Compare and Contrast

Gerry Kelly lists 8 achievements from Sinn Fein’s negotiations on MI5 and policing. The government position was outlined on these issues on pages 15-18 Annex E of the St Andrews Agreement (pdf file).

  • Ulick

    Good work by the SF team over Christmas. I think what nationalists and republicans will want to know now is, can we trust Blair and will today’s promises actually be legislated?

  • Yokel

    Legislation? Are you kidding?

    Legislating MI5’s activities for the benefit of Sinn Fein? How very grand…..

    They got a statement of the obvious and bugger all else. The lack of complaint from the DUP says it all and they arent afraid to complain.

  • Percival

    Yokel is correct. If this statement is what Sinn Fein was holding out for its hardly a barnstorming victory for them, is it now? This is a fig leaf to help Gerry and the boys with the Ard Fheis.

  • Ulick

    “Legislating MI5’s activities for the benefit of Sinn Fein? How very grand…..”

    I meant legislating the role of the PSNI, so that Annex E that FD has helpfully linked doesn’t come into operation. Ian Paisley Junior didn’t sound to pleased on the radio earlier.

  • wiseup

    a huge amount of hogwash is being said and written about sinn fein’s relationship with mi5 – once again it is a case of a sham fight – the reality and experience on the ground is that mi5 have gone out of their way to facilitate the adams’ leadership and strategy over the last 20 years or so – there are several examples – rather like the ‘securocrat’ myth sinn fein transformed mi5 into a bogeyman for the benefit of their supporters whereas the reality is that sinn fein and mi5 have had a symbiotic relationship. yet another example of the lies that run through this peace process like a rotting vine.

  • Yokel

    Ulick

    That clears that up. Though I doubt that there’ll be much legislation on the PSNI either.

    I heard the same person on the radio as well and he didnt sound anything. Depends on where you are on the political spectrum.

  • Pat

    Pathetic attempt by SF to put a good spin on it. They must really be feeling the heat now! Not long now before the SF leadership have their pensions secured.

  • parcifal

    Yokel,
    honesly I wander how may people on the ground give a flyin’ f*ck about the ins and outs of these MI5 machinations.

    Don’t they just want to feel safe at night, know that the police will help them if they’ve been a victim, and be done with intimidation from both ex-RUC and also IRA mobsters.

    I think I’ll get down on my knees and praise the Lord, the day I see a PSNI Van going into a Republican area to assist in crime prevention/solution and they won’t be pelted by stones and rocks, or have some sh&t-arse local leader whinge and lie about fabricated police heavy-handedness.

  • Yokel

    Well Pat, maybe my hypothesis of who were they trying to protect from oversight comes into play then….

  • Yokel

    Symbolism Parcifal, symbolism.

    This statement is just the latest example of the word that has been helping to fuck the place up for 30 odd years.

  • kensei

    “honesly I wander how may people on the ground give a flyin’ f*ck about the ins and outs of these MI5 machinations.”

    Which is why someone needs to worry about them.

    “I think I’ll get down on my knees and praise the Lord, the day I see a PSNI Van going into a Republican area to assist in crime prevention/solution and they won’t be pelted by stones and rocks, or have some sh&t-arse local leader whinge and lie about fabricated police heavy-handedness. ”

    Yeah, because the police have never been heavy handed in Republican areas.

  • sevenmagpies

    “so that Annex E that FD has helpfully linked doesn’t come into operation”

    Which parts of Annex E won’t be happening? I must admit I only skimmed over the document but (for example) the bits on accountability of cops working with mi5 and the ombudsman’s access to sensitive information look exactly the same.

    Am I looking at the wrong st andrews agreement?

  • Yokel

    SEvenmagpies..

    Errrr..

    Shouldnt you be out pissing about doing something? Exercise, outdoors, things like that..

  • Ulick

    “Which parts of Annex E won’t be happening?”

    Well for me the scary parts were the following, which I assume now are ruled out.

    From Annex E:

    “New integrated working arrangements – the first such approach in the UK – will strengthen the PSNI’s criminal intelligence capability. This is because PSNI officers will be co-located with Security Service personnel and will work in a variety of roles including as intelligence analysts/advisors and for the purpose of translating intelligence into executive action. ”

    “While the Security Service will provide the strategic direction, the PSNI’s contribution to countering terrorism will remain absolutely central.”

  • Yokel

    Ulick

    Alternative readings…

    Integrated working arrangements – very good liasion (only to be expected)

    Co-location- You have an office in some of the same buildings as I do (efficient use of government real estate)

    Strategic direction – Er thats exactly what they will be providing since they now have pretty much sole control over national security matters incuding terrorism related threats. Given this they can’t keep all that knowledge and expertise to themselves so they’ll share it and advise others on what they should be doing in that context.

  • sevenmagpies

    “Well for me the scary parts were the following, which I assume now are ruled out.”

    Blair said that the security service will still have responsibility for national security issues (i.e. the strategic role) and that the psni would be working with them in response to the threat of ‘international terrorism’.

    How’s that any different?

  • parcifal

    kensie
    Yeah, because the police have never been heavy handed in Republican areas.

    my point is both are shameful, you appear to be saying its not shameful to throw rocks and stones at the Police.

  • Ulick

    Boysaboys, we are keen to play down the Blair statement.

    Today he has said quite clearly that there will complete separation between the PSNI and MI5 as opposed to the “integrated working arrangements” mentioned in Annex E. Given the history of MI5 in the six counties (from my own parts the Stalker affair and the ‘tape’ comes to mind) I would never trust a police force that had any kind of “integrated working arrangements” with MI5.

  • Yokel

    Boys

    Aren’t we keen to play it up?

    Works both ways doesnt it. The point is that its a statement that says next to nothing concrete in real practical terms other than no secondments. Secondments are operational not strategic.

    Anyway if MI5 wants to run the cops it just gets some key people as agents. easy. We saw them do it for 30 years.

  • sevenmagpies

    “Boysaboys, we are keen to play down the Blair statement.”

    Just asking how working in liaison with the organisation with the strategic role is different from… err… integrated working with the organisation with the strategic role.

    Doubleplusgood.

    We are authorised to tell you the action we are now reporting may well bring the war within measurable distance of its end …

  • Yokel

    Sevenmagpies

    It is ok! It just is different! Massively, totally, polar opposites. Don’t you understand? Can’t you see? You must be foolish at the very least or suffer from some kind of serious mental defect if you cant see. It must be different because there’s no other option, none, none.

    Are you saying the earth is pretty much round? Are you? It’s flat, he said it was so it must be. Doesn’t matter about practicality. It must be forward, forward! Seig heil!

    Oh sorry, ignore that last bit…

    If you could be deselected you certainly would be. Troublemaker..

  • kensei

    “my point is both are shameful, you appear to be saying its not shameful to throw rocks and stones at the Police.”

    If they are being heavy handed in the fashion they were here for 30 years? Useless, but I can understand the sentiment.

  • Simon

    “# No secondment of PSNI members to MI5
    # No PSNI members will be under the control of MI5
    # MI5 will have no role in civic policing”

    Is that how MI5 operates in conjunction with the regional police forces in the rest of UK?

  • wiseup

    simon:
    # ruc members were never seconded to mi5, nor were psni – in practice they were often fierce competititors for the same agents – so no change there;
    # neither ruc nor psni members were ever under the control of mi5 – they were always separate, competing, occasionally complementing orgfanisations – so no change there’
    # mi5 will have no role in civic policing because it never did, what it did have and will continue to have is a role in political policing, ie anti-terrorism – so no change there;
    simon, you are the sort of perfect foil for sinn fein’s nonsense and lies, you’re always prepared to believe their propaganda instead of examining it yourself, – take the tablets and go and lie down in a darkened room!

  • Yokel

    In short Simon thats exactly how they work.

  • topdeckomnibus

    Simon

    That would long since appear to be the case in my experience.

    The Regional Crime Squad in Wales, as I understand it, were tasked to carry out aliens registrations inquiries from Special Branch. 1971/72.

    The RCS team leader a Det sgt decided to escalate inquiry as he suspected there was GP death registration malpractice and identity theft occurring.

    He trawled for information, albeit anecdotal re GP certified deaths, from Coroners Officers.

    That is when he was advised by Special Branch to drop his inquiry. It appears that he discovered that Special Branch had a reporting list with levels of reporting on it. And Sue Ryder and leonard Cheshire Homes (the subject of his inquiry) he found allagedly to be at “Force Liaison level” (which I think is your question ?)

    Force Liaison Level appeared to be Head of Force Special Branch contact Security Service immediate.

    It appears that the RCS sgt defied advice to drop inquiry. And that he died, attracting a suicide verdict, during his further inquiry.

    His RCS colleague claimed that MI5 then went to Gwent and took the RCS case file.

    I tried to bring these matters to issue from 1989, when I discovered them. By then the surviving ex RCS Det constable was retired from police but a former colleague told him that men from the ministry were back in Gwent and had full access to RCS archives with permission of Chief constable.

    Not at all helpful now to research is the fact that a bizarre burglary in 1994 stole all Newport Gwent births marriages and deaths records.

    I happen to think that the people who founded the Sue Ryder charity (MI6 Airey Neave and Harry Sporborg) enjoyed a police no go area with police being secret policed by MI5.

    When I suggest that this police no go area extended to other Neave related activity …. that seems to get Martin Ingram into hair scratching mode.

    Well be you ever so high no one should be above the law. It seems to me that a lot of people were beyond the law. Including the FRU.

  • puritan

    If we are talking about security and Sinn fein, does anyone know anything about this posted tonight by nancyboy on another thread?

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/northern-ireland-questions/

  • topdeckomnibus

    Simon

    I should add that in 1989/90 these matters were taken up by my then MP Sir John STradling Thomas.

    He received replies from Lord Ferrers (police minister) and Attorney General (Patrick Mayhew).

    As I recall it was the wording of Mayhew’s reply which aroused suspicions with Sir John. As the reply queried why the matter (relating to a Suffolk sudden death of 1972) had suddenly been re-raised 17 years later.

    The suspicion became that the letter which Mayhew read and responded to was not the letter drafted and sent by Sir John.

    As I understand it a new civil servant joined Ferrers team at the Home Office and he replied in the ministers absence. I did find out that the eventual signatory of the letter was actually the typist !… When I queried this further it emerged that the man had trasferred backout of Ferrers department and taken the case file with him.

    Sir John intended to raise parliamentary ombudsman inquiry but his death intervened and Labour won the by election. Refusing to take the case forward.

    When Roger Evans MP tory (a barrister) won the seat back he re-raised matters and made an application to Attorney General to access the High Court to quash the suicide verdict in the 1972 Suffolk death at issue.

    Absolute custodianship of public interest in secret then came into play and fiat to access the high court was denied.

    In practice trying to make them accountable is like charging up a cul de sac just to prove the end is blocked.

  • DK

    “I think I’ll get down on my knees and praise the Lord, the day I see a PSNI Van going into a Republican area to assist in crime prevention/solution and they won’t be pelted by stones and rocks, or have some sh&t-arse local leader whinge and lie about fabricated police heavy-handedness.”

    Already happening. December last year I saw an ordinary cop car in the middle of the day parked in the middle of the Falls with the door open. No backup or anything, obviously just dealing with something at an ordinary house. No-one was paying it any attention.

    This is why the psni will be backed. MI5 are a red herring for vote purposes.