SF accuses PSNI of politics

Things are happening so thickly and quickly it’s hard to know where to begin. Sinn Fein have strongly protested the arrest of one of the most senior and most respected MLA, Francie Brolly in connection with inquiries into the Claudy bomb. The arrests they claim where a set up event in which the media was pre-breifed as to the identity of the arrestees. Ciaran Barnes also notes Brolly’s wife Anne’s call for a judicial inquiry into the bombing.

  • seabhac siulach

    Public relations as policing, the 6 county way…

    What was that again about Sinn Fein joining the Policing Board?

  • crow

    Is anybody surprised with any of Sinn Feins predictable protests of “you can’t touch us we are republicans”.I just wished they would just say this.I would have a bit more respect for them.

  • fair_deal

    seabhac siulach

    “What was that again about Sinn Fein joining the Policing Board?”

    The DUP did not leave the Policing Board when Oliver Gibson was questioned.
    The UUP did not leave the Policing Board when Michael Copeland’s properties were raided and he questioned.

    Is the republican position that they will only join the Policing Board in return for immunity from arrest from its members/supporters et al?

  • Ian

    Fair Deal:

    It’s a Fair Bet that if Sinn Fein had signed up to the Policing Board, say last week, that Unionists would be demanding on the back of this arrest that they are flung straight back off again!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Given the position of the NI security apparatus as the de facto intelligence wing of the Loyalist paramilitaries, should anything shock us any more?

  • seabhac siulach

    “Is the republican position that they will only join the Policing Board in return for immunity from arrest from its members/supporters et al?”

    No, only that it be fully accountable to local democracy first…is that too much to ask? A level playing field for all…truly an outrageous position (at least, to unionists/loyalists it would seem)

  • fair_deal

    “fully accountable to local democracy first…is that too much to ask”

    Not at all its called the Policing Board and get on and join them

  • seabhac siulach

    What I mean (and you know it) is for full policing and justice power be devolved to Stormont. Sinn Fein is holding out for this. It is a justifiable political aspiration and one that should be supported by all those that wish to see local democracy at its strongest. If successful, it will be of benefit to all in the 6 counties, not just nationalists.

  • Shore Road Resident

    So that’s a precondition then?

  • seabhac siulach

    “So that’s a precondition then?”

    No, a negptiating position, once the DUP turn up again and stop throwing the toys out of the pram…

  • Shore Road Resident

    So it’s negotiable then?

  • fair_deal

    “What I mean (and you know it)”

    I claim many things but being a mind-reader is not one of them.

    “full policing and justice power be devolved to Stormont. Sinn Fein is holding out for this”

    1. More “Waiting for Provo” just what this process needs.
    2. Never mind the harm it does to communities who need good policing when you can faff about some more.

    “It is a justifiable political aspiration”

    1. No one said it wasn’t but as every other party in the UK, RoI and the main churches here all endorse the policing structures so it seems huffy. Joining the Policing Board does not mean giving up that aspiration just like being minister’s in a partitionist assembly and administering british rule does not stop republicans having the aspiration of a United Ireland.
    2. Unionists have said they are willing to see these powers devolved so SF isn’t even holidng out for the principle of them simply being childish about the timetable.

    “one that should be supported by all those that wish to see local democracy at its strongest. If successful”

    1. Again Unionist have said they are willing to see these powers devolved at an appropriate time.
    2. Your ‘if’ is a pretty big ‘if’ considering a sustainable executive has never managed to be formed. To add a failed devolution of policing and justice into the mix would not help anyone.

  • seabhac siulach

    “So it’s negotiable then?”

    Of course…this was part of the negotiations that took place during the failed talks of this time last year. The DUP were, apparently, close to accepting Sinn Fein’s position on this…

  • seabhac siulach
    “Isn’t it better to be on the train pissing out, than on the platform being pissed on”
    I think I got the quote right 😉
    I appreciate and indeed am quite persuaded by Sinn Fein’s reservations; but what a coup it would be to sign up. Removing the last reason why the DUP could remain opposed to power-sharing. Moral victory?
    A price worth paying?
    I’ll go 60:40 in favour of joining, what are your percentages for staying out?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Off subject a little but it is regarding Francie Brolly.
    The man is an MLA in my East Londonderry constituency but I can honestly say, hand on my heart, that I have never seen him within 5 miles of my area, let alone at my door looking for my vote…am I not correct in saying that Sinn Fein’s election motto was: “Building An Ireland Of Equals”? How do they expect to do that when they don’t even attempt to go into Protestant areas?

  • seabhac siulach

    Fair Deal:

    “More “Waiting for Provo” just what this process needs. ”

    Surely, ‘waiting for Ian(o)’ and rest of the DUP gang…

    “Unionists have said they are willing to see these powers devolved so SF isn’t even holidng out for the principle of them simply being childish about the timetable.”

    No. Why should republicans allow the normalisation of the policing situation in the 6 counties, thus removing still further the urgent need to devolve powers (not just policing) to Stormont. This is one of their negotiating cards…(and it is ALL about negotiation here! The hard negotiations are still to come…)
    To acquiesce to demands to join in the Policing Board now would be counter-productive.

    “Never mind the harm it does to communities who need good policing when you can faff about some more.”

    Sinn Fein represents those communities and speaks for them. The truth is that they STILL do not trust the police (no matter what Sinn Fein may say or do)…
    A large change is needed to restore trust in the police…joining the policing board is hardly it…

    Sprit-level:

    I think you mean tent, not train/platform…

    “Removing the last reason why the DUP could remain opposed to power-sharing. Moral victory? ”

    I thought the last reason was decommissioning, then disbandment…then who knows what…
    I hardly think join the policing boards will get the DUP to start negotiations any sooner.

    And besides, I think we Irish are tired of those ol’ moral victories…

    “A price worth paying?
    I’ll go 60:40 in favour of joining, what are your percentages for staying out?”

    There are political reasons to not joining (as well as ones relating to negotiations)…the nationalist population needs to be convinced that policing in the 6 counties has changed from the old days…recent events show that that is not necessarily the case. Therefore, it is politically expedient (if nothing else) to first have a transfer of power regarding policing in the 6 counties (even if it is only largely symbolic in nature). The reality is that large sections of the community still do not trust the police, irrespective of what Sinn Fein does…and so to reassure these people further changes are necessary before trust in the police can be established. It is necessary that the control of policing be handed to a local assembly and to locally elected representatives in executive positions.
    I would say it is 70:30 on staying out.

    There are other matters on the table, anyway, such as whether former prisoners can be policemen, etc.
    Perhaps not a very popular question but one also in there in the potential negotiating mix.

  • bog warrior

    Spirit level

    The version i use is:
    Its better to be on the train pissing out than running along the platform trying to piss in.

    😉

  • Dread Cthulhu

    CL: “The man is an MLA in my East Londonderry constituency but I can honestly say, hand on my heart, that I have never seen him within 5 miles of my area, let alone at my door looking for my vote…am I not correct in saying that Sinn Fein’s election motto was: “Building An Ireland Of Equals”? How do they expect to do that when they don’t even attempt to go into Protestant areas? ”

    Same reason Gerry Adams doesn’t give speeches from the steps of OO Halls. Its called “demographics,” CL, and with the proper data and the right software package, you can learn almost everything about a given district, almost down to the number of babies you’ll have to coo over to win. Your part of the district was likely not “in play.” As such, to come down to get booed at was likely a waste. Better to go to those areas where there were allies to be rallied and fence-sitters to be swayed. Ultimately, it’s all economics — how to best invest limited resources (time and money) for the best benefit. For an SF candidate, I suspect your ‘hood might be a lost cause.

    Cynical? Certainly, but elections are (and probably always were) a cynical process, even in the best of circumstances.

  • fair_deal

    seabhac siulach

    “No. Why should republicans allow the normalisation of the policing situation in the 6 counties, thus removing still further the urgent need to devolve powers”

    I think there is something missing from that statement that would make it comprehensible perhaps you would be so kind as to amend it.

    “The truth is that they STILL do not trust the police (no matter what Sinn Fein may say or do)…”

    1. If this is true then you have just substantially devalued your much vaunted negotiation card/tactic.

    Why should everyone else run after SF to join the policing board or even give them what they want on the timetable of devolving of policing and justice when you readily admit they can’t bring their communities with them?

    The desire for their participation is based on an ability to deliver their communities, you say they can’t deliver then why should others deliver on their demands?

    2. The refusal to engage by SF only perpetuates the distrust it doesn’t address it.

  • seabhac siulach

    “The desire for their participation is based on an ability to deliver their communities, you say they can’t deliver then why should others deliver on their demands? ”

    Sinn Fein were elected only last May with their position on policing well understood. It was supported by a majority of nationalists. Therefore, a majority of nationalists do not trust the police and agree with Sinn Fein’s analysis. For Sinn Fein to suddenly drop everything and go into the Policing Board now would be against the manifest wishes of the electorate. It would be unpopular!
    Therefore, something must give…
    Either changes on policing are implemented (as Sinn Fein’s electorate voted for) or else new elections be called in which Sinn Fein can go forward on a policy of joining the Policing Board
    (if that is the policy chosen).
    They are acting in the name of their community on this and so in that way, they are bringing their communities demands to the table…

  • fair_deal

    seabhac siulach

    1. The mandates of all the other parties who participate in policing structures dwarf the mandate of Sinn Fein so on the acceptability of the PSNI won hands down.
    2. Minority rule is not considered a good model ask the south Africans.
    3. I have every sympathy with a party keeping to its mandate – you should thus retract your earlier jibes at the DUP as they claim that is what they are doing.

    However, your last post is a long winded way of avoiding my question.
    You said
    “The truth is that they STILL do not trust the police (no matter what Sinn Fein may say or do)… ”
    but you do not answer my questions:
    Why should everyone else run after SF to join the policing board or even give them what they want on the timetable of devolving of policing and justice when you readily admit they can’t bring their communities with them?
    The desire for their participation is based on an ability to deliver their communities, you say they can’t deliver then why should others deliver on their demands?

  • ok seabhac you’ve convinced me.
    I’m 60:40 against joining 😉
    There are other matters on the table, anyway, such as whether former prisoners can be policemen,
    They have to be allowed to become policemen, what else are they supposed to do?
    Knit Jumpers for peace tourists!

  • Can anyone provide me with an intelligent answer as to what ex-paramiliaries, or political prisoners, call them what you will, are supposed to do in a future politically settled norn iron.

  • fair_deal

    “Can anyone provide me with an intelligent answer as to what ex-paramiliaries, or political prisoners, call them what you will, are supposed to do in a future politically settled norn iron.”

    The same as everyone else who has been through the prison system. The same as all those who will lose their jobs with the security de-escalation. Get on with their lives.

    The paramilitary prisoners have already received more support through millions of pounds of investment in prisoners groups than any other comparable group of individuals who have been through the prison system in the rest of the UK.

  • Paul

    I still don’t get this. Michel McLaughlin said the PSNI were engaged in character assasination and that they had besmirched Francie Brolly’s name. I take it then he regards the Claudy bombing as a despicable, cowardly and morally indefensible act and believes that the perpetrators should be hunted down and brought before the courts? What other bombings and murders have received this seal of disapproval from SF, as opposed to all the ones which were “regrettable” but can’t be condemned, never mind the ones whose perpetrators are lauded.

  • seabhac siulach

    Paul:

    Claudy was never claimed by the IRA…other awful attacks such as Enniskillen were. (Enniskillen and the like were never lauded as you suggest) Does this not suggest that there is, at the very least, some doubt that things are not as they seem with that bombing?
    I do not see where Sinn Fein has defended that bombing in any of M.McLaughlin’s statements, merely defended an apparently innocent man. No one would deny that Claudy was a crime.

    There were many mysterious bombing in the 1970s (e.g., Dublin, Monagahan, etc.), Claudy fits into that category. Many strange things went on in the 1970s. Witness the case of Seamus Ludlow, of Co. Louth, killed in 1974 by loyalists. For 24 years this was maliciously blamed on the IRA due to a Garda cover up. Probably the truth of all these things will never be known due to state secrecy laws.

    Fair Deal:

    I said:
    “The truth is that they STILL do not trust the police (no matter what Sinn Fein may say or do)… “
    Okay…I admit that I could have worded that a bit more carefully…

    I meant that Sinn Fein were elected with the proviso that they hold out for full justice powers to be devolved to Stormont. As such, Sinn Fein cannot now agree to join the policing board having campaigned against it during the election.
    Say, overnight, they have a pauline conversion and agree to join up…it will make little or no difference, the community will still not trust the police. Plus it would be electorally suicidal for Sinn Fein. It does not matter wheter Sinn Fein says, ‘trust the police’-the only way trust can be slowly restored is for local people in Stormont to have their hands on the levels of power…
    once that is achieved , or at least, once it is seen to have been negotiated for, and perhaps other concessionss achieved in its place, then Sinn Fein will be able to go back to its electorate and argue that they got the best deal possible. Depending on their political skill they will be able to bring their community with them…
    As it is, no they cannot bring their community with them as regards joining the policing boards.

  • Cahal

    “I take it then he regards the Claudy bombing as a despicable, cowardly and morally indefensible act and believes that the perpetrators should be hunted down and brought before the courts? ”

    Well, this seemed to be FBs position on TalkBack yesterday. I have always thought of him as someone on the more progressive wing of SF in terms of policing etc. His views on the PSNI will likely change after this experience. As has my own.

  • fair_deal

    seabhac siulach

    Okay…I admit that I could have worded that a bit more carefully…I meant that Sinn Fein

    Fair enough

  • BogExile

    I can’t wait until Sinn Fein sign up to the PSNI, as they inevitably will not its reached the zenith of operational emasculinity (I’m quite pleased with that phrase).

    Perhaps then we’ll get some effective and innovative community policing, ‘who can stop us with a search warrant in one hand and a black and decker in the other?’

    In reference to the imminent and historic reconcilliation between physical force repblicanism and physically ineffective policing there will need to be some changes. For example, Sinn Feins motto could become ‘Ourselves O’Loan’ (I’ve got copyright on that too jouros.)

  • barnshee

    “Can anyone provide me with an intelligent answer as to what ex-paramiliaries, or political prisoners, call them what you will, are supposed to do in a future politically settled norn iron”

    Draw the dole -go back to jail who gives a fuck. What they are NOT doing is getting a job where I work or where I shop .

    Put it it down as part of the price for their support for their “cause”.

    You pay for what you get

  • Dualta

    I see that Francy Brolly has been released without charge. I’m not at all surprised.

    Francie Brolly is a man of the highest character. He is a principled, honest and thoroughly decent man and I am amazed that he has been treated this way. Well, actually, I’m not so amazed. There are still those within the police service who are acting politically. That is without doubt the case.

    He has made it clear that he has never been questioned about the Claudy bombing, even when he was interned in 1973. It’s outrageous that he has been arrested and held in such a fashion at such a time.

    I cannot help but agree that his arrest was politically motivated, but I’m sure that Francie will act true to form and respond to this with dignity. You can also rest assured that his particularly progessive views on policing will not change as a result of the actions of these people. He’s better than that.

  • loyalist

    Francie Brolly is a man of the highest character. He is a principled, honest and thoroughly decent man and I am amazed that he has been treated this way.

    No hes not, he is typical provo scum. Now lets see if the eulogy is left and the truth is censored.