement weighs heavily upon their shoulders. You’ll find a press release about their investment trip to the USA two weeks ago on the OFMDFM website as well as recent visits by the two junior ministers to an integrated school in Ballynahinch and an integrated partnership in West Belfast. However, only the deliberations in Belfast City Hall and the fall out have attracted the attention of the MSM and Sluggerites.

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  70. Morpheus (profile) says:

    “Our job is to express the concerns as we hear them in the community…”

    Is the name of the latest model of Kia in Korea really a concern of the community here in Northern Ireland? Or do you think they are more concerned with education? Or housing? Or unemployment? Or the economy? Or the increased costs of food/oil?

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/unionists-hit-out-at-kia-provo-name-29111206.html

    Is it any wonder these guys are a laughing stock? Gregory Campbell and William McCrea are both on a basic salary of £65,738 PLUS they get expenses to cover the costs of running an office, employing staff, having somewhere to live in London and in their constituency, and travelling between Parliament and their constituency. This is how they spend their time.

    It would make your blood boil

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  71. tacapall (profile) says:

    “However, only the deliberations in Belfast City Hall and the fall out have attracted the attention of the MSM and Sluggerites”

    Thats only at present Nevin, however that could change if people decided to ask questions of law, like why the identities remain secret of police officers, who colluded in murder, or allowed the murder to happen of citizens they were employed to protect. Should those found guilty of a crime on the word or evidence of those same officers be given a retrial in the interests of justice.

    There is political policing and we all know it happens, its how that political policing is dispensed without being classed as oppressive, aggressive or lacking integrity by one side or the other,. Regardless of which side, political parties should not have the power or the platform to use their influence to subvert the rule of law.

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  72. Nevin (profile) says:

    tacapall, a friend of mine was told by a senior civil servant that the Department would spend whatever it took (of our money) to protect its staff. It’s therefore quite likely that Governments will put the protection of institutions ahead of the protection of citizens.

    “if people decided to ask questions of law”

    I have asked some questions and I’ve published the official responses. However, if the MSM choses to remain silent or is rolled over by Government then my actions amount to very little. Some times the choice to remain silent is taken in the interests of those who are under threat of paramilitary attack.

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  73. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Many thanks, Daniel and FDM. No one who is in bondage to private polls should be trying to lead the country. And as tacapall says, political parties should not be using their influence to subvert the rule of law.

    Thanks, Nevin. You live in the interconnected universe, but simple souls like me are able to handle only one thing at a time, like a failure to support the police. Three cheers for the visit of two junior ministers to a school in Ballynahinch. George W Bush enjoyed a visit to a school eleven and a half years ago. These things are important.

    Bravo, Morpheus, what you say about two of our politicians reminds me of a sentence that John Buchan wrote in ‘John Macnab’:

    “The Duke of Angus was very old, highly respected, and almost wholly witless.”

    Never mind the “very old” bit. Large numbers of unionist voters appear to respect politicians who are almost wholly witless.

    The thought of what these losers are earning would indeed make your blood boil. Many members of staff in care homes earn a little over six pounds an hour, and the time that they spend on their tea-breaks and lunch-breaks is unpaid. They have to be unremittingly diligent and responsible. Most of the ones that I know treat their charges with enormous patience and affection. We need a revolution.

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  74. Nevin (profile) says:

    “The thought of what these losers are earning would indeed make your blood boil.”

    David, your vote put them there or absence of vote allowed others to put them there.

    We did have an attempted socialist revolution here back in the 60s. The intent was to sweep away the conservation administrations in Belfast and Dublin but it didn’t work out too well. You and I have survived but many others lost their lives, the lives of other family members and friends or were severely injured either physically or mentally.

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  75. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    If political policing is going on then this surely demands an explanation for why loyalist roadblocks, illegal parades and other lawbreaking were allowed to continue for 12 weeks being facilitated by the PSNI. I really don’t think it’s a charge that stands up to anyone reasonable.

    As for remand and bail, as usual we’re seeing people following the old propaganda maxim of repeating lies often enough. Republicans are not treated leniently by the courts; there’s a long list of republicans who have been denied bail. Colin Duffy spent two full years on remand for crimes he was eventually acquitted of. I recall one earlier occasions where a judge released Duffy from police custody; as soon as he stepped outside of the police station they re-arrested him on a different charge.

    I’ve no problem with these aggressive policing tactics being used on very dangerous republicans but I’ve yet to see any of them being used on loyalists.

    As for those asking about HET, well basically it’s this. A supergrass has given a huge pile of evidence to the police implicating a significant proportion of the UVF membership, in particular around Mount Vernon. I’m told that the evidence is so compelling that convictions are highly likely, and when that happens a significant part of the UVF is going to be in jail. People like UPC up there will no doubt be campaigning for the release of these “innocent soldiers”.

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  76. Nevin (profile) says:

    “I really don’t think it’s a charge that stands up to anyone reasonable.”

    CS, political policing will always go on when state institutions are under threat or when bait is required to induce insurrectionists to enter the political tent.

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  77. We did have an attempted socialist revolution here back in the 60s.

    Nevin, I think most of us missed that event. Surely you’re not confusing socialism with fascism?

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  78. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    nevin,

    I don’t think that’s it. The police could be 100% impartial and they would still be accused of bias. But either way, these are simply accusations being thrown out. Loyalists are saying they are being “interned” when they are simply being subjected to the same forces that any other person accused of a crime is. They are attempting, rather clumsily, to appropriate the civil rights language that has been bastardized once already by the republicans.

    In practice no police force is 100% impartial. The complaints system is supposed to sort out the problems when they occur. Again, reasonable people allow for the possibility of the occasional mistake or slip.

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  79. Nevin (profile) says:

    Joe, it fizzled out very quickly, especially when Dublin played the NIMBY card. Sean Garland and Liam O Comain have provided some of the detail. Do a Google search with ‘desmond greaves’ for some more.

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  80. Nevin (profile) says:

    CS, civil rights language was cynically used by various groups, not just by those from a republican background.

    Reasonable people would also look at the evidence of previous political policing; they would also pay attention when SDLP elected representatives describe how they avail of its services or when Dublin civil servants describe their activities here.

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  81. David Crookes (profile) says:

    “We did have an attempted socialist revolution here back in the 60s.”

    I’m glad you were there to record the fact, Nevin. I missed it, even though I was born in 1952.

    “David, your vote put them there or absence of vote allowed others to put them there.”

    Nevin, that sounds to me like a cocktail-party pietism. Who elected certain MPs is not germane to what Morpheus was saying. No one elected those MPs so that they might waste their time in witless folly.

    Those who spread the guilt around magisterially may actually help to perpetuate folly. It encourages me to realize that more than one Sluggerite is thinking of getting his and her hands dirty.

    Whatever new political grouping such a one joins or fashions will work for a root-and-branch, boot-and-fist massacre of totemistic absurdities. Chips will have to fly if forests of ancient evil are going to fall, and the axemen will need to show the sort of courage that Comrade Stalin showed in his most recent posting.

    But first of all lots of us — thousands of us — will have to become disgusted with our own participation in absurdity.

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  82. Nevin (profile) says:

    David, my comment on voting is applicable to MLAs as well as to MPs. I’ll leave the ‘cocktail-party pietism’ to others – which reminds me of the ‘For God and Golf’ blog that I might post shortly – a change from ‘For God and Ireland’ and ‘For God and Ulster’ :)

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  83. Comrade Stalin A certain person’s anniversary relating to your user is being celebrated in Russia now, I believe. Anyway to the topic. If Peter sees perceptions about the PSNI and the judiciary vis a vis loyalists, surely it’s his job as.. ahem…a leader, to correct them in those views, but then he’s simply not officer material as the saying goes. The only occupant of the OFMDFM who’s the grown up seems to be Marty while Peter is more and more looking like the sulky teenager he, no doubt, used to be. A sad spectacle, Stormont, these times..

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  84. The amusing thing about complaints of political policing is the hypocrisy on both sides. Neither side has any objection in principle to it, they just don’t like it up them. Same with their alleged opposition to the concept of ‘hierarchy of victims. They actively want one one, just not in the order that put’s each side’s noses out of joint, as wer say in these parts.

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