No smoke yet – Redux

Still no official word from the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle meeting in Dublin today, but given that they have confirmed that Gerry Adams has recommended that the Ard Fheis on policing should go ahead, and they’ve also given a date, 28th January, it’s unlikely to be rejected at this point. What will be more interesting to see is whether any motion to be proposed, and/or the support for the rule of law, will be conditional.. and whether the un-met conditions of Motion 395 are mentioned at any point.. Update Ignore the post title – Smoke spotted.. looks greyish to meHere’s the interesting part of the official word in relation to the points I was raising

The Ard Chomhairle is proposing that an Extraordinary Ard Fheis adopts this motion and gives the Ard Chomhairle the responsibility and authority to fully implement all elements of it. The necessary context for this is the re-establishment of the political institutions and confirmation that policing and justice powers will be transferred to these institutions or when acceptable new partnership arrangements to implement the Good Friday Agreement are in place. [added emphasis]

It would be entirely wrong to allow the most negative elements of unionism a veto over republican and nationalist efforts to achieve the new beginning to policing promised in the Good Friday Agreement. Sinn Fein will not be paralysed by rejectionist elements of the DUP.

There are also those within the PSNI who are opposed to change. In this context, I have been made aware of incidents in parts of South Derry, Castlederg and County Armagh where local PSNI units are involved in trying to destabilise nationalist communities. This is entirely predictable and needs to be stopped.

As previously mentioned, the imposition of those powers without the support of the Assembly would be “a constitutional nonsense”.. even though that target date may be “a Government objective”..

Adds I’ve extended the emphasis to include the line that seems to cede responsibility for implementing the motion to the Ard Chomhairle

The Ard Chomhairle is proposing that an Extraordinary Ard Fheis adopts this motion and gives the Ard Chomhairle the responsibility and authority to fully implement all elements of it.

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  • Jeremy

    Maura,

    I suspect that Gordon Brown was speaking to the voters of England as opposed to the North. He was, I think, deemphasizing his Scottishness.

  • Ingram

    Chris Gaskin.

    I suppose we all got the message wrong did we Chris.LOL

    maura, i agree with you, chris has given the impression, that he would resign if there was support for policing before there was a new beginning to policing. semantics chris semantics!!! whether you like it or not, the position you hold is now untenable, have the courage to stand over your convictions and do as you led people to believe-otherwise you are guilty of misleading all of us.

    It just reinforces the points made earlier. Goodnight Chris.

    Gerry,

    Pete, has ruled on the issue this evening. Me and Henry agreed to drop it.Would you stop playing the man and get on with it.

    Ingram

  • opps should be MI5 not MI4

  • chris gaskin, at the very least you are guilty of misleading readers

    Not at all, I suggest some readers learn to read.

    you have always given the impression if the sf leadership came out in favour of policing before a new beginning to policing you could not support it.

    I have always said that if Sinn Féin sign up to a police service which I could not support then I would not lend that force any semblence of legitimacy by asking others to support or join in my stead.I said that if such a situtation arose my position would be untenable.

    That situtation has yet to arise!

    you like the dup have reneged on what you said you would do.

    No I haven’t

  • Ingram

    Jeremy,

    He was speaking to the Fabian society. The invited audience was from all parts of the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland.

    It was clear he was talking about the union meaning all parts of it. He did focus upon the scotland debate but he made a very firm committment to the Union, obviously a few others on this board picked up the subliminal message.

    Ingram

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    CS,

    I have said how the decisions will be made and delegated etc but not that they have already been made.
    I have always believed that some sort of mechanism, should be put in place that ensured that those in the RUC with a ‘history’ could be rooted out of any future policing service. How far it is possible to gut the PSNI of these people will be what sways my vote.

  • gerry

    Henry, do you think it would have mattered to bobby sands if he’d been convicted of that particular crime? wasn’t the whole point of targeting commercial premises to strain the british exchequer and the overall point was to make NI ungovernable? Now instead of making it ungovernable, they want to govern it themselves!!

    qubol perhaps maura was speaking more of other ‘real republicans’ who before where classed as dissident or disaffected. Now of course it could be argued taht they are the only republicans since sf are travelling the road of constitutional nationalism.

  • Mark

    Chris,

    Like you I will need convinced. I look forward to the debate, AF and vote.

    I look forward to the DUP committing to powersharing – they don’t need such things as internal discussion and votes, they just get told. Hopefully they are preparing to tell.

  • qubol

    “He was speaking to the Fabian society.”
    you’d be very naive to think he was *only* speaking to the Fabian society, like a lot of what Gordon Brown does these days it was for the Daily Mail/Express (probably Sunday Mail it being a Saturday)
    I remain to be convinced that Gordon Brown even cares about NI – I could see him palming off responsibility for NI negotiations to someone else and who better than his deputy Mr Hain with all that experience.

  • German-American

    I’m probably the least qualified person to do this, but since Pete Baker did ask people to comment on the section of the SF statement he emphasized, here goes:

    For myself I found the grammer in the “necessary context” sentence a bit confusing. I think the intended meaning was that there were two possible necessary contexts”, one being devolution with “confirmation that policing and justice powers will be transferred to these institutions”, and the other being some sort of Plan B. (I’m guessing that “partnership” in this context refers to a partnership between the British and Irish governments, but of course I could be wrong.)

    Going back to the previous sentence in the SF statement, my reading is that the Ard Fheis is basically being asked to authorize the Ard Chomhairle to implement the motion, conditional on the Ard Chomhairle’s deciding that the “necessary context” has arrived. In other words, if the motion passes the Ard Fheis is now out of the picture, the Ard Chomhairle decides on its own when the time is right, and then the commitments in the motion go into effect at that time (but not before that time).

    The other thing I noticed is that the plan A “necessary context” doesn’t involve a deadline or even a target date for devolution of policing and justice, but simply “confirmation that policing and justice powers will be transferred to these institutions” at some unspecific future time. However actual restoration of the assembly and executive is in fact a pre-condition; if that doesn’t happen (e.g., because the DUP refuses to cooperate) then presumably the AC can just sit on its hands indefinitely until and unless a real Plan B comes into effect.

    I don’t have time right now to compare this formulation to the Motion 395 conditions, so I’ll defer to others regarding that.

  • Henry94

    gerry

    Henry, do you think it would have mattered to bobby sands if he’d been convicted of that particular crime?

    He pleaded not guilty so I assume it did. But I’m not going to presume to speak for Bobby Sands in this debate and neither should anyone else. We all have enough to do to speak for ourselves.

    Chris & Pat

    God luck with your deliberations. You know my view. Like I have said before it will be for the PSNI to prove themselves to people on the ground even if a motion is passed.

  • Like you I will need convinced

    That is the position that I have got from most of the party members that I have spoken to that have not already decided no.

    The next few weeks will provide a good (internal) debate for Republicans.

    I too look forward to the Ard Fheis and vote

  • Like I have said before it will be for the PSNI to prove themselves to people on the ground even if a motion is passed.

    Agreed Henry

  • Henry94

    qubol

    To quote Brown

    “It is time to acknowledge Great Britain for the success it has been and is: a model for the world of how nations can not only live side by side but are stronger together and weaker apart,” he adds. “Perhaps in the past we could get by with a Britishness that was assumed without being explicitly stated.

    “But when our country is being challenged in Scotland, Wales and now England by secessionists, it is right to be explicit about what we, the British people, share in common and the patriotic vision for our country’s future.”

    It is quite obvious that the union Brown is interested in can happily exclude the north. If he loses Scotland he loses the MPs he needs to be PM. If he loses the north he looses mainly Tory allies in the DUP.

  • gerry

    henry re your post at 11.34 was to confirm that what i said was correct that bobby sands had been charged with burning down a store?

    Your point was in telling me i was right?

    which contributed what exactly?

  • Ingram

    Qubol.

    This as an extract from the BBC coverage of the speech:

    The title of the piece is

    UK’s existence is at risk – Brown

    The chancellor told the Fabian Society that some groups were “playing fast and loose” with the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    And yesterday Mr Ahern said this.

    I have already said that the Good Friday Agreement has settled the constitutional position.

    It could be that Gordon Brown is sending a very clear message that the Union is not up for any argument. Bertie is saying something similar.

    What is clear though is Brown is NO Tony Blair on Ireland. He has met with the DUP recently, I have a feeling Sinn Fein have not had the same invite.

    Regards

    Ingram

  • gerry

    henry, the point i was making re qubol and his carpet rite variety of republicans is that at one time a lot of republicans where of that variety. i wasn’t presuming to speak for anybody, i was merely inquiring what you thought.

  • Henry94

    gerry

    The fact that he was acquitted for lack of evidence was relevant I thought. Because some people here might assume he was guilty.

  • Mark

    What has Brown’s speech got to do with us

    He is fighting for his right to be PM. He is frightened.

    Nothing to do with us.

    Any chance of staying on topic and ignoring the spook laid rabbit trails?

  • Henry94

    gerry

    In any case I think there is a big difference between burning down anything before The Agreement and after it. The agreement is the agreed basis for resolving the national question and ensuring fairness pending that resolution.

    I oppose violence against the agreement and that obviously includes burning down shops.

  • Ingram

    Mark.

    Can you read the last little bit? northern Ireland.

    The chancellor told the Fabian Society that some groups were “playing fast and loose” with the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Can you read what Bertie said:

    I have already said that the Good Friday Agreement has settled the constitutional position.

    That is relevant. The Odds On fav for the next British PM of the UK is going to be key, whether SF sign upto CJS or not.His recent meeting with the DUP along with this veiled appreciation of of the Union is very relevant.

    The AF will take place and I have no doubt will ratify any Adams instruction. The crap about the local cummans taking a view and then voting in accordance with their wishes is bollox.

    Why would you need the meeting at all if the vote is pre determined by the local constituency?

    The impression being given is the local Cumman discuss this issue then take a local decision and then convey that to an assembled Ard Fheish?

    LOL

    Ingram

  • Mark

    The impression being given is the local Cumman discuss this issue then take a local decision and then convey that to an assembled Ard Fheish?

    If this impression is being given, it is correct. Regardless of the ‘ding-dick’ trolling.

  • gerry

    henry says ‘i oppose violence against the agreement’, strange choice of words henry. did you not oppose violence before the agreement, if so aren’t you being a little inconsistent. there are other republicans out there, carpet rite type, who see violence in the context of armed struggle, while I am not endorsing armed struggle, neither before or after the agreement, it has been a feature of republicanism for a very long time. I find it difficult to comprehend people like qubol who use words like carpet variety as some sort of put down in an argument against republlicans who do not agree with sf. many don’t see it as a put down, they see it as carrying on tradition.
    to be for violence, tatical or otherwise before the agreement but not after it, and then use it to put down other republicans who see it as a method of liberation is a little hypocritical in my view.

  • southbelfastnewsman

    someone earlier said that this thread had lost its way, too right, thi site in fact used be worth tuning into. now its Ingram / Gaskin ding dinging every day.

    If someone sets up a blog faciliting genuine debate on the future of N Ireland politics i’ll see some of you there.

    so long.

  • BeardyBoy

    The comments about MI5 are totally irrelevent – we all know they are – and always have – ran ageants in Ireland, I often suspected Fine Gael to be a political wing.

    The PSNI will always pass info to them, PSNI officers will always work with them, this is the reality.

    To me the building at Hollywood? is just an insult, they did not need it but it is a way of impressing the natives who is really in charge.

    SF and the SDLP are regretably tearing chunks out of this – the reality is they can do nothing – the English can do whatever they want.

    As far as policing is concerned – I view the monitoring of the police to be the same as the voice of Nationalists in the old Stormont – the got up said their piece and the Unionists laughed at them and did what they wanted. All they did was give Stormont an air of credibilty to outsiders. Well done the SDLP and now the SF for lending credibility to the foreigners police.

    This will be passed I feel – hopefully I am wrong

  • BeardyBoy

    The statements by Bertie have confirmed my arguments at the time reardin the GFA- this is the death of the basis of Irish arguments against English interference in Irelands affairs, it asserted the right of English rule – it also labelled the men who fought against it since the Norman landings as wrong and indeed justified English actions over the centuries.

    However I would say that our brother Scots in Alba will achieve independance before the English leave Ireland, thus undermining the current premise for occupying Ireland, the native Unionists will have to sort this out.

    Interesting scenario if it occurs – what say you?

  • Henry94

    gerry

    did you not oppose violence before the agreement

    I did not oppose it but I am glad that people with vision managed to find a way out of it. I thought we were stuck with it and I’m glad we are not.

    I think the agreement is fantastic. To see unionists and republicans sitting down together to work is the closest we have ever been to making the idea expressed in our flag a reality.

    If it works in the north it will work in a united Ireland. To break the connection with England it is still necessary to unite Catholic Protestant and dissenter under the common name of Irishman.

    It’s not easy and policing is a huge ask for many people. But I think it is a decision the nationalist people in the north are entitled to take and if they endorse it then that should be that. No more fire sales.

  • parcifal

    Henry94,

    I think the agreement is fantastic. To see unionists and republicans sitting down together to work is the closest we have ever been to making the idea expressed in our flag a reality.

    Faultless, precise, and brilliant as ever.
    Tops McGurk today in the SBP, who is far too gloomy.
    You should write a weekly column

  • qubol

    Gerry “I find it difficult to comprehend people like qubol”
    getting off topic but…
    Many of the dissident republicans I know aren’t so much motivated by Republican ideals but rather hatred and ignorance. That’s not how I see Republicanism and I also can’t see how their vision (or lack thereof) for the future will ever deliver a United Ireland.

    Ingram:
    Check out the quote Henry pasted. Specifically
    “our country is being challenged in Scotland, Wales and now England by secessionists”
    Fact is none of us know Browns intentions or views towards NI but given the absence of NI from that line, his lack of opinion on the record about it – the most likely opinion is that he doesnt give a (well not totally true he’s probably mostly concerned about the cost of keeping NI). As Henry pointed out, where is the value of NI to Brown?

  • Bruce101

    “I think the agreement is fantastic. To see unionists and republicans sitting down together to work is the closest we have ever been to making the idea expressed in our flag a reality.” (Henry94)

    Yes, I agree. The Union Jack is symbolic of a union of people and regions.

  • Henry94

    Bruce101

    So, does that mean you want to see unionists and republicans sitting down together to work? Good . That’s one anyway.

    parcifal

    You should write a weekly column

    It would beat working for a living.

  • Ingram

    Qubol,

    Henry 94 does not source is quote!

    The BBC have taken a direct quote from his speech. It clearly mentions NI in the contect of the Union.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6258089.stm

    Read it for yourself. I listened to whole speech and kept a copy.

    In respect to MI5/ Brown.

    Every PM has supported the work of the Security services. His main thrust this week and for some time has been how he is selling Britishness to the Union.

    That is a departure from Blair.

    Bertie also made the obvious point about the constitution.

    It is food for thought.

    Mark.

    What is the purpose of the AF if the decision is pre determined? any debate taking place will not be able to influence the final vote?

    The debate on the day is irelevant.

    Ingram

  • Henry94

    My source is Gordon Brown. I quoted him directly from this article he wrote in Saturday’s Daily Telegraph.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/01/13/ngordon113.xml

  • runciter

    The BBC have taken a direct quote from his speech… I listened to whole speech and kept a copy.

    There is a copy online.

    http://www.fabian-society.org.uk/press_office/news_latest_all.asp?pressid=520

    No mention of NI that I can see.

  • Henry94

    He mentions England Scotland and Wales but the north doesn’t come up. It is not relevant to his political calculation therefore not relevant to his thinking. His attitude is the same as the majority of British people. They would be happy to see the back of it.

  • Jeremy

    Brown may be a passionate Unionist when it comes to the north. We dont know, certainly no evidence for it.
    His comments cant be interpreted without considering the Scottish elections in May, the increased support for the Scottish independence (in Scotland and England) and the fact that the English electorate are beginning to complain about a Scottish Raj ( as contemptible a complaint that is)

  • Fear and Loathing in Newtownabbey

    I would not read too much into Gordon Brown’s latest output. He is trying to manage his image to encourage people to think of him as British, rather than Scottish, in an effort to try to make himself more appealing as future PM. Remember Thatcher’s “British as Finchley” comments, yet she was the one who signed the Anglo Irish Agreement, and it was her successor government who quietly began background discussions with the IRA about ending violence. Brown is certainly no Mrs T.

    The comments from republicans here do not sound too promising. You guys are saying that there has to be evidence on the ground before you can sign up to policing. Hell, that’s the DUP’s line about powersharing. We all know that it’s a get-out. How can there be empirical evidence will show that the police are now acceptable ?

    I’m reminded of that eejit Simpson listing all kinds of requirements knowing full well that they were impossible. All it takes is one stone-throwing incident in Ardoyne. If the police back off, people will say they did not do their job. If the police confront the wee scumbags and break a few heads in the process, people will say that they used heavy handed tactics and have not changed since the old days. How can anyone assume that SF supporters are being genuine here ?

    I’ve a minor personal incident to relate regarding this type of thing just last night. My house is next to a park area. Wee scumbags like to race their dangerous and illegal mini-motors/scramblers by day, and turn up and light fires in the park in the evening. Well, last night they showed up and started dismantling my fence to add it to a fire they’d lit right on the street. Naturally I had to call the cops; when they arrived the brats all ran into the (unlit and very dark) park and began pelting them. The cop who came in to take the statement had to run a gauntlet to get into my house, and while she was here the house was subjected to a sustained brick and bottle attack, which actually prevented the officer from leaving. In the end they had to back the damn landrover up to my front door and get the officer to quickly dash in during a lull. After the whole incident I realized that the kids had deliberately lit the fire in order to get an opportunity to brick the cops and the fire brigade.

    The point here is that if this stuff had happened elsewhere, such as in the USA, there would have been hospitalized or possibly dead kids – either because the householder would have held a legally-held weapon, or because the cops would have opened fire. Instead the cops here are effectively on the run from the anti-social element. The thing is, if the cops had been able to use an appropriate level of force, possibly involving tear gas, the incident would have been over – but there would have been a news item and complaints from the usual people about heavy handed tactics.

    I hope that the people who are saying that they are open minded but expect to see evidence of reformed policing on the ground, are prepared to accept the possibility that during the course of law enforcements there are likely to be people from nationalist and republican neighbourhoods on the wrong side of the law and as such on the receiving end of police attention.

  • fair_deal

    The motion looks good but adding the conditions was foolish.

  • mickhall

    “I think the agreement is fantastic. To see unionists and republicans sitting down together to work is the closest we have ever been to making the idea expressed in our flag a reality.”

    That Henry can write such drivel is bad enough, but that members of SF, a party which claimed the legacy of James Connolly can support it just shows how far to the right that organization has moved. Any one can sit down with protestants and many do on a regular bases. The point is when you are engaged in politics it is who and what they represent that is the issue.

    What Henry is cheer leading is working in tandem with some of the most right wing political b i g g o t s in the UK. Now if the shinners are doing this out of necessity, that is an argument, but to rejoice in doing this is wicked from my political standpoint; and makes no sense politically.

    The reason Connolly told his Citizen army men and women to keep their arms handy, even if the Rising succeeds, is as pertinent today as back then. For what he was telling them, win or lose the struggle continous until the democratic socialist republic. [whether by armed struggle or politics alone was for the future]

    The members of the Unionists parties are the enemies of Irish republicanism and thus the mass of irish working class people, and not because of their Protestantism, but because of their reactionary politics,
    catch yourself on boys before it is to late.

  • Ingram

    Runciter.

    Your link does not cover the thirty three minutes of question and answer session.

    The BBC took the quote which are recorded below.It is reproduced upon their site(BBC).

    quoteThe identity of the United Kingdom is threatened by an “opportunist group of nationalists”, Gordon Brown has warned.

    The chancellor told the Fabian Society that some groups were “playing fast and loose” with the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. unquote.

    I understand that quote came from a question posed.

    Henry 94.

    QuoteHe mentions England Scotland and Wales but the north doesn’t come up. It is not relevant to his political calculation therefore not relevant to his thinking. His attitude is the same as the majority of British people. They would be happy to see the back of it.

    As you can see from the BBC he does mention the North, in any event he mentions the UK and the Union.

    If you honestly believe the UK have no interest in the North and want to disengage you clearly do not understand HMG.the public is another matter altogether from HMG.

    Gordon Brown has only shown an interest in preserving the Union NOT dismantling it. The evidence to date regarding Gordon Brown is very clear.

    Unless you can show evidence to show otherwise.

    HMG are showing no signs of disengaging from the North. In fact they are preparing to spend fortunes on new bases like the MI5 New Headquarters.That is a good indicator. Can you show one indicator to show otherwise?

    Bertie Ahern made the constitutional point very, very clear on Friday.That is why Sinn Fein argreed to the removal of Articles 2& 3 be removed from the Irish constitution.It is sorted for a very long time.

    Henry94. One thing is for certain. You will never see it in your life time.

    Regards

    Ingram

  • Harris

    Ingram

    Were you possibly Mooretwin in a another life??

    Your annoying posts seem to suggest…oh, never mind!

  • Henry94

    Fear and loathing

    You guys are saying that there has to be evidence on the ground before you can sign up to policing.

    Not that. Sinn Fein can sign up to policing at the Ard Fheis and they can encourage people to join the police an co-operate with the police but how that works out on the ground depends as much on the police as it does on republicans. For example if a bike is stolen and someone goes to report it they don’t expect to be asked about political activity in the area. Either they are a civic police service or they are a political police force.

    That will be defined by their day to day dealings with people.

    mickhall

    Even in a united Ireland there will be a very small vote for socialism. Do you think people should hang on to their weapons in that context?

  • Fear and Loathing in Newtownabbey

    For example if a bike is stolen and someone goes to report it they don’t expect to be asked about political activity in the area. Either they are a civic police service or they are a political police force.

    I agree with you that questioning along those lines would be unacceptable.

    However, people must be encouraged to report activity on the paramilitaries to the police. I am thinking of dissident republicans.

  • Harris

    Fear & Loathing

    “However, people must be encouraged to report activity on the paramilitaries to the police. I am thinking of dissident republicans.”

    Do unionist politicians demand that their loyalist para counterparts report on their own criminal activity?

    Then why should this be a tested condition put upon Sinn Fein?

  • Fear and Loathing in Newtownabbey

    Do unionist politicians demand that their loyalist para counterparts report on their own criminal activity?

    No, but they should do.

    Where do you stand on the issue ?

    Then why should this be a tested condition put upon Sinn Fein?

    I didn’t advocate that it should be a testable (pre)condition.

  • runciter

    Ingram

    The BBC have taken a direct quote from his speech… I listened to whole speech and kept a copy… I understand that quote came from a question posed… in any event he mentions the UK and the Union.

    Mm.

    Perhaps you could transcribe the bit where he mentions NI from your ‘copy’.

  • The Devil

    Sinn Fein completely outwitted by the DUP again…
    they played political chicken with a party that has no fear because it tells no lies and the Sinn Fixers chickened out, they tried to go eyeball to eyeball with the DUP but started blinking in no time.

    I’m sure the protestant people of Northern Ireland must be kicking themselves why they ever bothered with the UUP when they see how easily Sinn Fix can be “Bitch-slapped” by the DUP

  • Harris

    Fear & Loathing

    “Where do you stand on the issue?”

    I believe that supporting the PSNI and all that it entails, should be sufficient for everyone involved. Part of Sinn Fein support DOES emphasize the reporting of criminal activities by nationalist/republican supporters. This is all that can be asked of any democratic party, including the DUP.

    The DUP has NO right to set pre-conditions on an equally qualified democratic party.

    “The DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson also welcomed the move but said his party would need to see support by Sinn Fein translated into action on the ground.”

    There lies the conditional process. What gives the DUP the right to erect certain conditions?

  • Henry94

    F & L

    We are in danger of tying ourselves up in knots on the detail. Support for the police means that people can go to them but it does not oblige them to do anything any more than the ordinary citizen of any country has such an obligation.

    You won’t get a uniform response but what you might get is normality and that should be the objective.

  • Harris

    Henry

    “Support for the police means that people can go to them but it does not oblige them to do anything any more than the ordinary citizen of any country has such an obligation.”

    But you know that there will be “cherry-picked” conditions set upon Sinn Fein once the support is approved.

    Sinn Fein seemingly ignores this with their policing support, but it will have to be addressed sooner or later.

  • Henry94

    Harris

    I have no doubt elements in unionism will try to raise exceptional conditions. Let’s smoke them out and expose them for what they are. But you can’t refuse to do something reasonable for fear of being asked to do something unreasonable later.

  • Fear and Loathing in Newtownabbey

    I believe that supporting the PSNI and all that it entails, should be sufficient for everyone involved. Part of Sinn Fein support DOES emphasize the reporting of criminal activities by nationalist/republican supporters. This is all that can be asked of any democratic party, including the DUP.

    I asked where you stood on the matter yourself. Should people report paramilitary activity to the PSNI, or not ?

    I expect political parties to uphold the rule of law, and also hold the police accountable. That means that they should urge their supporters to report crime to the police, condemn those who try to interfere unlawfully in the work of the police, and also ensure that the police do their jobs correctly. However, I do not expect parties to give unqualified support to the police in every circumstance. The police require community support but they should not get a free ride. To require that they receive unqualified support would mean that we would be in a police state.

    My opinion is that the DUP have no business placing preconditions, and powersharing government should be established immediately. I’m not sure why you’re countering my questions with missives on the DUP’s position. I hope you’re not assuming that just because I think SF should support the rule of law means I’m a DUPper.

    We are in danger of tying ourselves up in knots on the detail. Support for the police means that people can go to them but it does not oblige them to do anything any more than the ordinary citizen of any country has such an obligation.

    I completely agree.

  • Harris

    Fear & Loathing

    “I asked where you stood on the matter yourself. Should people report paramilitary activity to the PSNI, or not?”

    I believe they should, if they feel compelled to do so. However it should not be a condition placed upon a democratically elected party that, their constituents/supporters do so before they can be considered fit for govt.

    And no, I don’t assume you to be a DUPer because of your position.

  • Pat

    More weasel words from the SF stalinist leaders.

  • yingyangsang

    Ingram,

    For a nationalist you have an extremely blinkered view of what’s been going on throughout the ten years.You can’t stop criticising Republicans for negotiating their positions in some kind of crazy chocalate stirring sense that compromise must be based upon a form of direct current.The peace process works on AC current and always has done.
    If articles 2 and 3 where cheques that you consider money well what are the Irish passports popping up all over the north?I follow you and your logic into the valley.Gold