PSNI softly, softly approach in West Belfast..

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.

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  • Yokel

    Not surprising, its a quiet life for all concerned.

    In additon, West Belfast is where the Sinn Fein leadership’s support is at its strongest, South Armagh is a bit more shaky. Political policing and perfectly acceptable as it was before in the new shiny North.

  • Bewildered

    On the actual theme, there’s nothing wrong with political policing if it is of a new kind, one that is flexible and thereby gains the trust and support of local communities and their representatives. If it continues to work well in West Belfast, there’s a good chance they’ll extend it to South Armagh as well.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Why was this thread cut back so dramatically?

  • mickhall

    By the way, any Shinners still thinking about joining the policing boards should look across the Irish sea to the Metropolitan Police to understand what toothless bodies such policing boards are. One of the more liberal, fair-minded and thoughtful senior officers in the London Metropolitan police force is getting shafted due to his refusal to lie to the IPCC enquiry, into the shooting to death at Stockwell tube station of Brazilian Mr De Menezes. The Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick, who instigated a policy when in charge of Brixton police which caught the public imagination and improved community relations ten fold when he instigated a policy of where people were caught with small amounts of cannabis, they were cautioned rather than arrested. The purpose being to give police more time to tackle dangerous drugs and serious crime.

    It seems the policing board which supposedly oversees London’s police not only have no power to change operational orders like those that led to Mr De Menezes death, but also cannot interfere in the Commissioners policy on personnel matters. This despite the fact that the IPCC enquiry guaranteed immunity from victimization by their employers etc to all those who testified before it.

    Why any decent minded human being would sit upon these mockney governing bodies, [policing committees] let alone any socialist republicans in the tradition of James Connolly is totally beyond me.

  • Shore Road Resident

    There is no comparison between the IPCC and the NI Policing Board. So why make one?

  • mickhall

    SRR

    My comparison was not with the IPCC, but between the NI policing board and the similar body which ‘supposedly’ oversees the Metropolitan police. I mentioned the IPCC because it was his testimony before this body which is apparently leading to his shafting by Mr Blair the Met Commissioner. Basically he called Ian Blair a liar and backed this up with evidence. Yet far from the Commissioner getting the sack, it will be in all probability Mr Paddick who gets his cards or more likely is forced to retire before he intended and the Met oversight board is powerless to do anything about it. This would mean a man who has served the people of London well, has had his career ruined for telling the truth. In Tony Blairs Britain such things are par for the coarse I suppose, but if a policing board cannot prevent such things, what is the point of them beyond a charade of window dressing for the powerful?

  • Shore Road Resident

    Perhaps SF should take their seats and find out?

  • mickhall
  • Mick Fealty

    SSR,

    Serial playing of the man…

  • middle-class taig

    “Serial playing of the man…”

    I see no red cards.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Don’t get your hopes up MCT – I wasn’t the culprit.

  • Fidel O’toole

    All N.Ireland ever wanted was a police force that everyone could hate, just like anywhere else. Talk of police being accepted in communities is nonsense. The problem here was that one community did support them, so obviously something was wrong. Now that both communities dislike the police, we can be normal, like any other country.Let’s face it, no one likes the police, it’s just one of those jobs. However, if they are allowed to deal with ordinary policing matters, instead of politics, they will be accepted, although disliked. The best example of a police force being non-political, disliked but accepted, would be the Garda during the Irish Civil war.

    It was only when Dev put a lot of his old comrades in, to try to wipe out the IRA and the Blueshirts, that they became political.

    If N.Ireland has a force investigating ordinary crime, so be it.

  • elfinto

    I notice that this week’s issue of the Blanket carries two Easter Statements. One is from the leadership of ‘Oglaigh na h-Eireann’, more widely known in the media as the ‘Real’ IRA. The other is from Joe Dillon, President of the ‘Real’ IRA aligned Irish Freedom Committee in the US (Dillon was formerly a prominent member of the 32 CSM). There are no Easter statments from other Republican organisations, Provo (no surprise there), INLA/IRSP or RSF/CIRA.

    Has McIntyre now formally aligned himself and the Blanket with the militarist faction formerly led by Michael McKevitt?

  • mickhall

    elfinto
    No the Blanket was and still is “a project that exists as a commitment to freedom of speech. Its purpose is to facilitate analysis, debate and discussion,to resist censorship, and to create the space for a diversity of views”. As to your comment about what you term as ‘the other republican organization,[PIRA] if they wish their Easter statement to appear on the Blanket, I am sure its editor would give it due consideration. The fact is their only ‘official’ contact with the Blanket has been to vilify its founders, much in the same manner as you are trying to. So the Blanket can hardly be blamed for not publishing PRM statements, now can it?

    Your attempt to link the Blanket with CIRA and the various factions around RIRA, is something, if the shoe was on the other foot you and ‘some’ PRM supporters would call felon setting.

    But lets pass up that for your little bit of nonsense seems to me to be out of character. As to the Blanket publishing the CIRA and Real Easter Statements, the e-mag has many contributors who regard themselves as Republicans, whilst some may well agree with the aforementioned organizations, many more disagree with both their political direction and armed strategy. However despite this we recognize CIRA/RIRA are within the tradition of armed Republicanism, just as the Provos were before they took to attending the international war criminal George W Bush’s shindigs at the White House.

    Just because the leadership of SF has changed its strategy;[nothing wrong with that] and in the process demands that RSF and the 32 county groups be demonized and touted on, this in no way means all Republicans are as pliable and willing to shit on former comrades. Challenge and argue against their strategy yes, but shit on them to cosy up to the UK state police, No!.

    It gives me no pleasure to reply in this manner but your post gave me no alternative and by my comments I in no way mean to insult the fine comrades who remain SF activists. It is just in life when someone resorts too this type of attack, often the only thing they understand is to reply in kind, sad but true. I hope we can move on and get back to discussing the thread.

  • Catch yourself on Mick, the Blanket has always been connected to the Real IRA. In much the same way Rep News is the SF party rag.

  • elfinto

    Mick,

    I merely asked a simple and, in my mind, legitimate question. Methinks thou dost protest too much.

    I already commented that I thought the McIntyre’s article was ill-founded as the cops have always turned a blind eye to the activities of hoods in that part of the world. If he thinks the PSNI should be doing more then he should aim his complaints in that direction. The other Mick saw fit to delete my comments for some reason (not quite sure).

    When I see people queuing up to bash McIntyre for publishing the cartoons over on Danny Morrison’s site I take it with a pinch of salt. I do likewise when I see an article like the one above I see it as McIntyre just venting his spleen against PSF.

    I am a regular reader of the Blanket and while I do not always agree with what it has to say I am usually interested. However, I don’t think that the organ is doing itself any favours by carrying statements from one of the various factions vainglorious enough to call themselves the leadership of Oglaigh na h-Eireann.

    Whatever the faults of the PSF leadership they are not presently pursuing a futile armed struggle in the total absence of any discernable public support.

  • mickhall

    elfinto,

    I do not feel there is much difference between our political positions, I to feel that the two republican groups we are discussing are tragically mistaken in their strategy, which imo can only bring heartache both to their victims and their own volunteers for a host of reason to numerous to write about here.

    However I just do not believe to argue against them by pointing out they have discernible public support or as you write they “vainglorious enough call themselves the leadership of Oglaigh na h-Eireann” holds any water. For the fact is this is exactly what the founders of the Provos did when they broke from Oglaigh na hEireann. [who were not called the Officials for nothing]

    It could even be said the men and women of 1916 fell into the former category as their degree of public support was very limited and almost exclusively working class with a minority of middle class intellectuals.

    Whilst refusing to give these groups material or political support in their armed struggle and challenging them politically if and when the opportunity arises, what many republicans associated with the Blanket will not do is turn their back to those young men and women who belonged to CIRA or RIRA and find themselves in jail for doing the exact same thing as people like McIntye and thousands of other Republicans did as young people.

    History has surly taught us you do not turn idealistic young people away from violence by vilifying them and the organization they belong too, especially within an Irish context. What must be offered is a political avenue to achieve their aims.

    SF has begun to offer such a road but by demonizing all who refuse to accept their politics in their entirety, they have also become recruiting sergeants for organizations like Continuity.
    That this continues despite the growth of SF in the north and south tells me one of two things is taking place within SF. Either British security service assets are continuously stirring the pot and Adams refuses to move against them. Or the PRM old guard in reality lack any real confidence in their political strategy and this being so they simply refuse to brook any opposition with Republican communities.

    Personally I am hoping it is the latter, for if so when the old beards like Gerry Adams and his older associates leave the scene, which cannot be that long, this brittleness hopefully can be put right by any incoming leadership. If it is the latter; and we have been told about the manner in which British tout Denis Donaldson stirred the pot when in the US and back in the north. Then the buck stops at the door of Mr Adams and his fellow leaders.

    What it is difficult for many of us to get our heads around is if the PIRA head of security can organize the northern Bank robbery and countless other notable acts, then why the hell can he not get to grip with the informers within the PRM. Dark thoughts come to mind that he already has hunted them out but the political leadership have decided to sit on this information. If so this really is unforgivable, as apart from the immorality of keeping the SF membership and the community they come from in the dark. There is SFs responsibility to society at large, who should be told about the level of the influence welded by British security service within Irish society.

  • elfinto

    Mick,

    Short on time so only a brief response for the time being.

    Your point about groups initially lacking in public support being acknowledged with hindsight is a fair one.

    What galls me about so-called ‘dissident’ organisations such as (R)IRA and (C)IRA is not that they are visionaries ploughing a lonely furrow, but they are militarist diehards who pursuing a tactic which has demonstrably failed in the past and will continue to fail in the future. The lesson of the last 30 years is that Ireland cannot be re-united by force (nor can it be ruled by force).

    Unfortunately, while Britain continues to rule the north, a small number of young people will continue to be seduced by rhetoric about armed struggle from people purporting to be Oglaigh na h-Eireann. Agents and informers will continue to work within their ranks.

    The peace process has meant many painful compromises (as well as gains) for republicans and potentially, as you wrote recently with regard to policing, more lie ahead. Adams and McGuinness have undoubtably made themselves unpopular in some quarters by the way they have pushed through these compromises but electorally they have reaped the rewards.

    In light of the failure of the armed struggle to fulfill its principle objective over the course of 30 years, those who reject PSF’s electoral strategy have an intellectual and moral responsibility to promote a non-militarist alternative. A new breed of ‘super Provos’ is in nobody’s interest. That’s why I’m disappointed to see the Blanket confer legitimacy on those who do not, in my view, do not possess the vision to deserve it.

    Regards,
    elf

  • slug

    I think the Adams/McGuinness leadership is secure for another 10 years at least, and probably another 15 or 20.

  • Elfinto, if you were a regular reader of the Blanket you would know that the Blanket has published statements over the years from all comers, why you appear to notice it only now and then associate the one statement with one of the writers of the Blanket is questionable (go back and look through the archives).

    Why did you not ascribe John Coulter’s views on heresy to McIntyre while you were at it? It was in the same issue!

    Or does it only suit you to, as Mick Hall called it, felon-set and point the finger at McIntyre?

    If you were a regular reader of the Blanket you would know McIntyre’s views on the Real IRA and they aren’t what you are claiming.

  • “Elfinto, if you were a regular reader of the Blanket you would know that the Blanket has published statements over the years from all comers” – except the Shinners of course.
    Matter of fact, if the opinion isn’t shinner bashing or left wing it doesn’t usually get an airing

  • Northsider

    Wrong Paul, The Blanket allows more than SF-bashing articles and leftie rants. It is a refreshing and essential antidote to the usual Sindo/Daily Ireland/Irish News/Newsletter one party editorial style of the major Irish publications.

    I’d go mad without it. I may not agree with all of it, in fact, there are many times I don’t – but that is the nature of the beast, the editors recognise there is no such thing as selective free speech.

    It’s all or nothing, and where that is the case then you’ll surely come across a lot that enrages, offends, and, on more than one occasion, just bores.

    I’d rather have be challenged by heartfelt and passionate opinion from an array of sources than be bamboozled by agenda-infected reportage masquerading as honest journalism, or single party papers.

  • But the Blanket isnt journalism in the truest sense, it’s purely comment. There is no news in it. At least the other papers mentioned contain news, albeit a slanted version of events. I read the Blanket, but I’m not foolish enough to believe it doesn’t have an agenda. It’s agenda is anti-GFA, anti-SF, and left wing. Because it contains the odd unionist or capitalist opinion doesnt make it balanced. And since its inception it has regularly carried unchallenged RIRA statements – the organisation that murdered 30 plus people in the Omagh bomb. How can an online magazine claim to be objective when it doesn’t at least challenge these statements?

  • elfinto

    What I think is significant is that The Blanket lists the so-called ‘Real’ IRA statement as a statement by the leadership of ‘Oglaigh na h-Eireann’.

    This:
    1. implicates that the so-called ‘Real’ IRA are literally the real, legitimate IRA and anyone else, including the Provos, CIRA, etc are usurpers of the republican cause.
    2. implicitly endorses the leadership of this faction
    3. implicitly endorses their continuing but limited military campaign.

  • elfinto

    I meant ‘implies’, rather than ‘implicates’.

    I don’t read the Blanket every week although I would look in at least once a month and usually a couple of times a month. Its agenda is leftist republican but definitely anti (Gerry) Adams & co. But it also covers a wide range of dissenting voices asides from that and in my opinion it is a very worthwhile organ.

  • Elfinto, as regards to 1,2,3, I think you are reading far too much into the Blanket’s position on the RIRA statement.

    Going by your logic, this would mean that the Blanket endorsed everything they published and that, by its very content, is impossible.

    Also, given your previous stated position regarding the Blanket’s publication of the Danish cartoons, is it not a contradiction for you to now think that the Blanket should not publish the RIRA’s Easter Statement (or any other statement, for that matter), because of the possibility it might be read as the Blanket’s implicit endorsement of the statement?

    This would mean that the SWP are correct in denouncing the Blanket as racists for carrying the Danish cartoons, and that is as much of a nonsense as the assertion that the Blanket implicitly endorse the RIRA leadership and their continued campaign.

    To your original point. If you want to know McIntyre’s position vis a vis the RIRA and its leadership and campaign, why not try reading what McIntyre himself has written on it to ascertain what what he believes?

    Would that not be an easier route than reading the RIRA’s statement and putting 2+2 together to end up with 7, or 8, or 3?

  • elfinto

    He believes that they are Oglaigh na h-Eireann and described them as such on the website. In the present circumstances where there are three or four organisations claiming to be Oglaigh na h-Eireann that amounts to an endorsement.

    The whole situation is a bit like the film The Life of Brian really – the Popular Front for Judea, the People’s Liberation Front of Judea, etc. A bit like the SWP with guns.

  • Puzzled

    Elfinto, I have been reading the Blanket in relation to this thread – can’t see where McIntyre has described anybody as Oglaigh na h-Eireann. I see the statement on the site but why is it said McIntyre endorses it? I have also read Paul Panther’s comment linking the Blanket to the Real IRA. This seems absurd. There is nothing that I can find by typing words into the search engine that shows any endorsement by the Blanket for the Real IRA. In fact, all I see are criticisms of the Real IRA in the Blanket. Would Orde really let himself be interviewed by a Real IRA organ? Also I noticed that Eoin O Broin has written for it a few times. Just wondering if we are being fed an anti-Blanket line rather than getting a balanced reflection.

  • elfinto

    The link on the Blanket website says ‘Easter Statement from Oglaigh na h-Eireann’ or words very close to that (I can’t access it at the minute due to filters).

    The ‘perception’ created is one of endorsement of the Real IRA.

  • Northsider

    This is getting very silly… If you want a complete and comprehensive demolition of the Real IRA’s rationale, methods and actions – then read what McIntyre has written about them on more than occasion on the Blanket.

    In fact, his devastating article on the Omagh bomb and its effect on his own political outlook is one of the finest pieces of journalism I have ever read.

    Please don’t make lazy assumptions and snide accusations about a person’s outlook before taking the time and trouble to look up what they have actually said.

  • elfinto

    I seem to have triggered a raw nerve here but I will stand over what I say. I am not stupid, I have made no snide accusations and I am not pushing a line on behalf of anyone. I am merely saying what I see. These are typical of the type of accusations which the Blanket frequently levels against Sinn Fein – vilification and abuse of anyone who dissents.

    I will say it one more time. Shoot the messanger if you will. Irregardless of any past criticisms, the perception created by reproducing the statement together with the use of the title Oglaigh na h-Eireann is one of endorsement of the (R)IRA.

  • elfinto

    Perhaps a more pertinent question for the Blanket is:

    If you don’t endorse the Real IRA then why – by publishing the said statement under the title Oglaigh na h-Eireann – give the impression that you do?

  • Puzzled

    elfinto, you don’t seem to have hit a raw nerve with the Blanket as nobody from it seems to be coming on this site to say anything one way or the other. All I am asking you is how does McIntyre – not the Blanket – endorse the Real IRA? So far you have provided no answer. From what I see the site carries much more than what McIntyre writes. Nor does your last post enlighten me. The criticism levelled the Blanket’s way is that it endorses nobody and therefore has no political position and is a talking shop. The Real IRA calls itself Oglaigh na h-Eireann as do the other two IRAs. So it seems reasonable enough to have it carried under the name they go by. People get charged with membership of Oglaigh na h-Eireann across the border but neither the guards nor the courts are endorsing the Real IRA. I just can’t follow your logic. Is it possible you just slipped up and are now defending a position you would rather not be defending? Your other comments make a lot of sense but I just don’t get this one.

  • elfinto

    Of course, Puzzled, if you really are a republican, you will understand exactly what the name Oglaigh na h-Eireann means and why it would not be treated so lightly.

    Contrary to what you say, the criticism which I am aiming at the Blanket is that IT DOES APPEAR to be endorsing the Real IRA as the legitimate republican movement.

    As to how you know that no-one from the Blanket has contributed to this thread to date, I am not quite sure, as most posters are contributing anonymously. Mick Hall, for one, is a regular contributor to the Blanket.

    I must emphasise that I do not attribute responsibility for the way the editors of the site have chosen to carry this particular statement to individual contributors.

    Not Puzzled,
    elf

  • elfinto
  • Puzzled

    Elfinto, yes, you are right, Mick Hall is a Blanket contributer. And also I don’t know if anybody else from the Blanket has come on to this site. On Oglaigh na h-Eireann perhaps it is all down to appearances being in the eye of the beholder. It doesn’t strike me that the Blanket endorses the Real IRA on the basis of it carrying the name Oglaigh na h-Eireann as the name used by the group who issued the statement. I suppose if the Provisional IRA were to issue a statement (or CIRA) in the name of Oglaigh na h-Eireann and send it to the Blanket it would be carried as it came. Yet nobody other than the diehard unionist would argue that to do such would be an endorsement of the PIRA. If they are all Oglaigh na h-Eireann why is one more legitimate than another? Is this thread not about you feeling the PIRA is the legitimate Oglaigh na h-Eireann which is a credible position to take? But why should the Blanket take the view that one is more legitimate than the other? From reading the Blanket it looks as if it is a case of a plague on all IRA houses. In your earlier posts you began by attributing the endorsement to McIntyre specifically. While we could argue the validity of your point that by carrying the statement as it did the Blanket endorsed the Real IRA I just can’t find anything to debate around ‘McIntyre does likewise.’ Reading through what he writes on the Real IRA he never refers to them as Oglaigh na h-Eireann.

  • Puzzled

    Elf, have a look at this. It is from McIntyre direct writing about the Real IRA last October.

    “To the casual onlooker it must seem perplexing that organisations like the Real IRA can live off the legitimacy painstakingly accrued over the years by the sacrifices and energy of Provisional IRA and INLA volunteers. As a fighting force the Real is considered a very shabby pretender to the IRA throne. Stephen Hawkins would be hard pushed to come up with a reason for its existence.”

    The Real supporters would have a case to argue from the above that McIntyre endorses the Provisional IRA. He even endorses the INLA in front of the Real.

  • elfinto

    In your earlier posts you began by attributing the endorsement to McIntyre specifically.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Anthony McIntyre and his partner are the main movers behind the Blanket. Apologies to them if I am wrong.

    It doesn’t strike me that the Blanket endorses the Real IRA on the basis of it carrying the name Oglaigh na h-Eireann as the name used by the group who issued the statement.

    But it might appear that way to anyone who is familiar with historical republican debates about legitimacy.

    Is this thread not about you feeling the PIRA is the legitimate Oglaigh na h-Eireann which is a credible position to take?

    Absolutely not. I have never said that.

    If they are all Oglaigh na h-Eireann why is one more legitimate than another?

    Good question. As a result of this discussion I have come to the conclusion that as Ireland clearly cannot be reunited by armed force any organisations styling themselves Oglaigh na h-Eireann – with the exception of the 26 county armed forces – have become historical relics.

  • elfinto

    It seems we have cross posted.

    Assuming that the phrase ‘To the casual onlooker …’ is not some rhetorical sleight of hand, McIntyre’s statement of October last is apt.

    “Stephen Hawkins would be hard pushed to come up with a reason for its (R.IRA’s) existence.”

    Quite so. Given this quotation, why give these tinpot generals credibility by reproducing their vainglorious statements??

    No capiche!

  • Sqaured

    Freedom of speech, maybe? Wild guess!

  • Puzzled

    Elf, much here that we seem to agree upon. Twomey is the editor. This was illustrated by her interview with a Muslim group. I did not read the interview but saw it posted as follows:

    Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:53 am Post subject: I cut and paste this interview from The Blanket / The Muslim News to aid in this discussion. In doing so I’d like to point out that this interview is conducted with the EDITOR of The Blanket, Carrie Twomey – Not Anthony McIntyre (for those who claim The Blanket is simply McIntyre’s mouthpiece and claim for fame.)

    Yes it might appear – but wrongly so, in my view – to someone familiar with historical republican debates about legitimacy that a statement carried on a website is an endorsement. On the other hand for those familiar with a history of the Blanket, which you seem to be Elf, it would be very hard to make the case for such an appearance. I just got a feel – might be wrong – that had the Blanket carried a statement from PIRA in the name of Oglaigh, you may not have raised an objection. Having said that you have certainly nailed down your position when you argue that no IRA has the right to use the term. To me it doesn’t matter as I sigh with frustration anytime these groups argue about legitimacy.

    Why would the October criticism of the RIRA be a rhetorical sleight of hand? Do you ever see the abuse he gets on the 32 County website? I admit I am on your side in relation to all these dinosaurs and I have a bias as I do think the PIRA were more legitimate than the others. The discussion interests me. I just fear when the debate gets distorted by people being labelled for what they did not say and being planted in positions they never held.

    While I think the RIRA are a disgrace in a way that the PIRA never were, I think it is to the credit of the Blanket that it sticks to its free speech position so firmly by printing everything it gets. I would like to see SF (and I am not a supporter) use the Blanket. O’Broin wrote in it before. And it would be hypocritical of the Blanket not to carry anything SF sent to it. One reason for SF or its members not using it is that it can claim the Blanket does not carry SF stuff, an allegtion we sometimes see on this site. But the Blanket can only print what it gets.

  • Busty Brenda

    *Ahem*

    Can we get back to political policing rather than a general discussion on the blanket journal.
    I feel the comparison by McIntyre of SA and WB is disingenious to say the least. The situation in SA has taken almost 30 odd years to come to light, and correct me if I am wrong but was done in co-operation with counter parts in the Irish Republic.

    The situation in Ballymurphy, is a disgrace, I went there myself to see it. Driving around the estate is depressing, Whitecliffe parade, and the adjoining streets have houses burnt out and the possessions of the people who once lived there are partially burnt and lying in the drive ways. It is an utter disgrace. BUT to blame this all on the coppers is making a political statement that is ill thought out.

    The softly softly approach to policing happened in Lozzells area of Birmingham and had a reasonable success. Part of the reason that Ballymurphy lies as it does stems from a lack of policing for almost a generation, due to the IRA. It is difficult for a police force which is still not accepted to do everything right.

    When this same police force took a heavy hand about car crime in west Belfast the ATN and SF raised their voices in protest. It seemed on this issue they cannot do right for doing wrong. The residents of parts of west belfast, for example Albert Street area have been crying out for more policing-but when they or any service come in they are stoned, set upon and their equipement stolen. Properties have been set alight deliberately to lure in the emergency services in order to attack them.

    In Ballymurphy, each nite as the trouble there escalated the whole of WB knew that the police where there in force-but there is no such thing as complete protection, if there was and had it been imposed the shinners would be up in arms and shouting out their indignity.

    One must ask in the B’murphy situation where the local community leaders in working co-operation with the police?

    A community that will not be policed, that will not report crime, and that elevates a political party into its local representation that does not accept the police will never be free from this scourge of anti-social behaviour, whether it be a family feud erupting, car crime, or anything else.

    YET these same SF leaders can and do police effectively to ensure their is no trouble at orange marches when it suits them.

    In light of this one must ask, who has the political policing agenda. The police or the local community leadership.

  • mickhall

    Busty,

    Interesting, what would you say in your area the attitude to the PSNI is, not from the political activists but ordinary SF/SDLP voters.
    Are people in favor of SF joining the Policing boards or is that not even a topic of conversation.

    You mentioned the Lozzells area of Birmingham, the same was true in Brixton when Brian Paddick was the senior Met office in that area. However one should not underestimate the reactionary [it is the only word to describe these officers] elements that oppose this types of ‘community policing’ Indeed this bunch of shits used Mr Paddick sexuality to destroy his career.

    The fact is whether it is within the PSNI or any other UK police force, the majority of its middle and senior officers came into the police force when Thatcher was in power, they were trained/ indoctrinated in the theory of if people refused to bend the knee to the powers that be, they should be crushed or driven off the streets.

    With Blair being the creep he is, for political reasons, he has encouraged fear amongst the general public of the criminal running riot. Thus any officers these days in the Met or elsewhere who propose different tactics to crash and bust, are sidelined or worse. In the north much of the softly softly approach is to entice fly into the web.

    All the best mate

  • elfinto

    Back to McIntyre’s article which I have just read again. He makes some fair enough points but has little constructive to say. He gives the impression that he wants effective policing but is opposed to any rapprochement between SF and the PSNI.

    So what is the future for policing in west Belfast, south Armagh and elsewhere? Is it:
    1. Continued non-recognition of the PSNI / de-facto ‘policing’ by an emasculated PIRA
    2. Seek further reform to make PSNI accountable and then participate in policing structures.