Sunday, January 28, 2007

Good Policing For Slow Learners

So finally, after great drama and much wooing of the rank-and-file of the party by its leadership, Sinn Féin has finally bitten the bullet (no pun intended) and apparently agreed to engage in the Patten structures and support policing. Of course, this was done purely for political purposes as Adams and McGuinness realised that they were badly lagging behind the progressive position of nationalist Ireland. It must be realised that joining the Policing Board and District Policing Partnerships does not mean congratulating the police at every opportunity regardless of their performance- we'll leave that blinkered fawning for unionist politicians looking back through rose, white and blue tinted spectacles at their beloved but deceased RUC- but rather it means supporting the elements of policing that work, and forcing changes to policing where it is needed. This can be done better with both the SDLP and Sinn Féin on board. Sinn Féin makes a lot of the fact that the Policing Board approved the purchase of more plastic bullets, but the public see through the smoke and mirrors and know that this would have been a lot less likely if Sinn Féin has signed up earlier and supported the SDLP in blocking the move.


SDLP Leader Mark Durkan said today’s decision by the Ard Fheis raises hopes that Sinn Féin will now sign on for policing and that this would be matched by the DUP committing to restoration and powersharing.

He said: "Sinn Féin's decision vindicates the SDLP. As with so much else in the peace process, Sinn Féin is coming late to the SDLP position. They now need to sign with no ifs or buts. As Gerry Adams now accepts, nationalist areas need policing. That’s why it makes no sense to wait until the DUP accepts the devolution of justice.

"Equally, if Sinn Féin is serious about devolution, waiting until the governments announce Plan B makes no sense.

"The safety of nationalists is best delivered and the chances of restoration are best secured by accepting policing now and without any further delay.

"Any other strategy would leave Ian Paisley deciding when nationalist areas are to be policed. It would also make it easy for the DUP to walk away and refuse to share power."

So the time has come for Sinn Féin to step up the mark and help the SDLP make policing work- not to placate Ian Paisley, but because the nationalist people of the north deserve it.

7 comments:

iluvni said...

Do you see Sinn Fein are a more natural partner to improve policing in Northern Ireland than the other parties who have members on the Police Boards?
It appears so.

Anonymous said...

Gerry Come Lately

Welcome Gerry and SF to being a constitutional party - it has been a long drawn out affair - and milked by the SF leadership for all it was worth - the rest of us are sick listening to the same old whinging - now just get on with the things that really matter - such as water tax, rates hikes etc that SF and the DUP have left us facing because they could not act in a grown - up manner and work for the good of all of the people of the north. Whilst the taxpayer is wrung for every penny, SF and the DUP sat idly by, taxpayers are not so stupid as not to know which politicians who have held us to ransom!!

Foward to the future!!

Anonymous said...

SF's Day Has Come!

and what has it delivered - A United Ireland as promised by the provos for 30 years - NO!! - just signing up to a British Police force- well wasn't that worth 30 years of struggle - where is the light at the end of the tunnel for all those who spent years incarcarated for the cause or 'on the runs' and separated from their loved ones?

Power has turned their heads and they have sold out to the British - just like what happened after the War of Independence

Is mise le meas

El Matador said...

iluvni-

As has been documented, I believe SF's performance, or lack thereof, on policing has been lamentable. That said, they seem to show an interest in improving policing. On the other hand, unionist parties seem content writing off any malpractice or unethical behaviour, as exemplified by their rejection of the facts uncovered by Nuala O'Loan and their subsequent refusal to even allow debate on the findings at Stormont. This isn't about finding partners- it is about bringing better policing.

iluvni said...

Sure you know as well as I do that the debate would only have been an excuse for Nationalists to try and stick the boot into the RUC. Thats all its ever been about.

Personally I reckon a debate on Muckamore was a much more worthwhile venture.

El Matador said...

So O'Loan's report was all just a pan-nationalist myth to darken the name of a now defunct police force? I think not.

The very fact you don't seem bothered that state employed police officers aided and abetted mass murderers (who killed both Protestants and Catholics) I think says it all.

At least when I call for the truth to be revealed, I mean the whole truth- not just the bits I want revealed. For unionists, and indeed SF, there seems to be a high level of selectivity when it comes to what is made public about the past.

iluvni said...

yes, and when I see you create discussions about the use of informers such as O'Callaghan or Cahill in the Garda, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.