Good loyalist cop, bad loyalist cop…

YESTERDAY’S Irish News was unusually balanced in its opinion pieces on restorative justice – unionist Roy Garland listed how Northern Ireland Alternatives schemes involving “a few ex-prisoners” had benefited loyalist areas and provided role models, while Tom Kelly argued that as “some loyalists are not even on officially recognised ceasefires, the thought of going to a CRJ scheme in a loyalist area must carry more risks than visiting Beirut on an Israeli passport”.

  • I saw the title “Good loyalist cop, bad loyalist cop…” and thought most cops are either “Alco’s” or “Good Livin”, anyway back to the point…

  • aquifer

    There are terrible risks in all this, of balkanisation, abuse, corruption, and collusion with still active paramilitaries. For me its police primacy and accountability or forget it.

  • Cato

    The Government must go further than denying these schemes funding and actually declare them illegal.
    There will be no parallel criminal justice system simply because a handful of illiterate, uneducated savages decide they want one.
    It is time this Government finally stood up to these people, many of whom are guilty of serious terrorist crimes themselves, crimes which would rightly have seen them executed in civilised countries around the world. Here, they are released from prison and encouraged to have a role in the administration of justice within some areas.
    Shame on the Government for forcing the PSNI to get involved with some of these schemes, a move which lends heavy credence to the notion that the PSNI has now been irretrievably emasculated.
    I beseech readers of this weblog to realise, if they have not already done so, how the basic tenets of civilisation, with us for thousands of years, are being cast aside in various fleeting moments of political expediency.

  • “Irish News” and “balanced opinion pieces” – mmmm. I don’t think so! Perhaps one day this mighty organ of Irish nationalism will find the courage to permit the opinions of the MAJORITY of unionists who oppose the Belfast Agreement – Roy Garland don’t quite that bill folks!

  • Mick Fealty

    Cato,

    please stick to argument rather than emotive ad hominem insults. It detracts from the substantive aspect of your post.

  • Mick Fealty

    David, you too!! BTW, was that a pitch for job?

  • If ever we wanted a prime example of ‘Political Policing’, then CRJ is it.

    How ironic.

  • Cato

    Michael

    It is difficult to imagine how one can criticise these schemes without criticising the people who have decided that they need a parallel criminal justice system

  • Mick,

    I’ve got one! But political balance in the Irish News is oxymoronic. Plus, they couldn’t afford me.

  • Occasional Commentator

    Cato said: … parallel criminal justice system simply because a handful of illiterate, uneducated savages decide they want one.

    So you support the CRJ schemes that are run by literate, educated paramilitaries then?

    Cato then said: It is difficult to imagine how one can criticise these schemes without criticising the people who have decided that they need a parallel criminal justice system

    You haven’t criticized them. You just criticized the portion of them who are illiterate and uneducated. I assume you are supporting those who are literate and/or educated? (I suppose that’s a rhetorical question, but we need Cato to straighten out his/her argument).

    I hate it when people agree with me, but for the wrong reasons!

  • fair_deal

    “the thought of going to a CRJ scheme in a loyalist area must carry more risks than visiting Beirut on an Israeli passport”

    1. I am afraid Tom is judging the CRJ schemes in Loyalist areas by how they operate in republican communities. The PSNI is properly integrated into their operations so the risk he imagines does not exist. Also they do not get involved in the type of crimes Tom say they are unsuitable to deal with.
    2. On the role of ex-prisoners there has to be some scope allowed for the rehabilitation of an offender. Any vetting should be a case by case basis rather than an arbitrary one of when an offence occured.

    PS If the Irish News are looking a unionist columnist I promise to be cheaper than DV 😉

  • Nevin

    CRJ in Tallaght. I presume this is a very different operation from the paramilitary directed schemes here?

  • Hey Fair Deal,

    What is it they say about paying peanuts? 😉

  • fair_deal

    DV

    For some getting the message out and across to new audiences is more important than the financial reward 😉

  • Cato

    Occasional Commentator

    My post does not permit the interpretation that some of them are run by literate, educated savages. It indicates that they are all run by illiterate, uneducated savages. Effective education includes sound moral teaching which would preclude joining a paramilitary organisation. Hence, I contend that you cannot be effectively educated and a paramilitary at the same time.
    These are the same people whose teachers were allowing them to go out and collect wood for the bonfire when they should have been learning in a classroom. The same people whose teachers complained of being denied their civil rights, including the right to a university education, and yet still found themselves with jobs in Catholic schools.

  • Cato

    In the Irish News today there was a photograph of a teenager who had been made to stand outside a shop on the Shankill Road carrying a sign which said, ‘We are s-c-u-m who stole from our own people’. Setting aside the obvious implication that it is somehow better to steal from people other than your own, this vicious, nasty punishment is as damaging psychologically as kneecapping is physically. It is a perfect example of the inevitable gross excesses of these schemes and why any moral government would render them illegal.
    Petty crime committed by young people is something which must be addressed and punished severely. But the punishment must fit the crime and must go hand in hand with rehabilitation. Rather than rehabilitate this young man, this humiliating, degrading punishment is likely to cause him to hang himself from a tree.

  • “a teenager who had been made to stand outside a shop on the Shankill Road carrying a sign which said, ‘We are s-c-u-m who stole from our own people’.”

    If this works, go for it.If he hangs himself that means that in his community they’ve one less moron to worry about.
    Why wouldn’t the Irish News report on the people who he stole from, what he stole and how it affected the victims?