I was heading down to Belfast today with my Dad and we were passing the lower end of the Foughiletra Road (Outside Jonesborough) when we came upon a Brit patrol and cops in ski masks. We were having a conversation about what has really changed since the ceasefire.
(Picture taken from Foughiletra Road)
From early morning three Brit helicopters encircled Dromintee and Jonesborough and the cops had saturated the Dromintee and Jonesborough area and had road blocks all over the parish. When heading down the main road we ended up at Cloughue roundabout when we spotted ten RUC/PSNI land rovers ready to head up the main road at a moments notice.
I am sure I had a point in all of this, yes; anyway we spoke about how even as little as one year ago the Brits would never have dared to "patrol Jonesborough market". While things in South Armagh have begun to change, i.e. the Brits and RUC/PSNI are getting braver in their patrolling technique; a lot of things remain the same. The Crown forces are still despised in the area, the people have no time for them and they continue to harass the local people.
The SDLP in the area know exactly what the people of South Armagh think about the RUC/PSNI and they will never come out and support policing in South Armagh the way they do in other areas. The use their stooges to try and set up meetings with community groups and such like, i.e. trying to get them in the backdoor. They never tell the community groups who will be attending and they never even mention the PSNI. It shows the realisation that the SDLP has in the area, namely that the RUC/PSNI and their stooges are not acceptable in South Armagh and under the current arrangements never will be.
I laugh at the RUC/PSNI's attempt to flex their muscles in relation to smuggling, do they think they are going to stop it? Are they actually that arrogant and ignorant to believe such a ridiculous notion?
Smuggling has been a way of life in South Armagh for generations and contrary to middle-class stoop and Unionist thinking the people don't view it as wrong.
Let's just look at this for a moment
Software, so I am told, is available on the black market in my area. Microsoft office suite which retails at 630 EURO can be bought for £5. This is a huge saving for working class families and means that their kids will not suffer due to their socio-economic position.
Am I supposed to feel sorry for a capitalist organisation like Microsoft?
Not a mission
The policing issue may change in the near future, it may not but one thing that will not be changing anytime soon is people’s perception of right and wrong and their cultural attitude to smuggling.