more accurate reading of the party's position
comes via its leader, Gerry Adams, who stated:
"the Police Service of Northern Ireland has,
one could say, moved considerably along the Good
Friday Agreement road to a new beginning of policing."
is more substance to the caudillo's position than
to that articulated by his underling. The PSNI
is arguably subject to more accountability than
any other force on the globe. It no longer has
a perception of itself as a hammer which sees
every working class nationalist as a nail. Having
won the war against the IRA, it has no further
need of the methods of war to politically police
the North. That Sinn Fein can support the atrocious
tribunal saturated Garda Siochana, but not the
PSNI, is something for which party apparatchiks
have devised yet another curious logic which themselves
alone can understand.
this is of secondary importance to republicans.
Republican opposition to a British police force
in the North is not because of this or that practice
which a good overhaul can sort out. No amount
of reforms can alter the fact that republican
opposition has always been based on the premise
that the police force is a British one. It is
the British state policing Ireland in its own
interests. That interest does not have to be selfish.
That the biggest British interest may be in eventually
lifting its anchor (as it has been for decades)
is neither here nor there. Republicanism opposes
the police not because the British are selfish
but because the British are here.
Fein members may delude themselves that it is
otherwise. But the cops harbour no such delusions.
Long the nemesis of the RUC/PSNI, the IRA's legendary
director of intelligence must know that if he
tours the country telling activists why it is
good to support the police, there will no amazement
greater than in Knock PSNI headquarters as the
brass marvel at the turnaround from Republican
Icon to British Bobby.