a more responsible line?

There are a couple of threads already up on the violence in Belfast and elsewhere last night, but it’s worth highlighting the comments today of Chief Constable Hugh Orde, whose officers came under sustained attack from petrol bombs, blast bombs and gunfire, as reported here by the BBC.. and the reaction from the Orange Order to those comments.

Hugh Orde said, and his comments are included in the online news video at the link

“I have seen members of the Orange Order in their sashes attacking my officers. I have seen them standing next to masked men.

“That is simply not good enough,” Sir Hugh said.

“The Orange Order must bear substantial responsibility for this. They publicly called people on to the streets.”

“I think if you do that, you cannot then abdicate responsibility.”

and the Orange Order response –

In a statement, the Orange Order said it would not be speaking to the media until it had evaluated what had happened.

“While the Orange Order has noted the chief constable’s intemperate, inflammatory and inaccurate remarks, we have decided to take a more responsible line and will not be drawn into a similar knee-jerk reaction,” it said.

“At this stage, all we would say is that if what we saw today was policing, it was policing at its worst.”

Who needs satire?

  • Slartibuckfast

    Have the OO and Paisley condemned the rioters and shooters yet? Maybe they’ve done so but I’ve missed it if they have.

  • Comrade Stalin

    A statement from Paisley saying “I condemn the rioters” would be one thing, but not nearly enough.

    Actions, not words is what we need here.

  • Slartibuckfast

    I forgot that it wasn’t actually the rioters fault they threw those bombs and burned those cars, it was actually the PC made it them do it. So by condemning the PC Paisley actually is condemning the trouble. Yeah, that’s it.

  • GavBelfast

    Remember those “Grand Old Duke of York” jibes at Paisley from UDA/UVF types around the time of the signing of the Agreement, and how they weren’t going to be riot-fodder, inflamed by his words and then doing time for him ever again.

    Collective amnesia has kicked-in obviously.

    Shameful.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Slartibuckfast, nothing new there. The NI political lexicon is one of responsibility-avoidance. It’s the fault of someone or something – the government, the Pope, the Free State, the Agreement, the Parades Commission, the “appeasement” (generic term for when “themmuns get everything) – anything other than the guys who made and threw the stones, bricks, petrol bombs, blast devices. My favourite word in the NI rioter’s lexicon is “provoke”.

    “I was just standing there, until the heavy handed actions of the police provoked me into throwing this petrol bomb. “

  • Slartibuckfast

    Comrade, I was going to type up an answer to you myself but then I remembered about this post I seen earlier on LU, so I’ll just let it say all:

    Donald Ferguson

    Joined: 02 Sep 2005
    Posts: 20

    The rioting is bad alright but lets not forget whos responsble for it – Sinn feinn /IRA and there friends in the parades commission!!!

  • bertie

    Hopefully there is a wealth of video evidence and that the rioters can be sufficiently identified for evidential purposes.

  • Moderate Unionist

    So any suggestions about how we should stop it happening?

    a) Should we send the police into the estates with snatch squads and intern them.

    b) Should we recognise the social deprivation of many of the estates and fund the development of community facilities and “community workers”.

    c) Should we recognise that only an inclusive approach will work and facilitate a legislative assembly where “everybody” can be a minister no matter what their background.

    d) Should we recognise that the Assembly will not return. The divisions in our society are too deep and we would prefer to live in squalor than give in to the otherside.

    e) Do nothing, pointing out the obvious faults in the opposition is so much easier than having to do anything.

  • lib2016

    We should do now what was agreed last November. Set up the Assembly and get on with dealing with our problems and disagreements like democrats.

    Instead we all have to wait while the various factions within unionism sort out their differences.

  • Alex

    After the Bradford riot, the CCTV photos of all those involved in the most serious violence were published on the front pages of the Telegraph & Argus – almost all of them were later convicted. What price, etc…

  • Billy

    GavBelfast – Yes but the Grand Old Duke Of York comments made by loyalists toward Paisley were uttered because he was against the agreement at the time.

    Loyalists were pro-agreement then, and angry at anyone against the agreement, because as part of a deal all of their mates were to be let out of jail.

    They had no interest in peace or any other part of the agreement apart from the bit that said prisoners would be released.

  • Moderate Unionist

    lib2016
    There will be no return to the Assembly. The moment has passed. The Belfast Agreement was a brave attempt but it didn’t work. It is finished.

  • lib2016

    Moderate Unionist

    You’re living in a fantasy if you think that a few thousand drunken thugs can overturn the GFA. Twenty years ago they didn’t budge the Anglo-Irish Agreement and their power is vastly weakened since those days.

    The only part of it they can delay is the internal settlement – that’s also the only part with direct benefits for them. Funny that! 😉

  • aquifer

    Gavbelfast

    “Shameful”

    Thanks. Good word that, and much underused.

    I was struck by the coverage given to small court convictions in an area with notably good community relations.

    They still do shame.

    And as it is clearly an endangered species, I won’t even tell you where I spotted it.

    Before shame comes self respect and the OO clearly ain’t got it.

  • greener fields

    On the bright side … the IRA can really go away now … now that the OO has taken up the fight!

  • looking in

    So any suggestions about how we should stop it happening?

    In addition to throwing the legaslative book at all for whom evidence exists (not that trouble by loyalists often gets to court or sentences commesurate with violence) I suggest that action needs to be taken on OO.

    From now on ALL (on all sides) parades, whether contentious or not that require police attendance should result in a bill beinmg sent to OO – if you want to arrange policing for any large “cultural” or social event e.g. football etc. it has to be paid for.

    Perhaps once the invoices start coming and, and they default, the principle officers should be levied and property taken off – maybe when it starts hitting these parasites in their pockets some of the ner-do wells invloved at fringes might become more proactive in leading their commmunity

  • looking in

    Have heard Cobain of UU effectively saying on TV tonight that the rioters are disenfranchised and not part of the political process

    Perhaps if unionist politicians had 1. the intelligence 2. the leadership then a. they would not make comments like this with spotting the irony therein and b. they themselves would be offering up a strong credible and active politcal representation of their communities…

    I am also astoninshed that other than Cobain there has been a distinct lack of rent-a-quote UU DUP et al politicos on TV today to offer forth there considered views

    Having said that is is kind of hard to justify bullets embedded in the sides of vehicles of their beloved Crown…

  • GavBelfast

    Billy,

    Yes, I know. Pity that the legislation doesn’t have them all back inside if the organisation they (still) belong to breaches its ceasefire. But, where to put them? In turn, where’s the will.

    Aquifer,

    Can they be shameless and shameful at the same time then?

    You know, earlier the thought crossed my mind: what if the Queen was to go on television and condemn the rioters, etc, and say this wasn’t how she wanted those who professed loyalty to the Crown to behave. And then I thought, no, they’d probably just call her a fenian, IRA-loving bitch.

  • Moderate Unionist

    lib2016
    I respect your right to hold a different opinion but you should not underestimate the difficulties that Northern Ireland is now in. In my opinion the Assembly in its current guise will not return.

  • P Ring

    Once upon time back in the 19th century there was a bill which prevented all partisan parades/public shows from all creeds and political persuasion all throughout Ireland. It was only repealed due to Randolph Churchill playing the orange card,wealthy unionist industrialists and reactionary religious leaders arrogantly putting pressure on the government so that they could have their aggressive way etc.

    What’s so wrong with something similar today. Orangies could all march round a field or a park somewhere. Shinners could f**k off to Bodenstown or Kerry or somewhere and Gay Pride could rent out Casement Park for the day.

    Get all the c**ts off our streets.

  • P Ring

    Here, I expressed that wrong. Gay Pride not c**ts (of course). I’d be happy if that was the only minority parade in the whole of the north.

    Get all the other f**kers away to f**k. It’s too much.

  • WILLIE

    TWO SOLUTIONS TO ORANGE DIS-ORDER PROBLEM

    1- BRING BACK PREVIOUS BAN BY ENACTING LEGISLATION THROUGH MOTHER OF ALL PARLIAMENTS.

    2- SURCHARGE ORANGE DIS-ORDER FOR ALL MARCHES – I.E. MAKE THEM PAY FOR PLICING COSTS – THEY WOULD BE A WHOLE LOT LESS LIKELY TO ATTACK THE POLICE IF THEY HAD TO PAY FOR IT.

  • Comrade Stalin

    “looking in”, yes, I’ve always found it strange how unionist politicians have described their electorate as disenfranchised. Does that mean they are admitting to being poor representatives ?

  • bertie

    Willie

    Please ditch the capitals. It makes your posts too hard to read.

  • beano

    Willie, a good idea except that it encourages republicans to riot at such events, so unless organisers of the ‘protests’ are treated in the same way, a non-starter.

  • GavBelfast

    Comrade Stalin,

    Excellent point about Unionist representatives there.

    And wasn’t DUP ascendancy (no pun intended) meant to reflect confident Unionism?

    And wasn’t, for example, Diane Dodds being the Shankill’s MLA going to make a bundle of difference?

  • G-man

    I am sitting here at a bit of a loss. I’m just not sure how to express how I feel after the events of this weekend.

    I returned to NI this years after 20 years away. My initial apprehension at returning was quickly replaced by a sense of relief and pride when I realised just how much Belfast & NI had changed and how much much better the place was compared to my teenage years.

    This initial rose tinted view has gradually been eroded by the general election results, the dreadful marching season, the appalling behaviour of senior Unionist politicians (in their silence over sectarian attacks and their involvment this weekend), and the usual outdated dogma and shite that comes from the general direction of Sinn Fein.

    It seems to me that there are too many people in NI who (I hope unwittingly) seem to be so misguided, so stuck in a time warp, so out of date in terms of their political and religious views, that NI is destined to always be a divided society.

    Perhaps the most depressing fact of 2005 is that nearly 60% of the voting population voted for either Sinn Fein or the DUP at the last election. It is perhaps simplistic to say “You get what you vote for” and that this weeks riots are an example of that but will the population of NI ever “wise up” and vote for politicians who might just help us to get out of this cycle.

    Seems to me that the official unionists got us into this mess in the first place (by the way they governed NI from 1922 to 1972), the DUP and Sinn Fein are trying their level best to keep us here.

    If I was religious I would pray for the day that a new and fresh polticial philosophy emerged that could seriously challenge the established parties.

    Think I maybe should just shut up and apply for a job back in GB.

  • stinger

    The orange order have serious questions to answer

    “Pledging to release footage that would prove their involvement, he said: “I saw members of the Orange Order attacking my officers. I saw them standing next to men wearing masks, organising the violence.”

  • heck

    Moderate Unionist,

    Unfortunately I have to agree with you. I thought the GFA was the best hope Northern Ireland had to move forward. There was a change for unionist and nationalist to work for the betterment for their communities. I have a more nationalist outlook than most on this site and I think the GFA is dead. The last election convinced me of that.

    Where we would disagree is where we go from here.

    I am also a little worried when I hear some of the comments about the unionist protestors and calls for heavy handed police and army action. Years ago people called on the army to put down republican demonstrators and we got bloody Sunday. I agree that the demonstrators were driven by bigotry but mindless outrage and calls for police excesses are not the solution. ( I don’t know what is!!!!)

    Northern Ireland needs a lot more sophistication in its political analysis than “shoot the orange b******s”

  • heck

    Moderate Unionist,

    Unfortunately I have to agree with you. I thought the GFA was the best hope Northern Ireland had to move forward. There was a change for unionist and nationalist to work for the betterment for their communities. I have a more nationalist outlook than most on this site and I think the GFA is dead. The last election convinced me of that.

    Where we would disagree is where we go from here.

    I am also a little worried when I hear some of the comments about the unionist protestors and calls for heavy handed police and army action. Years ago people called on the army to put down republican demonstrators and we got bloody Sunday. I agree that the demonstrators were driven by bigotry but mindless outrage and calls for police excesses are not the solution. ( I don’t know what is!!!!)

    Northern Ireland needs a lot more sophistication in its political analysis than “shoot the orange b******s”

  • Comrade Stalin

    Given the enthusiasm with which unionists have resisted enquiries into Bloody Sunday, you’d be forgiven for believing that they have few difficulties with using the army to suppress civil disturbances.

    More seriously, while I agree that the army should not be deployed at this stage, the right approach has got to be tear gas and arrests. The police need to move to disperse the rioting, rather than merely containing it as they are at present. Otherwise, this rioting is not going to stop and people are going to get killed.

  • aquifer

    Gavbelfast

    “what if the Queen was to go on television and condemn the rioters, etc, and say this wasn’t how she wanted those who professed loyalty to the Crown to behave.”

    No need for her majesty to charge into the political fray in such a manner.

    She could however tour a primary school with Mary McAleese and chat over tea in a china cup.

    Preferably a slightly scorched integrated primary school near Ballymena.

  • North Down Eye

    The Orange Order has to be ashamed of itself..it is not the Christian organisation that it claims to be.They also should not be hiring bands like the shankill protestant boys..according to their website they do things for GOD and for Ulster…things like..attack the PSNI…also their uniform badges make reference to the UVF..how can the orange order approve the hiring of these prats…enough is enough.

  • Comrade Stalin

    There’s an idea I’d support (seriously) – getting the Queen over to condemn the devestation and show her support to those who have been attacked.

  • Headmelter

    I’ve posted this on another thread but Ruth Patterson whose recent behaviour on tv was the subject of a previous slugger thread has REFUSED to condemn the rioters saying she thinks it is totally justifiable. (citybeat 1am bulletin)

  • Moderate Unionist

    Heck
    Actually, I agree with your post

    Comrade Stalin
    If you think this about the Queen you miss the point. As far as the protestors are concerned this is about identity, survival of a community and a fundamentally different approach to the existence of Northern Ireland…

    I don’t share their concerns but then my circumstances are different and I completely abhor their actions and make no excuses for the Orange order or the paramilitaries. However, I do see that the sections of the Unionist community believe they have a big problem and no way of dealing with it.

    …and finally yes unionist politicians have been and are lousy representatives (useless) because they have no influence with either government. The problem is excaserbated by the DUP claims that there would be an end to concessions, no more push over unionism, etc. etc.

    They raised peoples expectations (to get votes), only to dash them.

  • Gonzo

    aquifer said: “No need for her majesty to charge into the political fray in such a manner.

    She could however tour a primary school with Mary McAleese and chat over tea in a china cup.”

    Yes, but would she hug the UDA commander on the way in?

    ;op

  • Jo

    “As far as the protestors are concerned this is about identity, survival of a community and a fundamentally different approach to the existence of Northern Ireland…”

    …yes Im sure those were the concepts which those who tried to steal my car and burn it on Saturday evening were trying to explain to me…I just wasnt in the mood for a discussion right then so I just reversed and drove off at speed…

  • Jocky

    I was watching it on the BBC news last night, struck me how much Hugh Orde looks more like an accountant than a copper.

    The report said 500+ plstic bullets and 40odd live rounds fired by the police and army, must be that secterian PSNI, oh wait wrong riot. Surely Sinn Fein could support the ploice boards, the tag line could be something like “Join the PSNI and shoot those orange b’stards”

    On a more serious note, how exactly are the police to deal with it? I thought they did pretty well to contain the violence. I’d imagine it’s pretty difficult to go in and arrest people when they’re shooting at you, it’s not like they can deploy standard footie riot or normal race riot techniques. Nowhere else does violence quite like N.I.

    So unless they can get decent quality CCTV footage, identify rioters and make arrests the next day I’m not sure what they can do, most of the rioters seem to be clued up on this front. If the PSNI steam in tomake arrests there would be heavy casualties, would this be acceptable to everyone? As heck says if there one lesson from the troubles it is that civilian casualties by police/army tend not to help things.

  • Alan

    Far from being about a threatened culture, the type of inhuman and degrading activity we saw over the weekend is about paramilitaries reasserting their dominance over their communities. The OO and Unionist leaders have been sucked in and spat out by those same paramilitaries.

    What were the fools doing giving this parade the time of day? Who in their tiny minds did not foresee that paramilitaries, facing the greatest threat to their cash and status ever, would not swing all their resources into line to destroy a developing consensus against crime and violence.

    And before the Labour Government consider throwing money at the situation ( and those who know me know that I have a more than passing regard for that party and that government), can they please consider that those who are crying out for money now are often those who hindered development in the first place. They should not be the conduit for any future funding.

    Is it not about time that we began to take violence, paramilitarism and sectarianism seriously. Can we not as a society commit ourselves to act boldy to counter violence. Is it not possible to flood every work place, every community space, every church, every place of entertainment with the message that we will not tolerate violence. Can we not agree to raise the issue in every forum from staff meetings to tenants groups, to indoor bowls or junior GAA training sessions. Can every business, every restaurant, every bus, every car in NI show that concern in its window.

    Can we not do that and keep doing that at every meeting, in every place, until minds that consider violence are thoroughly dissuaded, or at the very least understand that their heinous activities will receive no support?

  • BogExile

    I’LL TELL MY MA 2005

    I’ll tell my ma when I get in
    That I’ve just torched a wheelie bin
    I pushed it up to a peelers car
    Then went and robbed the local Spar
    It’s not handsome it’s not pretty
    It’s a stain on Belfast city
    But it makes me oh so cool
    Loads more fun than Primary school.

    Parents that let their children riot are CHILD ABUSERS.

  • Pat, Ardoyne

    It’s obviously time to build a 30ft high wall 8ft thick at the Springfield Road end of Workman Avenue.

  • Comrade Stalin

    jonty, the police could read the riot act and warn everyone to leave, then surround the affected area, smother it with tear gas and move in (with gas masks) and lift everyone in sight. What do you reckon ?

  • Paddy Matthews

    GavBelfast:

    You know, earlier the thought crossed my mind: what if the Queen was to go on television and condemn the rioters, etc, and say this wasn’t how she wanted those who professed loyalty to the Crown to behave. And then I thought, no, they’d probably just call her a fenian, IRA-loving bitch.

    Given that Big Ian referred to her as a “parrot” back in 1998 when she issued a statement congratulating those who had negotiated the BA/GFA, I wouldn’t hold out much hope.

    Jo:

    Sorry to hear about you getting caught up in the sh*te on Saturday night. Glad to hear that you got out of it OK.

  • Alex

    @Bogexile: that made me laugh..thanks.

    @Stalin: I have to say, that course of action would seem to have many advantages…although you missed out “charge everyone possible with riot, or failing that violent disorder, no weak breach-of-the-peace tickets, and lock ’em up for as long as legally possible”