Monday, February 13, 2006


SDLP calls for all-Ireland police body

North-South does make sense As a keen supporter of an all-Ireland police force I was delighted to hear the SDLP today call for the establishment of an all-Ireland police intelligence agency.

The party said it would be the most effective way to tackle criminals and paramilitaries.

The party made the call in a 24-page document entitled "North-South Makes Sense".

It also called for an all-Ireland criminal assets bureau and sex offenders register.

The document proposes closer health, economic, farming, education, housing, environment and transport links.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said unionists should not fear such cross-border cooperation.

"People who are unionist, nationalist or neither should have nothing to fear from dynamic north-south co-operation," he said.

"We are all losers without it."

The party said criminals who exploit different jurisdictions would be best targeted through all-Ireland mechanisms.

An all-Ireland intelligence agency would be staffed by officers from the PSNI and Garda, the party said.

I think it's great that the SDLP are making these kinds of proposals and it would be even better if Sinn Féin supported them as well. When it comes to Irish reunification, there are no bad ideas and we should greet all ideas associated with north-south cooperation with an open mind.

In saying that, the DUP are up to their usual nonsense by publishing a document which calls for greater east-west cooperation between the North and Scotland.

The party's MEP, Jim Allister, said the two countries (I wouldn't class NI as a country) had "well-documented and irrefutable historical links".

"The problems afflicting both countries are common, namely poor transportation infrastructure, the decline of heavy industry and textiles and an underdeveloped tourism potential," Mr Allister said.

"Bearing this reality in mind, the most obvious and natural area of cooperation is cooperation undertaken on an east-west basis, rather than the unnatural and politically-motivated north-southery."

This is simply reactionist politics at its worst. They don't give a damn about Scotland they simply want to muddy the water and make sure that they stall north-south cooperation in Ireland.

Well they will not. All-Ireland cooperation is what this island needs.

It is wonderful to see such all-Ireland proposals being put in place, however, as we all know, the main thing is not to come up with proposals, but rather to have them implemented as soon as possible.

There is still much work to be done.


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