Saturday, January 21, 2006

SF 'wants to back police'

It's been a long time coming - and no one's sure if it's really on its way yet - but New York Congressman Jim Walsh has said he reckons Sinn Féin wants to back the police force in Northern Ireland, although the timing may be uncertain. The encouraging thing for me is not the words, but the fact that he was saying them just after meeting Gerry Adams.
This is a commonly used tactic for testing the political waters, much beloved of statesmen everywhere. By floating a radical idea through a willing third party, you can gauge reaction without ever having to associate yourself directly with the idea. If it's machine-gunned you can agree it would have been a mad idea; if it's met with open arms - or at least indifference - you know it's a generally acceptable idea that won't ruffle the wrong feathers.
So, if your reading this, Gerry: it'd be a Big move and I'd encourage you to do it. Get your guys to take their seats on the local Policing Boards too, we need you to help shape Ulster's policing too, not just approve of it.


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