More on policing

My good friend and comrade Justin Moran submitted a letter to An Phoblacht which did not appear in this week's edition (although another letter, expressing more or less the same sentiments, was printed). I think it makes some important points so, with Justin's permission, I'm posting it here.

A chara,

The claim, in last week’s editorial, that supporting the Ard Chomhairle’s motion on policing will bring about ‘…further change, maximise our political impact and ensure that the policing model we have seen in the Six Counties for decades is consigned to the past’ indicates that the party’s paper has decided what the ‘right’ decision
should be before the party has.

Contrary to the editorial, many republicans see Sinn Féin taking seats on the Policing Boards as a co-option of republicans to the protection of the Six County state. The role of any police service is to protect the state and its interests. In this context, to maintain partition.

Sinn Féin members on Policing Boards would be partly responsible for, but not in charge of, an armed paramilitary police force led by British officers and enforcing British law in Ireland. The carrot of a Sinn Féin Justice Minister ‘some day’ has been replaced with the notion suggested over Christmas that the Justice ministries would be split between the SDLP and the UUP.

Also replaced was the party’s agreed Ard Fheis position, ironically the product of an Ard Chomhairle motion, that an Ard Fheis would only be called when a date for devolution of powers had been set and agreed to by the DUP, the structures of the administration of those powers agreed, and the enactment of British legislation.

In the absence of any of this, the Ard Chomhairle has overturned the Ard Fheis position and called an Extraordinary Ard Fheis that, at time of writing, the leadership no longer seems sure on because the DUP hasn’t reacted positively enough.

Is mise le meas,

Justin Moran
Dublin 8

On a related note, I see that our Mulhuddart councillor Felix Gallagher has once again been prevented from properly engaging with his local policing committee thanks to the shameless partisanship of his fellow councillors in Labour and Fine Gael. The hypocrisy is astounding: on the one hand, these muppets will fall all over themselves to insist that Sinn Féin must engage with the police system in the Six Counties and, on the other, they're doing everything they can to keep us out of the system here.


Chris Gaskin said...

An excellent letter from Justin, it sums up the entire situtation.

Still I am looking forward to the Ard Fheis, I have faith in the membership to make the right decision.

WorldbyStorm said...

That's pretty poor the situation in Mulhuddart. But not surprising.

DOD said...

Justin, as per usual, makes a great point. The myopia of some of the yes men (and women) in our party, is of great concern. Mary Lou told a recent conference on the GFA that 'it's about power' has this mindset pervaded to higher levels of the party at the expense of a long term view as to how to achieve a unified Socialist Republic?

Brendan said...

While I am not going to get into the broader issue of the debate on policing, I do think the point that Justin makes about the need for DUP approval prior to an Ard Fheis being called is factually correct, but the fact that a caveat exists within the motion that nothing will actually happen prior to devolution and also a time table for transfer of powers means that it as not as important a move as some might have thought at this stage last week, the motion effectively lies dormant until the conditions are created for it to be implemented.

Wednesday said...

Brendan, I think there are two points here.

The first is that it undermines the credibility of the leadership in general when they go ahead with something despite the conditions imposed by the membership not being met.

The second (related) point is that once the motion is approved, many of us would have little faith that it will lie dormant until all those conditions are created - particularly when by this very Ard Fheis motion going ahead, the leadership have already demonstrated their willingness to junk conditions that the membership have mandated.

Chris Gaskin said...

I agree Wednesday

WorldbyStorm said...

At what point though does this represent an excessive breach of trust for the membership?

That's what I can't quite fathom.

The Youngfella said...

I think wbs, it boils down to what is your vision for Irish Republicanism and can the current route lead you to where you want to go.

Anyway just for the shameless plug, please check out my blog, it's only new so be patient while I think of things to post about. The initial post is basically a rant about Irish society.

WorldbyStorm said...

Ahah youngfella, you sound strangely familliar!

But I take your point, although not entirely sure I arrive at the same destination.

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