The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
The Rule of Whose Law?


Mick Hall • 9 January 2007

In a recent statement to the Derry Journal the reactionary DUP politician Gregory Campbell, on being asked if he would call on Sinn Fein to report republican dissident activity to the police, replied: "That will be a part of our test for them after the Ard Fheis, we have a series of things to put into practice to test them to see if their support for policing means anything."

Mr Campbell's statement is perfectly logical, as it simply highlights the natural progression of SF accepting the GFA and its addendum the SA agreement. However, it becomes more sinister as Campbell is well aware that many 'dissidents' have accepted that armed struggle is no longer a viable option, whilst defending the right of all oppressed people to take up arms if their situation demands it. The fact he and his party views in the same hostile manner all of those who oppose the northern state-let is not merely an oversight on his part, nor will his insistence that SF stick rigidly to what he and his British patrons regard as 'the rule of law' be mere sabre- rattling, made to discomfort SF in the run up to the elections.

This is a very dangerous and backward looking development, for what he in reality is saying, is that: 'anyone, and I do mean anyone, who opposes the northern state-let is beyond the pale, and thus a fair target for the security forces, police and MI5'. Indeed he goes even further when he demands of SF that it instructs its members to tout on fellow Republicans who have a differing political strategy and outlook from their own, at pain of being punished politically if they refuse to do so.

This was always going to be on the cards. It is not an exaggeration when 'dissidents' claim that partition has been set in stone by SF signing the GF/SA agreements. Was not the aforementioned the raison det're of the northern state-let from its inception until 1969 when the Republican insurgency began? Although in those days it was expressed as 'a Protestant state for a Protestant people', in all fairness this is no longer so; what the north has become is like any other part of the United Kingdom in the 21st century, Finchley for example. In other words, via the GFA, partition and occupation has been legitimized.

For instance, the UK Prime Minister has made it pretty clear to British Muslims that their loyalty to the State will be judged on whether they support the governments position on Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan, and the police have actually arrested or frozen the bank accounts of British Muslims who have refused to do so. Blair has been greatly assisted in making loyalty to the state the main criteria to citizenship by the fact that one could not get a cigarette paper between his own position on Iraq, etc., and the main UK opposition party, the Conservatives'; the same is true of course on the UK State's Irish policy.

Gregory Campbell's statement makes it clear that if the proposed SF Ard Fheis accept the writ of the PSNI and thus the entire apparatus of the UK justice system, then SF will end up either turning on their core working class power base by becoming felon setters, or, if they do not, at some time in the not to distant future the DUP will demand of the British government that they either dismiss the SF Ministers or collapse the Assembly Administration (yet again).

Sadly, if this occurs, rather than walking away from this nonsensical so called peace process and reevaluating its strategy, SF will in all probability return to the conference table to be once again tied up in endless negotiations and red tape, which has from day one been the whole point of this never ending, mockney peace process.

The Rule of Whose Law?

Some supporters and members of SF keep prattling on about the need for the rule of law within the nationalist communities within the north of Ireland, as if the rule of law were some God-given sharia type thing, which is drawn up without prejudice and thus one is duty bound to support it. Those who take this view seem to be oblivious as to how the rest of the UK's citizens view and interact with the police and this mystical 'rule of law'.

The fact that the UK has the largest prison population in Western Europe should forewarn one about just how many people view the 'rule of law,' as well as the attitude the Blair government takes towards the working classes. Which basically amounts to, if they walk and talk and do not tip their caps to their betters, then they are up to no good, and the best thing is to imprison them to be on the safe side.

OK, so I jest just a tad, but if one analyses the type of crimes and the social class of the majority of UK prison inmates, it really is impossible not to be cynical as to what motivates those who lock them away. If one doubts this, they should consider that approx 30% of males under 30 in the UK have a criminal conviction, almost one in three; the overwhelming majority of whom come from working class backgrounds.

Now whilst the English aristocracy and the upper middle classes had a compulsion at one time to steal other people's countries and the natural resources within them, and of late appear to have slipped back into their recidivist ways, I doubt the average English, Scottish or Welsh worker of today is any more likely to be light fingered than the majority of the world's people, nor do they take more drugs or consume more alcohol than their middle and upper class counterparts. Yet it is their children when young adults who mainly inhabit the UK's 'criminal' justice system in great numbers, which hardly points to the system being impartial. The more so if we also look at the ethnic backgrounds of those who pass through this wretched 'criminal' justice system.

Thus one should not be surprised that in reality the overwhelming majority of working class people in the UK regard the police as a necessary evil, and feel the less contact they have with them the better. Many of the laws on the statute book are regarded by them as either stupid or designed to pillory the weak/economically-poor and protect the strong/economically-rich, and it is difficult to make a solid argument against this viewpoint.

Few would regard burning DVDs or selling them along with other counterfeit goods as a real crime; the same goes for cigarettes and tobacco on which UK tax has not been paid, not least because the manufacturers have simply increased their exports to France and Belgium to take up the short fall in sales on UK High Streets. The attitude of people to illegal drugs is interesting; few people under 40 feel they are committing an unforgivable offense when they take these drugs, and most regard those who sell narcotics as business people like any others, except the profits, due to the risk, are on a par with the banking and finance industry.

I doubt many would turn in their local dealer unless they had a personal grudge or he/she was making a nuisance of themselves by selling publicly from home or street. Why would they, as in many cases they would be turning in someone from their own families? (See 30% statistic)

There is another reason why the police are held in such contempt: they are so bloody useless and inefficient. For example, Britain's largest, and supposedly premier Constabulary, London's Metropolitan Police, no longer send an officer along to the scene of a burglary unless there are special circumstances such as violence or the victim has political or masonic pull. Incidentally, when one considers the level of police incompetence, it is not difficult to understand how the prisons are full of unfortunate but troublesome souls who should be elsewhere getting treatment for mental illnesses and drug/alcohol addiction.

To conclude, the law when push comes to shove serves the best interest of the power elite within any state; in a fully functioning democracy there are of course beneficial overlaps which allows the law to serve the interest of the people as a whole. To suggest the north eastern statelet falls into this category would be infantile, to say the least.




















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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

22 January 2007

Other Articles From This Issue:

Only A Fool
Anthony McIntyre

Wake Up & Smell the Coffee
John Kennedy

Killing the Messenger
Martin Galvin

Turning Tide
John Kennedy

Derry Debate
Anthony McIntyre

The Issues That Need Debated
Francis Mackey

The Rule of Whose Law?
Mick Hall

GFA Gestapo
Brian Mór

When in a Hole...
Mick Hall

Don't Be Afraid, Do Not Be Fooled
Dolours Price

Provie Peelers
Brian Mór

No Other Law
32 County Sovereignty Movement

Whither Late Sinn Fein?
Michael Gillespie

The Final Step
John Cronin

Moral Duty
Dr John Coulter

Repatriated Prisoner's Thanks
Aiden Hulme

McDowell Blocks 'Last' Repatriation
Fionnbarra O'Dochartaigh

Óglaigh na hÉireann New Years Message 2007
Óglaigh na hÉireann

A "Must Read" For Those With a Serious Interest
Liam O Ruairc

George Faludy’s Happy Days in Hell
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Reflections on the Late David Ervine
Dr John Coulter

In Memoriam David Ervine
Marcel M. Baumann

Michael Ferguson
Anthony McIntyre

"Bloody Sunday" Commemoration Event
George Cuddy

Just Books Belfast Relaunch & Fundraiser
Just Books

2 January 2007

The Final Step
Anthony McIntyre

Of Animal Farm and Similar Stories
Tom Luby

'Securocrats', 'JAPPS' and other 'enemies of the peace process'
Liam O Ruairc

John Kennedy

Dilseacht (Loyalty)
Mick Hall

Joe & Roy Johnston: 'Water Running Uphill'?
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Concerned Republicans
Dr John Coulter

Telling Moment at Toome
Martin Galvin

Toome Debate
Anthony McIntyre

Wrap It Up
John Kennedy

KKK Taking Root?
Dr John Coulter

British Army Step Up Recruitment Attempts
Republican Socialist Youth Movement

Is This Anti-Americanism, Or What?
Father Sean Mc Manus

Finding Christmas in Uganda
David Adams

That Which Cannot Be Denied
Mick Hall

Has Regime Change Boomeranged?
M. Shahid Alam

Chile: The Ghosts of Torture
Tito Tricot

Biblical Basics
Dr John Coulter

John Kennedy

Across A Table
Anthony McIntyre



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