There’s nothing like listening to your First Minister waxing moral as you chew on your Rice Krispies. I had this instructive experience this morning, as Peter Robinson explained to Noel Thompson on BBC Raidio Uladh/Radio Ulster that he wasn’t bending Chief Constable Matt Baggott’s ear with that recent meeting, he was just pointing out some facts. Which when boiled down amounted to one fact:the police service – oh, and the judicial system – were treating loyalists much more harshly than they treat republicans. For example loyalist bail denied, republican bail granted. Where’s the equality?
Indeed, Peter. We’re all behind you on that. We can’t have a system where one section of the public is treated differently from another. Like, Matt Baggott has played a waiting game with flag protestors who broke the law week in week out, and I think I said he came across in a TV interview with all the ferocity of a week-old lamb. But I’m willing to accept I could have been wrong. Any policy that puts Willie Frazer and Jamie Bryson behind bars can’t be all bad.
But of course the ultimate test will come in about four months time. If Ardoyne residents or any other nationalist community decides to block the intrusion of bigots in bowler hats, will Matt be patient and allow his plan of prosecution to come to fruition around four months later? Or will he give instructions for his men to wade in there and apply the law at the business end of a baton?
Jude,you did not actually hear Peter Robinson explain anything to Noel Thompson on Good Morning Ulster today. Robinson failed to make himself available to the programme, and Thompson’s interview was with Sammy Wilson instead. Time to invest in a new set of batteries for your radio ?
It’s clear now that both Robinson [FM for 1. DUP
2 NI]and loyalists mistook Baggott’s fear and dithering over two months, for an ‘easy does it lad’s, they’re ourwans’ policy. And following the drop of the penny, after court case was taken out over short strand parades they now realise with some bitterness, that it wasn’t Baggott favouring them, but rank cowardice on his part. Now he’s been forced to do his job in the last fortnight, they go crying to the media.
Misquoting frank Gallagherr in Shameless intro, Its not their’s anymore. [Madraj]
Anon 12:44 – I hate guys like you. On (mature) reflection, you’re absolutely right – mea culpa. Sammy Wilson was indeed on this morning. But I do seem to remember Robinson voicing the sentiments above – is it possible he made them yesterday or even on the same programme? Probably neither. You 10, Me 0. (Exits in abashed state, stage left)
As long as Pete gets re-elected in East Belshaft, sure that’s all that matters.
Great to hear unionist leaders finally calling for the cops to police on an even handed basis, lots and lots and lots of nationalists looking forward to it, cheers Pete! 🙂