Anthony McIntyre notes an on the ground thawing between Sinn Fein and the PSNI in West Belfast in contrast with South Armagh where the wrecking ball is being employed. But, he argues, it comes with a price tag:
Policing in West Belfast is walking on political eggshells. In order to entice Sinn Fein on board, the policy is to hold out the carrot in West Belfast but wield the stick in South Armagh. Whereas the effects of the stick are visible enough, it takes a little more probing to glimpse the carrot at work. As far as the PSNI is concerned, those within the Ballymurphy community not favoured by Sinn Fein can literally roast. Nothing too vigorous will be pursued if it is considered unpalatable to Sinn Fein as the cops strategically play ‘softly, softly, catchee monkey’ which means buying off West Belfast and bulldozing South Armagh.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty