Laying down the law…

FORMER Northern Ireland police chief Sir Ronnie Flanagan gained a lot of experience policing a divided society while in charge of a transforming public service. Now he’s going to share that valuable knowledge with the new Iraqi police force, though republicans will no doubt question the ex-Special Branch leader’s ability to weed out terrorist sympathisers – a major part of the task facing him in Basra.The Guardian reported:

[Defence Secretary] John Reid, acknowledged that there was a “problem” with the Iraqi police and that Sir Ronnie had been appointed to deal with it. Mr Reid told the BBC’s Politics Show that the issue would be tackled “head on”. “Ronnie Flanagan has been sent there to find out first of all what the situation on the ground truly is as objectively as we can. He will assess the objectiveness and neutrality of the police,” he said. “There’s a problem with the police in terms of split loyalties running from sympathy for the local people, right through to infiltration with the militia.”

Sounds familiar!

However, Flanagan has also been “credited with building trust in a force that was accused of sectarian bias. British officials are hoping he can do the same in Iraq”.

  • elfinto

    Sir Ronnie is definitely the right man to put in charge if collusion and cover-ups are what the British are after.

  • micktvd

    Perhaps while he’s ‘weed[ing] out terrorist sympathisers’ Ronnie Flannagan can work out what the two British SAS soldiers were doing driving through Basra with a detonator and explosives in the boot of their car.

  • heck

    as I posted on another thread Britain still refuses to publically admit there was collusion so this should play into the hands of the Shite militias who run the new security forces in Iraq.

    Flanigan should be righ at home but I would worry if I were an Iraqi civil rights layer or a sunni politican.

    Still the Downing Street liar (and bloggers on this site) can lecture Iraqis as to how this is the finest police force in the world and how they must support it if they want to be part of the political process. They can deny that torture goes on at castlreagh–sorry the interior ministry in Bagdad– and then find some third world country to lecture about human rights.

    It makes you want to cry.

  • heck

    I just read this on the BBC web site.

    If I didn’t know better I would say that this was some sort of sick joke. The British labour party has no sense of shame whatever.

    “Defence Secretary John Reid said Sir Ronnie would be looking at the effectiveness and neutrality of the police.

    “The vast majority of Iraqi security forces are courageous and are doing a very good job,” he told the BBC.”

    The British must have one script that they use for any colonial situation.

  • Shore Road Resident

    If you think NI is a colony, what do you think should happen to the colonists?
    (Careful now)

  • Daily Ireland

    [edited link – ed Moderator]

    “Ronnie Flanagan is clearly the wrong person to send,” Mr Kelly said. “He was involved in the RUC Special Branch here and was in charge during one of the worst periods in the North.
    “The last thing that Iraq needs is a repeat of what happened with policing here. What is needed for Iraq is the Patten proposals as a yardstick for policing. Ronnie Flanagan, while here, presided over a force accused of running state agents and collusion. He is a the wrong man for the job. Iraq needs to come out of conflict. This has to be described a a very poor appointment,” Mr Kelly said.

    It emerged yesterday that Mr Flanagan has been appointed to carry out an assessment of the Iraqi police force.

    British defence secretary and former direct rule secretary of state for the North John Reid said that Mr Flanagan had been asked to deliver a review of the capabilities of the new force in the British controlled sector of southern Iraq.

    Just an effing shambles.

  • heck

    Shore road resident,

    Are you old enough to remember the rather racist British television show of the late 60’s/early 70’s (not sure which) “it Ain’t half hot mum”?

    That show was about the British colonialists in India and in it was an Indian character who claimed that he was British and talked about how “we British” were so much better that the natives. He was a figure of fun for both the British and the Indians.

    Does that character sound familiar?

    PS this is meant slightly (only slightly!!!) tongue in cheek-from an ex SRR to a current SRR-before anyone takes offense.

  • Mickhall


    Sending Ronnie Flanigan to Iraq just highlights the sheer hopelessness of the occupation. In the past when all else failed we got the Vietnamisation, Ulsterisation, etc, etc. Anything but doing the right thing as this would/will mean admitting failure on the part of our ‘leaders’.
    I fear these wretches will have the US and UK wading in blood in Iraq for years to come, with the situation daily getting worse as the years drift by. Certainly the situation there is unlikely to change for the good all the time Bush and Blair remain in office. The problems the people of both counties face is even when they go, almost all of the leading politicians in the two largest parties within the US and UK went along with invading Iraq. They cannot claim they were never made aware of the consequences as the anti war movement pointed out clearly what invasion would entail. Thus only public opinion/pressure can bring this filthy charade to an end. When will people realize you cannot export political systems on the end of bayonets.

    As to Flanigans mission, it is another public relations farce designed to hoodwink the British people. the British State knowing full well they could not pacify the area they were given responsibility for in Iraq. [after all they failed to succeed in doing this in the north over a thirty year period] Decided to Co-op the Shia para-military groups within the newly formed security services, Armed forces and police. Flanigans report has in all probability already being written in some quite corner of Whitehall, he will conclude mistakes were made on the ground [by the lower ranks of course] but recommendations have been put in place to correct them, so thats all right then.


  • heck

    What does this say about the British Labour Party? John Reid was a tankie, is a tankie and will always be a tankie.

    I suppose the fact that “The vast majority of Iraqi security forces are courageous and are doing a very good job,” is the reason he sent his tanks into an Iraqi police station and killed some “courageous” policemen. It had nothing at all to do will covering up the actions of british terrorists–sorry peacekeepers.

    And the British media report this nonsense with a straight face–and british lefties support this party. It makes you want to puke.

  • Shore Road Resident

    The ‘false consciousness’ position taken by ‘Heck’ against the unionist identity is *the* single most fundamental reason why there cannot and will not be a united Ireland. If this is what republicans think of us – if this is their ‘parity of esteem’ – then there is simply no question of living under their control.

  • beedrone

    Shore Road Resident has hit the nail on the head! the most fundemental reason why there is such rigid stuborn, irrational opposition to a united Ireland by the loyalist/ unionist population is their confused inscure identity. It is legitemate to discuss the Northern Ireland State in terms of Colonialisim. It is also legitimate to discuss the psychological development of those living through the Colonial experience. What confidence, and generosity can be seen in the loyalist identity ? I see none. I see suspicion, fear, negativity, insecurity. These characteristics are the consequence of unconscious psychological processes related to the experience of colonilaisim.

  • heck

    Come on SRR you must admit the comments from Reid on the Iraqi police are the same sort of crap they spouted about the RUC.

    “Few bad apples” and all that

    You must also admit that the British government lecturing Syria is the height of hypocrisy.

    Even the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is in Europe at the minute, is telling Jack straw and others to back off US torture because essentially she recognizes his hypocrisy and lies and will call him on it if he does’nt shut up.

  • heck

    applogies to SRR. It is not jsut the Brits

    The Irish government is as bad

  • Shay Begorrah

    We can rest assured if John Hermon was not ill he would have been nominated by Bliar instead.

    Seriously do any members of the Unionist community think Ronnie is a slightly less than ideal choice for the job or does he have some qualifications as an Arabist I was unaware of?

    Of course we shame ourselves by making comparisons between the troubles and Iraq which is a much worse situation that our own with at least 27000 thousand civialian deaths in the last 33 months making it per capita per year about twenty times as murderous as the troubles (I am not a statistician, go easy on me).

  • topdeckomnibus

    In August 1997 Kent Police Authority called on their Chief constable, David Phillips, for inquiry and report on two matters and whether there were associations

    (1) The 1989 bombing of Deal Royal Marines barracks

    (2) Sabotage of emergency generators allegedly by an ostensibly militant shop steward (who was actually observed covertly bu Anti Nazi League in a far right group which called itself “Unison”) … making the sabotage consistent with Stage Three of the Garland Plan.

    The Chief constable refused to report.

    There was a further complication that Kent Police was then cross compromised on its “Independent” investigation of Met handling of the Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry.

    A report then went to Jack Straw asking that he compel the inquiry and report called for by Kent Police Authority.

    He refused (perhaps anxious to support the mythical conclusions of the Lawrence Inquiry)

    To complete the dogs dinner David Phillips was then sent off to independently invigilate the Rosemary Nelson murder case for Sir Ronnie.

    Objections were made … such as by Republicans I think that David Phillips had a tracj record of running the Greater Manchester Police get Stalker exercise.

    But this was not the only objection sent to Sir Ronnie. There was objection because Phillips was once again cross case compromised as part of what he had refused to investigate in Kent was the matter of paramilitaries recruited (duped) in Kent TA for unlawful missions into Ireland.

    Sir Ronnie Chief Executive Officer phoned the Home Office to try to expedite a response to the call for Home Secretary to compel the inquiry ….

    And David Phillips came home to Kent apparently because they had found they could not cope without thus CIA trained Chief constable.

    It is funny then that in time David Phillips quit as Chief constable with no notice and a caretaker Chief constable took over …..

    We have our concerns in England as well … noyt least because sabotaged backup generators can cause a lot of problems … maybe even the four billion nuclear decommissioning of Dounreay ??

    Tony Blair after the Midstone Hospital backup generator failed on April 18th 2005 during election .. had copies of reports about genny sabotage (consistent with Garland Plan) sent to the NI Office.

    The fact is that probably Sean Garland would love to clear this up. The people have a huge protection of life and security interest in clearing the matter up.

    But Tony Blair did not include sabotage as a declarable weapon under the Good Friday Agreement.

    Intriguingly the latest Kent Police Officer to protect aspects of the 1989 Deal bombing and sabotage from inquiry has just announced her retirement … a week after Common Law Informations of Misprision of Treason were laid against hyer and ignored by the compliant justices.

    That brings the tally of sudden retirements from kent Police to One Chief constable, one Head of Force Special Branch, Both senior CID Deal bombing case, one Inspector who refused a sabotage crime complaint and Supt Penny Martin the latest.

    In the whole sorry history the only SENIOR police officer to act properly appears to have been Sir Ronnie Flanagan !!!

  • fair_deal

    What’s the ‘Garland plan’?

    What are the allegations concerning the Deal bombing and the generators any sources?