Events over the Easter period have once again demonstrated the clear pro-Nationalist tilt in policing within Northern Ireland. Masked Republican dissidents had the run of the place to parade triumphantly at various locations, as the PSNI kept a low profile. Contrast this with the heavy handed policing deployed against Unionists. One need only look at Easter Monday morning when Unionist residents of North Belfast were hemmed in like cattle. We also had the outrageous image of a PSNI officer actively assisting those erecting a tri-colour by holding the ladder. This comes, of course, only weeks after those who claim allegiance to such a flag murdered a prison officer in a cowardly bomb attack.
Let us also remember how the Chief Constable allowed himself to be wooed by the sweet aroma of the money-spinning business of ‘peace building’ and shared a platform with members of the IRA Army Council, who only weeks later authorised the cold-blooded murder of Kevin McGuigan. How could we also forget the relentless persecution of Unionist bandsmen and peaceful protestors? The PSNI public order team have contrived some of the most ludicrous ‘charges’ just to simply allow them the pleasure of bringing another Protestant before the courts. Indeed when the YCV Flute Band overturned their conviction, the Public Order leading detective- who is anything but a Unionist- was heard swearing angrily.
All of this feeds into post -Patten policing. If you want to understand why Unionists are treated like third-class citizens, then two words will illuminate the issue for you- Patten and Hillsborough. At Hillsborough the DUP surrendered policing and justice, gifting Sinn Fein their strategic goal. It is from this iniquitous betrayal that flowed the pre-ordained appointment of Barra McGrory. I have previously written on this site an extensive article outlining Mr McGrory’s rise to the position of DPP and why he is politically comprised. When the PSNI are hiding away memorials to the RUC in the photocopying room, when former Soldiers and RUC officers are hounded as republicans go free and as the prosecution service hound Unionists, this is the result of Patten and Hillsborough. Look at the root cause of the problem and then ask who objected and who remained silent as the betrayal was executed by stealth.