708 and counting

While the Assembly debated the issue of equality, it was revealed the number of non-Catholics refused jobs in the PSNI under the 50:50 rule has risen to 708. Although it appears the Equality Commission want more of such affirmative action approaches not less.

  • protorious

    On the topic of affirmative action/positive discrimination, does anybody know if the recruitng qoutas for the PSNI factor in ethnicity?

    I’m just curious because there has been a lot of talk of the influx of Polish apllicants to the PSNI, i’m just wondering if they count towards the affirmative action Catholic qouta or if there is a stimpulation that said catholics must be ethnically Irish…

    Just and idle thought…

  • nmc

    Polich are considered non-catholic.

  • nmc

    *Polish

    ahem.

  • protorious

    nmc,

    The end of the working day typo’s… they haunt us all…

  • SuperSoupy

    You’ve gotta a laugh. Unionism will block measures dealing with discrimination in the Assembly then whinge and cry about policing which they have decided they won’t take responsibility for even though it could be devolved tomorrow.

  • zzz

  • Ignited

    Martina Anderson in the linked article:

    ‘Let`s set the course to make the discrimination and exclusion that many in our society have suffered, whether in the Shankill or Shantallow, the New Lodge or New Buildings, be a thing of the past. Let discrimination and inequality belong to the ways of yesterday.’

    50:50 has denied, on the grounds of a persons religious beliefs, a career in the PSNI. Not just Protestants, but people of other faiths such as Muslim. I also recall SF reacting when Polish people of the Roman Catholic faith were being encouraged to join the PSNI, saying that they should not count towards the religous head count.

    Try explaining to a young man/women that, after meeting all the criteria, they cannot join because they are non-Catholic.

  • USA

    Fair Deal,
    You know why the legislation is in place, it is for a fixed term and for the greater good of society.
    Your Unionist bias is becoming very tiresome as I suspect you are much better than that.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    You know why the legislation is in place

    Erm, tell me again…

    Because Catholics were banned from joining the RUC? It was the RUC that threatened Catholics out of the RUC? Because it was the RUC telling people up until very recently that they were the scum of the earth?

    Hmm, doubt not.

  • lib2016

    For whatever reason there was an imbalance in community representation in the old police force. Surely all sides can agree on that?

    The imbalance has to be rectified and the reason for it is not germane. You feel that the Catholic population discriminated against itself which is an interesting idea but not one with which I would agree. However it is nothing to do with the need for positive discrimination if nationalists are to have confidence in a new police service.

  • fair_deal

    SSoupy

    So if Unionists agree to the devolution of P&J tomorrow, SF would not block an attempt by Unionists to remove the 50:50 rule?

  • SuperSoupy

    FD,

    I doubt it would be that simple. You seem to be treating the issue like the OO treat parades you want a guaranteed outcome before the issue even hits the table.

    Devolution of P&J as well as potentially building confidence within Nationalism would put other issues into play for both Unionism and Nationalism.

    It’s then up to Unionism to make a case for alternative recruitment methods that would also help build a police service reflective of the community.

    At the minute you’re moaning about not getting the ball when you’ve kicked it into the stands yourselves.

  • fair_deal

    Thought not.

    It is nationalism wants it devolved quickly so its up to them to sweeten the deal.

    Although as you’ll know from my other posts, I hold the minority Unionist opinion on the devolution of P& J powers.

  • Teach

    What happens if you don’t put down what religion you are on the application form ?

  • SuperSoupy

    Jeffrey seems to have changed the mood music. Talk of the impact and adaption needed to accommodate it rather than generations.

  • confused

    The only way to bring this 50:50 nonsense to an end is for some non Catholic to start proceedings against the British government to end in the European Court.
    This will highlight an obvious injustice and perhaps compensate those who have suffered discrimination.

  • SuperSoupy

    confused,

    Afraid not. Europe specically excludes the PSNI and the education sector in the north from equality legislation.

  • Dec

    Not just Protestants, but people of other faiths such as Muslim.

    You left out Jews, Scientologists and Zoroastrians.
    Of course the best way for Unionism to challenge this rule is to have another march commerating 2001, the last time the PSNI was 92% protestant.

  • confused

    To SS

    There may be other legal procedures to explore.
    Its too early for you to be so certain.
    Where there is an injustice someone will find a remedy and as a last resort the law will be changed

  • Ignited

    ….and atheists.

    Teach – would be classed as other.

    Dec – I don’t think any unionists wants to celebrate the IRA policy of targetting any Roman Catholic who dared join the RUC. Neither do they want to celebrate a policy of discouraging Catholics to join the RUC.

    To lay the blame of a 92% Protestant police service on Unionism or the police themselves is abhorent. 50:50 is not needed when people are free to openly join the PSNI and serve their community and country. The PSNI should be able to hire the best people purely based on merit. They will be free to do that only when they have no discrimination such as 50:50 recruitment.

  • lib2016

    It’s always been understood that the 50:50 rule is a temporary arrangement to correct an anomaly. The reasons for the anomaly are of historiacal interest but the correction of it is an important current concern.

    Unionist denial of the need for a broadly acceptable police service shows just why the legislation is considered necessary.

  • confused

    An injustice is an injustice no matter how it is dressed up.
    Why should non Catholics suffer discrimination for something which happened many years ago?
    I am surprised so many nationalists support institutionalised discrimination

  • PaddyReilly

    If you’re worried about this discrimination, then the obvious way to counter it would be for the Garda Siochána to agree to accept the disappointed 708 into their ranks.

  • another_pleb

    I seem to remember several interviews given by Hugh Orde where he said that The Filth 😛 is literally inundated with applications and that the standard of applicant is as good as he could wish for.

    It would seem to me that anyone joining the PSNI would be very lucky to get selected whether they are catholic, protestant or satanist. I know of a number of catholics who I thought would be a shoe-in were rejected by the PSNI. The standard for all applicants is very high indeed.

  • “The standard for all applicants is very high indeed”

    Okay, but what about the part-time police arrangements involving those who don’t get any guns but come from the local community to operate like community cops. I don’t think they have to go through such rigorous hoops and check-lists, maybe I am wrong on this one.

    I like this style of policing, however, because something irks me in having a serving officer who is from Lurgan, for example, turning up at your door in say Newtownabbey, to shrug his/her shoulders and say “yea about that anti-social behaviour madam, we can’t do much about that though have you tried the local community representatives…’, said partly out of the fact the policeperson doesn’t give a damn because it’s not really a factor concerning them directly nor does he or she have to worry about it at night when arriving home.

    Whereas if you have local police coming forward from the community being served, who have the integrity to come forward and the balls to try and police with their own community because it is in their community’s interest, then I think this style of policing will create the right kind of policing in future; not this regional career bobby driven forward by a lust of self-adornment of uniforms, rankings and power over the people for powers sake.

    Bring the people closer to the police, work within the constraints of the law in place of having the constraints of officialdom bearing down upon you which comes from working within stuffy authoritative regional policing environments, where grade and getting on with the boys by outdrinking them is what its all about in getting ahead in the new police force.

  • Aquifer

    “Fair Deal”

    Like to try counting the catholics who could not reasonably join the RUC in the past due to republican or orange intimidation?

    Lets have less of the sectarian organ-grinding, we are all sick to death of the tune.

  • Rubicon

    The 50:50 recruitment is a time limited initiative put in place for obvious political purpose. It’s certainly unjust and is an affront to equality. Compared to the political gain the equality issue looses – and with it the high moral ground nationalism has successfully occupied. Discrimination on the grounds of religion both sides have signed up to.

    But – some seem to be keen to keep this industry going. The CEO of the Equality Commission (Evelyn Collins) is reported to be urging “equality of outcome” as the agenda for tomorrow. This is a recipe that will encourage nothing more than the sense that one’s future is determined by your ethnic/sex/religious/racial/age group and not by your ability or your investment in yourself to improve. What Collins proposes is institutionalised discrimination on grounds beyond individual control.

    Most here can’t escape their ethnic background. Most don’t want to change religion. Most are happy with their sexual identity. But – if minded to, you could change these – you can’t change your race, disability or age. Equality of outcome will mean widespread discrimination on grounds that people either don’t want to change or can’t change.

    If that’s what Collins wants she should speak in a private capacity to promote her monstrous ideas. As CEO of the Equality Commission she has no role to offend the legislation (PSNI excluded) that the institution was formed to protect. Equality of outcome is not equality of opportunity – it is social engineering to an agenda determined by the unelected and unaccountable – much like direct rule.

    Has the Equality Commission had its day?

  • June 76

    Perhaps the 708 non-Catholics “refused” jobs in the PSNI should apply to the Full-time Reserve of the PSNI… where I believe the religious (im)balance is still in the high 90s in favour of “non-Catholics”

  • fair_deal

    Aquifer

    Supporting the removal of discrimnatory law is “sectarian organ-grinding”. Hmmmm.

  • kensei

    “Supporting the removal of discrimnatory law is “sectarian organ-grinding”. Hmmmm.”

    Correct and you know it. Discrimination is not, in itself a bad thing. Employers discriminate against less able candidates against more able ones. I discriminate everyday when I chose Coke over Pepsi.

    The question is: is this discrimination justified? Given the imbalances in the police force, the acute need to have acceptable cross community policing, the history of the service here, the regard in which it was held by about 40% of the population, and the sensitivity of the issue, it isn’t hard to make a case. Most importantly, it’s time limited.

    The discrimination is not there to favour Catholics over Protestants. The discrimination is there to build a representative police force and correct a historical imbalance. As soon as that goal is achieved it will be ended. No one is countenancing that this is a situation that should go on forever.

    Will some good people miss out? Unfortunately yes. That is a consequence of the policy. Some good people who would have missed out will also be taken in. And for years, many good people missed out because of fear and intimidation (on both sides). Life is hard, but there it is. It is sad but necessary.

    Unionism knows this, to be the case and moreover knew that measures to correct this imbalance would be forthcoming. Rather than just swallowing it, they bitched about a battle they can’t win and will get very little support for in Westminster. But hey, it’s good for energising the base. Or to give it another name – “sectarian organ grinding”.

    How many times do you need to go through it? And you have never even remotely tackled the substance of the argument ever, FD.

  • “Given the imbalances in the police force, the acute need to have acceptable cross community policing”

    It depends what was being policed, at the time of non-appearance of Catholics within the RUC, the RUC ‘force’ was to offer a police-led fight against terrorism, terrorism which often sought shelter in Catholic majority communities that often seemed to be why many landrovers came in there too.

    The aim was to police terror in so far was practically possible, which saw police officers being dragged in to the dirty world of underhanded going-ons of ruthless paramilitarism and the consequences was that they tended to end up using force quite like they would use.

    It was a paradoxical philosophy that was driven by the republican movement in terms of wanting good police but not being able to get it; which saw its propaganda victories against the police being won thus discouraging uptake from the wider-community; victories won through the victimhood of bad policing successfully emanating from the view that fighting for a united Ireland was legally right and politically and morally justifiable if not fair given such state measures against terror.

    So in that context, Sinn Fein’s actions were vindicated amongst the community with the paradoxical policing stance endorsed wholeheartedly.

    Now, however, policing is a ‘service’ being provided in a sea-changed political environment. So because of the advancement of society and attitudes to policing thought must be given to letting 50:50 go quite soon in the near future.

    We must surely be entering the final throes of this style of recruitment uptake process, as such overbearing circumstances should be enough of an influence in themselves to encourage a sufficient amount of Protestants and Catholics and Others to come forward to join the police without discriminating on perceived religious-ethnic grounds.

  • kensei

    “Now, however, policing is a ‘service’ being provided in a sea-changed political environment. So because of the advancement of society and attitudes to policing thought must be given to letting 50:50 go quite soon in the near future.”

    I’ll ignore your somewhat meandering and completely irrelevant analysis. Precisely how the situation arose is largely irrelevant to fixing it.

    Patten suggested ten years 50:50, of which I believe we are in year seven. What is the utility of ending it before that, precisely? In fact, it probably more critical in this period as the opportunities afforded by 50:50 will largely have passed Republican areas by. Another 3 years should give them a chance to buy in and allow the service to react to it.

  • “I’ll ignore your somewhat meandering and completely irrelevant analysis. Precisely how the situation arose is largely irrelevant to fixing it.”

    Nah, I think your wrong with that as there is an historical legacy based on political influence.

    As to past irrevalant to fixing it, surely then if Patten wants Catholics in the police service, then what’s the problem with letting the Polish community absorb the roles within that Catholic bloc? Are Polish Catholics less Catholics than Northern Irish Catholics or even Irish Catholics.

    But you see there is ethnic-nationalism involved here and the need to entice those nationalists who have previously identified police with solely being uniformed republican bailiffs, lifting them out of their community for seemingly dubious explosions offences and the likes.

    I may have meandered but you’ve missed the point.

  • Aquifer

    FD

    “Supporting the removal of discrimnatory law is “sectarian organ-grinding”. Hmmmm.”

    Are you talking about the removal of the heavily orange infiltrated RUC? That was an anti-sectarian act surely?

    So glad you can still hmmm along to your tune.

    The distinction between fair and unfair discrimination is a useful one. Police forces are in a very good position to discriminate against anyone they perceive as ‘other’, so it is quite in order to discriminate in favour of a balanced force in terms of religious origin. This should prevent unfair discrimination being multiplied by the daily actions of the force.

    Or is discrimination against a section of the population who have proven themselves to be disloyal to the state fair enough really? FD

  • jaffa

    “Police forces are in a very good position to discriminate against anyone they perceive as ‘other’”

    We seem to have created a policy which separates teen-age kids (ie the future applicants for these jobs) into proper-irish and “other”.

    When do we bring in quotas for travellers, women, homosexuals, ex-prisoners, people with cosmetic disfigurement and other groups genuiniely discriminated against?

    And if (as seems to be the theme in earlier posts)the problem is that the PSNI/SS-RUC is a male/orange/masonic/racist/sectarian/para-military disgrace then surely the idea should be to set a maximum recruitment quota on those clearly dangerous male (unless protestant women are just as bad)/orange/masonic/prods.

    I propose we suspend the positive discrimiation in favour of catholics, and take the bull by the horns by setting a maximum percentage for male protestants leaving plenty of space for everyone else.

    I also propose that protestant policemen should wear an orange cover on their cap (like New Yoikers) so that everyone can be well warned as to their sectarian bias before approaching them for help and that if they must have guns then they shouldn’t be allowed out on patrol on their own and that their ammunition should be looked after by someone more trustworthy

  • Pounder

    A few posts above someone asked if the Equality Commission had had it’s day. Iy never was equal in the first place. For too long people have been dividing this country into green and orange for many people it’s no. I was born to a protestant family. I chose to be athiest, but when I fill in the fair employment crap they see, not either, and then lump me in as a protestant because i went to a certain school and live in a certain area. The fact of the matter is this isn’t a 50:50 country, never has been. The goverment drones just want it to be to make the paper work easier.

  • A Question

    fair_deal, jaffa etc

    Give the rest of us even one good reason why we should tolerate an unrepresentative police force continuing to police a society divided by sectarianism for centuries?

    Give us one reason why it is wrong to introduce one short term exceptional measure to correct the situation where one section of a divided society has been highly over-represented in the police force for generations.

    If the shoe was on the other foot and the PSNI evolved to be 92% catholic (and resented by protestants) and remained so for generations adding to violence, conflict, death and destruction – assure us that you could still see no good reason for such an exceptional measure.

  • fair_deal

    Aquifer

    “Are you talking about the removal of the heavily orange infiltrated RUC?”

    No I am referring to 50:50 the issue of the thread.

    “The distinction between fair and unfair discrimination is a useful one.”

    The problem with applying the concept of fair discrimination is who judges the ‘fairness’? A beneficiary will obviously think it is inherently fair but a loser won’t.

    “Or is discrimination against a section of the population who have proven themselves to be disloyal to the state fair enough really?”

    In answer to the point the answer is No. Pretty poor attempt to ascribe unsavoury opinions to me that I don’t hold.

    A question

    Where did I say the imbalance was acceptable? It is the means for dealing with it is the issue.

    “one short term exceptional measure”

    A short-term measure is generally considered a a year perhaps a couple. This measure will run for a minimum of a decade.

  • Mick Fealty

    Those are good reasons for objecting to such a hard and as FD points out, inequitable rules, though they might not be judged reason enough to have them scrapped. Some things I would ask is (if only to take us way from some the sour man playing heretofore: does anyone locally have the capacity to foreshorten the ten year period? Is it equitable that 42% of the population should get 50% of any available places by law?

    Although I think FD is searching deeper than these questions imply, there is also a question here about just how desirable ‘equality’ is? At what, if any, point does it become destructive? Does such a hard legislative disallow the possibility that some of the problems under consideration might be dealt with in softer ways?

    NB: these are not intended to as definitive questions…

  • audley

    Fair Deal,

    You are as predictable as you are boring.

  • A Question

    fair_deal

    I note you avoid giving an answer of actual substance to any of my 3 questions.

    “Where did I say the imbalance was acceptable? It is the means for dealing with it is the issue.”

    Where did I accuse you of saying the balance was acceptable? It’s impossible for me to know whether you believe the imbalance is acceptable or not. You haven’t provided that information Why are you being over-sensitive?

    What is clear is that you believe that positive discrimination to reverse the imbalance is unacceptable. If you belive the balance is unacceptable what steps would you have advocated, at the time of Patten, to fix it.

    “A short-term measure is generally considered a a year perhaps a couple. This measure will run for a minimum of a decade.”

    “A short term measure” is entirely relative and could be one that lasts seconds or decades. Considering that this measure was introduced to fix a problem that had persisted for almost a century – it’s a short term measure.

  • jaffa

    Pounder, you miss the point. It is not enough to be a liberal rational non-sectarian ex-prod. You are still “other” whether you like it or not. You do not pass the Gerry McGeough cricket test. The drafters of the legislation are not being lazy – they know very much the constituency which they need to satisfy. I’m afraid it’s just not Alliance voters nice as you may be.

  • jaffa

    “A Question”

    Why do you ignore my proposal? Why do you discriminate against everyone except the proper-Irish rather than just cap the white prod intake. Don’t we want more Chinese and Polish policemen?

    Is it just that proper Catholics are easier to spot so the legislation is more enforcable your way round?

  • Pounder

    Fair enough, but are you saying that say a chinese guy should be counted as one of the other because he went to a certain school or lives in a certain area.

  • kensei

    “The problem with applying the concept of fair discrimination is who judges the ‘fairness’? A beneficiary will obviously think it is inherently fair but a loser won’t.”

    In which case, how do we judge anything as in a subjective world? “Fairness” isn’t really the issue. Current situation and desired outcome is.

    The hard fact is this. In order to rebalance the police force and to make it acceptable over a reasonable time scale, more Catholics have to be hired than Protestants. No way to escape that reality. So rather than messing about with “soft” options, which if we look at other areas where there is under-representation always seem to meet with limited success, they took the most direct and most severe route.

    It’s honest. Everyone is clear on what they are doing and why. While we are being honest, if such drives were successful and there was a massive influx of extremely capable Catholic applicants under a system that did not discriminate on religion, if there was more Catholics than Prods hired there would be outcry from the DUP.

  • Niv

    “I was born to a protestant family. I chose to be athiest, but when I fill in the fair employment crap they see, not either, and then lump me in as a protestant because i went to a certain school and live in a certain area”

    The monitoring questionnaire asks if you are a member of the Protestant Community, Roman Catholic Community or Neither Community. This is NOT about the religion you do or do not practice. It’s about your Community background so regardless of whether a person changes religion (or now worships at the altar of Richard Dawkins), their background remains the same. It is about how you are perceived by other people. Therefore a person who has lived here their whole life but is of Chinese origin would be classified as neither. The same goes for a person originally from Warsaw who happens to be Catholic or a person originally from Birmingham who happens to be Protestant.

    If you look at the questionnaire in the Equality Commission’s guide it says “Regardless of whether we practice religion, most of us in Northern Ireland are seen as either Catholic or Protestant. We are therefore asking you to indicate your community background by ticking the appropriate box below”.

    http://www.equalityni.org/archive/pdf/StepbyStep2004.pdf

  • kensei

    “It is about how you are perceived by other people.”

    As you tick the box, surely it is also about how you perceive yourself?

  • notmeg

    “While we are being honest, if such drives were successful and there was a massive influx of extremely capable Catholic applicants under a system that did not discriminate on religion, if there was more Catholics than Prods hired there would be outcry from the DUP.”

    Really? You know this for a fact? Not that I like the DUP, but if the process was transparent and fair, and the best candidates selected, on what grounds would they cry out?