New clause 1 - Discrimination in appointments

Part of Police (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 11th March 2003.

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Photo of David Wilshire David Wilshire Conservative, Spelthorne 2:30 pm, 11th March 2003

That invites some of us to draw conclusions about the people who are being given permission to apply. In reality, introducing the discriminatory scheme to address the problem will not solve it—we must address the intimidation. The right hon. Gentleman's comment may be anecdotal, but it is sufficiently serious to be checked out.

Time and again in policing debates, I have heard the reasonable nationalist argument, which the hon. Member for Newry and Armagh (Mr. Mallon) would make if he were here, about inclusiveness being essential. I know the argument and I accept that it is real, but there is the alternative argument that Sinn Fein-IRA have no interest in seeing the new PSNI functioning properly. They will continue to use every means at their disposal, including intimidation and torture, to ensure that even this concession and discretion in favour of the nationalist community will not work. The Government should address that, as I have no doubt that the problem would not exist if it were made acceptable and easy for members of the nationalist community in Northern Ireland to apply and be accepted.