Two-Tier Policing – by Michael Lagan

   

                             

With Arlene Foster now facing calls from both Nationalists and some Unionists to resign over her willingness to meet Loyalist terrorists but not the PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne, is it she who should be considering her position as First Minister of the Executive?  Over the past couple of days Arlene Foster, once again called on Simon Byrne to resign.  It validates the suggestion by some, that the DUP is using this violence as leverage to put pressure on the Chief Constable to resign over their claims that “two-tier-policing” is at work in the North.  Obviously this wasn’t an issue for Unionism when there was two-tier-policing biased against Nationalists and Catholics which shows just how much times have actually changed in the North.

But how can there be “two-tier-policing” when everyone is pissed off at the police?  Something Arlene Foster should have thought about before she made the false assertion that Unionists are being faced with, shall we call it, ‘unfair policing’.  Perhaps our Arlene should take a wee gander at the media from time to time.  I suggest something like The Canary online media which seems to be unbiased and calls it out as it is.  It is one of the few media outlets which has accurately covered much of what is going on in the North without favour to either side.  

Anyhow, I digress. The Sean Graham’s bookies Commemoration is one such example of policing which ‘pissed off’ not just Nationalists but also anyone who found the massacre a disgusting manifestation of Britain’s role in the conflict here.  It did not, however, piss off Unionists who focused more on the fact Covid regulations were apparently broken, even though the commemoration was adhering to social distancing and the numbers involved.  The photos of Mark Sykes being led away by the PSNI, still holding onto the flowers he was trying to lay at the site, brought condemnation from many sectors.  The attack at Sean Graham Bookmakers was one of a number of incidents to be investigated by the Historical Enquiries Team in 2010.  The investigation found that a Browning pistol used by the UDA gunmen had been given to them by the RUC.  The HET were also told by the PSNI that the VZ. 58 Czech assault rifle used in the attack had been “disposed of”.  However, it was later discovered on display in the Imperial War Museum in London.

Two-tier-policing you say Arlene?  If the “two-tier-policing” Unionism is worried about, is all they have to worry about, then they have little to worry about.  Two-tier-policing is when the predominantly, though not entirely Catholic Civil Rights March in Derry in 1972 was attacked by the Paras, shooting 26 civilians, immediately killing 13 with one dying 4 months later from his wounds while Loyalists and Unionists jeered from the Waterside.  Two-tier-policing was Burntollet where a Loyalist crowd numbering approximately 300, including 100 off-duty members of the Ulster Special Constabulary, attacked the civil rights marchers while the RUC stood by and watched, some even joined in on the assault.  Two-tier-policing was when the tiny nationalist enclave of Short Strand was attacked by hundreds of Loyalists, many with guns and the RUC and British army stood by and watched it happen.  Ironically, it was the IRA who repelled that attack and saved St. Matthews Church and Short Strand.  

I am in no doubt, at this point, that the accusation of two-tier-policing levelled at the PSNI Chief Constable by Unionism, if genuine, has its roots firmly planted in that old saying “Those accustomed to privilege, see equality as oppression”.  It is a fact we once lived in a Unionist state, run by a Unionist Government, and bolstered by a Unionist police force, backed up by a Unionist army militia, the UDR.  The accusation of two-tier-policing is rich coming from a party like the DUP who facilitated two-tier-policing in the North and to this day support the facts and evidence being hidden from society of a police force once steeped in collusion and shadows.  

Today Nationalists, Catholics, and indeed minorities see a more equal society than they once did.  However, there’s a stench of dangerous politics being played out here by political Unionism in all of this.  They have pushed Unionism to the brink again, in the hope the pressure from societal Loyalism will push the Chief Constable over the edge into resignation.  Loyalism has a bad habit of following these cues from a political party to go into ‘siege mode’ mentality.  With Arlene Foster being leader of the DUP, the predominant Unionist party and by extension the party with the majority of Unionist support, it falls to Arlene Foster and the DUP to show leadership to all of Loyalism and Unionism.  While Arlene Foster is the leader of the DUP, she is also First Minister of the North of Ireland and so she is our First Minister also, something she has yet to realise it seems.  

Is it time for Arlene Foster to go? The smart move may be ’Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t’.

                           Two-Tier-Policing

With Arlene Foster now facing calls from both Nationalists and some Unionists to resign over her willingness to meet Loyalist terrorists but not the PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne, is it she who should be considering her position as First Minister of the Executive?  Over the past couple of days Arlene Foster, once again called on Simon Byrne to resign.  It validates the suggestion by some, that the DUP is using this violence as leverage to put pressure on the Chief Constable to resign over their claims that “two-tier-policing” is at work in the North.  Obviously this wasn’t an issue for Unionism when there was two-tier-policing biased against Nationalists and Catholics which shows just how much times have actually changed in the North.

But how can there be “two-tier-policing” when everyone is pissed off at the police?  Something Arlene Foster should have thought about before she made the false assertion that Unionists are being faced with, shall we call it, ‘unfair policing’.  Perhaps our Arlene should take a wee gander at the media from time to time.  I suggest something like The Canary online media which seems to be unbiased and calls it out as it is.  It is one of the few media outlets which has accurately covered much of what is going on in the North without favour to either side.  

Anyhow, I digress. The Sean Graham’s bookies Commemoration is one such example of policing which ‘pissed off’ not just Nationalists but also anyone who found the massacre a disgusting manifestation of Britain’s role in the conflict here.  It did not, however, piss off Unionists who focused more on the fact Covid regulations were apparently broken, even though the commemoration was adhering to social distancing and the numbers involved.  The photos of Mark Sykes being led away by the PSNI, still holding onto the flowers he was trying to lay at the site, brought condemnation from many sectors.  The attack at Sean Graham Bookmakers was one of a number of incidents to be investigated by the Historical Enquiries Team in 2010.  The investigation found that a Browning pistol used by the UDA gunmen had been given to them by the RUC.  The HET were also told by the PSNI that the VZ. 58 Czech assault rifle used in the attack had been “disposed of”.  However, it was later discovered on display in the Imperial War Museum in London.

Two-tier-policing you say Arlene?  If the “two-tier-policing” Unionism is worried about, is all they have to worry about, then they have little to worry about.  Two-tier-policing is when the predominantly, though not entirely Catholic Civil Rights March in Derry in 1972 was attacked by the Paras, shooting 26 civilians, immediately killing 13 with one dying 4 months later from his wounds while Loyalists and Unionists jeered from the Waterside.  Two-tier-policing was Burntollet where a Loyalist crowd numbering approximately 300, including 100 off-duty members of the Ulster Special Constabulary, attacked the civil rights marchers while the RUC stood by and watched, some even joined in on the assault.  Two-tier-policing was when the tiny nationalist enclave of Short Strand was attacked by hundreds of Loyalists, many with guns and the RUC and British army stood by and watched it happen.  Ironically, it was the IRA who repelled that attack and saved St. Matthews Church and Short Strand.  

I am in no doubt, at this point, that the accusation of two-tier-policing levelled at the PSNI Chief Constable by Unionism, if genuine, has its roots firmly planted in that old saying “Those accustomed to privilege, see equality as oppression”.  It is a fact we once lived in a Unionist state, run by a Unionist Government, and bolstered by a Unionist police force, backed up by a Unionist army militia, the UDR.  The accusation of two-tier-policing is rich coming from a party like the DUP who facilitated two-tier-policing in the North and to this day support the facts and evidence being hidden from society of a police force once steeped in collusion and shadows.  

Today Nationalists, Catholics, and indeed minorities see a more equal society than they once did.  However, there’s a stench of dangerous politics being played out here by political Unionism in all of this.  They have pushed Unionism to the brink again, in the hope the pressure from societal Loyalism will push the Chief Constable over the edge into resignation.  Loyalism has a bad habit of following these cues from a political party to go into ‘siege mode’ mentality.  With Arlene Foster being leader of the DUP, the predominant Unionist party and by extension the party with the majority of Unionist support, it falls to Arlene Foster and the DUP to show leadership to all of Loyalism and Unionism.  While Arlene Foster is the leader of the DUP, she is also First Minister of the North of Ireland and so she is our First Minister also, something she has yet to realise it seems.  

Is it time for Arlene Foster to go? The smart move may be ’Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t’.

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