Gibney lays out Sinn Fein’s conditional policing offer

In the Irish News yesterday last week, Jim Gibney set out his party’s stall on policing. Interestingly, he seems to be saying that Ian Paisley has not met the bar for Sinn Fein’s own self imposed conditions: “Nationalists now need to hear these plain words committing his party to restoring and working the Good Friday Agreement’s democratic institutions.” In effect it is offering to do what the SDLP has been (under the threat of physical attack) doing since the Policing Board was constituted:

In a statement released after the ard chomairle meeting Gerry Adams said that “profound changes had been secured” in intensive negotiations with the British government. These changes allowed him to bring forward the motion for a special Ard Fheis on policing.

These changes include commitments to the devolution of policing and justice to the assembly, support for police services An Garda Siochana and the PSNI and the criminal justice system, appointing Sinn Fein representatives to the policing board and the district policing partnerships to secure fair, impartial and effective policing with the community, hold the police and criminal justices systems fully to account both democratically and legally and to actively encourage everyone in the community to cooperate fully with the police services.

Sinn Fein also committed to ensuring human rights and equality at the heart of any new policing arrangements. They restated their opposition to MI5’s involvement in policing, to plastic bullets and to root out those in the PSNI guilty of human rights abuses.

That’s the stall. But will they slam down the doors on Saturday and drive it at high speed back out of the marketplace?

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  • Yokel

    It looks 50 – 50 but I havent seen any more panic from Tony yet so I’m guessing the expectation is that they’ll call the AF.

  • URQUHART

    “Sinn Fein also committed to ensuring human rights and equality at the heart of any new policing arrangements. They restated their opposition to MI5’s involvement in policing, to plastic bullets and to root out those in the PSNI guilty of human rights abuses.”

    Does anyone, ANYONE with any sense buy this shit?

  • North Down Tory

    Can we just cut the whinging and get on with it please Sinn Fein?

    Is Paisley shouting from the rooftops that SF have accepted that the UK Govt have the right to run MI5 operations in NI against terrorist suspects?
    Is Robinson banging on about criminality, the Mc Cartney murders, the Northern Bank job?
    Are they insisting that IRA structures be dismantled?
    Are they saying that there must be a ‘decontamination’ period before devolution (apart for justice and Policing)

    No

    But poor we Jim and his mates want Ian to say ‘I love you’!!
    Creativity ambiguity cuts both ways guys.

    Truth is they know this will spilt the Republican movement – not down the middle probably a small minority of 10% wont wear it. That is the sole reason for the foot dragging.

    Welcome to democracy Sinn Fein

  • ingram

    Yokel,

    It aint 50/50 for me.

    What a shallow piece of analysis.

    quote Until Monday when he accused the British prime minister Tony Blair, of ‘misrepresenting’ his party’s position, he permitted others, including the Assembly speaker Eileen Bell and Tony Blair to interpret his intentions in the most favourable way. unquote

    That is simply not TRUE and is a BLATANT LIE.

    The SOS made it clear in the House of commons that the DUP had not agreed to any dates , the dates were a British Government TARGET date.

    Gibney then goes on at length to second guess what the DUP may or may not do in the coming months.

    What he did not do was explain his parties position on policing to the readership.

    He did not once address the MI5 aspect nor did he make reference Sinn Feins ongoing and very public internal problems in regards to accepting the British criminal Justice system.

    Ding Ding

    Martin

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    URQUHART,

    “Sinn Fein also committed to ensuring human rights and equality at the heart of any new policing arrangements. They restated their opposition to MI5’s involvement in policing, to plastic bullets and to root out those in the PSNI guilty of human rights abuses.”

    It is true whether you buy into it or not.

  • Yokel

    Mr Ingram

    If I remember correctly, I believe you think that they will go to AF and pass the motion.

    I think they will go to AF, I think the issue is there’s more than the 10% that Tory there mentions as being refusniks.

    Looking at the various warm and not much else words coming out in recent days from Tony and the Chief Constable I think in reality we are where we were on last Thursday/Friday. I’m guessing the UK government has just said no to giving SF more which is one of the things that prompted the crisis. What these various warm words are about was soft lighting the situation.

    The idea is to give SF something with which to bring some of the doubters back in. There will always be outright rejectionists and I would guess SF has discounted them. It’s the doubters that all this is about. Get as many of them to vote yes and transfer that to the ground come an election and SF will live with a certain proportion of people voting no. Some will come back later as realities on the ground kick in but some may not. This is a percentage game and somewhere SF feel there is a certain proportion they need to bring with them, under that it looks and very possibly will be bad. It’s internal politics and perfectly understandable.

    My first assessmet last week on Tony’s statement was one of real exasperation at SF. Then we had various interviews and statements and I thought Tony was bottling it. Now, however, unless there’s a backroom unannounced deal, it appears SF have not really moved forward in hard concessions from the government and they are getting none out of the DUP.

    I look forward to the day that we have depoliticized policing here and the Chief Constable doesnt see fit to make statements regrding certain political parties, which I thought wasnt his job.

  • Pat,

    From your understanding does this come under the ‘fresh start’ condition that Sinn Fein have been asking for? Specifically, will human rights abuses of the past now be let drift?

  • Yokel

    Pat

    I’ll give you that, they are committed to such aims. Its just that they may not get them.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Mick,

    SF have been (as far as I know) been liaising with RFJ, CAPB, An Fhrinne etc since St Andrews and have given committments to carry on the fight for the truth on these issues.

    Yokel,

    I agree, but that is part of the developing situation. Whatever may happen re devolution etc the battle a day, cut and thrust of politics will continue.

  • URQUHART

    Pat, it may be true, but there’s absolutely nothing new that wasn’t there a year ago.

    There’s nothing new that SF have negotiated (except of course letting MI5 do what they like here).

    And there’s nothing that justifies SF having run away from their responsibilities for so long, only to dilute them now that they look like joining up.

    If you or anyone else thinks that the nationalist electorate buys into this Gibney stuff, you’ve a very low opinion of the people.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    URQUHART,

    Mi5 has always did what they like here, they have always did what they liked in their nearest neighbour a sovereign state. In fact they have always did what they liked in their own country and have aroused suspicion and fear even amongst their own Prime Ministers.

    A simple question, how many of them have ever been held to account for their actions in Ireland?

  • Padraig

    Gerry Adams said that “profound changes had been secured” in intensive negotiations with the British government. Yeah right Gerry! Gerry Kelly told us that SF is “a very major step closer” to getting MI5 out of the North but Paul Goggins sees it differently.

    PG has stated that MI5 are taking over intelligence policing and that it will include domestic terrorism. Moreover, he said that Nuala O’Loan will not be able to investigate MI5.

    The two Gerrys agreed to all of this which is clearly short of removing MI5 from the sic counties; why?