Campbell: much to be done before restoration

Gregory Campbell takes on some of the media and other speculation that the DUP can be dragged into negotiations on the IMC’s judgement of the IRA. He lists a number of issues that have not been addressed whilst the governments have been concentrating on accommodating Sinn Fein’s needs. You might say it was the DUP’s own Equality agenda.

There has to be an ending of the jobs bias, cultural shortfall and investment under-spend in the unionist community. The future of the Royal Irish Regiment has not as yet been finalised. The minority Protestant recruitment to the Police is intolerable and must end. The weakening and alienation of unionism has developed over a long period of time and has been ignored for too long. While it would be ideal if these were all remedied in a few months, it is difficult to see how. Unless of course there is an immediate change of heart by the Government and a speedy implementation of a new Equity Programme aimed at ensuring this package is delivered.

  • Brian Boru

    It isn’t a minority recruitment of Protestants into the PSNI. It is 50:50. The DUP would prefer the old Taig-free RUC with its 98% Protestant composition of course. The “jobs bias” allegations are equally nonsensical since latest statistics show that Catholics are twice as likely to be unemployed.

  • slug

    Dear Brian

    I understand that for PSNI recruitment the labels ‘Catholics’ includes ‘Catholics by community background’ only, while all other people are included as ‘Protestants’ in the 50/50 scheme.

    Thus, given that there are ethnic minorities, and people who are from neither religion, the protestants are effectively a minority at present recruitment.

    Inceidentally, the ethnic minorities could also be discriminated against, in this scheme, if the number of qualifying catholics is the binding constraint – as seems to be the case.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Brian, you’re wrong there. PSNI recruitment is 50:50 Catholic and non-Catholic.

    There is no need for the recruitment quotas; indeed there is no need anywhere for sectarian tribal headcounting. What will really get the police going is full support from all the political parties (including Gregory Campbell’s), zero tolerance of sectarianism and a rigid enforcement of equal opportunity within the police ranks.

    As for the rest of Campbell’s comments:

    There has to be an ending of the jobs bias

    I’d like to see evidence supporting the claim that there is an anti-unionist jobs bias.

    cultural shortfall and investment under-spend in the unionist community.

    I’d like to see evidence for this too. Driving along the staunchly loyalist Shore Road, where a whole new estate of housing behind the Grove Baths is being built, and extensive renovations are underway at the park across the road, there’s no direct evidence of favouritism to me.

    he weakening and alienation of unionism has developed over a long period of time and has been ignored for too long.

    Unionism has been weakened by it’s own crappy leadership. Unionism has been ignored because it offers nothing constructive. It refuses to talk to some paramilitaries, but talks to others just fine. It refuses to engage in any kind of honest dialogue.

  • Brian Boru

    “What will really get the police going is full support from all the political parties (including Gregory Campbell’s), zero tolerance of sectarianism and a rigid enforcement of equal opportunity within the police ranks.”

    Yes well that’s all nice and good but the fact is that this is the 50:50 quota quickest way to get the Catholic % up to 40% in line with the %. The ends justify the means.

    “I understand that for PSNI recruitment the labels ‘Catholics’ includes ‘Catholics by community background’ only, while all other people are included as ‘Protestants’ in the 50/50 scheme. “

    That is no my understanding. However, if this is true, then maybe the latter category should also be “Protestant by community background”.

  • slug

    Brian

    I may have been unclear: Basically those with catholic background come under “catholic” and are 50% of recruits while everyone else is the remaining 50%. Since there are a lot of people who are not “protestant by community background (PBCB)” or “catholic by community background” that means that the “PBCB” are less than 50% of recruits.

  • red kangaroo

    I assume the recruitmnet quotas have a sunset clause that kicks in when the targets are met? if not that should be the case. It is in democrats best interests that the police force is seen to come from across the cummunity. SF should further isolate the DUP by coming out in support of the PSNI.

  • Brian Boru

    “I assume the recruitmnet quotas have a sunset clause that kicks in when the targets are met? if not that should be the case. It is in democrats best interests that the police force is seen to come from across the cummunity. SF should further isolate the DUP by coming out in support of the PSNI.”

    I suppose I agree with your first sentence.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Yes well that’s all nice and good but the fact is that this is the 50:50 quota quickest way to get the Catholic % up to 40% in line with the %. The ends justify the means.

    Why’s it important that the police officers have certain religious beliefs ? Do you have some sort of problem with being policed by huns ?

  • Brian Boru

    “Why’s it important that the police officers have certain religious beliefs ? Do you have some sort of problem with being policed by huns ?”

    Because NI is not a normal society where people don’t care about things like this. Unless everyone is represented according to their proportions of the overall population, only one side will trust the police. This wouldn’t be the case maybe in a country like Hungary or in mainland UK, where there generally isn’t widespread sectarian rioting. This kind of thing does not go on anywhere else in Western Europe hence you have a special case here where such exceptional measures are required.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Because NI is not a normal society where people don’t care about things like this.

    Isn’t the whole point to try to make NI a normal society, instead of institutionalizing the abnormalities ?

    Sectarianism must be confronted. If people say “I refuse to be policed by Protestants” we must recognize it for the bigotry that it is.

  • red kangaroo

    Comrade “Sectarianism must be confronted. If people say “I refuse to be policed by Protestants” we must recognize it for the bigotry that it is.”

    Totally agree with you mate, but wasn’t the problem that the old RUC was demonised in the eyes of many nationalists and it is the interests of any society to have a police force representative of the community.

    Unfortunately in NI most people seem to define themselves by their religious background and before people say its not about religion just look in the mirror. In other societies it might be colour. The thugs will not accept the police no matter what community they come from but by having a force that is broadly reflective of society just takes one more tedious excuse out their verbal armoury. If protestants really were British unionists and supported strengthening the union then they would applaud this effort.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Totally agree with you mate, but wasn’t the problem that the old RUC was demonised in the eyes of many nationalists

    The RUC was demonized in the minds of a lot of people, including many who were not nationalists.
    Let’s fix the problem (I think Patten fixes most of them) and not do sectarian window-dressing.

    it is the interests of any society to have a police force representative of the community.

    That’s code for “there’s too many Prods in the police”. It’s absurd to think that just because the police has prods in it means that you won’t get fair treatment from them. Or to believe that because the police has a few fellow Catholics in it that they’ll see eye-to-eye with your interests. It’s utterly tribal sectarian thinking and it needs to be faced down.

    The thugs will not accept the police no matter what community they come from but by having a force that is broadly reflective of society just takes one more tedious excuse out their verbal armoury.

    It’s not an excuse at all, it’s just sectarianism, and trying to dress it up as anything more won’t change that. The police do not have to be reflective of society (indeed they cannot be), they merely need to be fair and do their job properly, legally and in a way that respects everyone’s rights. They need to be scrutinized by an independent and fair oversight and complaints system. Once you get that, the rest falls into place. I don’t think we have that yet, but we’re getting there.

  • Brian Boru

    “Isn’t the whole point to try to make NI a normal society, instead of institutionalizing the abnormalities ? “

    Actually the most likely way to achieve this is the restoration of the Assembly as then, policy issues other than the constitutional question will enter political-discourse to a greater degree instead of both sides simply sniping at each other.

  • bootman

    What id cultural shortfall as Campbell refers to it? Can the Britsh govt. really help by giving more culture to unionísts? are they going to fly over culture in big boxes?

  • Henry94

    I doubt that the DUP seriously plan to stay out of the negotiations on the issue of recruitment quotas.

    The consequence of abandoning the quota combined with a Sinn Fein endorsement of policing would be probably be an imbalance of nationalists/Catholics joining the force.

    There will be thousands of applicants from the nationalist community and from the south On the basis that the best qualified candidates from the unionist community are already in there would be an imbalance in the demographic profile of the intake going forward.

    So 50:50 cuts both ways. There may come a time when it is outdated but for now balance is necessary.

    It is also worth pointing out that the DUP boycotting talks did not stop it coming in and will certainly not get rid of it. They need to bring their case to the table.

  • circles

    Any idea what the current composition of the PSNI is?
    We’re surely not dealing with a protestant minority if we look at this statistic – but I’d like to know how far it actually represents the compostition of the population in the north.

  • slug

    Circles: The present figure is about 18% C.

  • George

    Gregory’s list: ending of the jobs bias, cultural shortfall and investment under-spend in the unionist community, finalising the future of the Royal Irish Regiment, ending the minority Protestant recruitment to the Police.

    Secretary of State Hain’s Plans:
    cut the number of local councils by up to half.
    Complete restructuring of health service to cut costs and reduce waiting lists.
    Implement education reforms and continue process to end 11-plus.
    Outline to Chancellor Brown where resources will be spent in NI in the coming years.
    Highlight issue of child care and activities of children after school.
    Implement environmental policies to promote renewable and other clean energy.

    So either the DUP’s message isn’t being heard by the rulers of NI or nobody is bothered listening any more.

    Does the DUP intend doing anything about what is actually going to happen in Northern Ireland in the next few years?

    It seems to me the only reason the days of “pushover unionism” are gone is because the DUP has got out of the way.

    It has abdicated all responsibility for the running of NI and instead satisfies itself with symbolic demands such as for the RIR to be retained (who’s going to pay for that Gregory?).

  • DerryTerry

    On Radio Foyle yesterday morning Gregory added the issues of educational underachievement in Unionist communities to the above quoted list.

  • dutch

    What I find typical and quite sad about Gregory Campbell’s statement is that he implys that the unionist community has suffered under-investment at the expense of the nationalist community and that the UK government should rectify this.

    Surely the greatest problem with Northern Ireland is the overall over-investment by the UK government resulting in the most bloated public sector in the whole of Europe. It is this stream of subsidies that allows both unionist and nationalist politicians to keep hammering on about the national question.

    Why can’t Gregory Campbell come up with some economic initiatives to help his community help itself? Why is sticking his hand out? I thought that the Ulster Protestant was supposed to be all about hard work and industry.

    I haven’t heard the DUP going on about the poor, backward Free State for a while. Maybe they should take a trip down to Dublin and try to work out how an economy can be built based on the private sector.

    Maybe then the Northern Free Space (or Ulster, or Northern Ireland, or the Six Counties or Linda or whatever) would be an attractive place with which either the UK or the Irish Republic could share a state.

  • circles

    slug: thanks for the statistic – but what is 18% by the PSNI? Number of “catholics”?

  • slug

    Circles – yes.

  • circles

    Danke schön.
    Was surprised thatGregory didn’t bring up the weather too – “Unionist are tired of seeing how the sun endlessly bathes the streets of nationalist areas, whilst we are oppressed and washed away by heavy rain the whole year through.”
    I think he’s really got a bad case of the grass being greener (if ye’ll pardon the pun). I mean for goodness sake – “There has to be an ending of the jobs bias, cultural shortfall and investment under-spend in the unionist community”!!
    He’d have hit the nail on the head if he’d have left the word unionist out of that sentence.

  • Alan2

    There were a couple of initiatives launched recntly to try and get increased ethnic minorities to join the PSNI. They of course have very little chance of doing so since ethnic minorities are also put into the 50% Other category.

  • circles

    But what if they’re catholic? How do they handle that.
    Is it really 50% catholic and 50% everybody else?

  • slug

    Yes, Circles. It really is!

  • Betty Boo

    I pointed it out before that I believe it to be a temporary measure until a status quo has been achieved. Has anyone more information on it?

  • Dessertspoon

    lol….Linda….personally I’ve always seen the place as more of a Pauline.

  • criostoir mac aodh

    Betty

    Hardly a journal of record but I just googled “psni recruitment” and up popped a page on http://www.ulster-scot.co.uk“. While I’m sure this is not a journal of record it claims that of 12,000 Gardai a microscopic 14 are prods. It also says that the target Catholic participation for the northern force is 30% so I guess that’s the point at which discrimination ends.

  • Betty Boo

    Criostoir,

    Thank you for the reply.
    So according to this they are asking for 50% and expecting 30%.
    Car boot sale tactics then.

  • Reader

    Betty Boo:So according to this they are asking for 50% and expecting 30%.
    Car boot sale tactics then.

    Not really, 50% of annual intake would take a 10% establishment to 30% by the time half of the original officers have left. So the choice of 50% RC recruitment will move the PSNI to 30% in half the time that 30% recruitment would.

  • George

    criostoir,
    just a small note. This 14 Protestant Gardai is brought up time and again (not by you but by the “Ulster Scots”) as some kind of discrimination but it’s simply that southern Irish Protestants have higher goals than walking the beat.

    I’d love to see how many applied to join an Garda Siochana.

    Protestants in the Republic are over-represented in the numbers of lawyers, solicitors and judges. That’s where they want to be and are.

    These 14 should be higher up the value chain and are letting their southern co-religionists down.
    What’s good enough for an Ulster Scot isn’t necessarily good enough for an Anglo Irish.

  • Betty Boo

    Reader,
    Sorry, I still don’t get it. But that is more a case of me and numbers don’t go very well together.
    Here we go again then. The 50/50 recruitment was put into place so that a 30% RC share can be achieved in half the time as if the policy would be 30% RC to 70% Non Catholic.
    But it seems to me that you still end up with 30% RC half the time or double.

  • pacart

    Gregory Campbell loves muddying the waters on this issue. If long trend inequality is to be addressed then there will obviously be areas where the previously dominant group will seem worse off, relative to their previous dominance that is. There are also areas where, for one reason or another, one group is over, or under, represented. What counts is that there is equality of access. Gregory has made a big play of complaining about RCs being over represented in the NIHE here in the North West. When he was challenged to produce any evidence that the NIHE’s recruitment policies were unfair, or even one Protestant applicant who thought s/he had been discriminated against, he produced, well, nothing and noone. It doesn’t stop him complaining though. This from the party which steadfastly refused to implement Fair Employment practices in the councils they controlled, until forced to by the courts.
    As with every other issue the DUP are @five years behind everyone else. If we had time machine we could fast forward them to the present day. Until then we will just have to wait for them to play catchup.

  • Brian Boru

    Criostoir mac aodh, since Catholics are around 42% of the population, I would say that 30% shouldn’t be the final target. 30% would even under-represent the 1918 Catholic population of 33%. No. 40% must be the target.

  • Reader

    Betty Boo, Brian Boru

    I don’t think 30% is the final target, which should ideally be proportionality after all. I just think that 30% is the level at which discriminatory hiring practices would no longer be seen to be justified.