Sinn Fein’s position in policing…

Following our thread on Sinn Fein’s position viz viz the completion of the Patten Report, one of our readers points us in the direction of a comprehensive statement by Gerry Kelly at a conference earlier this year, in which he clearly lays out the party’s position beyond Patten:

In December 2004 – just over a year ago we had agreement on a sequence of events including the transfer of powers on policing and justice from London to Belfast. But it fell apart because the DUP reneged at the last moment.

Essentially we agreed that in the context of:

– Agreement between the parties on the departmental model and the powers to be transferred;

– The enactment by the British government of the legislation to give full expression to this transfer of powers; and

– A DUP commitment to a short timeframe for the actual transfer of powers on policing and justice.

Then the party president would propose to the Ard Comhairle that it calls a special Ard Fheis to decide Sinn Féins position on new policing arrangements.

That situation has not changed. It is not Sinn Féin but others who are delaying progress.

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  • Pete Baker

    Comprehensive, perhaps Mick, but it doesn’t actually move us any further forward.. and is somewhat out-of-date.

    As I pointed out in this post the other day

    And, while Peter Hain, and the RTÉ report, mention the transferring of policing powers to an assembly, it should be remembered that the legislation being talked about is only one step in opening that particular lock.

    That particular lock is a quadruple lock which requires the First and Deputy First Ministers to, jointly, table a motion requesting devolved policing powers to the full Assembly before step one of Gerry Kelly’s list is addressed.

    And that would, of course, require the Executive to be formed first.. and around we go again.

  • This is of course working on the premise that we want to see policing and justice devolved. I for one am petrified of the prospect of having people who seem uncomfortable with the entire concept of justice in charge of its administration.

    Se basically Sinn Fein are saying that there can’t be any movement until everyone bows to their demands. That sounds like holding up progress to me.

  • Xabi Alonso

    Mick,

    As I said in the previous thread, there is no legitimate reason for Sinn Fein not to move on policing.

    Patten has been implemented. The only outstanding elements are civilianisation and the disposal of property – hardly reasons to justify not supporting the police.

    And if Patten has been implemented, what objections could SF or its membership retain?

  • Mick Fealty

    This from earlier in Kelly’s statement:

    Republicans don’t pretend to have a monopoly on ideas in relation to justice and policing. Neither can we ignore the experience of the community from which we come and whom we serve. As an Irish republican party with a national and democratic agenda, Sinn Féin welcomes new ideas and is eager for new challenges. Ours is the battle of ideas and the politics of change.

    This would imply that there is some scope for movement in the detail of what might be agreed if not the principals.

  • Pete Baker

    The legislation which will be put in place, Mick, sets out a quadruple lock which requires the Executive to be formed well in advance of the actual devolving policing powers.

    The forming of an Executive is extremely unlikely to happen without the necessary movement from SF on policing.

    The interesting aspect in this is the apparent lack of public pressure from the governments, or at least from the British and Irish governments, on what that move must entail.

  • lib2016

    I understood that all this had been agreed in November 2004. Since then but not for much longer, we have been waiting on the DUP.

  • Nevin

    I wanted to post a quote from the Police Oversight Commissioner’s website re.post-Patten moves on Police Community Support Officers but got this message: “This domain name expired on 06/22/2006 and is pending renewal or deletion.” An ‘oversight’ on someone’s part? 😉

  • On a similar note, on the front page of the current edition of the Andersonstown News, Sinn Féin MLA Michael Ferguson complains that the PSNI have not lifted a local thug living in West Belfast.

    Does that mean that Sinn Féin supports the PSNI going into republican areas to arrest alleged criminals? If so, is that de facto support of policing, thus rendering their boycott of Patten-linked bodies such as the Policing Board and DPPs pointless? After all, it would be incongruous for a politician to criticise police inaction unless they recognise the legitmacy of that force to take such action in the first place. Likewise, if they opposed the PSNI taking action, then they wouldn’t be complaining about it.

    Also, does SF support similar decisive action against people who are/ may have been linked to, the provisional movement, e.g. extortionists?

    Surely it is time for SF to give some direction to its followers on this issue. At the minute, there is clearly a recognition that utilisation of the PSNI is the only way to secure justice for victims of crime in republican areas. Why not put that recognition to full effect by backing Patten and the bodies it establishes? After all, the whole community will be the ultimate beneficiaries of such a move.

  • Sorry, the above quote attributed to ‘El Blogador’ was actually by me.

  • Then the party president would propose to the Ard Comhairle that it calls a special Ard Fheis to decide Sinn Féins position on new policing arrangements.

    This is what I said on the other thread Mick. Once a special Ard Fheis is called it is the membership who will decide what is needed for Republican support of the police.

  • Dk

    “Once a special Ard Fheis is called it is the membership who will decide what is needed for Republican support of the police”

    So when are they going to call it? When there are grafton temps doing desk jobs and freeing up police for the streets and some abandoned cop shops appear in UPS? Oh lordy – have republican ideals come to this?

  • So when are they going to call it?

    That will be up to the membership

  • G

    lib “I understood that all this had been agreed in November 2004. Since then but not for much longer, we have been waiting on the DUP”

    What happened after that lib that might damage confidence and trust? Or should that just be ignored?

    SF need to support the mechanisms for law and order otherwise they simply cannot expect to be in a power sharing executive. simple as. What is hard to understand about that? the dup are doing *(I’d imagine) what their grass roots want.

  • Sorry, I thought you wrote “what are they going to call for”

    It will be called when the conditions as laid out in the post are met. That said even when the Special Ard Fheis is called the final say will be with the membership.

  • Oliver Central

    Councillor Cara McShane Sinn fein has hosted meetings of Moyle DPP in her family run business in Ballintoy.
    Councillor Billy Leonard Sinn Fein is ex RUC AND ex DPP.

    The policing debate is over.

  • oc

    I can assure you that it is not over!

  • Ingram

    Quote”This is what I said on the other thread Mick. Once a special Ard Fheis is called it is the membership who will decide what is needed for Republican support of the police

    What Chris means is a special meeting of Republicans and touts will be held and the British Governemnt will dictate the terms.

    By the way, before Mr Gasket gets on his high horse, take a look at the papers tomorrow when Freddy Scap gets his new court order. The very senior Provo gets a court order preventing newspapers from printing his NEW name or disclosing his location etc. LOL

    Let us not forget the points raised back at the time of the Stake Knife exposure about evidence etc.Martin will be next in line for protection from the British courts. LOL

    Today policing is very close to being a reality for Republicans. Game set and match and good bye to a United Ireland by 2016 ( your having a Laaaaaarf) more chance of a United British Isles.

    Night Night

    Martin

  • What Chris means is a special meeting of Republicans and touts will be held and the British Governemnt will dictate the terms.

    I mean what I said, I don’t need spooks to interpet my posts!

    By the way, before Mr Gasket gets on his high horse

    Why don’t you crawl back under that rock that you slithered from!

    You are nothing more than a spook shit stirring!

  • Nic

    Hi Mick,
    I’m not being merely pedantic, honest, but when you posted “This would imply that there is some scope for movement in the detail of what might be agreed if not the principals. ” did you mean “principals” or “principles”???

    Cheers,

  • IJP

    Back to the point…

    What you say is fair enough, Mick, but what underlies many people’s points both here and elsewhere is the quite simple fact that the principles of law and order cannot be up for negotiation.

    SF still has the furthest to come to accept this… although Unionists need to do some thinking too.

  • harpo

    ‘Sinn Fein’s position in policing…’

    …like every other position can change in an instant.

    Because as they keep on telling us ‘things change’.

    One day blowing up kids on the streets of English cities is a justified part of war, the next it’s a terrible thing, if someone else does it.

    Policing is no different. They will change their position and then there will be a lot of babble about circumstances changing and needing to deal with the new dispensation etc etc. The same old reasons for position change will be rolled out.

  • friendlyCreggan

    ‘Martin’

    What is wrong with ANYONE here demanding a change to policing?

    Anyway, why are you on here? I’d have suspected that you’d be too busy ‘working’ on your latest ‘revelations’ on the other Martin?

    🙂 Fell flat on your face with that fiasco didn’t you?

    PS: I was chatting to Bill last night- he didn’t seem too bothered to me anyway 🙂

  • friendlyCreggan

    “Policing is no different. They will change their position and then there will be a lot of babble about circumstances changing and needing to deal with the new dispensation etc etc. The same old reasons for position change will be rolled out.

    Posted by harpo on Jun 30, 2006 @ 12:29 AM”

    Awwww
    HAPPY HARPO as usual

    🙂

    Why don’t we all move to CANADA?

  • harpo

    ‘What is wrong with ANYONE here demanding a change to policing?’

    Creggan:

    Who said there was anything wrong with anyone demanding a change to policing?

    Just as there is nothing wrong with anyone demanding a change to policing there is nothing wrong with anyone asking for it to stay the same.

    The issue is will PSF’s attitude to policing change.

  • harpo

    ‘Awwww
    HAPPY HARPO as usual

    🙂

    Why don’t we all move to CANADA?’

    Creggan:

    I don’t see what this has got to do with the issue. This isn’t about me, no matter how much you try to make it so. If you have something to say about the issue go ahead, but I doubt that you do. You’d rather have a go at me. That means you don’t have to address the issue of the Provos continually switching positions on things.

    Exactly how do you explain that? I don’t recall Gerry resigning when the conditions actually happened to fulfil a situation regarding which he had previously claimed PSF would have to find a new President if they ever came to pass.

    As always, things changed and Gerry didn’t live up to his previous committment.

    Why do you folks continue to support him and McGuinness when they have demonstrated that they can’t be trusted to hold to any single policy committment?

    Why do you keep on swallowing the ‘things have changed’ excuse as promise after promise, and principle after principle, is broken?

    Are you still hoping that Gerry and Martin have some magic plan to deliver a UI? A really secret plan that can’t be shared with anyone else.

  • harpo

    ‘I understood that all this had been agreed in November 2004. Since then but not for much longer, we have been waiting on the DUP.’

    lib:

    I don’t recall the people having been asked to vote on anything back in November 2004. Do you mean there was some side deal at that time? A side deal that the people didn’t get to vote on and that wasn’t in the GFA?

    I for one thought that PSF wanted the GFA and nothing but the GFA delivered. No side deals. So tell us more about what was agreed in 2004, outside the terms of the GFA.

  • Mick Fealty

    Nic, on this occasion I meant what I actually wrote.

  • Gary Jennar

    It is time that the RM disengage from this failed political entity and form a pan-nationalist coalition, ignore the other side and build structures island wide and let the other go and find somebody else to annoy.

  • Ingram

    Friendly Creggan,

    quote”:-) Fell flat on your face with that fiasco didn’t you?

    No mate anything but. Since my piece . The Sunday Times have gathered from seperate sources that he did work for the Government although they claim for MI5 code named the fisherman.

    Father Faul. Named him as a tout.

    You I believe come from Derry? you will know the under current on the streets about Martin. Cos I do?

    This weekend a story will break about a known Brit Loyalist Agent who had a murder attack pulled within minutes of execution on the orders of his Branch Handler.The target was 007 Martin.

    Hain, todate has refused to confirm WHY Martin McGUINNESS continues to receive British protection. Please see www. martiningra..blogspot.com FOR FULL DETAILS.

    In summary mate, very pleased with this long term campaign. This week we have Freddie Scap go to the courts asking for legal protection from any newspaper revealing his new name given to him as pasrt of the ” Package” by the British Government.I will resist the temptation to say I told you so.

    I do have a pretty good record at getting my man.LOL

    Marty.

  • Hidden Gem

    Sinn Fein are holding things up. They are still refusing to sign up for policing and a lawful society and still think that anything that the IRA authorises cannot be a crime. That’s just ridiculous.

    The SDLP has consistently argued that they best way for Sinn Fein to show others that that IRA criminality is at an end is by accepting policing and the rule of law. Not because the DUP say they must, but because doing their all for Patten and the Agreement means that they should.

  • friendlyCreggan

    “You I believe come from Derry? you will know the under current on the streets about Martin. Cos I do?”- Martin

    Yes Martin I do live here, very much so and I have yet to meet ONE SINGLE PERSON (and that includes amongst the so-called ‘dissidents’) that believes your latest ‘revelation’

    I’m being 100% honest here, if Martin McG was what you allege, nobody believes it. That’s very different from ‘refusing to believe’, they just don’t believe it, full stop.

    Apart from anything else, ‘Ingram’ and ‘tabloid stories’ go hand in hand, that’s not my fault is it? 🙂

    Hard lines about the planned new book

  • friendlyCreggan

    “Since my piece . The Sunday Times have gathered from seperate sources that he did work for the Government although they claim for MI5 code named the fisherman”- martin

    🙂
    That’s it? ‘The Fisherman’? 🙂
    That backs up your rambling?

    Ask yourself this- if you were to pick a codename for MMcG, would it be ‘The Fisherman’?

    You’re a comedy genius my friend, a comedy genius

  • Ingram

    Creggan.

    I do not claim his code name the Fisherman mate, the SUNDAY TIMES DO.

    Father Faul is no fool mate and of course I do have a good record at getting it right myself, witness the former Nutting squad man going to the courts to get protection for his new name.

    Do you remember the same chorus of disbelief at the time ?? mostly led by British MP martin McGuinness.

    I have written to Hain to explain the protection of McGuinness in the Operation Taurus see details in yesterdays Newsletter. I will of course keep you upto date with any response.

    McGuinness is an Agent whether you like it or not and like you me I have many contacts in Derry and visit often.You know it the sight of Wee charlie and Willie scrubbing graffiti off wals says a lot.

    Marty

    Martin

  • Chico

    Nationalists will support a police service that is not Law and Order(Loyalist Law and Orange Order). I’d be prepared to take Jonty’s sayso on that; have just read his book.