Hain: SF must ‘cut the crap’ and get on with it

More from Niall Stanage’s exclusive with Peter Hain in America. This time he fairly hammers Sinn Fein for its determination not to co-operate with the PSNI:

Hain insisted that “there is no reason for Sinn Fein not to engage with policing. I know the history and the conflict, but we are in a new era in Northern Ireland.” He also complained that some low-level instances in which Sinn Fein representatives had declined to co-operate with the PSNI were “petty and almost vindictive.” Referring to Sinn Fein’s reticence about signing up to the new policing plans, he said the party might as well “cut the crap and get on with it.”

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Pretty bold words, given the fact that the security services have been outed as the intelligence wing of the Unionist paramilitaries. Once the police forces are out of the Unionist’s pockets and no longer handing out sensitive information to Unionist gangs, then maybe it will be time to discuss signing on.

  • seabhac siulach

    Sorry about the (I suppose) whataboutery, but I think it pertinent…

    Why does he not instead tell the DUP to ‘cut the crap’ and get on with power sharing…

    In any case, how can Sinn Fein support a force that is willing to put their lives in danger?

    First, restore Stormont and then talk about policing, surely, is the correct order of things…

    Why this hurry to bounce Sinn Fein into supporting the police in the absence of any other political movement? Any movement there has been has come from Sinn Fein but strangely the political pressure is now being put on them again. Why is this?

  • Shore Road Resident

    But Hain did tell the DUP that, in the same interview no less.

    You didn’t notice. Why?
    Blinded by something?

  • seabhac siulach

    “Blinded by something?”

    I see no reference to the DUP in that Irish Echo article…

    Perhaps, I have missed it…

  • Keith M

    “First, restore Stormont and then talk about policing, surely, is the correct order of things”.

    What a bizarre notion. People who do not support those that enforce the law can have no act or part in making the law. By all means restore Stormont, but with SF/IRA.

  • Keith M

    should of course read “By all means restore Stormont, but without SF/IRA.”

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Keith M: “First, restore Stormont and then talk about policing, surely, is the correct order of things”.

    What a bizarre notion. People who do not support those that enforce the law can have no act or part in making the law. By all means restore Stormont, but without SF/IRA. ”

    How about we get the police and security forces out of the pro-Union paramilitaries’ bed first? Is that too much to ask?

  • aquifer

    “the fact that the security services have been outed as the intelligence wing of the Unionist paramilitaries”

    That makes Sinn Fein’s relationship with nationalist death squads ok then.

    Sinn Fein don’t like the police because of their efficiency in jailing perpetrators of terrorism, piling convicted military adventurists into closed concrete youth clubs. Its only personal and familial, visceral and at times sectarian maybe, but not purely political. The RUC were more efficient at jailing protestant paramilitaries. Get over it.

    With the PSNI SF got Patten, a generous step beyond the GFA.

    The security forces have information on the location of militant irish separatists for two principal reasons. To protect the rest of the population of these islands from terrorist attack and subversion of democracy, and to protect the rights of said separatists to life and to democratic participation.

    The security forces have long protected the catholic population against the retaliation that the sectarian separatist PIRA campaign engendered. That they were not always successful is a tragedy, but the responsibility for the existence of the protestant paramilitaries rests with PIRA and their sectarian and reckless resort to violence before other means of promoting change had been exhausted.

    That SFPIRA will endanger one of the most humane and democratic set of policing arrangements in the world to endulge their own flawed heritage flatters the sectarian cult of the DUP.

    Perhaps they feel that in this time of bewildering change that they need one another to feel good about themselves.

    Pity the rest of us.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sinn Fein don’t like the police because of their efficiency in jailing perpetrators of terrorism

    Describing the PSNI as being efficient in jailing the perpetrators of terrorism is being overly generous. But now that the IRA has effectively “gone away” and they’ve got their little deal over OTRs, it seems that most of the things blocking SF from supporting the police are out of the way.

    Keith, you’ve never satisfactorily explained why you think the DUP’s tenacious paramilitary links can be overlooked when assessing their suitability for office. Why do you think LVF and UDA supporters believe the DUP is the right voice for their politics ? I’ve lost count of how many armed insurrections Paisley has had to distance himself from.

  • Zach

    “the responsibility for the existence of the protestant paramilitaries rests with PIRA”

    Right, now I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but if I’m not mistaken PIRA formed in 1969 and the first modern UVF murders took place in 1966. The UVF being the creme de la creme of the loyalist lot showed their military prowess by killing two innocent catholics and an elderly protestant woman three years before any IRA reappeared.

    “The security forces have long protected the catholic population against the retaliation that the sectarian separatist PIRA campaign engendered”

    I would venture that this isn’t entirely the case. Especially when juxtaposed with something like the Robert Hamill case. While that death has received a degree of publicity there are many more cases like it. Where the State forces either didn’t intervene or intervened only after individuals were shot.

    There is alot more to the policing issues but to me aquifer’s overall comments were undermined (though not invalidated) by these points. But suffice to say as some have already posted, the “new era” begins when state collusion stops.

  • finn69

    does anyone know if the DUP would they serve on policing boards with Sinn Fein, would Sinn Fein reps on policing boards be allowed to attend meetings in unionist heartlands.

  • Oul Han’

    “Right, now I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but if I’m not mistaken PIRA formed in 1969 and the first modern UVF murders took place in 1966.”

    I have seen this red herring a few times on this site. In 1966 the UVF were merely the lunatic fringe of loyalism and their actions were met with revulsion across the loyalist community. It was PIRA that caused the emergence of the UDA and lent them and the UVF some colour of legitimacy.

  • Comrade Stalin

    People who say “organization X exists as a result of organization Y” are missing the point as well as making excuses for terrorism. Violent acts perpetrated by people describing themselves as loyalists were going on long before the IRA split in 1969.

    Just because those loyalists decided to come together under an organizational banner does not mean that loyalist paramilitarism did not exist before then. Loyalists were waging an intensive campaign prior to the IRA split, often at the behest of elected unionist politicians – what do you think the “I Ran Away” graffiti was all about ?

    Paramilitaries of all colours in NI use the argument that their violence is reactionary. Just as unionists describe the loyalists as reactionary, you’ll hear nationalists describing the IRA’s re-emergence as a reaction to the unionists using internment and the B Specials to beat down their reasonable requirements for reform and equality. In either case such arguments amount to apologies for paramilitarism.

    BTW I find the term “Protestant paramilitaries” to be reprehensible. Religion has nothing whatsoever to do with this matter.

  • finn69

    CS, PIRA came into existance due to unionist attacks on nationalist areas, the police at the time either sat in their barracks drinking tea or worse, facilitated the attacks, PIRA started bombing campaigns on commercial targets to draw the police and security forces away from nationalist areas. no matter how uncomfortable these facts are, they are the facts and have been well documented. how many police turned up when bombay street was burning?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’d dispute several of your “facts”, the first one being the idea that the IRA bombings were intended to shift security forces away from nationalist areas (they quite predictably had the opposite effect – nationalist areas became fortresses). The IRA has always styled itself as a defensive organization to at least some extent.

    NI’s politics isn’t a simple matter of X happened, therefore Y happened. People here have a tolerance and sympathy for paramilitarism that isn’t found in other places.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Aquifer “The security forces have information on the location of militant irish separatists for two principal reasons. To protect the rest of the population of these islands from terrorist attack and subversion of democracy, and to protect the rights of said separatists to life and to democratic participation.”

    And handing the information on the Nationalists to the Protestant / Unionist paramilitaries fufills these missions precisely *HOW?*

    Aquifer: “That SFPIRA will endanger one of the most humane and democratic set of policing arrangements in the world to endulge their own flawed heritage flatters the sectarian cult of the DUP.”

    Uh-huh… don’t look now, but the security services are endangering any chance of SF support by their clear and partisan activities.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Comrade Stalin: “BTW I find the term “Protestant paramilitaries” to be reprehensible.”

    As an Episcopalian, so do I… but I suspect we don’t necessarily mean it the same way.

    Comrade Stalin: “Religion has nothing whatsoever to do with this matter.”

    Stuff and nonsense. Having read of Brookborough and Craigavon’s speeches, down to Big Ian’s screeds meant to incite others to violence, its awash with anti-Catholic rhetoric. Its a little hard to have a minister screaming hatred into the microphone and say the resulting violence has nothing to do with religion.