Friday, 22 August 2008

Ian Paisley Junior hasn’t gone away you know

Ian Paisley Junior seized the opportunity, as a member of the Policing Board, to respond to the attacks on police officers, by apparently saying that sooner or later a police officer would be murdered "unless the police are able to deploy ruthlessness in tracking down and wiping out these dissident members." He added that “if dissidents are shot on sight, the community will accept that it is a necessary use of lethal force to prevent dissident republicanism from growing”.

Some regarded these remarks as inflammatory but in reality the remarks and the reaction are overdone. The only way that dissidents could be ‘shot on sight’ is if they were confronted during an attack on police officers. In that situation, most people would probably agree that the police have the right to open fire. Ian Junior managed to create a headline and get an over-reaction – he must have been delighted.

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