8/12/2005

50:50

The Democratic Unionist Party is planning to mount a European challenge against the RUC/PSNI's 50:50 Protestant-Catholic recruitment policy
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I understand that both Sinn Féin and the SDLP believe in 50:50 but I personally don't.

I don't think positive discrimination is ever the correct option whether it is in Policing or advancing female membership in Politics.

I have always maintained that the trouble with the RUC/PSNI was never a religious one per say. I accept that Catholics are underrepresented with in the force and that is for one reason, they are unacceptable in the Nationalist and Republican community.

When the IRA were at war and were shooting RUC personnel it didn't matter if they were Catholic or Protestant personnel as long as they were a member of the RUC.

The problem with the RUC/PSNI can only be sorted when the Nationalist and Republican community can give allegiance to it. That will not happen until the RUC/PSNI cease being an armed organ of the British security apparatus. When MI5 stop interfering and when they start doing the jobs they are supposed to do, Policing!

I personally don't believe this can happen within a 6 county framework and I can only see myself supporting an All-Ireland police force. The Sinn Féin Ard Fheis will debate the issue of Policing when the Patten report is fully implemented. It will then be up to that Ard Fheis to decide what is needed for Republicans to support policing.

Make no mistake, Republicans want and need a Police service they can support.

When that day comes I hope the issue of religion can be consigned to the dustbin of history.

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