Senior Orangeman "unable to condemn" loyalist rioting

The Irish News yesterday carried more detail on the Billy Mawhinney story: the senior Orangeman who was suspended from his job as doorman at Stormont after remarks made on Spotlight last week. It stems from a longer interview with a local tv station:

Last night [Friday], community television station Northern Visions broadcast an interview with Mr Mawhinney in which he appeared to signal that the order would take to the streets to march without first seeking the permission of the Parades Commission.

He said the commission was “a finished item as far as we’re concerned” and members would not “fill in any more forms” for it, but might instead just go ahead and march – “next week, next month or next year”.

He went on to say that he was “unable to condemn” the violence following last month’s Whiterock parade. “The loyalist response was proportionate to the police assault on the loyalist community,” he said. It was not clear last night if the interview had been recorded before or after Mr Mawhinney’s suspension.

  • Brian Boru

    Considering that 82% of the PSNI are from the Unionist community I find these remarks from Mawhinney all the more ludicrous. This “law onto themselves” attitude of the OO needs to go into the dustbin of history where it belongs. The traditional Orange supremacist idea that they are above the law and Catholics are below it has to stop.

    I personally see this as part of a spectrum of loyalist supremacism ranging from opposition to letting Catholics into the PSNI, to supporting terror groups in their violence against the Catholic community. On the moderate wing of this “supremacism” you would have some who are against attacks on the police but who still oppose Catholics being allowed to become represented in % terms in the PSNI to the same degree as they are in society ie 40% thereabouts. On the extreme wing then you have people who support outright violence against people just for being Catholics, and on police protecting Catholics from violence.

    Unionism needs to stop regarding equality as some kind of “concession” by them. Equality is a birthright and should not be construed as a concession.

  • Pat, Upper Ardoyne

    If we accept this statement as true and factual on the events and in the light of the Orange Order’s call for equality would it fair to say that they now recognise that the IRA’s campaign was a proportionate and fair response to the RUC and UVF pogroms in 1969, or would this be stretching equality too far?

    Do the Orange Order and the community that this man represents now believe that the Nationalist community also have the right to store prepared Guns, Blast Bombs, Pipe Bombs and Petrol Bombs purely of course for defensive purposes. Do they also believe that if the PSNI arrest anyone for storing such materials then it would be OK to view such moves as heavy handed, and the community would have the right to use the said weapons to defend itself?

    What happened to supporting Law and Order? funny how things change when you are given exactly what you ask for – EQUALITY, but then again their call for “equality for Protestants” doesn’t really mean equality WITH Nationalists does it!

  • looking in

    Too much hot oxygen – media and society ought to ignore poor wee soles like this. Let him condemn himself and leave it at that.

  • Mick

    I really wish people would tackle what is actually said, rather than what they think’s been said.

    The issue raised by Mawhinney’s remarks seem to have little to do with equality, rather it may have serious implications regarding law and order and policing.

    There may well be a link between Mawhinney’s statement and inequality – but it would be good to see the working out!

    Otherwise this comment zone simply becomes a loop tape for pre-ordered, pre-judged opinion!

  • ch in dallas

    BB, i agree with your line of argument, but being fired from your job b/c you spoke your political views publicly seems unfair and counter-productive. However, I’m an outsider and his speech may have been beyond the pale. Smacks of the PC Police though IMHO.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Considering that 82% of the PSNI are from the Unionist community

    How did you establish this ?

  • looking in

    Mick – I see where you are coming from on this but again, the simple man has just called onto himself more “survellance” attention that he may have realised.

  • Brian Boru

    I have heard that this is so according to latest statistics. I read in a newspaper a while ago that it was 15%, and read online it has since gone to 18%.

  • aquifer

    Interesting line this, and a potentially productive one with an oversubscribed public sector in NI. Advocate violent attacks against the the state and the state will no longer pay your wages. Sounds like a sensible health and safety at work practice.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I have heard that this is so according to latest statistics. I read in a newspaper a while ago that it was 15%, and read online it has since gone to 18%.

    The source actually said they were unionists ?

    If they are 82% unionist, then what are the other 18% ?

  • Brian Boru

    It said 15% were Catholic.

    Comrade Stalin, considering only 0.75% are identified in NI as members of ethnic-minorities, it seems reasonably to surmise that over 80% are Protestants.

  • slug

    Comerade

    The figure 18% is the number of PSNI who are Catholic by community background. Therefore 82% is everyone else.

    Nobody knows what % is unionist – obviously some of the non-Catholic 82% may not be and some of the Catholic 18% might be.

  • slug

    Brian – there were 14% in the census who didn’t give religion. There were about 3%+ or so who couldn’t be allocated to one by community background.

  • Tiny

    Another nail in the coffin of the orange Order

  • IJP

    Mick

    Well said.

    I would now like to see Unionists be entirely clear about where they stand on law and order.

    Are they with the legitimate services of law enforcement, or are they with the Orange Order? Do they believe in a police service for all, or do they believe in a police service for Protestants? Because the division is exactly that stark – it’s one or the other.

    Brian

    Rubbish – many people in NI not from ethnic minorities are atheist, agnostic, members of new/non-denominational churches, etc etc etc.

    We’ll get nowhere if we fail to look beyond tribal assumptions.

  • ch in dallas

    Anyone like to tackle my (naive) question about being sacked for political views?

  • Paul

    Anyone care to read the actual words of this man? Instead of this usual middle-class holier-than-thou cack, can you maybe for once read what has been said? Say the OO do just start marching? No notice whatsoever, no PSNI involvement, what happens then? On here giving it all large with your keyboard condemnations? Then when some nationalists respond with bricks and petrol bombs? Then what? On here to tell the OO/Nationalist residents/loyalist followers to obey the rule of law and for the OO to fill in the Parade Commission’s wee forms? Then when someone dies, on either side……oooooh, then you’ll have fuck loads to type about!! For people who consider themselves intelligent, you can’t see the very fucking LARGE LETTERED writing on the wall. It seems, in the places it really matters, sectarianism has got much much worse, the peace process may have brought us IRA decommissioning, InvestNI and the Strategic Investment Board but the people who were at each others throats the whole time still are!

    It will take one parade followed by one death on either side for a world of shit to fall upon us again.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Comrade Stalin, considering only 0.75% are identified in NI as members of ethnic-minorities, it seems reasonably to surmise that over 80% are Protestants.

    That’s quite different from your original claim which mentioned unionists, not Protestants.

    It’s notable that you think Protestant is the same as “not Catholic”. What’s your specific objection to being policed by Protestants ? Is the problem with the PSNI really that there are just too many Prods in it ?

    The figure 18% is the number of PSNI who are Catholic by community background. Therefore 82% is everyone else.

    So everyone who is not a Catholic, is a Protestant ?

    I was baptized as a Catholic, but since I’ve been allowed to have my own opinion on the matter I’ve been somewhere between atheist and agnostic. Does that mean I’m a Protestant too, even though I’m not a Christian ? This is all very confusing.

    Brian – there were 14% in the census who didn’t give religion.

    Actually Slug, you’re wrong about this. We do not know how many people gave no religion in the Census, because the census office ascribed religion to people based on other details that they filled in. That’s right folks – the government in Northern Ireland tells you what religion you are. It’s for our own good, you see.

    I wonder how different this country might be if we found out how many people really were Catholic (as in believers/attenders in the Catholic religion) or Protestant (as in believers/attenders of a Protestant denomination) ?

    ch: Anyone like to tackle my (naive) question about being sacked for political views?

    ch, your question is not naive and I think you are correct. While this man’s views are reprehensible to me, his employer has no right to sack him unless there was some kind of conflict with his duties at work. He may well have a good case for unfair dismissal.

    That said, it may be difficult for him to get another job. Who is going to employ someone who appears on regional television effectively urging armed insurrection against the police and the legally instituted authorities of the state ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    ch, I’m glad you’re reading this thread, as in one place it provides a lot of clues about what is wrong in this country. You may conclude, as I have, that the issue is really fundamental tribalism that people don’t seem to wake up from.

    Note how, reading the thread above, there are some people who think :

    – everyone is either a Catholic, and if they’re not Catholic they must be Protestant. Anyone who does not fit into either category is irrelevant;

    – if you’re a Protestant you must have a very specific set of views, namely unionist ones.

    – the problem with the police can be explained by the fact that there are too many Protestants in it. The abundance of Protestants explains the bad practices and unfair behaviour of the police.

    – (by implication) Catholics are always fair and correct. The presence of Catholics in the police would immediately result in a fair police force which is incapable of poor practice and is always fair.

    Isn’t it brilliant ?

  • Pat, Upper Ardoyne

    Comrad Stalin – That said, it may be difficult for him to get another job. Who is going to employ someone who appears on regional television effectively urging armed insurrection against the police and the legally instituted authorities of the state ?

    Maybe the Orange Order or one of it’s many business executives that think it’s still 1950/60. To think that only 40 years ago being in Billy’s position would have gauranteed him a job running the civil service.

    It could be that Billy Mawhinney only made the remarks due to the slagging he was getting from other members about having to hold the door open for Fenians and Sinn Feiner’s to walk through, and him greeting them with “Good morning Mr McGuinness, SIR”. Haven’t times changed!

  • Moderate Unionist

    Brian Boru
    “On the moderate wing of this “supremacism” you would have some who are against attacks on the police but who still oppose Catholics being allowed to become represented in % terms in the PSNI to the same degree as they are in society ie 40% thereabouts”

    We want the police to fully representative of the community. Intimidation from the republican side reduced the numbers of RCs in the police. This would be addressed if all parties supported the rule of law and order.

    You seem to be suggesting that all prods are sectarian. Is this what you really think or have I misunderstood you?

    IJP
    This Unionist is fully and unambiguously supportive of the forces of law and order.

  • ch in dallas

    Comrade Stalin, Thanks for your insight, oh ghost of dictator past. I too think his views are to be abhorred, and I esp. don’t like the marching. But freedom of speech is to protect the person with whom we don’t agree. Something said outside of the workplace should not affect your job status.

    I see what you mean about tribalism. Since you were baptised Catholic, you’re “supposed to” have a certain set of allegiances and opinions. Guess not. Where to fit in the Comrade!

    Can you be a Catholic loyalist or a Prod for a United ROI? Or would you be taken away to the doctor?

    All very interesting indeed.

  • Brian Boru

    “That’s quite different from your original claim which mentioned unionists, not Protestants.”

    Nearly all Protestants are Unionists based on polling evidence – and especially electoral evidence. Only 3.8% of Northern Protestants say they support a United Ireland. In that context, I think that my interchanging of Protestant with Unionist is fair in the NI context – though of course 3.8 of those in the PSNI might not be I guess.

    “We want the police to fully representative of the community. Intimidation from the republican side reduced the numbers of RCs in the police. This would be addressed if all parties supported the rule of law and order.

    You seem to be suggesting that all prods are sectarian. Is this what you really think or have I misunderstood you”

    I’ll deal with your first paragraph first.

    It’s all very well saying that, but the politicians representing the vast majority of Catholics are in a better position than you to know the pulse as it were of their community. If they are saying – both SDLP and SF – that mistrust is still existent to the extent that quotas are necessary, then I believe them. Catholics themselves know best how they feel about policing.

    Now onto your second paragraph. Of course I am not saying all Protestants are sectarian. But it cannot be factually denied that 1920-72 and the Drumcree and similar standoffs, together with the UUP’s former institutional link with the OO, give ample evidence that a large proportion of Northern Protestant Unionists – hopefully a minority of them – regard full equality for Northern Catholics as a “concession” on their part, in a similar way that many Whites in Southern US states in the 1960’s regarded ending civil-right abuses against Blacks as an unacceptable concession. Nowadays in US Southern states, the situation is far better. But why is that? Partly because having long since seen many Blacks comprising a more representative component of the police and political positions, barriers of excessive fear and mistrust have broken down. So it was worth bringing in the Civil Rights Act and Affirmative Action in the US. In the same way that in the long term, hopefully Protestants will come to see the wisdom in the policing changes.

  • ch in dallas

    Brian Boru, As you suggest with the U.S. Southern example, progress can be very slow indeed. A black police office in Dallas gets it from both ends. Some black residents think he or she has turned coat and works for “the Man” while other white officers think the officer got the job because of a race quota. But things are slowly changing and for the better. If you’re law abiding, you welcome the police no matter the color, and if your not you don’t.

    Maybe the same with NI. If you’re law abiding and want protection, you don’t ask the police officer for a baptismal certificate, and if you want to stir up trouble, you’ll make it an issue.

  • aquifer

    ch in dallas

    “Anyone like to tackle my (naive) question about being sacked for political views?”

    Sure. The whole community has to have confidence that public servants will act impartially, so how they express their views is restricted in their contracts of employment.

    People do not have to work in the public sector, nor are special people entitled to work in the public sector because they are particularly ‘loyal’ to the state. It suffices that public servants perform their duties impartially and refrain from undermining public confidence in them. Some classes of duty carry more restrictions than others, perhaps related to how often they may come in contact with the general public, and of course views on violence would attract special attention.

    MLA’s and Councillors are not restricted of course, though they are paid from public funds.

    Hope that clears things up.

  • barnshee

    Brian Boru

    large proportion of Northern Protestant Unionists – hopefully a minority of them – regard full equality for Northern Catholics as a “concession” on their part”

    Perhaps you could outline the areas within the law where Northern Catholics are not equal?

  • slug

    Comrade

    “Actually Slug, you’re wrong about this. We do not know how many people gave no religion in the Census, because the census office ascribed religion to people based on other details that they filled in. That’s right folks – the government in Northern Ireland tells you what religion you are. It’s for our own good, you see.”

    Actually CS you’re wrong about this 🙂 The Census also gave the raw data (which showed that 14% dodn’t put a current religion), as well as the ascribed religion.

  • reading between the lines

    BB – first you went from 82% of the PSNI being Unionist

    Then it was 82% Protestant because all Unionists are Protestant or all Protestants are Unionists

    And now you are of course not saying that all Protestants are sectarian. Interesting slip of the tongue.

    Bigotry cuts both ways, check yourself, stand back and take a look at what you’re espousing.

  • beano

    IJP, for what it’s worth I’m with MU and totally behind the PSNI. The cries of “heavy handedness” are reminiscent of Sinn Fein’s whingings when IRA suspects were being rounded up and I suspect the rumours of heavy handedness (and I think I heard at least one person say brutality) were started by the paramilitaries the police were trying to get at.

    BB – there’s a big difference between not wanting Catholics in the PSNI and not wanting an unfair, discriminatory quota system. I’m all for the former and undecided on the latter, but there is a world of difference and the implication that one = the other is unwelcome and unhelpful, especially given the ‘other factors’ which hindered Catholic recruitment in the RUC and (still) in the PSNI.

  • Brian Boru

    “Perhaps you could outline the areas within the law where Northern Catholics are not equal?”

    It’s not so much “under the law”, as “in practice”. Even when there were intervals when an IRA was not engaging in violence e.g. between the end of the 50’s campaign and the late 60’s, it remained the case that Northern Catholics were not joining the RUC in numbers that would make the RUC representative. Also, the B Specials were entirely Protestant and joined in attacks on Catholics in an active way. The Cameron Commission in the 1960’s (a British-govt commission) found enormous discrimination against Catholics – especially the gerrymandering West of the Bann.

    Even now, official figures show that Northern Catholics are still twice as likely to be unemployed as Protestants. Surely this has to be indicative of discrimination to some degree? Shows the lie of the anti-agreement Unionists ranting on e.g. on Hearts and Minds the other night, about a supposed unfair bias in investment being directed into areas of poverty in NI (Jim Allister saying that 56% of the funding was going into Catholic areas). Well Mr.Allister, maybe 56% of it does go in there, but when Catholics are twice as likely to be unemployed in NI, then maybe it’s justified. I would say that a similar principle applies to the 50:50 PSNI recruitment, since it is reasonable to assume that a similar spirit of discrimination would otherwise keep Catholics in the former state of being in single-digit %’s in the PSNI.

    To back up my contention on the “twice as likely to be unemployed” argument, here is a link. http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/Irelandclick/arts2005/may30_unemployment_figures_static.php

    Among women, Catholics are 3 and a half times more likely to be unemployed.

  • Brian Boru

    Particularly interesting is the analysis by the Andersonstown News that on present trends, the senior positions in the NI Civil Service will not be representative regarding Catholic %’s until 2057.

  • Brian Boru

    Particularly interesting is the analysis by the Andersonstown News that on present trends, the senior positions in the NI Civil Service will not be representative regarding Catholic %’s until 2057. Only 25% of the Civil Service is Catholic.

  • Scotsman

    The chances of a Protestant-background serving member of the PSNI being an Irish nationalist are vanishingly small. We all know this, so best to stop pretending otherwise and deal with the reality. Even if they were “nationalists” in their spare time, they’d still have to do their job as instructed by senior officers.

    I am unable to apologise for making this blindingly obvious point.

  • setanta

    ch in dallas says: “Anyone like to tackle my (naive) question about being sacked for political views?”

    I’ll certainly correct your naivity ch! You really need to read the article first before commenting on it. Two points: firstly Mawhinney has not been sacked; he has been suspended (presumably while investigations are undertaken into the comments he made and whether he has breached his employment contract). I know the finer points of Employment Law may be a little confusing to a fella from Dallas but we don’t have quite the robust approach to employee relations that you seem to have over there.

    Secondly – Mawhinney was not suspended for his political views. He was suspended because he openly advocated the use of violent protest against the police and is a leading member of an organisation that participated in such violence. That’s an entirely different matter. As a state employee there is a particular expectation that he does not advocate violent confrontation with the police and the breaking of the law with respect to the Parades Commission.

    Mawhinney is a senior local representative of a particularly odious organisation. They have tried in recent years to project themselves as some sort of fraternal charity – all good works and love for the fellow man. The mask has slipped once again and the sectarian core has been revealed.

  • darthrumsfeld

    Hi setanta- trying to be seen by more people on Slugger than your crummy cable channel eh?
    Let’s have some facts.
    In the states most public posts are filled by election or the political party in power, and thus people are expected to be able to hold political views-hence dallas’ confusion
    Billy Mawhinny was suspended because he spoke publicly on a political matter. It may be that his remarks are construed worthy of a criminal investigation, but that is not the reason for the suspension.
    He did not advocate violence against the police, though on one interpretation he condoned it- quite a different thing-you know like when Gerry Kelly refuses to condemn the Ardoyne shops violence, some people would undoubtedly jump on my back if I said that meant he was advocating it. Mawhinny’s remarks are a mirror image of a thousand Sinn Fein statements down the years- none of which had tempted you to post so far as I recall.
    He did advocate breaking the law in respect of the Parades Commission-again perhaps without the finesse of one of Gerry’s nuanced ambiguities, but little different from the actions of leading Shinners in the past. And suppose he -as a prominent trade unionist-had talked about refusing to pay water charges, would you have been on your high horse? Civil servants have rights to hold political views too, and the suspension might be more difficult to turn into dismissal than you clearly hope.

    The orange order is of course a “particularly odious” organisation which has murdered precisely noone in the past thirty years. What does that make Sinn Fein IRA, which has dispatched hundreds of local people-mega super-duper ultra odious,perhaps? Cos I’d really like to know your perspective on that before weighing the merit of the rest of your post.

  • darthrumsfeld

    ah yes the old “twice as likely to be unemployed” MOPEry-proving that statistics can be manipulated any way you like .

    The rate of Roman Catholic male unemployment is roughly 8%. The rate of male unemployment for the rest- including muslims,jews, Poles, etc is 4%.So looked at the other way a ninety six percent chance of working as a non-RC; a ninety two percent chance if RC , making the likelihood of unemployment greater by one twentyfifth- a figure still skewed by the disproportionate numbers from one community in the security forces-or, if you prefer it, the disproportionately low uptake of available work from one section of the community for political or personal reasons, which should be respected but not discounted.

    If there were only three people in all NI who were unemployed , and two of them were RC, we’d still be told that we live in a sectarian state

  • Dick Doggins

    Are there any intelligent spokespersons remaining within the OO?
    Or could it be because of their ingrained sense of superiority they are not just putting their collective foots continually in their months, maybe what we are seeing is what the majority of Orangemen and women truely think!!

    As to this mans suspension, are we all missing something. He can only blame himself. What does he expect if he goes on a TV broadcast with such an inflammatory statement!

  • belfast-biker

    DarthRumsfeld: “ah yes the old ‘twice as likely to be unemployed’ statistics…”

    DR, you state:
    “Male Unemployment
    Catholic = 8%
    Non-catholics = 4%
    (mainly protestant)”

    Yet you say the likelihood of catholic unemployment is greater by one twenty-fifth?

    Your figures are wrong.

    If the protest unemployment rate went from 4% to 8%, it would have doubled. Twice as many protestants would be out of work.

    Hope this helps.

  • belfast-biker

    DarthRumsfeld: “ah yes the old ‘twice as likely to be unemployed’ statistics…”

    DR, you state:
    “Male Unemployment
    Catholic = 8%
    Non-catholics = 4%
    (mainly protestant)”

    Yet you say the likelihood of catholic unemployment is greater by one twenty-fifth?

    Your figures are wrong.

    If the protest unemployment rate went from 4% to 8%, it would have doubled. Twice as many protestants would be out of work.

    Hope this helps.

  • ch in dallas

    I’m at work so I can’t respond point by point, but it does seem like NI has free speech for me but not for thee. Someone (odius in my view) was suspended (maybe) for expressing an opinion. If people can’t express views without fear of being deprived of livihood, they will resort to the mask, and pistol, and bomb.

  • Mark

    “the rumours of heavy handedness (and I think I heard at least one person say brutality) were started by the paramilitaries the police were trying to get at.”

    Posted by: beano at October 10, 2005 09:31 AM

    Posters all over the Donegall Road are using the word brutality.

  • darthrumsfeld

    belfast-biker:
    if there was one Protestant person unemployed in NI, and his brother got the sack, it would also mean Prod unemployment had doubled.

    The correct comparator is the overall labour market, and 92% of RC males are in employment-one twentyfifth worse than the equivalent Protestant figure.

    The persistent misuse of the statement to imply ongoing endemic discrimination only serves to diminish serious study of the reasons for and strategies for defeating discrimination.

  • Belfast-Biker

    DR:”92% of RC males are in employment-one twentyfifth worse than the equivalent Protestant figure.”

    If you’re implying that the 4% figure vs. the 8% UNEMPLOYMENT figures for men is a “25th” different, you’re wrong.

    Let’s take some example figures (the figures don’t matter themselves, they’re apporximate):

    Protestants
    250’000 men
    4% unemployed = 10’000 unemployed

    Catholics
    200’000 men
    8% unemployed = 16’000 unemployed

    Try telling me there’s a difference of 4% there.

    If catholic men unemployment rates are double those of protestants, then if both populations were the same, there would be a DOUBLING of the unemployed numbers. As there are slightly less catholics, it’s not quite a doubling.

    For now.

  • darthrumsfeld

    OK Belfast biker. Let’s keep it simple
    The correct comparator is obviously the likelihood of being employed-96% against 92%-or four per cent differential. Numbers of unemployed prods and RCs are irrelevant to the likelihhod of you being on the dole compard to my likelihood.

    After all, if I was the only Protestant out of work, and there were ten RCs unemployed, would you really be able to say Roman Catholics are ten times more likely to be unemployed than Ptorestants and expect anyone to take you seriously?

  • Ginfizz

    Perhaps if they were prepared to work, there wouldn’t be an 8% unemployment rate in the first place?

  • beano

    “Only 25% of the Civil Service is Catholic.”

    Re the civil service police jobs, surely there are some (possibly half the?) members of the nationalist community who would be unwilling to work for the administration of the colonial invaders.

  • Belfast-Biker

    DR, We’re comparing UNEMPLOYMENT RATES, as the original post about this was “Catholics are still twice as likely to be unemployed as Protestants.”

    Which, if we’re talking about 4% unemployment vs. 8% is *entirely* correct, and backs my assertions up.

    That’s all there is too it.

    Your hypotheticals about 1 person *only* unemployed followed by his brother going on the dole are completely nonsensical here.

    Hypotheticals are great and all, when used well, but yours are utterly irrelevant here.

  • IJP

    Moderate Unionist

    I happen to think most Unionists are unambiguously in favour of the forces of law and order.

    However, do they realize that the people they voted for are not? That the leadership of both main Unionist parties is at absolute best equivocal on the matter?

    I think ‘Unionists’ need to consider whether it is more important: 1. to vote for a party which proposes maintenance of the Union (something already guaranteed); or 2. to vote for a party which unambiguously and unequivocally supports law and order. Because it’s one or the other…

  • Comrade Stalin

    Pat of Ardoyne:

    Maybe the Orange Order or one of it’s many business executives that think it’s still 1950/60.

    Which business executives are they ?

    Brian Boru : . In that context, I think that my interchanging of Protestant with Unionist is fair in the NI context

    Why do you think it is appropriate or fair to conflate religion and politics in any context ? Why do you think it is necessary ?

    I don’t know why you have a problem with Protestants, but I think you need to get over it.

    It’s all very well saying that, but the politicians representing the vast majority of Catholics are in a better position than you to know the pulse as it were of their community. If they are saying – both SDLP and SF – that mistrust is still existent to the extent that quotas are necessary, then I believe them. Catholics themselves know best how they feel about policing.

    That’s nothing other than thinly disguised bigotry Brian, and you know it so well that the only defence you can come up with is “people vote for it and I trust them”. Just because people voted to have the old Stormont government, together with it’s well-known views on dealing with Catholics, does not make it right. Just because there are a lot of bigoted people who don’t like being policed by Protestants, does not make that right either.

    Why should such a sectarian point of view be tolerated, let alone become government policy ?

    Particularly interesting is the analysis by the Andersonstown News that on present trends, the senior positions in the NI Civil Service will not be representative regarding Catholic %’s until 2057.

    I’ve never heard such bigotry in all my life. Why is it so important that the civil service be “representative” ? Are you saying that it’s your civil right to be served by a fellow Catholic just because you don’t like Protestants ? Pure sectarian bunkum. Is it any wonder this country’s in the right mess it is ?

  • Shay Begorrah

    Come on Comrade Stalin, let us not be more disingenuous than is absolutely necessitated by our secret political agendas.

    Religion in NI is still (sadly) a reliable cipher for political outlook and what the equality legislation is trying to achieve is not a more nuanced view about transubstantiation in the police force but a force more inclined to maintain an even disposition regardless of the character of the forces it has to protect or confront.

    Are you suggesting that this balance is just a bad idea or a wrong idea?

    On Mr Mawhinney I think I would echo looking in – too much publicity for too little thought.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Are you suggesting that this balance is just a bad idea or a wrong idea?

    Allowing people to acquiesce in the view that they’re justified in withholding their support from something just because there are too many of “the other lot” mixed up in it is simply going to make our problems here worse.

  • bretagne

    On the basis that it not shooting yourself in the foot that counts – it’s the speed at which
    you reload – I wonder when the OO will decide to either take a complete ‘no comment’ policy to PR, hunker down and take the flak. Sending plonkers like Mr Mawhinney out to bat will necessitate decent churchmen to distance themselves from the OO – stripped of non-evangelical churh support will sideline this mob in short order.

  • bretagne

    On the basis that it not shooting yourself in the foot that counts – it’s the speed at which
    you reload – I wonder when the OO will decide to either take a complete ‘no comment’ policy to PR, hunker down and take the flak. Sending plonkers like Mr Mawhinney out to bat will necessitate decent churchmen to distance themselves from the OO – stripped of non-evangelical churh support will sideline this mob in short order.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The OO are too stupid to manage their PR properly. They’ve got no idea of how to deal with broadcast media, let alone political opposition. They’re still too used to a world where they do not have to justify themselves to anyone.

  • Paul

    You’re all masters of missing the point. I salute you for that!

  • Belfast-Biker

    Paul, we’re not missing the point, you’re just wrong when you say “It will take one parade followed by one death on either side for a world of shit to fall upon us again.”

    I think we’ve moved on from that.

    Certainly the IRA has. They would have planned for such a possible turn of events and discussed it and it would not make the IRA decommission.

    They’ve got the high ground, and one death ain’t gonna make them cede this ground to unionism/orangeism, even if it hails from the Shankill.

    And if the IRA stay decommissioned, time will increasingly go against the likes of Mr. Mawhinney and his brethren, right or wrong.

    Wait until January, Paul.

  • Mick Fealty

    Orangeman Brian Kennaway has written in The Blanket .
    what he thinks the Orange should do.

  • darthrumsfeld

    “DR, We’re comparing UNEMPLOYMENT RATES, as the original post about this was “Catholics are still twice as likely to be unemployed as Protestants.””

    No we’re comparing the likelihood of being in employment- 92% versus 96%. My example exactly replicates your “twice as likely” hypothesis, and so demonstrates how slack language and shoddy analysis distorts the real problem. But keep living on planet MOPE if it helps you get through the day.

  • Belfast-Biker

    DR, I feel we’re going round in circles.

    Let’s just agree that our difference is semantic only. We have been agreeing on the unemployment rates of 4% vs. 8% at least.

    For your information, here are the latest details I could find concerning unemployment in NI:

    NI Unemployment rate higher for Catholics than Protestants

    “The unemployment rate for Catholic men was 9% compared with 5% for Protestant men.

    This difference is evident for both men and women, and among all age groups, except for men aged under 25. Within this group, unemployment rates for the two communities were very similar.”

    I take it this means that the gap will lessen in the future, thankfully.

    LABOUR FORCE SURVEY 2002 RELIGION REPORT UPDATE

    “In 2002, the unemployment differential between Roman Catholics and Protestants, expressed as a ratio of unemployment rates, was 1.9, that is, the unemployment rate of Roman Catholics was 1.9 times that of Protestants.

    In 2002, the unemployment gap between Roman Catholics and Protestants, expressed as the absolute difference between the two unemployment rates, was 3.8%, compared to a high of 10.7% in 1991.”

    Again, it seems things have been improving, although an unemployment diff. of 1.9 is still not good enough.

  • Belfast-Biker

    I think this blog thing handles URLs badly?

    “NI Unemployment rate higher for Catholics than Protestants” and “LABOUR FORCE SURVEY 2002 RELIGION REPORT UPDATE” are links.

    They don’t look like links on my Firefox setup.

  • bobmcgowan

    “Allowing people to acquiesce in the view that they’re justified in withholding their support from something just because there are too many of “the other lot” mixed up in it is simply going to make our problems here worse.”

    If you check the reasons why SF will not yet join the Policing Board, you will find that their objections center on the deficiencies in the governing legislation, — deficiencies which HMG promised to rectify some 2 years ago and still have not corrected.

    basically, it seems that the problem is that the Policing Board really has no jurisdiction over day by day police operations, specifically that they can call individual police officers or their superiors onto the carpet for police malfeasance. In short, the PSNI is not accountable as was promised and agreed to in the GFA. The CC may stop any investigation into police wrongdoing for just about any reason he chooses. And the Ombudsman cannot bring charges, against police officers — nor can the Policing Board. Neither departmental charges nor criminal charges.

    So, SF’s objections are not because there are too many “themums” in the PSNI but that the Policing Board is little more than a tea and crumpet society since it has no effective oversight of ongoing police operations.

  • peteb

    They should now, B-B.. you forgot to put quotations marks around the URL you wanted to link to – as in “http://www.etc.com”

  • Comrade Stalin

    If you check the reasons why SF will not yet join the Policing Board,

    I’m not concerned with SF or their reasons, so much as I am concerned about what appears to be the accepted mentality is that there must be enforced equality, rather than equality of opportunity, before people will lend their support to this or that.

    But now that you mention it, talking to SF about policing is like talking to unionists about when they will support the IRA in government – you can’t get a straight or consistent answer. One day, SF will tell you that they’ll support the police when Patten is implemented in full (whatever that means). Another day, SF will list new preconditions that are not requirements of Patten – such as the banning of plastic bullets, or the devolution of policing powers.

    you will find that their objections center on the deficiencies in the governing legislation,

    Go on, I dare you to list a few.

    basically, it seems that the problem is that the Policing Board really has no jurisdiction over day by day police operations,

    Quite correct, that is the job of Hugh Orde and his senior officers. There is no place anywhere in government where politicians interfere with day-to-day operational matters. That is what civil servants are for.

    specifically that they can call individual police officers or their superiors onto the carpet for police malfeasance.

    It sounds like you want to have some kind of show-trial system for individual police officers, and you want a system where people can intervene directly in the day-to-day running of the police. Is that right ? How do you expect to recruit officers into a force like that ?

    If an officer breaks the law, he should be taken to court and prosecuted. If he does not break the law but is guilty of malpractice, haul his senior officers up in front of a board to ask him why they messed up (as the Police Board now does). If that gets nowhere, start sacking the senior officers (which I understand the police board can).

    Secondly, investigation of police malpractice is clearly the job of the Police Ombudsman. The framework for disciplinary action against police officers is defined quite clearly in the Patten report. It isn’t appropriate for politicians to tell police how they should do their jobs. Instead, politicians set the requirements and standards, and hold the public servants charged with implementing to account. In the context of the police, this means that you get to grill Hugh Orde and other senior officers in a public forum – the Police Board already does this. What’s your gripe exactly ?

    In short, the PSNI is not accountable as was promised and agreed to in the GFA.

    The GFA makes no more promises about accountability than it does about decommissioning. In any case, your requirements for accountability are nonsense and are unworkable; they are not grounded in a sincere and realistic analysis of policing.

    The CC may stop any investigation into police wrongdoing for just about any reason he chooses.

    Provide a source for this spurious nonsense. The CC has no such power.

    And the Ombudsman cannot bring charges, against police officers — nor can the Policing Board.

    A more valid point, but one which will become irrelevant when prosecution powers are moved to a separate body (in progress at the moment).

    If you can name a case where the Ombudsman recommended a prosecution but one did not occur, feel free.

  • Comrade Stalin

    If you can name a case where the Ombudsman recommended a prosecution but one did not occur, feel free.

    erk, I better answer my own question. Out of 260 prosecutions recommended by the PO, 20 have gone ahead, 190 have been rejected and 30 are pending.

    It seems that I’m out of date; the NI Public Prosecution Service was setup in June – so decisions over prosecutions as of then are taken independently.