Matt Baggott: getting it wrong and getting it right

I was in the East Belfast Skainos centre last week. It is an impressive building, modern and elegant in an area that otherwise shouts “Poverty!” at every turn. I wonder would the people of East Belfast think differently about our politics if all of the area had buildings of that quality.
Meanwhile the PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott seems to have the notion of poverty on his mind when he called for politicians to tackle endemic poverty and youth unemployment. He believes that loyalist and republican violence has its roots in economic and social neglect. He’s also warned of the dangers of violence coinciding with the G8 summit meeting in Fermanagh. 
As to the second point:  whenever the police predict an “upsurge in violence”, you can be pretty sure it won’t happen. Remember all those Christmas run-ups where the RUC warned us they had intelligence that said the IRA was planning a concentrated bombing campaign? Any paramilitary group with half a brain chooses its own time, not Baggott’s. 
But he’s onto something with the first point. Something that’s rarely been addressed over the past forty years is the fact that most of the conflict was fought by those living in deprived areas.When you live in a system that clearly doesn’t give a damn about you, you’re more likely to seek radical means of addressing the wrong. As G B Shaw said so long ago, if you want to turn a revolutionary into a law-abiding conservative, give him £50,000, 

5 Responses to Matt Baggott: getting it wrong and getting it right

  1. giordanobruno May 15, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    Sadly our 'revolutionaries' played their part in creating deprivation.
    What businesses would invest here when a tiny minority were intent on bombing and killing and making the place unworkable?
    How could small business thrive when paying extortion to local gangs, sorry I mean revolutionaries?
    But hey no matter what the rest of us wanted, the men with guns knew best.

  2. Jim Lynch May 15, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    “What businesses would invest here when a tiny minority were intent on bombing and killing and making the place unworkable?”

    The state was unworkable since it’s inception. It was artificially created to accommodate unionists and discriminate against Catholics.
    The gerrymandering favored unionists and unionists only. Institutionalized sectarianism was condoned and supported by the British government.

    Create an undemocratic situation against a certain group of people simply because of their religious beliefs, and then blame them for the mess created when they demand their basic human rights.

    The British are past masters in this tactic and they have subservient lackeys like you to fight their corner.

    By the way if you are really interested in making the state work, first thing to do is get the British out of Ireland!

  3. Ceannaire May 15, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Going back a few years now giordanbruno.
    Just look to the minority of the British minority (and their flag obsessions) for driving business away.
    Local gangs – look in the same areas.

  4. Ceannaire May 15, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Going back a few years now giordanobruno for what you are REALLY talking about.
    Just look to the minority of the British minority (flaggers and their manipulators) for a more updated version.
    Local gangs – yep they are there too (some have even set up their own party – others have just tried to rejuvenate a failed Loyalist one).

  5. giordanobruno May 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    “Subservient lackey?” Steady on. I must put that on my (Irish) passport.
    Daring to criticise the sacred revolutionary cause does not make one a supporter of British policy. Only to those who live in a very black ad white little world.
    I do not blame people for demanding their basic human rights, I blame them for thinking they had the right to kill, maim and torture other human beings to get their way. And then try to blame someone else.
    'Big boys made me do it'
    And by the way I hold loyalist killers in equal contempt as republican ones.
    Take your ideological blinkers off Jim.