Policing should not be subject to politicking

That’s the unabigous response of Unionist politicians to Gerry Kelly’s cryptic remarks on Saturday. Nigel Dodds ruled out Sinn Fein having anything to do with overseeing Northern Irish security:

Such a prospect, just like prospects for Executive devolution itself, were undermined with the IRA robbery of the Northern Bank, the McCartney affair, the continuing profiteering by republicans from criminality and the refusal to accept transparent decommissioning. It must also be made crystal clear that support for policing and justice is absolutely a prerequisite for any party to be part of a government. It would be ludicrous if people thought they could be Ministers yet fail to recognise and support the police, the courts and the security forces generally.

  • missfitz

    Seems to me, from reading the article and having seen Gerry Kelly’s remarks, that the only person politicising the debate at this stage is Nigel Dodds. Certainly seems to be a case of anticipating demands and concessions, without the will to work with what seemed like a very clear and important statement by Kelly.

  • Fionna

    GK didn’t come right out and SAY anything, so I’m not sure what ND is responding to…putting the cart before the horse I think. Sometimes there is an art about waiting…ND could stand to learn this lesson.

  • missfitz

    This feels like a shadow of another thread! But for what its worth, I think anyone analysing GK’s remarks, particularly

    “We are also committed to achieving and being part of the new policing dispensation. No half measures or three quarter measures will do.”

    will see that this indicates a new willingness and energy to push forward policing. I think that it is accepted in SF that a move has to happen, that the status quo is not sufficient.

    Personally, I was heartened to hear this, and also quite surprised to see SF prepared to return to power sharing.

    Getting anyone to share may be a different question of course, hence Nigel Dodds swift ‘thanks but no thanks’

  • kate

    Fiona writes,’GK did not actually say anything so I am not sure what NDs is responding to…..’

    Fiona allow me to play devils advocate. Before decommissioning took place SF played their trump card-the guns. Once they gave up the guns,they became participatants in the process as nothing more than a democratic party,thus they must abide by the rules. The rules of any government mean that you support the state and its forces, and the police are an arm of the state. Bertie Ahern has made it clear that SF cannot be allowed to hold power in government until it accepts the guards as the legitimate police force and the republics army as the only legitimate army. For SF to go into a british government they must support the british police, hence the push to get changes to british policing and get them quickly so that when the talks on the british institutions begin the way is clear for the british institutions to go up.

    The Unionists and the rest of us have seen SF do side deals with the two governments and at times either the Unionists or the Unionists and the rest of us are not happy. Such a side deal was Weston Park and the OTR bill. These people (UUP and DUP) are fearful of another side deal. Even the SDLP have said there should be an end to side deals. It is wrong for SF to turn policing into another decommissioning debacle. It is time to de-politicise the police. They have not done that yet, as you say people are speaking out perhaps too early, putting the cart before the horse-but if past behaviour is an indication of future behaviour then SF will or might attempt another side deal/s on policing. I believe this is wrong because of the situation on the ground in the areas they control.

    Also, if SF join the british police, not just the boards but the change of mindset required as Empey says, then they need to give up their rackateering. The selling of illegal cigarettes, and one must assume their importationof these cigarettes, laundered money, diesel illegal dvds/cds and illegal booze etc. All that needs to go and that won’t be easy for those that are profiting from these exercises.

    Waiting has its merits, but haven’t we waited long enough? The agreement is ten years old, its time now to see the colour of their money, law and order on the streets of the areas they control, yes or no SF?? Time to stop playing games with the lives of your constitutents.

    It is SF who cry out do not politicise the police. But if searches are carried out to see who is the perpertrator of the bank robbery, or searches in the short strand to see who murdered Robert McCartney, or investigate a spy ring then they cry this is political policing. While pointing the finger at others they are guilty of the exact same offence. Don’t you agree?

  • Fionna

    Kate,
    Valid points all of them. I still think that waiting would have been a better move. Saving the righteous indignation for when there is something solid (like an obvious side deal) to point to.
    FK

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The DUp & UUP have never been against the politicising of policing. If they were then we would never have had the steady stream of leaks from the RUC/PSNI to these people. They are happpy with what is there already as the still overwhelmingly unionist PSNI has elements that follow the old agenda.

  • Fionna

    I wouldn’t settle for the current PSNI. It has demonstrated too many times that it does not exist to protect and serve the community equally.
    FK

  • kate

    They are happy with what is there already.

    Pat they are indeed happy with what is there already, as I am sure you saw the good Dr Paisley on the news tonight. A 16 page document for a steady drip feed of power rather than devoloution with SF. That sort of leaves your leader with his underpants in a twist.

    The article says the support of the police is vital,so I hope you don’t mind me asking again, but I left a question for you in the SF backs policing thread. Any chance of hearing your workable ideas and your story as to how you ”got off your arse” and combatted the anti-social elements in N Belfast?