PSNI Officer: A Marching Season inspiration

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There’s a title I never thought I’d write, at least not the second half.

But amid all the balderdash about impersonal historical forces and “community feelings” that paint a bullshit picture stripped of personal agency; of rioting individuals as the victims of history rather than its authors; of young and not-as-young-as-they-think men at the mercy of violence rather than its – ‘because we can‘ – reveling perpetrators, isn’t great to be reminded of the decency of the individual?

Tonight this cop got firebombed in the face.

His face-mask remains on fire for no small amount of time. He keeps his nerve, follows his training (despite his face being on fire), gets down on the ground to smother the flames and, with the help of a colleague, puts the flames out.

He then takes 2 years off on the sick goes straight back to the front line.

That’s class. That’s us. Or at least who we could strive to be.

I try to avoid the marching season stuff. Let people march where they like, whether or not they would offer the same rights to others, is largely my view – but I’m not living there at present so, yeah, cheap seats and peanuts. I grew up near loads of marches; the noise in the background remains synonymous in my mind with the smell of freshly cut grass and playing soccer until about 9pm (because it was bright enough and dry enough to do so). I preferred our summer evening pastime but each to their own.

Too softly-softly? Sure there was an unmistakable feeling of tribal hostility that grew in direct proportion to the copious amounts of alcohol taken by all (not Irish? – ever seen a bar’s takings on the 13th morning?) but damn it, I was and remain fascinated by the spectacle.

Ireland would lose something if Orange marches disappeared altogether. No, not quite an equivalent to Rio’s Carnival, but something not altogether bad – far from it.

While there’s no prospect of the Orange disappearing, the organization hardly looks like an outfit in rude health.

They’re certainly not the only problem but they increasingly look almost resigned to presenting themselves as a problem; certainly as a group with little interest in the interests of wider society.

When men with the character, courage and take-one-for-the community spirit of tonight’s assaulted PSNI officer are on the other side of the line, it’s time to reflect not on where but on what you’re marching into in the years ahead.

One of the less remarked aspects of this annual showdown is the platform it provides the camera-seekers – and the “community leader” salaries that infuriatingly seem to follow those with the loudest growl and mandate of none. How telling then that the best of us is the cop who can’t afford to share his identity for fear of the consequences.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Totally agree, The tale told by that officer of “picking himself up, dusting himself off” and going straight back to his duty is awe inspiring.

  • derrydave

    I wonder if it is as exciting for the cops as it is for their ‘opponents’ ? These set piece riots very rarely result in any serious injury these days, and for anyone who’s been in the middle of one – you have to admit they are full of addrenelin-pumping excitement. There must be an element of that for the cops as well ? With the added bonus of all that overtime ! Though to be fair, these days they mostly just stand there taking everything that’s thrown at them – no snatch squads, no chasing the crowd down – just stand there and take it and let the video camera record it all. Would be very interesting to hear the views of someone who was involved on the PSNI side.

  • cynic2

    “These set piece riots very rarely result in any serious injury these days,”

    Yeah …those pipe bombs aren’t THAT dangerous and that police woman who had the concrete block dropped on her head last year I am sure she just shrugged it off

    You seem to have missed out the comment in that young police man’s interview ‘they are trying to kill you’

  • derrydave

    As I said, these set piece riots very rarely result in any serious injury these days. When were the serious injuries from pipe-bombs in riots recently ? (maybe there’s been lost limbs etc this year and I just missed it ? Or maybe last year ?
    The fact that you can remember the incident with the concrete block (last year ? Or year before ? or year before that ?) kind of underlines my point that it’s very rare – in fact I’m not sure she actually ended up seriously injured from that incident (although it looked bad at the time).
    Yeah, they are trying to kill you – but they don’t actually get anywhere near achieving it – a flying kick to a heavily armoured landrover is never gonna really threaten the robocops now is it ? The cops are so prepared and their eqt is so good FFS that someone can get hit in the face with a petrol bomb and just shrug it off !

  • cynic2

    ” Yeah, they are trying to kill you – but they don’t actually get anywhere near achieving it ” ………..

    You are remarkably free and easy with the safety of police officers …..and sure, because of their own professionalism and equipment, its only the odd one or two that get critically or seriously injured so that’s alright then???

  • Son of Strongbow

    Pity that the rioters don’t realise the ‘futility’ of their actions, eh? What with the “robocops” so impenetrable to harm those tossing the missiles are just wasting their time.

    Is that why rioting locally is so easily dismissed as merely a ‘recreational’ pursuit?

  • derrydave

    So now you admit that it’s only the odd one or two who get critically injured cycnic ? Truth be told, I can’t ever remember even 1 or 2 getting critically injured recently.

    As to being ‘free and easy with the safety of police officers’ ??? Honestly do not have any idea what that means. If it makes ye feel a bit better, my view is that every little scumbag involved should be locked up in Maghaberry. Was only just curious as to what yer average cop actually thinks of it all – apologies for not making my opposition to rioting clear to all before I dared to comment.

  • babyface finlayson

    Son of Strongbow

    Is that why rioting locally is so easily dismissed as merely a ‘recreational’ pursuit?”
    Maybe you have a point there.
    It is fairly safe to assume you can throw a petrol bomb at a landrover or a line of heavily equipped police and not expect to actually kill anyone.
    Maybe I am giving these morons too much credit but I suspect they are not intent on murder, in the sense that they did not set out in the morning hoping to kill someone..
    The PSNI are effectively a big punchbag you can hit with a strong chance there will be no consequences.

  • Son of Strongbow

    The police have been a “punchbag” for too many years. The promiscuous use of words such as ‘riot cops’, ‘robocops’ in the media and elsewhere, together with the police having to wear personal protective equipment (what must that be like in this heat!) all tends to have a dehumanising impact.

    Whilst it is probably giving the criminals too much “credit” to imagine that they reason that police officers are so well protected that throwing lumps of concrete, breeze blocks, petrol and blast bombs etc can be done without much concern there are other factors that may influence their behaviour more strongly.

    The limited resources available to local police in the past precluded them being in a position to do much more than ‘hold the line’. Retrospective arrests became the norm and whilst having some deterrent effect the lengthy processes supporting such an arrest policy did reduce its efficacy.

    I imagine that it would be a pretty sobering experience for even the most ‘dedicated’ rioter to see one of his fellows at one moment with him and the next being put into the back of a cell van (not to be seen again to his day in court).

    The Bradford riots of the 90s saw some 900+ police deployed within a short period of time (through Mutual Aid) to deal with a much more limited, in numbers, disturbance. Hopefully with the PSNI’s now full inclusion in the Mutual Aid system large numbers will be deployed to allow a more immediate impact on rioters.

    Together with police resources the sometimes derisory sentences handed down to those convicted of rioting offences also sent a signal that it was at the end if the day all a bit of craic. Hopefully this will also change and jail time will become the normal judicial response on conviction.

  • Comrade Stalin

    im-power-shall, how’s the mood holding up among your colleagues ? How are you getting on with the mutual aid ones ?

  • DC

    the orange order bands are a bit vulgar and crude but at least you see your wind up merchants in the eye unlike sophisticated hate that tends to put police to sleep silently via sniper and no x2 either.

    might explain why you guys were scared to police ardoyne this year.

  • DC

    it actually reminds me of the rory mcilroy treatment in relation to him considering golfing for GB.

    If it had been him as a british man wanting to opt for ireland the crude sectarian types would be shouting out calling him a fenian loving bastard and all the rest of it and you know what it would have been visible and crude and he probably would have still opted to play for Ireland.

    But Rory is a catholic lad wanting to play for GB and was met with a silent-ish, sectarian-ish whispering campaign that broke out and sort of combined if not amplified among the educated (irish/catholic) chattering classes and altogether it made him shit himself – and now he wants to back down, disown his previous preference and hide away from it all.

    bit like that when it comes to crude prod violence versus republicans.

    Mock and rip the bag out of prods for being crude and loud, but shite yourself when it comes to silent sophisticated republican stuff and you keep your mouth shut because you know better than to open it.

  • DC

    you guys are shit scared to hold the road open for both traditions, so piss off with your smart arse talk.

  • DC

    I’m one of the more tolerant on here.

    but all this x2 talk jars sorry.

  • DC

    sorry – to me it seems all SF has to do is nice talk and seem reasonable and to see its nice talk through it can rely – of course – in isolation on the dissidents to snipe a few of you guys and together this works wonders for the nationalist cause. it’s called good SF PR and murderous dissident action which equals scared PSNI syndrome.

    when this is pointed out by unionists and others to the PC and PSNI as to factors leading to their potentially corrupt decision making they deny it however the, never to be mentioned, but assumed, rationale is that it is done because ‘you guys ain’t got guns’ or well perhaps if you do you don’t use them on police and prison officers to good effect as like dissidents do.

  • DC

    For want of a better phrase, i don’t mean to unload on you, just getting a few opinions (not facts) that i have off my chest re the direction of travel of things concerning parades and terrorism and rory mcilroy lol.

  • DC

    Sullivan Upper? well i take it all back and bow down to your superior intellect and outlook.

  • DC

    Never did like rugby always football or for our nationalist readers that’s ‘soccer’.

    any way – after all is said and done – stay safe.

  • Comrade Stalin

    im-power-shall,

    I thought that the presence of the mutual aid might have reduced the requirement for x2. But glad to hear you are holding up.

    My feeling is the same as yours that the OO crossed a line this year. Not for the first time; Const. Frankie O’Reilly died as a result of injuries sustained when he was hit by a pipe bomb doing the same job ~17 years ago.

    DC,

    you guys are shit scared to hold the road open for both traditions

    You’ve surpassed yourself in idiocy DC. You know that the police have no say over “holding the road open”. They have to uphold the Parades Commission determinations.

  • derrydave

    Im power shall,

    Great to hear the cop on the grounds view of all this – it’s one perspective which we generally never hear (certainly not in the republican / nationalist community) and as such it makes it all the more fascinating.

    Would be great to be able to get the insiders view a bit more often (guest blogger ??) – hearing the views of one of the robocops on the beat (no offence intended :-)) puts a much more personal face on our police service and can only aid understanding. I wonder is the lack of this viewpoint a particularly republican / nationalist phenomenon ? Due to history etc there are probably a lot more unionists who would know or would know police officers or at least ‘know of’ police officers and so would have heard their views.
    Despite the history and different perspectives I feel that, from a republican point of view, the rebranding and transormation of the police service has been a massive success – one of the biggest successes of the peace process. great to hear the views of those behind the visors !

  • Ruarai

    seconding derrydave.

    Im power shall – what happens next?

  • redstar2011

    All very touching I’m sure

    Whats your view on the fact that your organisation RUC/psni by Camerons own admission and related apology, were supplying loyalist paramilitaries with around 80% of their information used to kill Catholics?

  • cynic2

    “the fact that your organisation RUC/psni by Camerons own admission ”

    Amazing. Where did he say that? have you a reference?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Redstar

    “Whats your view on the fact that your organisation RUC/psni by Camerons own admission and related apology, were supplying loyalist paramilitaries with around 80% of their information used to kill Catholics?”

    Of course!

    How daft of us to get carried away with the present shit storm!

    Why bother hearing about what the new(ish) police service is up against (especially when they say “a scummer is a scummer is a scummer. Prod? Catholic? We really don’t care. We just dislike folk throwing crap at us.”, we all know what they should be thinking is “keep the taigs down so that the Protestant state might stay afloat…”), what we really need is to steer the topic towards a platform for MOPEry.

    Honestly, you have some one from the front line here giving us his opinion:
    ” In the day to day job, we treat ALL persons linked to paramilitaries the same”

    or

    “The OO this year has lost the plot”

    among others.

    Why don’t you just ask him his opinion on “the British occupation of South East Antrim?”.

    meh.

  • redstar2011

    Ghobsmacht

    I dot quite follow your logic..

    You say you have someone from this organisation telling us they treat all persons linked to paramilitaries the same-reckon they must then if he/ she says so, despite the FACT that they colluded for decades.

    I dont think taking a few knocks from bottles thrown by thugs over the past few days absolves these peope of all previos and current ills

  • märsta

    I wonder if the PSNI was 100% Nationalist would people still want them to blame them for RUC collusion with Loyalist terrorists?

  • tacapall

    Marsta I wonder if the British had no foothold in Ireland would we even be having this debate.

    I have to agree with Redstar, the PSNI is just another name for the RUC, same officers, different badge and a token amount of Catholics being given the all clear to join in on the illusion. The facts are out there for all to see – No prosecution or no attempts by the PSNI to pursue those RUC officers who armed and controlled the various paramilitary factions who murdered innocent people for no other reason than political advantage.

  • redstar2011

    Exactly Taca

    I wonder is Ghobsmacht taking part in National Naivety Day!

    Someone who alleges they are a member of Psni tells us they are impartial- so that makes it true!!!!!! Next week Hitlers grandson will be blogging here that his grandad actually loved Jews presumably Ghob will swallow that one too.

    Even if one takes this organisation right up to date their record in recent times dealing with civil unrest doesn’t tie in with this all kind all loving officers claim.

    In recent times the facts are that Nats blocking the road, particularly Garc were IMMEDIATELY beaten off the road and the road cleared. Alas our peace loving friends Psni when faced with loyalist road blockages re flags, stood idly by. Indeed even their new found cheer leaders in SF said their behavior was disgraceful.

    Add to that the FACT that those involved with the deadly and sinister collusion for decades are still in the same organisation

    Still if this alleged copper says they are great guys and totally fair, it must be true. I mean they do have such an unblemished record with the Nat community…………

  • Ruarai

    This tangent is a real shame.

    What was this thread about? At its core, it was about the dignity and capacity of the individual, the quiet unsung individual, to take personal responsibility for shunning the cheap cloak of here’s-one-I-made-earlier political labels and analyses.

    Along comes a contributor from the policing front line, an individual sharing a completely relevant and rarely heard personal experience and perspective.

    Instead of taking the opportunity to talk with him/her as an individual the thread descends into a tribal bun fight over the past where he’s/she’s supposed to play an allotted role as a representative of x, y, z.

    Wasted opportunity for a real conversation.

  • Ruarai

    Hitler? I mean really?

  • redstar2011

    Ruari I am sorry you see it thatway but its a bit much to take an alleged members of this organisations actions as gospel. Surely t is relevant for such statements to be challenged?

    Lets be frank if someone came on here claiming membership of any other of the combatant organisations I am quite sure their contributions would not go unchallenged

  • redstar2011

    Typo above- should read

    An alleged member of this organisations claims as gospel

  • Kevsterino

    I don’t think anyone was asked to take his input as gospel. As time goes on, it becomes more apparent to me at least that the RUC and PSNI are of a different ethos with layers of guarantors of fair treatment. Just my opinion.

  • DC

    You’ve surpassed yourself in idiocy DC. You know that the police have no say over “holding the road open”. They have to uphold the Parades Commission determinations.

    Thanks – I’m always pushing boundaries.

    You don’t think the PSNI had any input into the decision or decision making process within the Parades Commission?

    I think the PSNI were actually policing their own policing preference for that march and all the PC has done is endorsed it making it look like it is a decision the PC reached independently. The PSNI instructed the PC to reach a determination along those lines, no doubt about it or well very little doubt.

  • Ruarai

    redstar2011,

    but you didn’t challenge the guy on this contribution, i.e. his personal experience, You put him in the dock for the past deeds of the RUC. Why not throw in the RIC while we’re at it?

    We can talk ourselves into corners or we can talk about how to get out of them.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Kevsterino,

    I’d say you are about right re the change of ethos thing.

    The sister of someone I knew joined the police about ten years ago, right after Patten had started to kick in and the service had been renamed. At the time I found it fascinating, as I bumped into her in Irene and Nan’s and she was there with all her female police colleagues (you would not know to look at them of course – dolled up to the nines). They were all showing each other pictures on their smartphones of them posing with their riot gear on. Sign of the times, I thought.

    At the time there had been an incident a few nights before in Belfast where there had been disturbances in Bradbury Place (fairly common actually) and a few police officers had laid into the crowd, so I asked her about it. Her comment was “yeah, a few of those officers are ‘old RUC’, they don’t care much for how things are supposed to be done now”. So there’s a perception within the police that there are a few mavericks around and the attitude seems to be to let them be and eventually they’ll be pensioned off. Our anonymous police contributor made a very similar remark about the old guard above that reminded me of this.

    FYI the complaints against the “old RUC” were always exaggerated to some extent. It doesn’t justify what they did do wrong with the powers they had but I can see why some things, such as collusion, happened. If your friends/colleagues are getting killed or blown up, or are losing limbs etc, and you see the people who you know for a fact (but cannot prove) did it getting let off by a judge – which happened a lot, it is human for people to become angry to the extent that they will pass on details to the paramilitaries to see “justice” be done extra-judicially.

  • redstar2011

    His organisation has many of the same members as the RUC. The same spook types who assisted loyalist paramilitaries in some of their most heinous murders. They have the same role assisting Mi5 with all the sinister activities and outcomes that entails.

    A new uniform and a slick PR machine telling us they have decided to be fairer doesn’t make them so.

  • cynic2

    “A new uniform and a slick PR machine telling us they have decided to be fairer doesn’t make them so.”

    Sorry…is that SF MLAs you are talking about?

    I am still waiting for the source of your Cameron quote or did you just make that up to justify your own sordid little prejudices?

  • tacapall

    Ruarai a PSNI officer comes on to the thread and says he’s impartial, now Im not saying he isn’t, but lm sorry the facts prove otherwise. Since the formation of this state that impartiality and what passes for law and order in this part of Ireland dont go hand in hand, so forgive those of us who through experience, have learned that lesson the hard way.

    ” If your friends/colleagues are getting killed or blown up, or are losing limbs etc, and you see the people who you know for a fact (but cannot prove) did it getting let off by a judge – which happened a lot, it is human for people to become angry to the extent that they will pass on details to the paramilitaries to see “justice” be done extra-judicially”

    Your actually speaking on behalf of those corrupt RUC officers who colluded in the murder of innocent people now Comrade. Could you post us some evidence of these killers and bombers who although the RUC knew for a fact were killers and bombers but courts with no juries allowed them to walk free A LOT of times. If truth be told very few people walked free from diplock courts and when such rare events like you suggest have occurred it usually turned out that the person or persons were either RUC agents or completely innocent people

  • redstar2011
  • Son of Strongbow

    Pat Finucane was murdered some twenty five years ago. The allegations about collusion surrounding that murder also date from that time.

    So as an example let’s say that a person joined the police in 1989, having to do a two-year probationary period before even being confirmed in the job. Then a couple of years (at least) in general policing before having any chance of success in applying for a specialist department (a specialist department covers everything other than walking the beat, Traffic Branch, CID, Special Branch etc, etc).

    At best then even the most junior Special Branch officer from that era would now have around thirty years service – retirement age.

    Given that Patten allowed for the early retirement of any officer with twenty five years or more service from the year 2000 onwards (ie those who joined on or after 1975) the number of PSNI officers who were in any position of authority in the RUC prior to the mid nineties could probably be counted on your fingers.

  • redstar2011

    Son of strongbow youre struggling badly here!!!!

    Apart from those who are still there, including god knows how many re- hirees, Baggott tells, nay boasts that oart of Psnis role is sharing, and facilitating info to Mi5.

    Now there s no regulation whatsoever re that organisation, and only the laughable performing poodles of Policing boards for the cops themselves, so what exactly has changed in accountability apart from as I have said a more slick PR job

    Ffs the gullible Nat representatives on those boards raised the issues of plastic bullets and re hires- and were told ” tough, its my decisions that count!” by Baggott!

    Yip they’re real accountable and totally changed!!!!

  • Son of Strongbow

    Oh Lordy!

    Tell you what red me boy, put in an FOI request and ask how many senior RUC officers dating from the late 1980s are still police officers in the PSNI. It might do you good to give your invective something solid to chew on.

    Those “re-hirees” are not police officers (Patten rules exclude former RUC officers who took the package from working as police officers anywhere in the UK). They are agency staff doing admin jobs on low rates of civil service pay in the main.

    Now I don’t know how things are where you work (should you work that is) but the norm in most organisations is to leave the decision making to the bosses not the junior staff (however aged the junior staff might be).

  • tacapall

    SOS when I see the PSNI actively attempting to pursue and prosecute all those “bad apples” from the RUC, like the murderer of Nora Mc Cabe and his colleagues who’s perjury has shockingly been brushed under the carpet, or those officers who supplied the weapons used in the murder of seven people. When they do the above, then and only then, can they describe themselves as impartial or call themselves a police force for everyone.

  • Son of Strongbow

    Provide them with the evidence!

    Why has no RUC officers faced criminal charges following the many, many Ombudsman investigations.

    Do you include PONI alongside the PSNI as culpable for the partisan approach to alleged breeches of the law?

    In your 4:39 post you challenged Comrade Stalin to “post up some evidence”. You could do no worse than follow your own advice.

    Oh, just to be clear ‘evidence’ is a little bit more complicated than some neatly worded clipping from the Guardian, or some untested ‘revelations’ from any given number of supposed insiders.

    You know that awful ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ hurdle? So good solid links now, name the names.

  • Comrade Stalin

    tacapall,

    Your actually speaking on behalf of those corrupt RUC officers who colluded in the murder of innocent people now Comrade

    No.

    For example I can say things like “you can see why some people joined the IRA after Bloody Sunday”. Being able to follow someone else’s logic given the circumstances they found themselves in is not the same as agreeing with or endorsing it.

  • tacapall

    Comrade I dont believe for a second that you would endorse the actions of those RUC officers. Im just confused as to why you would even offer to give excuse to such people.

  • Ruarai

    If we’re going to judge each other entirely on group membership, attributing all the past deeds of each group to every contributor, I may as well title the next post:

    Whataboutery: Go!

    And the one after that: Be honest though, aren’t you a bit of a bastard?

    It’s not that these things and discussions are irrelevant, it’s that there are other aspects to the shared experience that should be given a chance to breath from time to time.

    When I first read DC’s allegations towards yer man, I thought it was a clever parody of NI thinking. Turned out he was being serious, but my point is, doesn’t it get exhausting to reduce every exchange to a rehash of the Classic Hits?

  • Comrade Stalin

    tacapall,

    But I’m not giving them an excuse. I’m pointing out that I can see how they would arrive at that excuse. Can’t you ?

  • cynic2

    “Cynic2, enjoy”

    ….where does that or the Report say that RUC officers leaked that material to Loyalists?

  • cynic2

    “Why has no RUC officers faced criminal charges following the many, many Ombudsman investigations”

    Either there was no evidence or Nuala and Al were guilty of collusion. Perhaps we need an Ombudsman to investigate the Ombudsman

  • cynic2

    Strange but t over the last week I have noticed a pattern. There seem to be a lot of new posters who have suddenly appeared with no or almost no history posting a lot of republican invective and generally btrolling

    Has Connolly; House taken on a load a Press Trainees on a job scheme perhaps?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Redstar and Taca

    Where to begin?

    THEY colluded for decades? The PSNI? Hmmmm, I wasn’t aware that the PSNI had been around that long.

    But, if you say so.

    You call the ‘few’ Catholics who joined a ‘token’ number, seemingly not token as far as dissident activity is concerned.

    You say that they’re the exact same organisation as the RUC. You’re equally paranoid counterparts on the other side of the fence believe that they’re controlled by Republicans.

    Both parties can’t be right but youse all can certainly be wrong.

    Whilst it might be wrong for me to accept everything that im-power-shall says at face value, are you guys really any better for seemingly dismissing it all similarly?

    MI5 gets mentioned now and again as a means of discrediting them. As unsavoury as their activities may be, is it really such a harsh indictment on a police force to have dealings with anti-terrorist specialists when ever said police force have a fair whack of terrorists on their doorstep (gunning for them to boot)?

    Should the police forces of the Midlands now be tarred and feathered for their likely dealings with MI5 given all the crap they’ve had to deal with recently?

    Sounds a bit Michael Moore to me: “The connections between the Saudi Royal family and the Bush family”: “WOW! You’re not saying that a big oil family is having dealings with (shock!) another big oil family!? Call the X files!!!”

    Get a grip lads.
    As long as there’s gonna be people here trying to blow up other people then MI5 will be involved here. Or indeed the Garda’s equivalent should the border disappear. (but of course, all trouble with leave with the British, golly, I am naïve…)

    Tac, you’ve been coming out with some decent stuff regarding the OO, but now you’ve just resorted to cut’n’paste MOPEspeak.

    I understand you having gripes with the RUC, but very little of your gripes can apply to those officers that are on the receiving end of petrol bombs, swords, masonry and colourful language.

    Sorry that they haven’t done a good job of prosecuting former officers.
    I won’t bother to induce banshee like shrills from you by suggesting that maybe there wasn’t as much of it as you suggest, nay, possibly, rather the officers in question MIGHT have been quite smart and indeed covered their trails.
    Just a suggestion.
    Internal affairs of police forces is not something I know anything about.

    I can read shit in the papers about it, but, c’mon, it’s hardly concrete.

    Papers say stuff about Republicans all the time and it gets rubbished as British propaganda. So I don’t know who to believe.

    The fact is, you two would be gutted if the PSNI was to be impartial and good police force and if im-power-shall is telling the truth, well, that’s just plain annoying but at least he can be ignored eh?.

    And if you don’t believe him, then why ask him stuff about the RUC?!!

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    We had (‘possibly’) some one to chat to regarding the topic at hand and now he’s gone, cos youse are more interested in the police doing wrong than in the police doing right.

    The police man dusting himself off and getting stuck in was an inspiration.

  • cynic2

    The MI5 Nonsense also does hold watre.

    After the Hunger Strike when SF rejected the British offer to settle who kept in touch with SF via intermediaries? MI5 did

    When the real negotiations got underway who was involved? MI5

    Who steered and cajoled SF and the republican movement through the whole process? MI5 did.

    In 50 years time the ‘peace process’ will he hailed as one of the greatest intelligence led operations of the 20th Century

  • Son of Strongbow

    I’ve talked with a fair number of ex RUC officers who wouldn’t give Orangeism the time of day (and shock, horror they were Prods). Many recalled vividly being attacked by Orangemen at the Tunnel in Portadown, Drumcree and other places. Given the longevity of disorder surrounding some Orange parades I dare say if I’d been around in their time RIC officers could also tell a similar tale.

    The ex police officers also exhibited a deep loathing for loyalist terrorists. They were acutely aware that the first police officer murdered in the Troubles, Victor Arbuckle, was killed by loyalists. Some had first hand experience of murder bids by loyalists following the Anglo Irish deal of the mid 80s. Many also had an ambivalence about the DUP stemming from that same time. They all recalled the jibes about ‘coming home to a real fire’ and ‘Barry’s boot boys’.

    However I’m all to aware that those stories do not sit comfortably with those nationalists who charicature the RUC simply as ‘Orange Stormtroopers’.

    im-power-shall has seemingly fallen foul of that mindset. He presents a view of the experience of a PSNI officer that has the ring of authenticity about it. The response to his reasonable comments is, for some, to pose highly controversial and off-thread questions. Perhaps in the hope they he will respond in a way that will provide an opportunity to shout him down as a ‘collusionist’ or whatever.

    The wrong choice of word, a hint of the complexities of the history of this place, anything at all will be ammunition to be fired back at him.

    I hope im-power-shall’s interesting voice has not been silenced. I hope that he can continue to contribute and leave the dead-end arguments for us less reasonable ( ;) ) posters to fight over.

  • cynic2

    I assume PSNI will be all over him or her like a bad rash lest there be any suggestion of posting anything not approved by the High Command and or Members of the Press Office priesthood or that might offend any section fo our fractured society – even if it happens to be true

  • tacapall

    Ruarai, sorry for bringing your thread off on a tangent so I’ll apologise and move on.

    “The fact is, you two would be gutted if the PSNI was to be impartial and good police force and if im-power-shall is telling the truth, well, that’s just plain annoying but at least he can be ignored eh”

    And why would I feel gutted about that Am Ghobsmacht, is that not what we are all yearning for, an impartial police force, as for your moping remark, obviously you will understand if I suggest to im-power-shall to stop moping and just do the job he’s paid to do.

  • Kevsterino

    DC, by questioning whether that clip explained the trouble at the Ardoyne shops, I was trying to convey my disappointment at who was telling this story. Evidently, some feel that if they give that job to these two, the Rev and Ruth, it will end well for the loyalists.

    Blunt plain speaking was one trait of Ulster protestants I’ve always admired. Sadly, that species of unionist appears to be in decline, near extinct.

    One of the most excruciating things for me to watch is people attempt to play the PR game who don’t have the slightest notion how to play. I haven’t seen it this poorly done since a few years back in Tiger’s Bay.

  • aquifer

    “they increasingly look almost resigned to presenting themselves as a problem”

    and despite the music, the colour, the uniforms.

    Investni must be banging their heads off the desk by now.

    And the ‘our day will come’ brigades have even re-emerged out onto this thread. You must believe the OO matter. Too much sunburn?

    For the ‘RA conspiracy to murder was the rule, not the exception.

    The only patriots on the streets nowadays are the PSNI.

    Give them their X2 and cold shandies.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Tac

    Well, if you say that’s what you want and you’re then not seeing the PSNI through jaundiced eyes then I’ll accept that, I can’t take what he says at face value and not you.

    BTW, do you know what a ‘MOPE’ actually is?

    Just wondering, cos the police certainly aren’t…

    If you don’t, just ask SoStrongbow, I’m sure he’ll be delighted to explain the concept in a fashion much more fitting than I ever could.

  • tacapall

    Gob I think its you who doesn’t know what moping means, was Ann Travers moping when she wanted justice for her kin, was the relatives of bloody Sunday moping when they wanted justice for their kin. People like yourself who sit in their ivory towers telling others to stop moaning, sorry moping, about injustices committed by the RUC aka the politically metamorphosed PSNI are doing nothing to move this place or the institutions that supported those injustices forward, either the law applies to everyone or the law applies to no-one, which one do you want ?

    If you cant speak for yourself then Im sure SOS aka dont drink bleach, aka UPC will do the usual and stick his head in the sand and pretend it never happened, like this boy learned to his cost –

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-22188171

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Tac

    *shakes head*

    MOPE – Most Oppressed People Ever.

    With regards to people seeking justice, that’s not MOPEing, but tarnishing punchbag police men with the same brush as special branch and indeed MI5 is MOPEspeak.

    “This guy who is on the receiving end of swords, petrol bombs and masonry is an agent of oppression and the sinister forces of Military Intelligence!!! Don’t ask him relevant questions! Make him account for the actions of others in the past!”

    That’s MOPEspeak.

    Sorry.

    SoS = UPC? Well he’s a genius if he is.

    I don’t know why you get your knickers in a twist about the past when you chat with me, as far as I’m aware I admit the failings of the Unionist past to such an extent that some might consider me a ‘Lundy’ type.

    As for other people, well, I can’t really speak for them, even if they all are the same person…

  • Delphin

    AG, I always wondered what MOPE stood for, thanks for that.
    Similar to Newton Emerson’s phrase “The poor underprivileged people of …” from his glory days at the Portadown News. This usually started any pronouncement from SF etc.
    You are indeed worse than Lundy so you are, questioning both William’s height and sexual orientation :)
    I think OO iconography needs reviewed – our gables and banners may never be the same again!!

  • Son of Strongbow

    AG,

    Genius? Sadly not. Sitting at my desk in Loughside I have a number of computer stations all linked to the main frame (known as DOT – Deep Orange Thought).

    Each of the stations is programmed with RBB (Random Bigot Blogging) software set up to post in any of my 17 allotted Slugger IDs. I can type in the most innocuous of posts, say about the weather perhaps, and the software cranks out an attack on Irish nationalism in all the various styles of my many avatars. I should mention my code name is ‘Legion 1690′.

    I give you this little insight for the edification of those on the site with a “heightened sense of awareness” operating in their “open mind”.

    Now I’m off to ply my trade for a while in a corner of the New British Empire.

    يتعرف ش وهبح بشغ as we say out there. ;)

  • Seamuscamp

    In days of yore, it was easy to recognise a bigot. An Orange bigot knew that all Taigs were the same – murderous bastards who poured rifle fire from Clonard spire, past St Gall’s and into the good Loyalists of the Shankill. The Republican bigot knew that all Prods were the same – murderous bastards in the Specials or RUC who poured webley, sten and machine gun fire into Clonard. It would appear that such vintage bigotry hasn’t entirely died out.

    Tacapall and his ilk are bigots – nothing less – because they judge people not by what they do but by what someone else used to do. Of course there are ex-RUC PSNI officers and many may well be in positions of high authority; but time has shaken out many and further time will shake out many more. The PSNI is a different force from the RUC. To equivalence every PSNI officer with the worst of the RUC is black bigotry.

    As I don’t live there any longer, I can only judge by what I see, read and have reported to me by relatives. In my day the PC decisions could not have happened; the openly murderous DI Nixon had become an MP and friend of Ian Paisley; Derry was gerrymandered; the NI Civil Service had Orange ceilings; my neighbours and a university friend were interned; in mid-Ulster the candidate who came second was declared winner and attributed his win to the will of “the Loyalist people”. That isn’t present tense

    It is a changed world; it isn’t a perfect world. There will always be past-livers, ignorant of their own futility.

    As to the subject of the article, who would not admire the fortitude?

  • Neil

    Tacapall and his ilk are bigots – nothing less

    With respect, you’re wrong. Tac has judged the PSNI on the actions of the PSNI.

  • tacapall

    Seamuscamp you’ve read a few posts by me on one topic and you’ve concluded I’m a bigot, what a talent you have, you should be on TV and without even knowing why I view things the way I do, there’s loads of Ann Travers about you know, but obviously their cries for justice are viewed as moping or bigotry, I think its you that’s the bigot, someone who cannot accept that others be allowed a different opinion than you, I accept that the majority of the PSNI officers are honest and have the integrity to do the job they are paid to do, but there’s not one of them that has the integrity or the courage to challenge the refusal or inaction of their superiors to pursue and prosecute those former police officers who colluded in the murders of an unknown, but up until now, substantial amount of innocent people.

    Like I said, the law either applies to everyone or no-one at all.

  • Seamuscamp

    Bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats other people with hatred, contempt, or intolerance on the basis of a person’s ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics.

    Neil
    I know what the RUC was like; I suspect that the dregs of that corrupt organisation still slither around the PSNI. But I’m not in a position to make a judgement on the PSNI as a whole. Any opinion on that by someone of relevant experience is more relevant than mine (even if the opinion is misconceived). Bigots might be right – it is the process that makes them bigots rather than the judgement. It wouldn’t necessarily be bigotry to adjudge PSNI guilty of bias (I would think it impossible to be unbiased in a community as ill as NI). But when an individual serving officer is tarred with a brush because he is a member of the PSNI and because the RUC was a violent sectarian construct – then we have bigotry.

    Tacapall
    I’ve read many more than a few posts by you. You favour intemperance. I admire Ann Travers for her perseverance in the face of powerful intransigence. You hide behind the skirts of an admirable and effective activist.

    Until you personally take up (by private prosecutions) the cases of the nefarious RUC officers who conspired with the IRA, you have no right to impugn any individual who takes no action. Of course you have no hard evidence; but that shouldn’t deter anyone as public-spirited and effortlessly charismatic as yourself.

    Agus maith duinn ar bhfiacha, mar mhaithimid dar bhfeiciuna fhein. Hard, isn’t it?

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Seamuscamp: ….and because the RUC was a violent sectarian construct

    What does this even mean?

  • tacapall

    “Until you personally take up (by private prosecutions) the cases of the nefarious RUC officers who conspired with the IRA, you have no right to impugn any individual who takes no action.”

    Seamus once again you judge without knowing all the facts and I’ll indulge you, yes I have “personally” taken a case out against the RUC, those superiors who give the go ahead for certain actions or methods, when that comes up Im sure you will be surprised when the likes of Martindale is forced to account for his actions and those of his minions who believed the law didn’t apply to them. Why do i NEED hard evidence when David Cameron has already admitted from the dispatch box that collusion took place, when Nuala o’Loan, Desmond De Silva, Simpson and all the other various investigators who have already uncovered that hard evidence. All IRA personnel are tarred with the one brush just like the majority of Sinn Fein members so whats good for the goose and all that.

    Im not an activist Seamus, I speak for no-one but myself and I support no political party, they are all corrupt, nor do I even register to vote, why should any Irish person feel obliged to vote in a British election.

  • Seamuscamp

    Tacapall

    We were considering the case of an individual; have you “taken a case” (whatever that means) against the individual RUC officers? You admit you have no evidence – in fact you claim not to need evidence – so you won’t get far, particularly as the powers-that-be are determined to ignore the findings of the independent Cassel Committee, of Justice Barron’s Enquiry etc etc. In NI a lot of guilty parties were unpunished and a lot were shielded from punishment. The HET is a joke (initials probably stand for Hide Emerging Truth). But none of the evil perpetrated by the RUC, the UDR or the SPG (what a garden of initials) nor the subsequent cover-ups should reflect on an individual PSNI officer who may not even have been born at the time of collusion.
    “All IRA …. just like the majority of Sinn Fein members” are tarred with the same brush. This appeal to the lowest common denominator shows your usual lack of perspective.

    UPC;

    You show your usual acuity. Perhaps English is your second language? The RUC was a paramilitary force constructed to protect “a Protestant Parliament and Protestant State”. It was an armed force and with impunity carried out reprisal killings of innocent Catholic civilians; a tradition sustained virtually through the entirety of its disgraceful existence. Note I don’t say that all RUC men were evil; some were decent, some were thugs. Often the thugs prospered (eg DI Nixon).

    My earliest remembered experience of the RUC (apart from fear) was running round a corner into the legs of “Pig” Meneeley (ex-RIC), who promptly clattered me round the ear and knocked me to the ground. I suppose I should be grateful he didn’t shoot me. I was around 6 at the time and clearly very dangerous.

  • tacapall

    Seamus where did I admit I had no evidence ? I simply said there was lots of “hard” evidence already out there that collusion took place, not only with the IRA, but the vast majority of it with loyalist paramilitaries. Oh and my case, how far will I get, who knows and who cares. I couldn’t give two monkeys if it does or it doesn’t its costing me nothing at all, flea on a dogs back and all that just like all those idiotic flag protestors and the Orange order, they’re like turkeys voting for Christmas, draining the British government and the British public of all their hard earned taxes and making it as financially enduring as possible for the British establishment to keep its presence in Ireland. Yep as long as I can get those people I mentioned above into the witness box to answer very embarrassing questions that will do nicely indeed.

    I have to admit there probably was genuine honest RUC officers who carried out their duties in an impartial manner, but I have to be honest and say I’ve never met one. Are the nationalist population being expected to believe, just all those genuine honest RUC officers, actual RUC unicorns, are the only remnants left of the RUC within the ranks of the PSNI. Maybe the PSNI will just have to ride the same bus as Sinn Fein do when trying to put distance between themselves and their past, just because a change of name took place and a percentage of Catholics were employed, doesn’t mean the PSNI can be viewed as a different police force who’s not in any way responsible for their actions when they had a different name and badge.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Mick, perhaps you could explain why im-power-shall’s postings and his profile have all been deleted – you don’t even do that for people with black cards.

    Were you told to remove his contributions ?