BBC BLOGS - The Devenport Diaries
« Previous | Main | Next »

More Byron

Martina Purdy Martina Purdy | 12:42 UK time, Wednesday, 11 August 2010

More information on the new force for Ulster Politics, the Byron Party arrived today. One side of a card is bordered by the Union flag with the words "There's no mandate for cuts. There is another way. You decide" and the other side of the card is bordered with the Irish Tricolour. It carries the words: "We favour an Anglo-Irish initiative and see where it leads."

Attached is correspondence to the Byron party's "Connell" from the Prison Servie on the issue of prisoners at Maghaberry. The party was seeking to meet with the prisoners to arrange a compromise. But the prison service suggested the Byron party await the outcome of on-going discussions.


The party says it has been going for 30 years and its number one priority is a United Ireland to be achieved under the terms of the GFA.

Other views: Segregration remains an obstacle to peace; the UDA is in turmoi and "could spoil the peace process" on top of "being an extra burden to the PSNI."

There are also views on the Bible, and questions: where have all the good men (and women) have gone.

Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 1:42pm on 11 Aug 2010, ManOfPie wrote:

    Martina,

    Was there a symbolic "fence" on this double-sided flag embroiled document?

    Speaking of burden to the PSNI: Is it just me, or do the under-qualified unionist politicians reveling in the dissident attacks? It gives them an excuse to appear on camera... "still fighting the IRA, in whatever form."

    Also, I find it remarkable that at every dissident attack, there's a unionist politician using it as an *excuse* to force the PSNI to accept a police reserve it doesn't want! Talk about a burden to the police! The sheer brass-neck of it all. Essentially forcing the police to pay this group of people to be a parasite to the PSNI.

    Seriously, is noone else seeing this? When are the reporters going to start challenging them on this bare-faced hypocrisy?

    Love, PieMan

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 2:20pm on 11 Aug 2010, randomjoe wrote:

    do they have a website ?

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 10:07pm on 11 Aug 2010, ptlondonderry wrote:

    MoP,

    Quick question- Is it so wrong for unionist politicians to say what a lot of unionists believe?

    When we have people committing these kinds of attacks on an all too frequent basis, is it not a natural reaction to want some form of protection against that?

    Or are unionists no longer allowed an opinion on the people who try to murder innocent civilians?

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 00:44am on 12 Aug 2010, ManOfPie wrote:

    ptlondonderry,

    An answer to your question, in the technical sense, no it is not wrong to say what your electorate is thinking. In my opinion, however, it is wrong to misrepresent it as "improving security".

    Until there is some kind of evidence that retaining the police reserve actually *improves* the security in the face of dissident attacks, I don't see how the argument is valid. For argument's sake, let's say the police reserve are paid (combined) £500,000 a year. What if that 500,000 could have gone into acquiring the latest surveillance device, something that could get inside one of the dissident nerve centers.

    I think that they, the police themselves, you know, the experts, should be responsible for employing the best method(s) to infiltrate/disrupt dissidents. Hanging on to a few part-timers and paying them for a job they don't consider to be helping their strategy is totally counter-productive. Unless those unionist politicians are/were high-ranking police officers tasked with the complex task of fighting dissidents on a national (and cross border) level, I really think they should leave the tactics to the experts. And, my friend, the experts have clearly voiced their opinions on a number of occasions.

    Instead of bullying the police command into being willing hosts to this part-time parasitic fund-draining reserve unit, perhaps the politicians should support the police command. If they truly are out for "protection" against dissidents, why aren't unionists petitioning London/Dublin for (example) a specialised surveillance equipment budget of some kind? Something the police would no doubt actually want.

    Love, PieMan

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 01:16am on 12 Aug 2010, ManOfPie wrote:

    Can I just add...

    With regard to "protecting the unionist community":

    I feel it appropriate to point out that there aren't (best to my knowledge) any bombs going off in chip shops in the Shankill Road. Nor are "innocent civilians" being actively targeted, so let's not take things out of context simply because it suits the argument and agenda.

    In fact, the majority of attacks seem to be directed at Catholics. If anything, it's the Catholics who should be afraid.

    Let's call a spade a spade here. The unionist politicians want the police reserve retained because they know almost every member is of protestant persuasion. They're trying to win over votes from them, their families and friends. Not to mention voters who think that police has recently gotten "too catholic" for their taste. It's a political strategy designed to harvest votes, it's definitely NOT a security agenda. The fact it is masked as such is intolerable.

    Opportunistic unionist politicians must have been rubbing their hands with glee when they saw catholics officers targeted by dissidents. Not only are Catholics targeted by dissidents, they get to go on TV demanding that the police reserve are retained, amateurishly segwaying in that the police reserve need to be kept on as if that somehow can magically improves the threat.

    Love, again, PieMan

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 07:17am on 13 Aug 2010, ptlondonderry wrote:

    MoP,

    Another quick question. If the police alone should be responsible for deciding how best to protect us (they are the experts, after all), does that mean we should abolish the Policing Boards?

    Or just abolish the rights of unionists to express an opinion?

    P.s. At no point did I make any mention of "protecting unionist people". I said innocent civilians.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 4:43pm on 13 Aug 2010, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    6. ptlondonderry
    "At no point did I make any mention of "protecting unionist people". I said innocent civilians"

    I think the PieMan is talking about unionism's cry of protecting innocent Protestants. To be fair, everything he has said is correct; I would say he is either a criminologist or a senior serving PSNI officer??? Maybe I'm wrong but his finger is on the pulse.

    The Policing boards are there to ensure that the policing structures in this state are not abused by unionism and the British government. We have had rotten policing in Ireland since before Catholic Emancipation and this is the first era of accountability. It is needed to stop the trend of Protestant militias, working only for the security of the Protestant Irish and that can only be commended. It is high time the Catholic/nationalist people of this state had some representation in civic life. And please don't return with the IRA shooting Catholics to discourage them; as the PieMan said before, unionist politicians rub their hands when it happens!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 4:56pm on 13 Aug 2010, ManOfPie wrote:

    ptlondonderry,

    You'd have to get up very early in the morning to find a link between the policing boards and dissident republican security threats. I was referring to the police protecting against those threats specifically.

    Regarding the police "protecting us", if we gave the police free reign they'd write the laws and rules as they went along. There's be no limits for things like how long they can keep someone in custody for "questioning", etc. Just look at how they abused the stop and search laws, both here and in London. When it comes to everyday policing matters, the police must deal with the rules laid out to them by the public. It's obvious they feel constricted by those rules, but that's the way it has to be. They have to deal with policing boards.

    Love, PieMan.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 5:37pm on 15 Aug 2010, ptlondonderry wrote:

    MoP,

    Either:

    - You accept political interference in policing and accept that politicans (unionist and nationalist) are not experts and are answerable to their electorate. Therefore, they will make suggestions based on political considerations (not necessarily based on 'evidence')

    Or

    - If you don't want political interference in policing, politicians should not comment on policing and shouldn't be involved in structures such as the Policing Boards.

    I fully support all you say about the rule of law and the need to constrain the power of the police etc.

    But my point is that all those unionist politicians are doing is what their electorate voted for. If that means standing up for the Police Reservists, so be it.

    I'm sure we can all think of plenty of examples on both sides where politicans have made suggestions/ policy changes primarily to benefit their section of the electorate. I'm saying that's inevitable if you allow politicians to have a say on these issues.

    P.s. The point in comment 4) about 'evidence' is, of course, all about which way you look at the situation. For example, I could say (to play devil's advocate) that there is no 'evidence' that the security situation would not worsen if the police reserve were disbanded. With regard to the current climate, perhaps, we should make changes only when there is 'evidence' that the outcome will be an improvement to security?

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.