The cynicism of middle Ulster

A UK wide survey by the Committee on Standards in Public Life shows Northern Ireland has the lowest trust levels in politicians, senior police officers and the judiciary. However, Sir Alistair Graham highlighted that the differences between NI and other regions is not because of the larger working class but that:

“…the difference is almost entirely within the Northern Ireland middle class, who are considerably less likely than their counterparts in England and Wales to say that office-holders’ standards of conduct is high.”

  • Crataegus

    has the lowest trust levels in politicians, senior police officers and the judiciary.

    I wonder why!!

  • Because half of the population is, er, constitutionally predisposed not to trust the, er, people administering british rule in Ireland?

    If it were even possible to correct for “but they would say that anyway”, are the local public servants really that much worse than England or the South?

    Are politicians, judges (or the police, for that matter) more likely to take bribes? Are planning officials more corrupt? Are politicians more likely to blag disability vehicles?

  • Setanta

    Fair Deal

    Why have you made no allowance for the fact that it may just be more to do with the views that nationalist and republicans hold on the British establishment, never mind the alienation of significant sections of the rest of the population?

    You are pretending that Northern Ireland is the same as the UK and history, politics and the troubles are merely a minor commotion in the distance that shouldn’t really disturb one’s garden party of an afternoon.

  • fair_deal

    Setanta

    “Why have you made no allowance for the fact that it may just be more to do with the views that nationalist and republicans hold on the British establishment, never mind the alienation of significant sections of the rest of the population?”

    Because it doesn’t offer an explanation for the class differentials the survey highlights. If it was playing a significant role in attitudes it would be found across the classes.

    “Northern Ireland is the same as the UK”

    I presume you meant GB rather than UK?

  • Occasional Commentator

    Paul said: If it were even possible to correct for “but they would say that anyway”,

    Come on Paul, are you honestly saying that republicans and nationalists believe that the state is well run but deliberately lie to correspond to their politics?

    If anything, it’s the other way around. They came to the conclusion that the state cannot be trusted and thereby became nationalists or republicans.

    You may as well say that we should discount people who are accurate, because “they would say accurate things, wouldn’t they” 🙂

  • Crataegus

    Paul

    The reason why the Police are not trusted is because of collusion and issues resulting from that, in addition there were some of the strangely timed raids etc which had major political consequences. The politicians are not trusted because many of them have such partisan and unbalanced positions and views. Many of them stretch credibility beyond the limit. They would be comical if it wasn’t so serious. Others are making a good living whilst pedalling hate and bile and some appear to be openly lying. The Judiciary are unfortunately tarnished because if one looks at the whole saga of good UDA bad UDA and cases proceeding and not proceeding one has to ask what was all that about. This isn’t a Nationalist position it is just a realistic if jaundiced position.

  • Rory

    This just shows me that these surveys cannot be relied upon for accuracy. Why we in London pride ourselves on having the most corrupt national (and that includes Scotland and Wales) and local politicians and civil servants, the most bribeable, most likely-to-fit-you-up (and shoot you dead for carrying a table-leg or being “dusky”) police service in these islands, if not in Europe.

    I don’t wish to appear hoity-toity about this but, I mean, London does like to give a lead, set an example, in these matters.

  • Setanta

    Fair Deal

    Firstly, a link to the report or a report on it would be helpful.

    As for the GB/UK/NI/North of Ireland/Six County Bastard State point – I was actually getting at the fact that including NI data in UK stats or research or comparing NI specific data with UK, England only etc data often does a dis-service to the NI data.

    Issues such as class (in this case) are skewed by the border issue as well as significant differences in the the structure of government, families, society etc and therefore you are not comparing like with like.

  • fair_deal
  • OC: Come on Paul, are you honestly saying that republicans and nationalists believe that the state is well run but deliberately lie to correspond to their politics?

    Are you saying that in political debate people never talk up problems? Never manufacture outrage? Never selectively ignore context, or inconvenient facts that support another view?

    Having said that, I’m sure that republicans have more awareness of bad behaviour by police, and unionists have a more sympathetic view of the context of death threats and attacks that may have contributed to such behaviour. Some republicans may have the unrealistic idea that the police are bad through and through, just as some unionists may believe, with a similar lack of realism, that the police are whiter than white.

    OC: They came to the conclusion that the state cannot be trusted and thereby became nationalists or republicans.

    I suspect that most people were raised as nationalists or unionists, and saw the conduct of the police through that filter, and used it to reinforce their views (bravely defending us against terror, or oppressing us and colluding with terrorists, as appropriate).

    I’m still interested in how our standards of public service (and our perceptions) compare with those in the south or on the “mainland” though…

  • Occasional Commentator

    Paul,
    It’s true that a lot of people would have inherited much of their opinion from their parents or community, but that would happen to some extent throughout these islands. Funny enough, my opinions on the police have changed and crossed over the divide so to speak, but I may be unusual in that for the time being.