“In any other society government would be under pressure to act..”

The BBC NI TV news report on the confirmation that PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde has applied for the position of the next head of the Metropolitan Police used a line which is also in the online report

Sir Hugh is credited with helping to make the new police service more acceptable to Catholics.

Perhaps they should ask what former Assistant Chief Constable, and the force’s highest-ranking Catholic officer, Peter Sheridan thinks of that argument? The BBC NI online report also includes this line

During his time in office, Sinn Fein has joined the policing board and the number of Catholic officers has risen to 25%.

And perhaps the associated reduction in the perceived threat to Catholic officers had something to do with that? As Peter Sheridan also said

“You’re in a peace-building context. People have this view that the peace is done and it’s all over. And to some extent that part of the conflict is over but it’s by no means stable yet. Yes, a lot of the engagement has been at the top political level but actually the grassroots hasn’t been engaged in it.”

, , , ,

  • I’m not sure how PSNI officers ‘consorting’ with those paramilitary godfathers who exercise control over numerous local communities will make the police service more acceptable to Catholics or anyone else. Apparently, such consorting is a key ingredient of the so called ’emerging from conflict’ peace process.

    Meanwhile, in the ever so law-abiding Kingdom of Moyle, a spat has broken out between an independent member of the DPP and a senior police officer:

    “I would ask that you address the unhelpful press release through the DPP and consider measures to ensure that whilst we can all hold differing opinion, corporacy is maintained in developing partnership working.”

    Ahh, corporacy …

  • Kensei

    Pete

    And perhaps the associated reduction in the perceived threat to Catholic officers had something to do with that?

    Perhaps the concerted effort by Nationalist politicians to back it – first SDLP then SF, had something to do with it too Pete? Do they get any credit at all for a historically difficult and politically dangerous stand?

    Or are you seriously running with the line that Catholics didn’t join the RUC simply because the the IRA would threaten them?

  • Pete Baker

    Kensei

    “Or are you seriously running with the line that Catholics didn’t join the RUC simply because the the IRA would threaten them?”

    Clearly I’m not running that line.

    Rather I’m questioning the “Catholic” line of argument put forward by the BBC.

    The “concerted efforted”?

    If that was accredited then it would be acknowledged.

    But, as I said, “perhaps the associated reduction in the perceived threat to Catholic officers had something to do with that?”

  • Cahal

    25% Catholic, 100% unionist? Just asking…

  • KieranJ

    Until an Irish Catholic is elevated to the position of Chief Constable, every utterance from the RUC/PSNI will be looked on as sheer window dressing.

  • Yeah Yeah

    Casey get back in your cage (debcentral) 🙂

  • EagleEye

    And perhaps the associated reduction in the perceived threat to Catholic officers had something to do with that?

    Perhaps the institutionalised and formalised discrimination in favour of Catholics and against Protestants / Jews / Buddhists that saw hundreds of applicants who would have been appointed fairly on merit rejected in favour of inferior Catholic applicants had something to do with it? Does somebody really need to state the obvious?

  • kensei

    Pete

    But, as I said, “perhaps the associated reduction in the perceived threat to Catholic officers had something to do with that?”

    Why do you repeat what you said every time you reply? Why? Can read the first time. Add something knew. There is no more insight contained in it the second. Why why why why bloody why?

    Clearly it played some unquantifiable part. But Catholics did not join the RUC simply because there was the threat of the IRA. And it is highly unlikely that was the primary cause either – in the first instance, the alienation of the Nationalist community from the RUC long predates the Troubles, and the community was quite happy to turf out people involved in civil rights marches, and yes, paramilitaries that some suggest they were prepared to take risks.

    Is there anything we can point to in the change in that relationship? Why, look, yes we can. There was comprehensive political reform of the RUC followed by political leadership in getting people to back it. Perhaps you should be hammering this point, since its the important one.

  • Harry Flashman

    “Until an Irish Catholic is elevated to the position of Chief Constable, every utterance from the RUC/PSNI will be looked on as sheer window dressing.”

    Sir Jamie Flanagan, RUC Chief Constable 1973-76, a Catholic from Derry, will that do?

  • EagleEye

    @kensei

    Is there anything we can point to in the change in that relationship? Why, look, yes we can. There was comprehensive political reform of the RUC followed by political leadership in getting people to back it. Perhaps you should be hammering this point, since its the important one.

    No, by far the most important factor in the increase is that there exists formal religious discrimination whereby a substantial chunk of the Catholics recruited are selected in favour of other applicants who would have been selected if recruitment was on merit.

    I believe that some of the figures about recruitment test scores have been released so someone here probably could do a back of an envelope estimate to see what the Catholic % of the PSNI would be if they had recruited on merit. It would undoubtedly be significantly lower.

    Until that element has been eliminated it is foolish to discuss any other factors that may be increasing the number of Catholics joining the PSNI, if indeed there are any.

    It will also be interesting to see whether when Catholics become 30% of the PSNI and they start recruiting on merit again whether the % of Catholics in the PSNI will then begin to drop.

  • kensei

    EagleEye

    It might well be significantly lower. I’ll give you 10% less for free. 15% is still vastly more than what it was.

  • Glencoppagagh

    perceived threat/SF endorsement

    Six of one, half dozen of the other. Sinn Fein’s endorsement considerably reduced the perceived threat to a much lower probability.

  • Kensei

    Glen

    Six of one, half dozen of the other. Sinn Fein’s endorsement considerably reduced the perceived threat to a much lower probability.

    No. They are not the same. By the time SF endorsed there was limited threat in any case.

  • Richard Walsh

    ORDE WELL SUITED TO ‘MET’ POST

    Confirmation that RUC Chief Hugh Orde has applied for the post of Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police comes as no surprise, given the legacy of the force he currently commands, a statement from Republican Sinn Féin said.

    “If successful, Orde will be leaving a force which has engaged in the murders of countless Irish people for a force which recently murdered an innocent Brazilian. Such murders are always carried out under the auspices of British security interests.

    “Like Ian Blair, Orde has also used his current position to secure political objectives. Neither the RUC nor the London Metropolitan Police has ever been able to operate independently of their political masters.

    “However, despite repeated claims to have ‘normalised’ the environment in which the RUC operates – something which Orde will be highlighting as part of his bid to secure the post in the London ‘Met’ – he was forced to admit in recent days that his force have not secured any military victory against Republicans, and that they continue to hide behind heavily armoured vehicles. He also conceded that the RUC cannot patrol the streets as and when they please.”

  • Pete Baker

    Ken

    “Is there anything we can point to in the change in that relationship? Why, look, yes we can. There was comprehensive political reform of the RUC followed by political leadership in getting people to back it. Perhaps you should be hammering this point, since its the important one.”

    There was a re-branding. So much so that Conor Murphy can apparently now accept special branch intelligence briefings without question.

    Clearly it played some unquantifiable part. But Catholics did not join the PSNI because politicians suddenly told them it was okay to do so..

    Oh wait, apparently they did.. and the same sources previously threatened to kill them if they did join.

    “Add something knew.”

    Indeed. We already know the official line on this.

    But here’s my previous comment in full, again

    “Or are you seriously running with the line that Catholics didn’t join the RUC simply because the the IRA would threaten them?”

    Clearly I’m not running that line.

    Rather I’m questioning the “Catholic” line of argument put forward by the BBC.

    The “concerted efforted”?

    If that was accredited then it would be acknowledged.

    But, as I said, “perhaps the associated reduction in the perceived threat to Catholic officers had something to do with that?”

    “Can read the first time.”

    Perhaps you should evidence that next time.

  • kensei

    Pete

    There was a re-branding. So much so that Conor Murphy can apparently now accept special branch intelligence briefings without question.

    There was somewhat more than a rebranding exercise. Is it a United Ireland / End to British Law / whatever else you want. No, but I never said it was. I’m not even going to bother as it’s clear the tedious line you’ll drag this one down.

    Clearly it played some unquantifiable part. But Catholics did not join the PSNI because politicians suddenly told them it was okay to do so..

    Put it in such crass terms, but clearly they did, Pete. Not the only reason, but political leadership has played an important part in making the police more acceptable to Catholics as evidence by the various polls you love to follow. It’s not often we can talk about political leadership actually working here, so you know, for once, it’d be nice if would be acknowledged.

    Oh wait, apparently they did.. and the same sources previously threatened to kill them if they did join.

    Actually, I don’t recall the SDLP ever threatening to kill anyone, but I do recall them being fairly hostile to the RUC. Peer pressure and social norm is a million, a million million more powerful in these situations than any threat and negative attitudes to the RUC were pervasive within Nationalism. So you can throw that one in the pile with the other arguments I’ve out forward on that point. Perhaps you might want to address the arguments made instead of repeating yourself and building your straw man.

    Perhaps you should evidence that next time.

    Or perhaps you should be less of a dick.

  • Pete Baker

    Ken

    “I’m not even going to bother as it’s clear the tedious line you’ll drag this one down. ”

    Mind-reading doesn’t work. As I’ve told you before.

    “Put it in such crass terms, but clearly they did, Pete. Not the only reason, but political leadership has played an important part in making the police more acceptable to Catholics as evidence by the various polls you love to follow. It’s not often we can talk about political leadership actually working here, so you know, for once, it’d be nice if would be acknowledged.”

    Did anyone suggest it was the only reason?

    Try reading the originally linked BBC report again.

    “Actually, I don’t recall the SDLP ever threatening to kill anyone”

    Actually, you introduced the SDLP into the discussion. My original post was in response to a BBC report which did not.

    “Peer pressure and social norm is a million, a million million more powerful in these situations than any threat and negative attitudes to the RUC were pervasive within Nationalism.”

    And that “peer pressure and social norm” included threats to kill should a Catholic dare to join the enemy.

    “Or perhaps you should be less of a dick.”

    Indeed, again.

  • kensei

    Mind-reading doesn’t work. As I’ve told you before.

    Fortunately, God did invent intuition. If no one was prepared to hazard educated guesses then we’d still be swinging in trees.

    Did anyone suggest it was the only reason?

    It was the one you chose to highlight. Thus giving it greater prominence and importance than all the reasons you chose not to highlight. Perfectly valid for me to challenge you based on omission.

    Try reading the originally linked BBC report again. Actually, you introduced the SDLP into the discussion. My original post was in response to a BBC report which did not.

    Ah, so if it isn’t in the report it didn’t happen? Forgive me if I don’t enjoy the same tedious let’s rip apart one line in a very short report game.

    And that “peer pressure and social norm” included threats to kill should a Catholic dare to join the enemy.

    I don’t know how to explain to someone as obtuse as you that, no, it doesn’t work like that. The IRA made threats, but the threat was in large not explicit. It was assumed. But so what? It didn’t stop Protestants joining and they bore the brunt of it. Are Catholics somehow different creatures in regards to bravery? No. Show me a hundred men of physical bravery and I’ll show you one prepared to bear the moral censure of his peers. To quote from the “Wisdom of Crowds”

    .. the most successful norms are not just externally established and maintained. The most successful norms are internalised

    Second, post hoc ergo propter hoc. Which is an odd fallacy in this instance seeing as how you ignore the fact the RUC was both unpopular and not particularly populated with Catholics prior to the Troubles and any explicit paramilitary threat.

  • Pete Baker

    Ken

    “Fortunately, God did invent intuition.”

    *shakes head*

    “Or perhaps you should be less of a dick.”

    I do wish you would.

    If, as you seem to request, commenters should regard you as a seeker of truth, then you need to start behaving as if that is your actual quest.

    Contrary to your previous appearances on other threads.

  • kensei

    Pete

    If, as you seem to request, commenters should regard you as a seeker of truth, then you need to start behaving as if that is your actual quest.

    I’m more a seeker of ideas than a seeker of “truth”. I never said I’m particularly good at it. Nor do I care much for what others think of me. Plus I do oh so like throwing rocks at my betters, particularly when they clearly have a wee bit too high an opinion of themselves.

    But by going totally ad hominem there, you avoid answering the points made. Cute.