More meetings about meetings..

According to the opening paragraph of this BBC report, Prime Minister Tony Blair will tomorrow detail the role for MI5 in (Northern) Ireland.. In the meantime, there are a couple of meetings to watch. In the transitional assembly, the Secretary of State for Wales, etc, Peter Hain, having juggled his diary, will meet the sub-group on policing and justice when we’ll find out if he’ll claim he, or his successor, would attempt to force the devolving of policing and justice without cross-community support in an Assembly.. and Sinn Féin are to decide whether to hold another Ard Chomhairle meeting to decide whether to hold an Ard Fheis on policing.. Adds More on the MI5 statement here and here Update Another meeting about a meeting, Sinn Féin’s Ard Chomhairle to meet on Saturday

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  • Yokel

    Well the pattern is established.

    Tony will say whatever, SF will go great. The AF will go ahead. As long as SF move ahead today the British Government will just do what they want tomorrow. There is no way that the British are going to slap anything on MI5 for SF’s sake. I suspect SF will be complaining of bad faith in time.

    This is the Tony Glory show and its all about keeping it on the road.

  • ingram


    This section of the BBC report interested me.

    Sinn Fein sources believe it may answer nationalist doubts about interference by the security services in policing.

    Republican sources suggest it may mean an end to any suggestion of secondments between the police and MI5.

    The issue here is NOT ABOUT SECONDMENT. Secondment is a process were your parent unit whether that be police or customs and excise etc allow your TEMPORARY placement with an outside but conected unit.

    For example.

    FRU to Customs and excise.

    or SAS to under operational control of the PSNI SB

    or 14 Coy to the Branch etc

    Sir John Steven as already reported the MI5 secondment to FRU during the troubles and the presence of MI5 co ordinators in the FRU operations office.

    That is secondment.

    A transfer is a process where you leave a unit for example.

    Geoff. The former FRU officer currently under arrest and charged by Sir John Stevens awaiting a decision by the DPP. He left the FRU and transfered to the Branch.

    George Ivan. A pivotal figure during the shoot to kill period and a Handler of some of the most contentious cases in Norther Ireland.He died only a few days ago after a short illness.A big friend of Lord McGuinness.

    He transfered along with a large number of other Branch men to MI5 a few years ago when the issue of MI5 taking primacy over Intelligence gathering was first mooted.

    In conclusion. A secondment is a routine process that occurs every day of the week in all Agencies.

    A transfer to another Agency is a complete break and is a completely different arrangment to a secondment.

    Dictionary definition. Unabridged (v 1.1) – Cite This Source Show Spelled Pronunciation[si-kond-muhnt] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun British. the transfer of a military officer or corporate executive to another post for temporary duty.

    [Origin: 1895–1900; second3 + -ment] Unabridged (v 1.1)


    The operative word is TEMPORARY

    It is the make up of the ESTABLISHMENT that is important. The establishment is the process that allocates ranks grades and numbers to a given department. It is consistent policy throughout the civil service, police and Intelligence agencies.


  • Yokel

    Ingrams just proven the point………….

    Say anything and yet say nothing Tony. I wouldn’t buy his words on this at all but I guess the SF leadership don’t actually care, as long as it gives them tools to get through the AF.

    AF, Ass F**king. At least on this issue….

  • ingram


    Here is another interesting point.

    Gerry kelly quote yesterday”There can be no integration of MI5 and the PSNI. All PSNI members must be fully answerable to the Patten accountability mechanisms, hard won in negotiations.”

    The issue here is NOT ABOUT the police. The issue here is about MI5 the custodians of British National security.

    Hugh Orde as already explained that he retains control over the collection and surveilance of Loyalism.

    MI5 assume control of the collection of Intelligence and surveilance because they are potentially a THREAT TO UK NATIONAL INTEREST. They are considered a potential threat in the same vein as Muslim extremism.

    That is MI5`s role in life.The protection of UK National Interest.

    Any MI5 or indeed military officer seconded or on the establishment of BOX, WILL NOT be covered by PATTEN nor by the Ombudsmans office.No change in that arrangement. The GFA agreement specifically excluded those officers and Sinn Fein are seeking no change to that legislation.

    So ! Gerry Kelly can be relieved. Those police officers responsible for the Loyalist threat WILL BE ACCOUNATBLE under PATTEN and to the Ombudsmans office.

    Republican “watchers” WILL NOT

    The simple reason is because they are not linked with the Police. THAT IS DONE BY DESIGN. They are the senior partner and not reliant upon the police for any aspect of their work.

    The reality is they will have no need to consult with the local police, just like they dont in other parts of the UK.

    I hope this reassures Gerry and the other concerned Republicans ? but I sense they are trying to pull the wool over some peoples eyes on this one. Again.



  • Martin, two of the most thoughtful and interesting posts I have read by you.

    Keep it up, thanks.

    MI5 will do what they have to do in order to protect the Brit interest,from their perspective, no matter what.

    Tony Blair et al are just here today gone tomorrow politicians without real oversight into the security services, thats the way it has always been.

    Whatever legislation is passed MI5 will do what it has to do, today, tomorrow and in the future.

    Realistically,as long as it is only in the “Watching” mode then I think it is something that we all must shrug our shoudlers and live with.

  • lies damned lies

    what actual republican could possibly care about the job prospects for cops in MI5 or vice versa when 400 spooks are about to move into a massive newly built bunker in North Down?!
    Jesus wept.

  • Yokel

    “Jesus Wept”

    And Gerry got his Munich like piece of paper to wave in the air at the AF.

  • mickhall


    Will not MI5 and the PSNI have to work with one and another when it comes to arresting republicans etc, or raiding/whatever suspect premises, or will the two bodies use smoke singles. Or could the plan be to use this new FBI type police force that has been suggested by some. what ever it makes little difference surly as the intel services and PSNI will still be interacting as not to do so would make the PSNI SB impotent. [perhaps they are hoping a certain home-beat bobby will fill that void;).

  • Yoda


    At the risk of stating the bleedin’ obvious, wouldn’t it be a good idea to stop pretending that NI is unproblematically the UK?

    If it were, there wouldn’t be any issue.


  • ingram


    The way it works is simple.

    Every organisation employs a Liason officer it is their job to facilitate the arrest and subsequent potential prosecution and make the operation seamless drawing together not only the Police but the military and any other outside agency like C& E.

    It happens every day of the week in the UK ONCE AN ARREST IS PLANNED.The majority of the work whether that be surveilance, electronic or otherwise and the COVERT legal entry into a premises will occur without direct Police involvement.

    A local beat Bobby , member of SB or SOLDIER( NI only) can be used to carry out the ACTUAL arrest.An arrest is no problem nor is a search warrant etc.

    The important aspect of this new working relationship will be that this legislation will be applied in Northern Ireland as it will in leeds.

    You are right to suggest that interaction will occur. It will occur because there will be a cross over in some inquiries and on occassions resources will be shared.

    You will never remove SB from this role altogether nor for that matter the Army although today they are a very minor player.

    SB will not be Impotent. They will be directed against a wide range of threats but not DIRECTLY against Republicans.

    If you think about this Mick, it makes sense from the States position. It makes sense in this respect.

    The reason the RUC/PSNI used soldiers/MI5 technical officers in certain contentious roles was to avoid the Ombudsman investigating their actions, that tactic continues today.

    IF there was an “aggresive operation ” to “STOP” a dissident Republican operation in say belcoo! and lets say two suspected terrorists were killed as a direct result.

    The reality is the operational cutting edge of the operation would be most likely be provided by the military.There would be NO need to involve the police in a direct role in that operation and ALL personel would not be liable to any Ombudsman type inquiry.

    It would be a matter for CID to investigate.

    In contrast. If it happened in a Loyalist scenario it would be covered by the Ombudsmans office and of course CID.

    The recent shooting of John Charles De Menzies is a good example of the cross polination of resources.


    All involved.

    I hope that helps.


    PS. In my opinion Republicans would be much safer in the hands of MI5 than biggoted prods from the Sandy Row. Just my opinion.

  • mickhall

    Cheers ‘martin’

    Indeed, clear and precise, we have finally arrived at thatchers Finchley.

  • ingram


    Quote”At the risk of stating the bleedin’ obvious, wouldn’t it be a good idea to stop pretending that NI is unproblematically the UK?

    If it were, there wouldn’t be any issue.

    Just in case you forgot. Sinn Fein have accepted and recognised the constitutional question. The GFA cemented that aspect of this problem.


  • Yoda

    Just in case you forgot.

    Nope, I’ve not forgotten anything.

  • ingram


    You point was?


  • Yoda

    Simply that NI was not unproblematically part of the UK and that commentators such as your good self would do well to remember that.

    I’m not sure why you previously felt the need to point to the GFA.

    Like I said, it was bleedin’ obvious.