Plug Pulled

The front page of today’s Irish News carries a story by Suzanne McGonagle,Government pulls plug on welcome pack funds, Subs needed, which reveals that the government has withdrawn an offer of £10,000 funding from the Falls Community Council which was to pay for the production of the “Welcome Pack” as blogged by Mick yesterday in A double edged welcome in the West?

“The government had offered the Falls Community Council £10,000 for production of the welcome pack, subject to certain conditions.

But in a letter issued by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) yesterday, it said it was “not in the public interest that potentially vulnerable members of society, to which the booklet is addressed, should be discouraged from seeking the assistance of the PSNI”.

“Nor is it in their interests that members of minority ethnic communities in west Belfast should be drawn into taking a particular position in relation to policing in Northern Ireland.

“In the circumstances, the department has decided that, in the public interest, the use of public funds in support of the welcome pack of which this booklet is part would be absolutely inappropriate.”

The department also objected to the use of its name and logo on the booklet.”

A spokesman for the FCC has expressed shock and disappointment, and
Flair Campbell of WARN has said they are “outraged”.

  • Peter the goat

    Once again these people are willing to support the half crown but not the crown. Maybe it is time that the state should withdraw all benefits from these people and make Sinn Fein pay for their benefits.

  • pakman

    I says a great deal about the republican world view that they even thought they could publish this and still claim government funding.

  • Davros

    Have to admire their cheek at misusing the name and logo in order to misrepresent their muted threats as being officially sanctioned.

  • beano; EverythingUlster.com

    They should be getting hauled up for copyright infringement, never mind funding.

  • slackjaw

    Still no word about what the most important people in the story (the minority ethnic communities) actually think, then? It’s all very well getting indignant on their behalf, but it seems rude at best to do so without asking.

    Or is there a reason why they can’t be asked?

  • Davros

    Who has expressed indignation on their behalf slackjaw ? And, having been warned off, is there any point in trying to speak to the target audience – they now know what would happen to their windows if they said the wrong things.

  • beano; EverythingUlster.com

    slackjaw, the welcome pack in itself was a decent idea (although yes it would be a good idea to ask them about it). Using it to indoctrinate them into the mindset of sectarian hatred apparently so prevalent in the area surrounding their new homes is not.

  • slackjaw

    Davros,

    My difficulty with this one is that most of the attention has been focused on WARN’s ‘warning’ and their supposed affiliation with Sinn Fein, while the supposed recipients remain in the background as faceless and voiceless ‘ethnic minority communities’.

    If the public in Northern Ireland is seriously interested in their welfare, and not their usefulness as a prop in a nice republicans/nasty republicans debate, then their opinions should be recorded on the matter. If they feel unable to speak about the matter, as you imply, then the public should be made aware of this.

    I fear there is a lack of openness about this issue which serves to cement ‘ethnic minority communities’ status as just that: perpetual outsiders.

  • slackjaw

    beano,

    Using it to indoctrinate them into the mindset of sectarian hatred apparently so prevalent in the area surrounding their new homes is not.

    OK, I’m not dying about the advice the welcome pack apparently contains either, but I would also reserve judgement on the matter of voluntary workers consciously embarking on a campaign of ‘sectarian hatred indoctrination’.

    I’m assuming that WARN has a few republicans working for it: Republicans don’t generally think of themselves as sectarian – they just don’t like the British state and its agents. You may not ‘share their analysis’, as the saying goes, but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of acting in what they see as the best interests of new arrivals to their communities.

  • Davros

    If they feel unable to speak about the matter, as you imply, then the public should be made aware of this.

    I think that was one of the points of the Emerson article 😉

    I’m assuming that WARN has a few republicans working for it:

    Do you think there would be any NON-republicans working for it ?

  • slackjaw

    BTW Davros

    You mentioned on another thread (can’t find it now) an article titled ‘The Narcissism of Minor Differences’. Any chance you could forward it on?

  • Mike

    So while accepting money from the British state and (without authorisation) using the logo of OFMDFM, the Falls Community Centre/WARN said:

    “The PSNI is seen by most people here as an extension of the British state and has no support”

    Breathtaking hypocrisy. You couldn’t make it up.

  • Davros

    You mentioned on another thread (can’t find it now) an article titled ‘The Narcissism of Minor Differences’. Any chance you could forward it on?

    With pleasure. It’s scanned from a photocopy, and while I was meticulous in editing – I use Abbyy Finereader5 which makes mistakes, there’s one line that was so blurred I couldn’t make sense of it.

  • slackjaw

    I think that was one of the points of the Emerson article 😉

    I must’ve missed the bit where he interviewed the immigrants! It was an important and timely article, though. I’m not discounting the possibility that immigrants may feel intimidated as a result of the campaign, but the absence of any voices, even anonymous ones, means that this matter doesn’t move further than ‘Reasons not to vote SF #124’.

    Do you think there would be any NON-republicans working for it ?

    I’d be very interested in knowing if there are any non-Irish/Britsh nationals or members of ‘ethnic minority communities’ working for it and if they consider themselves republicans!

  • fatbuster

    Interviews, Slackjaw? Are you aware of the difference between a news article and an opinion piece?
    It’s WARN that should have consulted the several ethnic minority groups around Belfast before producing a political ‘Welcome Pack’. Did they?

  • slackjaw

    fatbuster,

    Thank you, I am quite aware of the difference between a news article and an opinion piece. But on this matter, the views of ethnic minority communities figure in neither (although I will happily stand corrected). That is my point. I do not expect Newton Emerson to become a roving reporter.

    It’s WARN that should have consulted the several ethnic minority groups around Belfast before producing a political ‘Welcome Pack’. Did they?

    I have no idea. Anyone out there care to reply?

  • Alfred Abolarin; Minority Ethnic sector

    The intents and underlying principle behind launching a welcome pack for minority ethnic communities in West Belfast is commendable and appreciated. However, the freedom to make an informed choice as to whether or not a particular individual wants / needs contact with the police should be an option left solely to the individual. Will I be right in saying, to take that ‘freedom of choice’ away, is to deny the individual of fundamental human rights?.

    There are good initiatives carried out “on behalf” of the minority ethnic communities and individuals. I think unnecessary hassle can be avoided if there are adequate and appropriate consultations with the the Minority Ethnic Sector. It’s unfortunate that the government has had to withdraw funding for the project.

    The political situation in Northern Ireland is a sensitive one. As a minority Ethnic individual, I think it is important to understand and appreciate the history of the troubles. I think it is even more important to be an instrument of reconciliation and peace.

    I think it will be impossible, especially for minority ethnic communities to fully and positively embrace a multicultural Northern Ireland without adequate understanding and a ‘balanced’ respect for the past…for the “struggles of the troubles”.

  • JD

    Slackjaw:

    Are you familiar with Rene Girard at all? Better theorist than either Ignatieff or Burstein, who basically just retread Hegel’s master/slave dialectic.

  • barney

    JD,

    you need a woman.

  • vespasian

    Isn’t WARN being racist by refering to the British state in the way they do? Seems strange for an organisation that is supposed to be anti racist to be racist.

    Still this is Northern Ireland.

  • Comrade Stalin

    slackjaw, what do you reckon would happen if a new immigrant called the police to report a burglary for example. Would that person be burnt out or intimidated and if so is that the type of thing you’d condone ?

  • Sol

    Vespasian
    British and Irish are different races.

  • Davros

    if so is that the type of thing you’d condone ?

    That’s a bit OTT Comrade, I have never seen Slackjaw come close to that sort of posting.

    British and Irish are different races.

    how so Sol ?

  • Sol

    sorry davros i left out the not. NOT different races,
    typing with feet today

  • Davros

    Cheers Sol 🙂 I was wondering.