Sinn Fein must back the police…

Dermot Ahern has been speaking at the SDLP’s seminar on cross border co-operation. Amongst other things he has called for Sinn Fein to give its support to the police in advance of going to see Dennis Bradley, vice Chair of the Policing Board.

  • Zorro

    “This is no time for any party to shirk its responsibility.”

    Dermot Ahern hits the nail on the head

  • heck

    I see that some politicans in new orleans are calling for reform of the police because they claim that up to 40% were either involved in looting or didn’t show up for work during the floods.

    I suppose they shouldn’t be allowed to hold office “because they don’t support the police”.

    A police force must earn support–not demand it.

  • Zorro

    heck,

    There are opportunists in all walks of life be it religious, social, political etc. It is not a difficult argument to approach. Either you respect democracy or you don’t. Either you respect the rule of law or you don’t.

    This isn’t rocket science. If an individual does not support democracy and the rule of law then why should they expect to be allowed to hold office?

    How can they hold an office which enforces and supports that which they don’t believe in!?!

  • spirit-level

    To Sinn Fein
    Come clean about crime, get on the policing board. In fact accede to all DUP demands, just for the f**k of it.
    The DUP will have to sit down with you in Goverment.
    Then get the debate going for a united Ireland. You’ll be home and dry by next summer.
    Simple really.
    Swallow your foolish pride and just do it.
    Its ok you don’t have to thank me 🙂

  • Dr Snuggles

    Well, if Sammy Wilson’s claims on community policing today are correct, it might well be that the DUP will end up being the ones refusing to support policing. As early as the next marching season, we could well be in a through-the-looking-glass position, with republicans supporting and engaged in policing, and unionists dissenting.

  • Henry94

    Dr Snuggles

    I think you could be right. How could the DUP serve on the Police Board with SF while refusing to run anything else with them?

  • MACSWINEY

    There’s no point in engaging in the ususal ‘from a distance’ musings about The Shinners embracing policing. I live in a strongly nationalist area and people simply want nothing to do with them. So much emphasis is placed on SF’s supposed need to walk towards a new dawn in terms of their attitude to policing but what about the responsibilities of The PSNI? On the ground local police could’nt give a shit about working class nationalist communities. I could give a dozen examples in my own area in the last year alone but it’s like banging your head off a brick wall. Alex Attwood can enjoy his tea and sandwiches at his monthly forum meetings but he should get out on the ground and trust his own community when they tell him why they still dislike the police so intensely (even after nearly 10 years since The Agreement was signed).

  • Dr Snuggles

    It’s not “from a distance” musing. Gerry Adams yesterday told the BBC that if the Government published draft legislation on the transfer of policing powers to the Assembly, he would call a special ard fheis. The shinners are much closer to coming on board with policing than many seem to think.

  • Denny Boy

    I find myself agreeing 100% with spirit-level’s 3.24 post. Sinn Féin: “Swallow your foolish pride and just do it.”

    It won’t be easy though, as Zorro reminds us:

    “If an individual does not support democracy and the rule of law then why should they expect to be allowed to hold office?”

    We could all name any number of Ulster politicos who served before 1970 who held office (and expected to hold office) who scorned democracy, and who had a skewed notion of how a police force should conduct itself.

    Because of this burden of the past, it’s going to be a long haul, but I do feel that Sinn Féin would earn kudos by supporting the PSNI – such as it is at present.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Assuming arguendo that the the Provos have retired the field of political “street theatre” and have left the business to SF, then there should not even be a question about it. If the “Long War” is over, then participation in the political process has to be the name of the game, up to and including the Police Board.

    This would accomplish three things: It would get SF back into the political process in a credible way; it would give a sign that the Provos are serious about decomissioning and playing politics, rather than war / cops ‘n robbers; lastly, it would force DUP to either put up and walk or shut up and work with SF.

    Not to be cynical, tho, SF will pull a PA and take this opportunity to miss an opportunity.

  • victor1

    It would get SF back into the political process in a credible way;

    I thought Sinn Fein had an electoral mandate isn’t that the credibility required to get into politics?

    it would give a sign that the Provos are serious about decomissioning and playing politics, rather than war / cops ‘n robbers;

    How serious doe’s one need to be about decommisioning when one has completley fulfilled it?

    lastly, it would force DUP to either put up and walk or shut up and work with SF.

    Nothing will satisfy the DUP in this respect, the DUP wish to go back pre 69, as a matter of fact they have actually surpassed that, rather than not give Catholics votes, they just refuse to recognise thos elected by them, prehistoric neanderthals that they are!

  • Robert Keogh

    Sinn Fein has enumerated the failures to fully implement the Patten Report and these shortcomings were confirmed by Hugh Orde. Until they are fully implemented there is a great risk in SF endorsing the PSNI because then they will suffer electorally for any future PSNI abuses.

    But this is all moot. Now that the PIRA have retired all their guns the nationalist communities don’t feel they have any choice but to go to the PSNI for protection and crime resolution in the future. Once the community starts using the PSNI it will be relatively easy for SF to follow.

  • jodey

    Many unionists don’t support the police, so why is all the emphasis on Sinn Fein.

    For example, Ulster Unionist Jim Rogers Thinks they are ‘scum’

    And again this evening loyalists are petrol bombing police in the loyalist Ballygomartin area.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Dread Cthulhu: “It would get SF back into the political process in a credible way;”

    Victor1: “I thought Sinn Fein had an electoral mandate isn’t that the credibility required to get into politics?”

    Depends on whom you ask… and when… and how whether you’re living in a “managed” democracy or not.

    Dread Cthulhu: “it would give a sign that the Provos are serious about decomissioning and playing politics, rather than war / cops ‘n robbers;”

    Victor1: “How serious doe’s one need to be about decommisioning when one has completley fulfilled it?”

    Again, it depends on whom you ask. While I would like to believe (and mnostly do) that the Provos have taken the gun out of mainstream nationalist politics, there are others less sanguine on the topic. Case in point is the “Right” Rev. Paisley.

    Dread Cthulhu: “lastly, it would force DUP to either put up and walk or shut up and work with SF.”

    Victor1: “Nothing will satisfy the DUP in this respect, the DUP wish to go back pre 69, as a matter of fact they have actually surpassed that, rather than not give Catholics votes, they just refuse to recognise thos elected by them, prehistoric neanderthals that they are!”

    People used to believe that Israel wouldn’t give up Gaza, too. Properly handled, SF joining the policing board would force the DUP into a corner. Either Rev. Paisley becomes “Reverand NO” and remarginalizes the DUP or has to deal with SF. If nothing else, it would force those external parties, such as Ireland and the UK to admit that the Unionists have become the problem and navel gaze on what to do about it. The longer antics like Unionist fire-bombings and riots go on, the more “reasonable” SF starts looking.

    And, like I said, it prolly won’t mean a bucket of fetid dingoes kidneys, since SF will find a way to muck it up.

  • victor1

    Dread Cthulhu

    Depends on whom you ask… and when… and how whether you’re living in a “managed” democracy or not.

    Democracy…free and equal representation of people: the free and equal right of every person to participate in a system of government,

    often practiced by electing representatives of the people by the majority of the people

    We either live in a democracy or we don’t, democracy shouldn’t depend on who you ask!

    Again, it depends on whom you ask. While I would like to believe (and mnostly do) that the Provos have taken the gun out of mainstream nationalist politics, there are others less sanguine on the topic. Case in point is the “Right” Rev. Paisley.

    Only those with a lack of goodwill would believe the IRA have not fulfilled thier agreement to decommision, as for mostly believing…you either do or you don’t it’s that simple,there isn’t a gray area here,,,,,have they decommisioned or not, I happen to believe the IRA have totally, and have enough confidence in thos whom witnessed the event to put it to bed as finished and no longer an issue!

    Properly handled, SF joining the policing board would force the DUP into a corner.

    It was also said Decommisioning would force the DUP into a corner, how many more hurdles must Republicans and thier electorate have to jump before thier democratic rights are recognised? I really don’t think marginalising the DUP would help anyone as I don’t believe marginalising Republicans does that is the problem with the whole democratic process here, it doesn’t exist due to marginalising certain sections of the electorate. Getting back to the main point, a good police service is obviously an integral part of any democratic modern society, and should be supported by all living in that democracy, we here in the North don’t live in a democracy, a very large section of the electorate are excluded from the democratic process,,,,get that sorted and supporting the Police would be a formality.

  • Whatabout

    It is totally illogical given the steps taken so far to suggest that Sinn Fein are not going to join the policing board. It’s too good an opportunity to miss to hamstring the DUP.

  • slug

    I would expect the DUP to stay on the board if SF joined.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Victor1: “Democracy…free and equal representation of people: the free and equal right of every person to participate in a system of government, often practiced by electing representatives of the people by the majority of the people”

    Doesn’t happen. Even the United States isn’t a democracy, its a representational republic. Yes, we have democratic elections, but Democracy is the ideal, but its not an ideal world, so we have to temper democracy with limitations and controls. Pure democracy is 5 wolves and 3 sheep voting on tonight’s menu. Northern Irish democracy isn’t.

    Victor1: We either live in a democracy or we don’t, democracy shouldn’t depend on who you ask!

    Is it really a democracy when Great Britain essentially call the whole thing off at the drop of a topper and you “elected representatives” sit about twiddling their thumbs waiting for England and the DUP to call game on?

    Victor1: Only those with a lack of goodwill would believe the IRA have not fulfilled thier agreement to decommision, as for mostly believing…you either do or you don’t it’s that simple,there isn’t a gray area here,,,,,have they decommisioned or not, I happen to believe the IRA have totally, and have enough confidence in thos whom witnessed the event to put it to bed as finished and no longer an issue!”

    Victor, you’re an idealist and, in that, I kinda envy you. That said, do you honestly mean to tell me that only the most black-hearted of individuals would harbor the merest sliver of doubt as to the PIRA’s complete goodwill and honesty?

    Dread Cthulhu: “Properly handled, SF joining the policing board would force the DUP into a corner.”

    Victor1: “It was also said Decommisioning would force the DUP into a corner, how many more hurdles must Republicans and thier electorate have to jump before thier democratic rights are recognised?”

    Well, if your “democratic” rights can be taken away, its not really a democracy, now is it. Second, as many as it takes for one of two things to happen: a) the Rev to find he has no more room to back up or b) the DUP find lose their mandate, since they obviously are no longer the answer, but part of the problem.

    Victor1: “I really don’t think marginalising the DUP would help anyone as I don’t believe marginalising Republicans does that is the problem with the whole democratic process here, it doesn’t exist due to marginalising certain sections of the electorate.”

    If you can be marginalized via fiat, I would say its not really a democracy. Secondly, I’m not talking about marginalizing anyone, I’m talking about making the Reverand either commit to democracy or show himself to be an unfit leader.

  • victor1

    I’m talking about making the Reverand either commit to democracy or show himself to be an unfit leader.
    The whole emphasis of your post relies on the fact that we don’t live in a democracy, why then would Paisley commit if it doesn’t exist!

    Is it really a democracy when Great Britain essentially call the whole thing off at the drop of a topper and you “elected representatives” sit about twiddling their thumbs waiting for England and the DUP to call game on?
    Well in essence I must agree here, the British like to tell us we live in a democracy, then continue to take away our democratic rights when it suits them, hence the sooner we rid ourselves of thier influence the better.As for mr Paisley and his party, they believe in democracy only when its in thier favour the politics of NO are hardly consistent with a democratic party, when have Paisley and co ever accepted the democratic rights of antone on these shores who didn’t agree with the DUPs policies!

    Victor, you’re an idealist and, in that, I kinda envy you. That said, do you honestly mean to tell me that only the most black-hearted of individuals would harbor the merest sliver of doubt as to the PIRA’s complete goodwill and honesty?
    Why would the IRA have gone through with any form of decommisioning if they were not fully commited to it? If the IRA haven’t completed the process(and I don’t doubt they have)I’m quite sure they will be caught out now were would that leave them! We have a commision set in place to witness what took place are we to believe these highly regarded individuals were duped? not a chance of it, and those who don’t believe the process is complete never would be no matter what the IRA done to convince them! Paisley showed his true colours with his SACKCLOTH AND ASHES statement, he wants Republicans crawling on thier hands and knees. We hear time and again of consessions to Republicans, IMHO Republicans have received little but have no more to give. At this moment in time the community I come from would abhor Sinn Feins endorcement of a police service which commands absolutely no respect whatsoever it would be a major blunder politicaly and I susspect this is the motive behind the push to get them to do so.