One approach fits all?

In a radio interview on the Stephen Nolan show Gregory Campbell said the DUP’s approach of allowing repentant paramilitaries to join the party could apply to applicants to the PSNI. Interview here (38 minutes in, Real Player reqd). UPDATE The DUP has confirmed no change on its policy in opposing ex-paramilitaries in the police.

  • And who, exactly, decides the criteria for what is “repentance”? Dangerous ground……or an empty soundbite.

  • meeja hoor

    Has anyone else noticed that Nolan is increasingly stealing Talkback’s clothing? Yesterday they had Martina Purdy on talking about the PUP / UUP thing and a great sequence with listeners berating Ervine live on air, now this is making the local news bulletins after appearing on the show. Talkback is sounding increasingly tired and irrelevant.

  • Bem use d

    It’s some state of affairs when Stephen Nolan makes anyone sound tired and irrelevant in comparison. As for the Duppers and their ‘repentance’ test – presumably this is just more of their evangelical ‘sack cloth and ashes’ cuntology. When are they going to realise – we don’t live in a monotheistic state labouring under some sort of Ballymena-style sharia law.

  • Bill

    It would not matter how sincere the repentence was so long as the PSNI were DUPed.

  • Wee Ulsterman

    “Ex-Paramilitaries can join the Police” – And this from the same DUP that’s been lecturing us moralistically for months about talking to paramilitaries!


    Don’t forget this statement comes in the same week as the DUP succeeded in giving an extra Ministry to Sinn Fein – this is clearly all part of the pre-talks choreography that the DUPs have cooked up with the Shinners.

    What next have they got to give away?

    As for “repentance” I mean, what, are they planning on legislating for repentence or something? Do only good upstanding Prods qualify for such ‘repentance’?

    The hypocrisy here is just breath-taking. They’ll not be allowed to forget this in a hurry!

  • POL

    Why do unionists persist in calling loyalists “paramilitaries” and republicans “terrorists”.

  • Rory

    OK, I’m sorry. Now give me the gun, the baton and the handcuffs. Do I really have to wear the uniform?

  • willis

    So I’m assuming this repentance would include a full confession of all they were involved in, the collusion, their handlers etc etc — Thought not!

  • Repentant?

    “I make no apologies for my past. People get caught up in the emotion of the time.”
    Dec 31 2003 Belfast Telegraph

    Fmr UVF commander 1970s
    Current DUP Councillor 1980s, 90, 00s
    Cllr R McKee MBE

  • Mayoman

    Obvious question. Does GC think the same should apply to ex-IRA personnell/paramilitaries/terrorists (take your pick)? Was this covered?

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Sorry, as far as I am concerned no terrorist, criminal or anyone else who has broken a law should be a policeman (maybe fixed penalties like speeding or parking could be overlooked but even then they shouldn’t be).

    How would anyone here feel if they were stopped by a policeman for speeding if you knew they are ex terrorists or criminals. I won’t be lectured or prosecuted by people who had no regard for the law no matter if they repent or not.

    The DUP should be ashamed

  • Frustrated Democrat


    I don’t they are all terrorists and therefore criminals no matter if they are Orange or Green.

  • Turbopaul

    In the interests of parity, does this mean Republicans who repent would be just as welcome into political parties and law enforcement??????

    The Devil finds work for idle hands and if paramilitaries, criminals and others on the margins of society are sincere and demonstrate a willingness to lead an honest life, then they should be allowed back into mainstream society.

    Offering an alternative to the criminal life is far better than closing the door and isolating those who may want to give up criminality.

    Perverse as it may sound, but former criminals and paramilitaries would be really competent detectives because of their background.

    Before you think that this would be open to abuse, ok, think about the corrupt and duplicitious actions of law enforcement over the years and yes there may be a few rotten apples, but law enforcement would certainly become more competent.

    Somewhat like the American Cavalry employing the services of Indian Scouts to track the hostile Indians during the 19th century!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bo’shank

    dear oh dear! Not very often you see the DUP all over the place…but as Fred Cobain has just asked: “If Sean Kelly, a convicted IRA mass murderer, were to become repentant – whatever that means – he would be allowed to join the police and could eventually end up policing the Shankill Road? Is that the DUPs new position?”

    watch the boys in the DUP circle the wagons on Gregory.

  • David

    This really does defy belief. It would seem a former paramilitary can now join the DUP and the PSNI. But should the UUP and PUP form an assembly group to help move paramilitaries forward, then the DUP object (in collusion with the Alliance party. What sort of hypocrisy and double standards is this?

  • Turbopaul

    I appaud GC for really giving an honest DUP view.

    Finally, we have both parties DUP and Sinn Fein trying very hard to encourage former Paramilitaries and criminals to repent, join their ranks and now, even be allowed to join law enforcement.

    Well debate can go on but the real truth is both the DUP and Sinn Fein are fit for govt equally, they are similarly connected to paramilitaries and criminals, they both want to conduct themselves in an honest political manner.

    So, lets have a debate on how to bring paramilitaries and criminals in from the cold, but I think the debate on Sinn Fein being fit for govt has been finally put to rest.

    Game over, there is not a fag paper between the DUP and Sinn Fein, two sides of the same coin, but from different perspecives.

    Thanks GC you have done the people of NI a service for reconising that both DUP and Sinn Fein are equal political parties with the same political problems.

  • bo’shank

    David, come on are you really surprised? This is the DUP we are talking about!! Double standards, to use a car dealership phrase, come as standard on all models.

  • inuit_goddess

    Anyone remember the S-C-A-R-Y ad the DUP did featuring a balaclava wearing gentlemen in a police uniform?

    Now today the DUP are proposing precisely that!

    This all stinks – methinks the Robinson-Campbell people in the DUP are stitching up the deal with Sinn Fein. This is just all part of the choreography, and a major DUP concession to republicans.

    I’m glad that the UUP still have their heads screwed on on this issue – no ex-terrorists in the police please! It’s not exactly rocket science!

  • na


    Do you mean this DUP poster?

  • Turbopaul

    A big round of applause for the DUP.

    Instead of wasting money on the junket to Scotland, why not get the DUP and Sinn Fein together in the morning to sign the deal, get devolved power by the end of the week.

  • Bemus e d

    excellent work na.

  • audley

    Good man na, the DUP are truly an unbelievable rabble.

  • na

    The UUP made a boob today too.

    I see Derek Hussey (UUP) has accused Charlie McHugh (SF) of making erroneous and inflammatory statements. He says that McHugh is inflating the numbers expected at a parade in Castlederg from 40 bands to 70 bands and 2700 participants.

    “Cllr McHugh has claimed that 70 Bands and 2700 people will be in attendance. This is a totally erroneous statement and designed to be inflammatory. I am sure that the organisers would love to have such numbers in attendance. However, it is hoped that approx 40 Bands will be in attendance on the night which is merely reflective of the number of Parades and other musical events that the Band have themselves supported throughout the year”

    Unfortunately for MR Hussey the application to the Parades Commission was for 72 bands and 2735 participants.

    So what’s the truth?

    Did Castlederg Young Loyalist Flute Band submitted an erroneous application to the Parades Commission or is Mr Hussey making erroneous statements?

  • tiny

    Campbell is punching above his weight and in a position he is’nt fit for, (a bit like his predecessor Ross), I heard the interview in full, Nolan dug a hole and Campbell walked straight in, the fool!

  • CombineHarvesterOfSorrow

    I think Gregory as backed into a corner when confronted with hypocrisy from his own party and just mouthed some platitudes to cover his arse.

    The degree of repentance that would be required is very much open to debate. I take it a good solid confession wouldn’t be up to the job…

  • inuit_goddess

    Good research na! I’d forgotten that poster – I was actually thinkin mindyou about the TV ad they did, I think it may have been in 2001, depicting a terrorist in an RUC uniform.

    Must have been about the time of the old DUP “Save the RUC” campaign. Yet another group the duppers used, abandoned – and now, today, have well and truly shafted.

  • CombineHarvesterOfSorrow

    Judging by the Party reaction, Gregory might well be restricted to “Picture, No Sound” for a couple of weeks…

    and the verification word for this post was “Result”. Serendipity prevails again.

  • unionist

    ok so Greg comes out and says that former prisoners released under the Good Friday Agreement could be police officers (a key SF demand before signing up to policing)

    Paisley goes to see Tony and tells him there is only one issue stopping a deal namely SF signing up to policing.

    and they tell us there is no deal !!!!

    yea right

  • rapunsel

    I only heard a bit of this this evening and whilst I am certainly no DUP supporter , it seems to me that Mr Campbell’s remarks were so qualified as to be meaningless — did he not say something that if someone involved in paramilitarism many years ago could prove they had been an active pacifist since then , then their application could be considered but not necessarily approved. This is just meaningless bullshit. I wasn’t aware that there were too many pacifists either in the DUP or the RUC or PSNI for that matter! I can’t see how his proposal would be workable at all. I don’t believe that all those with paramilitary convictions should be prevented from applying and consideration for the PSNI. What I do believe though is that anyone with a conviction for abuses of human rights which would include murder , assault, intimidation etc should 1. be prevented joining the police and 2. existing PSNI personnel from the old RUC with such convictions should be removed and named and shamed– it seems to me that the chair of the Police federation himself is an unfit person to be in the role of a Police Officer given his satted wish to prevent investigation into historic, present and future misdeeds of police officers.

  • inuit_goddess

    Actually, what Gregory said was damningly specific:

    (from UTV Internet)

    The outcry came after Mr Campbell responded to questions about whether former paramilitaries should be allowed to serve in the force.

    Stressing they must show no support for any form of crime, he said: “They have to demonstrate that they are repentant and they have to show that they do not advocate those sort of activities.

    “If so, they could then be considered, only if they demonstrate that. If they don`t, they should not.”

  • inuit_goddess

    “demonstrate that they are repentant” is utter meaningless twaddle by the way, it’s impossible to give any legal force or meaning to the phrase.

  • Reader

    inuit_goddess: it’s impossible to give any legal force or meaning to the phrase.
    True. On the other hand, watching IRA ex-cons denouncing the armed-struggle in their job interview would be a sackcloth and ashes moment. I certainly think Campbell could spin his way out of this one with a bit more thought.

  • Bi

    If “repentant terrorists” are acceptable as members of the DUP and the OO (in fact there are probably quite a few unrepentant trerrorists in the OO), why are they not acceptable in the PSNI?