Brit Secretary of State Peter Hain has claimed that Republicans who have concerns about Policing, or as he would would call us "Dissidents", are in the "minority" within Sinn Féin.
According to Hain
"It's inevitable when you get to this crunch moment that people, perhaps those who have never supported policing and the rule of law in (the case of) some of Sinn Fein's members, or never supported power-sharing in the case of the DUP, some of them will duck out and say 'it's not for me'. "
"Well I think they will be in a minority, because the leaderships and the majority of both parties want to do this deal and want to do what the people of Northern Ireland want."
His use of the loaded term "dissident" is duly noted as is the effect that he hopes to achieve with it however have I missed something?
Was the Ard Fheis already held? Have Sinn Féin members made clear by majority vote that they support what is proposed?
The Ard Chomhairle is not taking the party membership support as a foregone conclusion, that is why we are having public and private meetings on the issue. Hain should not seek to presume for he presumes too much.
Secondly, what is this nonsense about Sinn Féin members not supporting any kind of policing and being uninterested in the rule of law?
Any Sinn Féin member will tell you that once there is trouble in a Republican area their door is the first door knocked, be it at what ever hour of the day and night. That is why this suggestion that Republicans are opposed to law and order is so absurd
We are 100% in support of law and order, we need peacefull communites and we need a proper and accountable police service. A police service that is accountable to the people they claim to serve and protect and not to some political master in Whitehall.
What Republicans don't need and what we have always had is a political police force.
A force that acts as the armed wing of Unionism. A force that has managed and controlled pro-state death squads against the Nationalist and Republican community. A force that is a puppet of the securocrats and a force that has no interest in positive policing.
We have all seen the problems when you have a force within a force. Republicans want and need a proper police service, we also want and need a criminal justice system that is blind to all but justice.
The only problem that many Republicans have with these proposals is that they believe we are not there yet.
Hain should keep his nose out of internal Sinn Féin party business!