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19 January 2006 Edition

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Political policemen playing with democracy

Well, hands up who hadn't predicted that another fabricated republican scandal would hit the papers in advance of the IMC's report on 31 January?

With NIO Minister Shaun Woodward announcing that he expected a positive report from the so-called Independent Monitoring Commission, it was only a matter of time before someone stepped in to stir things up for the Peace Process and for democracy.

Although Sinn Féin has consistently opposed any role for the collection of spooks and British apologists that make up the IMC, a report from that body declaring that the IRA was keeping to all of its recent commitments, would not serve the interests of rejectionist unionism. So the 'revelations' from PSNI senior detective Sam Kinkaid on Tuesday night, claiming that IRA activity was ongoing, came as no surprise.

Kinkaid is dyed-in-the-wool, old guard RUC. His comments, in an alleged confidential briefing, were as blatant an example of political policing as any in recent times. And as his securocrat masters intended, the DUP are now attempting to use this as another excuse not to talk to Sinn Féin.

Kinkaid's antics also demonstrate clearly why republicans have refused to be badgered or shoe-horned into involvement with policing arrangements that fall short of the new beginning that is needed and that has been promised for some considerable time. The activity of PSNI officers like Sam Kinkaid coupled with the absence of the full implementation of the Patten recommendations, make it impossible.

The only novel twist on this week's developments is that a British Minister is also in the firing line. Kinkaid has managed to cast doubt over Security Minister Shaun Woodward and now unionists are calling for his resignation. But unionists cannot have it both ways — either they are happy with having British Direct Rule Ministers, or they are not, in which case they should act to see the local political institutions re-established and partake in the running of the Six Counties with other political representatives. If they are waiting to be given the keys to Stormont on a 'unionist in, republicans out' condition, they will be waiting a long time.

The Irish and British Governments need to focus on purging the system of dissident political police. They must remove officers like Kinkaid. His actions are clearly undermining the political and peace processes. Political policemen cannot be allowed, any more to subvert agreements or institutions that are democratically supported by the people throughout this island. The political police are playing with democracy and they must be cleared out.

Who is currently running the North? — is the governments or is it still the old school anti-Peace Process, anti-progress securocrats? We need to be told.

An Phoblacht Magazine

AN PHOBLACHT MAGAZINE:

  • The first edition of this new magazine will feature a 10 page special on the life and legacy of our leader Martin McGuinness to mark the first anniversary of his untimely passing.
  • It will include a personal reminiscence by Gerry Adams and contributions from the McGuinness family.
  • There will also be an exclusive interview with our new Uachtarán Mary Lou McDonald.

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