The strong hold of Loyalist and Republican “Communicrats”?

Something that shouldn’t be missed is Gerry Moriarty’s interview with Father Denis Faul (subs only). As ever, he is his own man. He doesn’t reckon a Truth and Reconciliation process will work, but believes there has to be some kind of practical quid pro quo to let former paramilitaries get back into normal life. But, he argues, there must be an absolute right for those exiled by paramilitaries to return if they so wish. He coins a term which may just stick in the wider public discourse:

During the interview, our conversation is interrupted by a couple calling to the parochial house, having driven from the South to seek assistance from the priest. Eight years ago the husband was forced out of a Northern town by the IRA, and even though he was told twice he could safely return home when he did so the local IRA militia sent him and his family packing again – little IRA command dictating to big IRA command.

Under no circumstances, says the man – and he means no circumstances – will he allow further details of his plight to be published. “I was warned by them the two worst things I could do was go to the media or the police. I’m sorry, it just wouldn’t be worth it.”

“It’s the law of omerta,” says Mgr Faul. “You can’t speak, you can’t go to the police, you can’t go to the courts, you can’t go to the press. It’s barbarous. There is a law, but it’s the law of force. There is an order, but it’s the order of fear.” Mgr Faul says there are 5,000 people “banished” from Northern Ireland by republican and loyalist paramilitaries. Recently Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said that the IRA was no threat to anyone, including those expelled from the North, but that ultimately their return was a matter for the communities.

“But that’s not good enough,” says Mgr Faul, who believes that Adams has the power to facilitate the safe return of those exiled from nationalist areas. “This is a human rights issue. These people were forced out by the ‘controlocrat’ criminals of the IRA, UDA and UVF and must be allowed return home. The community has no right to interfere. Either there is law or no law. That is the basis of a civilised society.”

  • Pete Baker

    “Either there is law or no law. That is the basis of a civilised society”

    Indeed.

    Of course, some of us have been saying that, to the Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland [amongst others], for some time now.

  • martin ingram

    Father Faul is a brave man.

    This is the activity that only the SF Blogging committee will defend. Those like Mick hall who argue this is a normal political party are wrong.

    Father Faul is a real Irish man who is trusted by victims on both sides of the divide. he will not be bullied by these criminals.

    A good piece by Gerry and the Irish Times.

    Martin

  • Pete Baker

    Martin

    The “SF Blogging committee” references are tedious.. and potentially getting in the way of any kind of debate.

  • Agreed Pete. It’s also highly misleading. That so many people from Sinn Fein post here is all to the good. That they should have a common bottom line is also not surprising.

    Constantly refering to what you may perceive to be shared tactics is a potential block to actually listening to what they say: and then rebutting it, if that’s what you wish to do.

  • martin ingram

    Pete B,

    How does refering to the activities of Sinn Fein get in the way of debate? please explain.These Blogging committees are being discussed by the press mate so dont lecture me about free speech because this topic is about exactly that.

    I find many of your posts potentially tedious and frankly naive but thats life .

    Martin.

  • Pete Baker

    Martin

    As you know, pre-empting those who may disagree with you, by labelling them as part of a conspiracy – such as a blogging committee – is intended to discredit, and/or discourage, such responses.

    It is, after all, a favoured tactic of others.

    And it is not, in either example, intended to encourage debate.

    As for your other point.. thanks for sharing. 😉

  • quertyu

    As someone who lives in a republican area and know the anti-social elements that operate here, I and others know full well that many of them are given a license to do whatever they want by the local cops.

    The idea is drive the locals up the wall so that the locals will in turn go to local volunteers who, if all goes to plan, will react against these people breaching the ceasefire and giving anti-agreement unionists priceless political ammo. This political policing is clear for all to see. One local hood who was awaiting trial for a robbery of an elderly couple the year before last was not to be anywhere near the village such was the conditions of his bail. Not only did he breach this condition the PSNI stopped and chatted to him every time they were patrolling the area!

    What I’m trying to get at is that people who have been ‘banished’ make the hood in the example above look like an angel. What makes it worse for victims of these rapists, thieves, etc. is that Fr Faul makes all of them out to be victims themselves when he talks on the issue. It mightn’t be so bad for those who live in parochial houses but I think that people that live with this day in and day out know the reality of the situation.

    I don’t think the IRA, at this stage, is any threat to these hoods. The threat comes from entire communities. Thats who Denis Faul should be addressing his comments to.

  • Henry94

    I don’t think anyone could or would dispute fr faul’s courage. I didn’t know he was ill and I was very sorry to hear it. I have a huge respect for him even though I disagree with him on political questions.

    I think the solution to the problems he raises is to resolve policing. On a day when Ian Paisley is playing political games with the lives of nationalist lawyers on foot of police briefings it is clear that we haven’t come very far from the bad old days. Justice is indivisible. Either we all have it or nobody really has it.

    Gerry Adams or Sinn Fein can’t be responsible for the lives and safety of every returned exile. Their responsibility is to get a deal on policing which will mean that ordinary people in nationalist areas will feel that they have a police service which they can trust and which does not have a political agenda.

    I agree with Mick and Pete that the Blog Monitoring Committee nonsense has been overplayed.

    But where there is a history of allegation it is instructive to see that the basis for allegations made against posters here is flimsy to non-existent.

    Pete

    We are on opposite sides but you back up what you say and I always read your posts with interest.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    There should be an adopt a hood scheme that could be co-ordinated through Slugger, Fr Faul or some other benevolent institution.

    Under the scheme you could let the hood avail of a property that is adjacent to yours. Indeed, under the scheme you would have to inform your names of the new arrival.
    Hoods of course can be lovable and loyal companions and through time can be fully house trained. In fact after a relatively short period they can be trained to break into any house in the locality.

    But be warned, a hood is not just for Christmas.

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks Henry94.. but don’t assume that we are on opposite sides 😉

  • Mickhall

    “Either there is law or no law. That is the basis of a civilized society”

    That statement is probably the silliest thing i have ever read coming from the mouth of an otherwise intelligent man. Think about it for one moment. The Hitlerite Nazi State operated under the rule of law, indeed between 1933 and 1945 that State introduced literarily over a ton of new laws, which were rigidly adhered to by the State, police, Gestapo, SS, courts, judiciary etc, etc and through fear a great many Germans.

    Did the rule of law in Germany between 1933-45 provide the bases for a civilized society, need I ask even. Today in China the rule of law is paramount to the extent companies like Yahoo, Microsoft and Google are prepared to do that states dirty work for it by censoring what the Chinese people can read when searching the internet. As not to do so would be breaking the law and they would not be able to turn a shilling in China. China is in fact, a law abiding police state, what this means in reality is the mass of its people abide by the laws, whilst the people who make them and administer them, do what the hell they like.. Very civilized

    What matters in a civilized society is not the rule of law but who writes the law, who administers it and who adjudicates it. The fact is as far as the north is concerned all of the aforementioned fail to reach the norm of a civilized society. Unless one feels Diplock courts, a police service that has a history of working in collusion with criminals and law makers who come from across the Irish sea to make and enforce laws which have had absolutely no democratic input from the people who must abide by them.

    If Fr Fall feels it is possible to simple weld on to this corrupt edifice the rule of law then he is either fool or charlatan and it pains me to say that.

  • Godwins Law, surely?

  • Definitely, Mick.

    If the comment, from Mick Hall – sorry Mick – had instead begun with “What matters in a civilized society is not the rule of law but who writes the law, who administers it and who adjudicates it.”

    Then, it might have been more effective.. might have been. It doesn’t actually address the point.. however emotive it may sound.

    The simple point, made repeatedly, is that a civilised society is based on the rule of law.. either you agree with that or you don’t.

    The problem for the idealists *ahem* is that they believe that such a state is the natural order of things.. whereas the realists know that such an Utopia can never exist.

    It must be based on something.. Peter Hain take note!

  • Yoda

    How about, for divilment, “a civilised society is based on one power group becoming dominant and asserting its power over those less powerful through a list of edicts that best serve its interests”?

    Also wasn’t Mickhall simply saying that justice is not coterminous with the law?

  • heck

    I could’nt agree with mickhall much more. The rule is law is a good thing but it is’nt the be all and end all.

    So as not to violate goodwins law think of montgomery alabama in the 1960’s when it was illegal for a black person to sit in the front of a bus with white folk. Rosa Parks broke the law when she refused to give up here seat to white man. An she was a hero.

    The message from a lot of bloggers on this site who talk about the rule of law is the same as it was then—get to the back of the bus!!

  • No Yoda.

    There’s a simple and straight forward solution to the [assumed] problem.

    A constitution.. and a bill of rights.

    Against such a criteria, every law passed can, and should, be assessed.

    Unfortunately.. we, on this island, can’t agree a bill of rights.. never mind a constitution.

    Until then, we’ll try to achieve a rule of law.. that should be the priority.

  • Yoda

    Unfortunately.. we, on this island, can’t agree a bill of rights.. never mind a constitution.

    Do you mean island-wide?

    Essentially, I agree with what you say about a bill of rights, everybody equal.

    But a compromised police force doggedly enforcing laws in the absence of such rights is, to my mind, never going to be anything but a poor and distant second.

  • “a compromised police force doggedly enforcing laws in the absence of such rights is, to my mind”

    Here’s the point.. it’s that compromised mind.. which you reference.. and that I know exists among certain indidviduals.. but it’s not universal.. that’s the problem.

    What Fr Faul is saying is that.. the starting point is the respect for the rule of law.. not that we get what we want, whatever that may be, and then we’ll accept it.. or else..

    But that we’ll start that respect NOW!!

    The legislative trimmings can be introduced at any stage we want.. or need.. or can vote for..

    It’s the compromised mind that’s the problem.

  • Yoda

    So, you don’t see anything at all wrong with the PSNI as it stands? Everything is hunky-dory?

    Nothing about the allegations of collusion strikes you as needing further investigation?

    What if the administration of law is found to be lacking?

    or else..

    So, if I disagree about the worthiness of the law and its instruments, then I must automatically be threatening/ condoning/ inciting/ fomenting violence?

    Is there no wriggle room at all?

  • martin ingram

    Pete,

    Thats fine as long as the next time I am accused of being a securocrat or MI 5 Agent etc you take the same consistent view. This approach which has you know is a favoured one by the Shinners and the Blog Committee is to deflect and or discredit.

    Quote”As you know, pre-empting those who may disagree with you, by labelling them as part of a conspiracy – such as a blogging committee – is intended to discredit, and/or discourage, such responses.” Unquote

    Quote”As for your other point.. thanks for sharing”Unquote

    You are more than welcome.

    Martin

    Martin

  • Hi !

    We have just finished a piece on Fr. Faul’s activities during the 1981 hunger-strike , if anyone here is interested .

    Thanks ,

    Sharon (1169 And Counting…) .

  • Alan

    Yoda and others,

    The quality of mercy?

    This thread has become the usual harangue for or against the police. When it started off, it was a discussion about *exiles* ( surely another category of *on the runs*).

    There seem to be many rules in NI, just as there seem to be many laws. If at some stage during the past thirty-odd years you happened to transgress one of these laws, the likelihood is that you would have been punished. If you felt the punishment was unfair, then you should have an opportunity to contest that punishment in an accepted process that is transparent. Those are your existing human rights.

    Where do republicans stand on such basic human rights? Who do you stand beside – the individual whose rights are denied, or the organisation that denies those rights?

    Even where that organisation is unco-ordinated and as diverse as the local community (and I don’t accept that any of those expelled by elements of the republican movement were expelled by the community), the exiled have a right to be supported.

    To question the character of anyone fighting for their human rights is a tendentious political act in itself. To deny or postpone the consideration of anyone’s human rights to assuage the political demands of any group of people (for, say, reform of policing)is also a tendentious political act.

    How long must any punishment last for it to become cruel and unusual, how long for it to change into turture?

    I am not even mentioning the loyalist paramilitaries in all this, as they have never claimed any legitimacy and I would not expect them to consider anyone’s human rights. Elements of the republican movement, however, have spent the last year or two working on an Ireland wide charter of rights. The question is how far do those rights penetrate the movement, and what responsibility does it have to force change to end these people’s misery.

  • gypsynolan

    The problem with Mick Hall’s analysis is that it ultimately leads to one place only – back down the cul de sac from whence we have all just come.

    The prerequisite that every villain working inside the state forces should be outed, before nationalists should be asked to lend them their support, is untenable. It is simply not going to happen. The PSNI are not going away; at least not until that great day that Gerry leads the faithful to the promised land (sic).

    In the interim period, SF realise that there will be no movement politically, until they give the PSNI the nod of approval – a simple fact. They may not trust the force; they may not believe that it is right for nationalists/republicans to join it – but they do know that if they are ever going to move things forward, then they have to be seen to acquiese on this issue.

    For SF, the acceptance of policing is but a stepping stone on a journey (albeit a painfull one)- a journey that would see the securocrats finally driven from our shores. Wishfull thinking, fantasy, perhaps; but a way out of the present cul de sac nonetheless.

    The problem with the Sinn Fein detractors, from the Republican side, is that to often they seem incapable of offering any real alternative that is going to lead things forward.

    Indeed, often is would seem that many are really harping back to a golden age, when the pubs of Dundalk were filled with majordomos, toasting the latest atrocity across the border.

    If we are to move forward we must all learn to liberate ourselves from the customs of the past founded on myth…………

  • bigwhitedove

    “There is an order, but it’s the order of fear”
    Lets get real about this, long gone are the days when Denis could speak with authority on what is happening in republican or nationalist communities. “ Does anyone know if he still trains the cops on how to be nice to “taigs”?
    I live in West Belfast, I have a fear that the alleged 5000(where did this figure come from?) will be allowed to return and terrorise this community, I agree with Danny Morrison on this one.
    Lets take the scenario where a drug dealer was living in your street, selling drugs to your children and it was common knowledge that the PSNI were protecting him, would you not be entitled to organise your friends and neighbours and have him removed from his house?( peacefully)
    No amount of pontificating from the great and the good could persuade me to allow that drug dealer to return to live in my street. Even if there was a police service that I had confidence in, even if the Alliance Party & Denis persuaded me that this poor drug dealer was a victim of the nasty, nasty RA, and he deserved my support and sympathy NO WAY would I countenance letting him live near me my family.
    Some circles just cant be squared

  • Pat:

    Interesting idea – :-). However, it’s little to do with Faul’s polemic. He simply posits two kinds of authority: lawful and unlawful. Both require the backing of force. He further notes that one is open and transparent, the other isn’t.

  • Mickhall

    Pete,

    I really do not feel I was being to harsh with Denis Fall, in truth he made me angry when he said what he did, as he is a past master of using language in a precise manner. For he is well aware it was the way the rule of law was implemented in the north prior to 69 which brought about the nightmare years many people from all communities experienced between 1969-97. I really believe Fr Fall’s problem is he just cannot stand the fact it took a group of working class corner boys to put some manners on those who ran the north of Ireland; and by saying this I in no way wish to minimalist the suffering Republican’s caused to many people in the process..

    all the best

  • Dualta

    The northern Irish community-based judicial systems or the state one? Which is better, or the lesser of two evils?

    I was once forced to lie on the floor of a snooker hall whilst a man, who I did not know, had his forearms crushed under numerous blows from large wooden bats just feet from where I, and others, lay.

    His crime, we were told, was that he had assaulted someone the previous night and broken the person’s arm.

    I wonder who the investigating officer was.

    I wonder who cross-examined the witnesses. Did the accused’s defence get the opportunity to test the verocity of their testimony?

    I wonder if the ombudsman got a chance to investigate if those who administered the beating had acted within the human rights guidelines outlined by the legislation which governs their activities.

    Whatever the shortcomings of the PSNI and the judicial system in operation in Northern Ireland (and there are many) I would rather my fellow citizens were subjected to them, rather than what I outlined above.

  • BWD:

    “NO WAY would I countenance letting him live near me my family”.

    I can sympathise with the predicament. Many people well beyond West Belfast will sympathise too. But the problem with the preferred ‘solution’ is that it is entirely unregulated, and open to creation of further injustice.

    The hysteria that gripped some parts of southern England after the murder of Sarah Paine is a salutary lesson of what can happen when unlawful means takes over from due process.

    Whilst I’m a believer in the wisdom of crowds, the rights of the individual should not be so easily dispensed with. The preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is worth revisiting in this respect.

  • Russell

    “Either there is law or no law. That is the basis of a civilised society”

    Indeed.

    Of course, some of us have been saying that, to the Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland [amongst others], for some time now. — Pete Baker

    Some have been saying it since Bloody Sunday – and long before.

  • Russell

    If the comment, from Mick Hall – sorry Mick – had instead begun with “What matters in a civilized society is not the rule of law but who writes the law, who administers it and who adjudicates it.”

    Then, it might have been more effective.. might have been. It doesn’t actually address the point.. however emotive it may sound.

    The simple point, made repeatedly, is that a civilised society is based on the rule of law.. either you agree with that or you don’t. — peteb

    Mickhall’s point precisely addresses the point that you fail to grasp: only a judge has the power to interpret and administer the law. Ergo, a “civilised society” is not based on laws, but on the interpretation and application of law in accourance with sound principles of jurisprudence. That is where the Northern Ireland has failed to be a “civilised society.”

  • BogExile

    Dualta, excellent post.

    As far as I can see here, nobody has talked about ‘legitimacy’ which is what makes law (good or bad) work – i.e. the permission that communities give to be policed is a prequisite to effective criminal justice system.

    This permission is not one to be formally granted or denied by Sinn Fein or the chromosonally challenged munters in Loyalist estates. It stems from the basic desire and (inalienable right) of almost all people for safety order and a due process of law in their communities.

    The real tragedy is that people who are desperate to give their permission for the rule of law to prevali are drowned out or cowed or even physically intimidated by ‘ideologues’ and criminals who know full well that the primary consequence of this would be to destroy their grubby little powerbases.

  • Betty Boo

    “If we are to move forward we must all learn to liberate ourselves from the customs of the past founded on myth………… “Gypsy Nolan
    We have to liberate ourselves from more then we think.
    Including that someone else will enforce for us law and order. And if the police are incapable of doing the job, then some other organisation will do, as long as they can keep antisocial crime and drugs at a bearable level. Who ever it will be will become the law because not many of us feel willing or obliged to deal with such uncomfortable issues and quite some of us are just afraid.
    The society we live in has become steadily more violent. Sometimes we are scratching on the surface of this problem in the hope it is just a face. Few have dedicated their time and struggle upstream towards the bottom of this pit, areas in decay where people are crushed to an inflammable shell.
    I doubt that they are prepared to even accept those individuals back into their midst. And maybe, this is a question of basic human right. Who should get it?

    And we have to let go this myth as well that everyone can have all his human rights right now. The damage has been done and we have to re-adjust our priorities. The existing police service is still questionable. What shall be equality for all and therefore become law is still under construction and disputed. To bring them back under those conditions cannot be a valuable step.
    We should ask for everything and right now, because we know that we will get less.

  • west belfast resident

    Big white dove what you are proposing would lead to total anarchy.

    Yoda, Alan’s post is an education.

    Mickhall Fr Faul is no fool or charlatan. He is a good man that many have turned to in a time of crisis. Some families of the hunger strikers turned to this man and he did not let them down. One must remember he has been on the ground, at the coal face, in with his flock. He has suffered for standing by his people.

    A lot of people who come from accross the Irish sea should respect that.

  • west belfast resident

    Dulta,

    maybe what you saw was Mick Halls working class corner boys putting some manners on him.

  • WBR:

    Can we stick to principles and argument please? There are a number of interesting themes emerging.

    Russell:

    “…a ‘civilised society’ is not based on laws, but on the interpretation and application of law in accourance with sound principles of jurisprudence. That is where the Northern Ireland has failed to be a ‘civilised society.'”

    That sounds like a substantive point. Can I ask you to tease that out a bit more?

  • J Kelly

    This notion that this discussion is about Sinn Fein saying tonight that those people who have left or been advised to leave communities in the past to come back all is ok. Sinn Fein do not have it in their gift to say this, its not about the law, its not about justice its reality. An example Raymond Gilmore an informer who turned supergrass and was responsible for many people be jailed and also responsible for the death of a friend of his and on top of this to sell a book he said that the people of Creggan were alcoholic, wife battering dunken scum. How could he live in Creggan again. In life people make decisions that have consequences for themselves and others, informers know that if found out not many people in their community would want them about, hoods and criminals know that their neighbours would prefer that they lived somewhere else. Raymond Gilmore could come back and live in Creggan without any threat from the IRA but it might be difficult going into the Telstar for a pint. Father Faul knows this more than anyone and he is as usual being mischievious implying that republicans can have this impact or influence in their communities. One simple question if republicans have so much influence how is the anti-social problem such a big issue in these communities?

  • JK:

    Faul is presenting an Occum’s Razor it seems. It’s a shame we don’t all have access to the whole of the piece. But it makes reference to his background as a Classicist.

    Both you and BWD have clearly outline a basic societal problem which is common to working class communities right across the west. It is a pragmatic reality that should not be obscured in any high minded discussion of law and order in Northern Ireland.

    As I read it at least, Faul is making the case that making re-dress to the law should be the first rather than last resort. This is unlikely to act as a golden key that magics away the problem in quite the manner that exiling currently does. Indeed it may present the community concerned with more problems than it solves, in the short term at least.

    But his proposition is clear, honest, intellectually robust and in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Whether or not the communities concerned are actually ready for that transition is a matter for conjecture.

  • BogExile

    ‘One simple question if republicans have so much influence how is the anti-social problem such a big issue in these communities? ‘

    One simple answer, because as long as the spied rabble are mobilised they reinforce the myth that the PSNI are unwelcome. The PSNI cannot police normally even though they probably have the consent of most ordinary people (check the NI Policing Boards own public confidence surveys). The cycle is perpetuated for purely political reasons. Ordinary people suffer.

  • bigwhitedove

    A most coherent line Mick
    I do believe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights represents the basis for the protection of all human rights in the north and indeed Ireland, clearly though there are those who oppose this, both state and revolutionary forces have been guilty of some terrible mistakes and acts, accountability remains an isue with both, however in my post I advocated the peaceful removal of a drug dealer from an area, this could be through the use of the housing executive, residents association etc, this I believe would be in keeping with the Universal Declaration. How this scenario would lead to anarchy, as suggested, I dont know. I am worried by the current trend that any suggestion from someone who might be a shinner is immediatley rebuffed because it was a shinner. The issues Faul lectures on are extremely complex and I wouldnt claim to have a complete grasp on them, I reserve the right to protect my family and children, in a measured and proportionate manner. I dont not think Faul has the right to lecture me or anyone else on Human Rights abuses as I do not think he has the remotest understanding of the issues facing ordinary republicans or loyalists in 2006

  • Yoda

    Yoda, Alan’s post is an education.

    Yes, it felt like a lecture! 😉

  • Yoda

    I am worried by the current trend that any suggestion from someone who might be a shinner is immediatley rebuffed because it was a shinner.

    You don’t even have to be a shinner!

    That’s the part that gets me.

    It boils down to absolutes: either you are for the law as it stands or you are not.

    If you are not, then you must be concealing an “or else” under your balaclava and you need to be lectured on rights and subjected to lurid details of someone’s arms being crushed to make some sort of a point. Do I really need to say that I don’t think that sort of treatment is acceptable? But, if you’re not with us, you’re obviously against us. Like I asked above, is there no wriggle room at all?

    And forget trying to explore the issue of CRJ. It’s usually rejected out of hand as a form of crypto-shinnerism. I’d love to discuss more creative/ imaginative solutions a bit more, but that tends not to happen.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Republicans are supposed to support justice, equality and freedom for all – including the right to a fair trial. It’s funny how all that goes out the window when the anti-social behaviour is directed at them.

    I find it amazing that SF can stand up there and call for people like Sean Kelly to be kept out of jail, while people like Pat McL and “heck” will defend the right of the lynch mob to keep people they don’t like the look of out of the neighbourhood. It’s disgusting.

    Lets take the scenario where a drug dealer was living in your street, selling drugs to your children and it was common knowledge that the PSNI were protecting him, would you not be entitled to organise your friends and neighbours and have him removed from his house?( peacefully)

    Absurd. How can you “peacefully” put somebody out of his house ? What sort of hypocritical crap are you trying to pull ?

    What about the scenario where the bank robber, bomber or murderer is living in your street ? The lads who stick six inch nails through the legs of 14 year old kids ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    This notion that this discussion is about Sinn Fein saying tonight that those people who have left or been advised to leave communities in the past to come back all is ok. Sinn Fein do not have it in their gift to say this, its not about the law, its not about justice its reality.

    Loyalists say exactly – EXACTLY – the same sort of mealy-mouthed crap as this whenever a black guy or an Indian gets burnt out of a house on the Donegall Road. The community doesn’t want them there, they say. There’s not a lot we can do about it, they add. Bollocks.

    What you guys are advocating on here is mob rule. What’s scary is that you are advocating it uniformly. I don’t buy this “blog committee” stuff but it’s telling how republicans are effectively of a single mind on this matter. You guys just don’t understand the basic tenets of justice and human rights. I read threads like this and ask myself, how badly do the chucks really want a police service ? It sounds very much like the kind of police force that republicans will want will be a service which, on the basis of one or two complaints, will go and throw someone out of their house and warn them never to return to the community again ? In other words, a kind of green B-Specials ?

  • west belfast resident

    C S good post. And you have hit the nail on the head. As I said above about the corner boys, and Dultas post. I too said above that BWDs reckoning would lead to anarchy. Well said.

  • Yoda

    The lads who stick six inch nails through the legs of 14 year old kids

    This mixture of scare-mongering and speculation isn’t really helpful. Who is advocating crushing people’s arms or driving nails into children. It’s certainly powerful rhetoric, but it also radically precludes other alternatives.

    Only if such “community based” initiatives were treated and taken seriously, can those communities take concrete steps towards preventing your speculative scenarios from taking place.

    Responsibility, non-violence, education and justice should govern this process. If they did not, I would not support anything of the kind.

    It’s clear that there are radically dysfunctional communities on both “sides” in NI. They are also simply a fact of life, grinding on in their misery, and they likely aren’t simply going to go away anytime soon.

    But something has to be done.

    Listening to the people who live in these places, getting them to articulate alternative approaches and structures that they feel gives them both a say AND responsibility, that treats them as useful and potentially productive human beings, can go a long way towards addressing some of the very real underlying problems that exist in these places.

    It might not look like the normal, usual or traditional model, but then again, NI has not been a very “normal” place for much of its history, has it?

  • Dec

    Mick

    And attempts to emasculate the populace who are most affected by these people: “The community has no right to interfere.”

    Are we in 2005 still supposed to defer our rights to people (PSNI) whose motivations most of us can’t comprehend?

  • bigwhitedove

    Comrade Stalin,
    I take deep offence at your suggestions that i am advocating violence, I am not. There are many peaceful ways (and indeed legal ways) to have a person removed from their home. The scenario you allude to, was not advocated by me. I wold look forward to your assessment of how to deal with the situation you requoted to me.

    WB Resident tell me how this will lead to anarchy? you have stated it twice but you have given no coherent rationale for your statement.
    Removing anti-social elements from their homes by entirely peaceful and legitimate means = ANARCHY
    I think as i have said before your objections might be based on the fact that it was someone who MIGHT be a SHINNER suggested it.

    The rational debate about policing and conflicting human rights was a good thread, pity the begrudgers got involved

  • Alan

    *There are many peaceful ways (and indeed legal ways) to have a person removed from their home.*

    Doesn’t sound like anything you have been talking about. On the one hand you are either expecting the state to rehouse the same perpetrator in another community without any kind of rehabilitation – or you are making them homeless, neither of which are acceptable.

    And what if the perpetrator was not the perpetrator – how do you right that injustice?

    The whole process has to be above board, independent, transparent and open to appeal. If those boxes are ticked, then I would not have a problem with it, whether a Shinner says it or not. This stuff is basic.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Thanks to this thread, there’s hardly a Shinner left on this board who can ever mention rights and justice again. Every contribution a disgrace – not least the sneering self-righteous attempt at sarcasm from Pat McLarnon at the top of the first page – and stupid into the bargain, because SF has no choice but to do a total about-face over the whole issue before there can be any more political movement.
    Gerry’s tactical cannon fodder are a tragic spectacle to behold.

  • bigwhitedove

    Alan,
    “Doesn’t sound like anything you have been talking about”
    I disagree, I have not advocated any other course of action, maybe other peoples jaundiced interpretation of my posts could lead you to believe this!!!
    I am in total agreement with you the justice system should be rehabilitative and not punitive, should be transparent and above board any everyone should have equal recourse to appeal to ensure no miscarriages of justice
    ROLL ON THAT DAY

  • Belfastwhite

    Mick

    However, it’s little to do with Faul’s polemic. He simply posits two kinds of authority: lawful and unlawful. Both require the backing of force. He further notes that one is open and transparent, the other isn’t.

    The waters are a little muddier from where I come from which kind of authority do you think Faul is refering to as “open and transparent” and do you share the his opinion?

  • Jocky

    CS, one of few sane commentators on this thread.

    The shinners have shown themselves up badly. The PSNI aint good enough for them but you cant beat a good mob to run someone out of town when you need one.

    Sorry, forgot Pat would have a chat with them and it would be all OK.

    Failing that run them out of town. Paedetricians watch out.

    What I dont get with the Republican attitude to policing is their arguement can be summed up as
    “We wont support the PSNI as it isnt independent, transparent, representative, blah, human rights, justice, blah, collusion, root & branch, blah, plastic bullets,” (OK Im paraphrasing here)

    but they’d much rather stick with their mob rule whipped up by “community representatives”, go figure? yeah cause that really ticks all those boxes above.

    Oh, right, it’s not about any of the above, it’s just your last bargaining chip left so your going to hold onto for as long as possible.

  • belfastwhite

    Jocky

    You are correct in what you are saying, problem is we haven’t a police service that we can all subscribe to and even then if the current Police Service is so acceptable in protestant areas why do such attacks prevail?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I take deep offence at your suggestions that i am advocating violence, I am not.

    Other people on this thread have mocked the idea that due process should apply to people who are suspected of various crimes. You might have been careful to be less ambiguous if you didn’t want to be accused of using violence.

    There are many peaceful ways (and indeed legal ways) to have a person removed from their home.

    Give me a break. If someone says to me “I think you move out, by the way have a nice day” am I going to pay attention ? If a breeze block comes through my window it might be different.

    The legal methods are unavailable to a community where supporting the police is frowned upon. Getting a court to put somebody out of a house takes months of constant legal wrangling. Don’t try to insult the intelligence of people here by trying to say that this is what you had in mind.

    The scenario you allude to, was not advocated by me. I wold look forward to your assessment of how to deal with the situation you requoted to me.

    I’d set up a resident association, and then I’d pester local politicians, collect evidence of criminality, and get the police to sort the problem out. If the police failed to address the problem I’d complain to the police ombudsman. Due process.

    A functioning legal system which does not miscarry means that unfortunately some people are going to get off with criminality. The alternative is a police state or mob rule.