Gregory Campbell MP is at it again on the radio.He believes the police should move in forcibly at every potential crime scene , all guns a-blazing, batons swinging, especially if they have advanced knowledge of a crime to be committed and even more so if the target has a nationalist or republican tinge to it.Fair enough, Mr Campbell has built a career on utterances like this .If questioned very closely , he will always be partial though. He will never say that it would make some sense to treat the unionist community in the very same way if that was the case.He didn’t make a sound throughout the first few weeks of July when a policeman had his ear torn off in Belfast during a mad riot of his red, white and blue brethren.
Should the police gather evidence after the crime has been done or should they always bull in willy-nilly and make arrests immediately? Personally, I think they’d be on a losing game right away if they did that.Going on years and years of past experiences, it would be like ringing a Riot Bell…instant entertainment for anyone who enjoys a bit of a ruckus…and there are plenty of them about.They do love a good old riot in Norneverland and the police know enough by now not to encourage any of that exuberant craic. It always got out of hand in the past and only encouraged even more fun and games on the streets.
Of course there is a distinction, sometimes blurred , between good old ordinary crime with good old ordinary criminals and the crimes committed as part of a “Cultural Agenda”.You simply can’t have our policemen sitting about watching men in domino masks and striped jumpers robbing banks as they sit and take notes and photographs while eating their dough-nuts while sipping coffee.
I think this tactic of evidence -gathering has been developed over many years of dealing with riotous behaviour. The police force in Norneverland must have more experience of this kind of thing than any other police force on the planet.Everyone knows that had the police come out in force during an INLA- associated funeral where masked men fired shots and marched in a para-military display, there would have been mayhem with much violence.That’s what usually happened in the past and it has resulted in outright madness. The same could be said about UDA wreaths at funerals or flags on lamp posts. Better to scoop up the practitioners in the calm light of dawn when there are fewer of them to deal with .Like the old saying about revenge.It is surely always better to serve it as a cold dish and without too much emotion.
Of course , para-military groups have no real chance of making any further changes in society here when they had already spent many years reaching our current state of political affairs. it was a case of going around in circles for forty years or so, killing and bombing , to get to what we have now….a totally unworkable form of government of two distinct halfs pulling against each other.No amount of more bombing , shooting or killing is about to change that any time soon..
There have been so many instances of laws being broken in Norneverland over the years where the police have always ignored the crimes being committed when they feel like it .The thinking seems to be that it is better to sit in their cars, or possibly land-rovers in the past.There was a feeling of lawlessness in the land that was avidly encouraged by politicians and there is no doubt that in the past the police force was partial , which is why it has since been reformed into a new force. Many unionists miss that old partiality and Mr Campbell seems to be one of them.
Of course, there are many in this land who are basically lawless . They have always broken laws when they have felt like it. Should that be the unionist community breaking the laws or the nationalist community breaking those same laws. Shots are fired at funerals ; illegal flags are flown everywhere when it suits an agenda ; people have been brought onto the streets en masse to prove a political point .Everyone has done it.
Every year we know that the laws are about to be broken as summer comes in.They call it traditional now …a tradition of law-breaking . Stolen pallets and illegal tyres are regularly burned on bonfires every summer and everyone involved in the building and burning of bonfires , the painting of kerb stones and flying of illegal flags , are basically outlaws. Even families who attend these bonfires are complicit in breaking the laws , with much al fresco illegal drinking..
In these circumstances it is a bit rich to protest that laws have been broken when laws are cherry-picked to be broken anyway. If you drove very quickly past a bonfire , you’d probably be arrested and fined for speeding or because you had a faulty brake light. That’s how topsy-turvy things are in this enchanted land .
Then when the summer rolls to a close, things gradually go back to strange normality .The end of the Marching Season.