Bradley: 50/50 recruiting will go

EWe’ve been a tad pre-occupied with technical difficulties over the weekend, so we missed a few things. Not least the SDLP’s party conference, and the 20 anniversaries of the Progressive Democrats and the Anglo Irish Agreement. One noteable key from the SDLP’s conference was Denis Bradley’s reminder that the controversial 50/50 recruitment policy should go once Catholics reach 30% of the force. He further recommended that police officers should work in or near their own areas.

  • D’Oracle

    I’m confused ; anybody explain how/when, does 50/50 actually mean 70/30 ?

  • Pete Baker

    Hmm.. my impression was that it wasn’t such a ‘ground-breaking’ speech as was reported – his comments on CRJ excluded.

    Phasing out the 50/50 approach was part of Patten’s proposals – not exactly the slaughtering of a sacred cow that the Sunday Life suggests..

  • Mick Fealty

    50/50 describes the current strategy of recruiting, not the overall target. According to Patten, a target of 30% was recommended, not 50%.

  • It seems like a fairly obvious statement – while I totally agree, I wonder did it need to be said? I would have thought the mere sniff of this would have left SF potential to accuse the SDLP of letting down nationalists or something silly like that. Nevermind that it was (presumably) always on the cards eventually, once the recruitment numbers are eventuallly up sufficiently high, it’s the soundbites the spinmeisters could play with.

    Many people grudgingly accepted that 50/50 recruitment was necessary temporarily to boost recruitment from the minority community – I don’t think quite so many would accept discrimination to be legally enshrined as a norm in this day and age.

  • Brian Boru

    “I’m confused ; anybody explain how/when, does 50/50 actually mean 70/30 ? ”

    Because it will take at least another 10 yrs of 50:50 to get a situation where the PSNI is 70% Protestant and 30% Catholic.

    “According to Patten, a target of 30% was recommended, not 50%. ”

    It should be 40% as that is the Catholic % of society overall. If people on both sides are to trust the police they have to see people from their communities being part of it.

    We are also introducing quotas for minorities in the Gardai so I think we are being consistent here.

  • fair_deal

    Now that Bradley has admitted the 50:50 rule is an abuse of human rights what will the NIHRC do? Over to you Monica?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Recruiting into the PSNI on the basis of 50% Roman Catholic and 50% OTHER must stop. It grossly descriminates against Protestant applicants to the police. In a civilised society in this day and age, you can’t have a police force that recruits on the basis of religion rather than on how well a person can do the job. Many better equipped and more highly skilled Protestant applicants are being looked over in favour of less-competent Roman Catholics…all because of their religious beliefs.

  • D’Oracle

    Thanks Mick & Boru for the steers.

    This would be progress but it looks like a worryingly unambitious target over a timeframe like that and away out of line from the communities’ relative population shares.

    Loyalist,
    Do you have some hot evidence or is it just a harmless outburst of prejudice that has you writing about highly skilled protestantss and less competent catholics?

    You may right, though, that one lot may be “better equipped” than the other ..but that would only be only because they’ve not decommissioned their equipment yet.

  • Brian Boru

    Concerned Loyalist, there is no evidence that Catholics recruited under the 50:50 system are less able to do the job than Protestants. Positive discrimination can be justified to redress large representation-deficits.

    Loyalism is ill-placed to lecture on “discrimination” anyway considering the ban on Orangemen marrying Catholics, and there adherance to a ban on Catholics ascending their throne.

  • fair_deal

    Brian Boru and D’Oracle

    Some hard evidence.

    In Parliament on 23 March 2005 then DR Minister Ian Pearson admitted:
    “440 Protestants had been discriminated against since the measures were introduced in 2001.”

    The 50/50 rule is barring properly qualified Protestants and non-Protestants from serving in the PSNI.

    “the ban on Orangemen marrying Catholics”

    The OO cannot ban anyone from marrying whoever they wish. It is the state that defines who someone can and cannot marry.

    The Head of State has to be a Protestant as they
    are Head of the State Church, the Church of England. A rabbi cannot be appointed an iman.

  • Jo

    50/50 does represent discrimination but that word has been historically associated with precluding one group with reference to a wider “good” – usually, the need for “loyal lads and lassies”.

    Discrimination in the PSNI is equally in pursuit of a wider societal good but one which is inclusive in orientation rather than exclusive, namely, the desirability in a divided society, of a representative police force rather than a force almost entirely drawn from one community.

  • D’Oracle

    Fair Deal,

    If you were a policeman you’d not get a conviction on this evidence !.

    All this PROVES is that some qualified (but -not neccessarily “highly skilled” protestant) candidates were passed over to make way for other qualified (but not neccessarily “less competent” catholics)

    If the scheme didnt actually do that -that is positively discrimate in favour or one group compared with another -it would not be serving its intended purpose..so wheres the beef!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Concerned Loyalist: “Recruiting into the PSNI on the basis of 50% Roman Catholic and 50% OTHER must stop. It grossly descriminates against Protestant applicants to the police. In a civilised society in this day and age, you can’t have a police force that recruits on the basis of religion rather than on how well a person can do the job. Many better equipped and more highly skilled Protestant applicants are being looked over in favour of less-competent Roman Catholics…all because of their religious beliefs.”

    As opposed to security personnel who decide their offices ake them ideal intelligence officers for the Protestant paramilitaries? Those “highly skilled Protestant applicants” of security forces sure are doing a swell job, neh, leaking the personal information of some 400 Nationalist figures to Protestant paramilitaries.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/4441414.stm