“Contemplate the wider betrayal of the trust that is indispensable in a functioning democracy, the trust between citizen and state that rests on the belief that security measures are always justified and proportionate”.
A quoted comment on Friday’s PSNI work that sent one Sinn Féin MLA to hospital and endangered the life of another? No, this is actually from a recent editorial in the Guardian, talking about the now-revealed attempts of the Metropolitian Police to discredit the family of Stephen Lawrence, a young black boy stabbed to death.
It’d be good if the editorial were made compulsory reading for all PSNI personnel. Particularly the bit about trust between citizen and state. When you’ve got people on your side – effectively doing your work for you by striving to maintain public order – it’s not smart to lie to them or to put their lives at risk. The PSNI are on a very sticky wicket this summer. Matt Baggott’s softly-softly tactics with the flag protestors seemed to have paid off, and he deservedly got some plaudits for it. But if he now approaches protestors in North Belfast with people-ramming police vehicles followed by justification from unionist politicians, it’s putting at risk not just those involved, but public trust in the police themselves.
Maybe all PSNI personnel might also be given a brief history of the RUC so they can learn what bad policing does to civil order. Let’s hope Matt Baggott’s attendance at a Sinn Féin conference hasn’t left him thinking all hearts and minds have now been won. The weather could turn out bad but we could still be facing into a long, hot summer.
News just in.
Land Rover as life raft…
Party donors remain secret. Super resident groups appear in the form of Communities Against Sectarian Parades (Casp). They oust the ones CASP say are ‘controlled by a political party’. Important individuals within parties grab planning powers so they can ‘improve the economy’. Bet the Americans will love that one boys, well done! American Trade Envoy on the plane over yet with his/her wish list and his/her client book?
Just as people in their own community think they’ve been bought off our plucky American heroes in Sinn Fein get a last minute lucky break. A Land Rover showed everyone publicly they aren't colluding together with Uncle Sam and Union Jack against our interests. No honestly, they work for us; we just aren't allowed to know who pays them! And they say I’m a coward for being anonymous? You would think super funders could afford decent security?
You could take a few of ideas away from the ‘Land Rover incident’, mine were:
• It was a piece of performance art, designed to garner much needed support for a party whose mandate depends on being seen as defenders of their community while their bank balance depends on right-wing American benefactors.
• Sinn Fein and the SDLP have no clout to represent their voters on important issues like parading. They are being walked or driven over in the NI Assembly. They accept it because it pays well.
• Laws are only laws for one side of the community; they are optional for the ‘more important’ citizens. So it’s a multi-tier citizenship in Northern Ireland?
• If Martin McGuinness is a first class citizen, Gerry Kelly is a second-class citizen, like say Rosa Parks was, are the rest of the ‘less important citizens’ even allowed on the bus?
None of those ideas make me want to vote for Sinn Fein or the SDLP or any other party. I stopped cheering for America a long time ago; friends don’t tap your phone.
Bin the NI Assembly and let’s try again prioritizing representation over cults and leadership.
What of Sinn Fein?
My bet is they cling to that Land Rover for dear life in the rough summer ahead. Just like the Land Rover they have bulletproof windows and heavy steel doors. As usual it will be the rest of us that suffer and since they can’t help themselves they are hardly likely to be able to help us.
If anyone fancies a good laugh they should read Ruth Dudley Edwards having a go in the Daily Mail at the Met. For trying to blacken the names of murder victims. Yes the same Ruth Dudley Edwards who tried to blacken the name of a certain Belfast Lawyer who was murdered by police informers.You couldn't make it up.
Does your blog not automatically assume that Sinn Fein must be always in the right?There are contrary views as expressed by Malachi O' Doherty and Henry Mc Donald in today's Belfast Telegraph .No doubt the Police Ombudsman's office will provide an objective look at the whole incident in due course.