Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

We haven't taken the gun out of politics here, just some common sense

A couple of questions that should be raised in the aftermath of a savage shooting of a young man in north Belfast.

How is it that there seems to be a consensus here that such an outrage – the shooting of a man – doesn't actually represent a threat to the peace process?

But that the arrest of a man for questioning in connection with the shooting of a man could represent a threat to the peace process?

And given reports that the day after the shooting masked men removed CCTV tapes from cameras in the area, how is it that paramilitaries appear to be quicker off the mark in terms of evidence gathering than the PSNI?

The influence and power of paramilitary groupings on all sides of this community remains the biggest destabilising force in this place. No amount of peace-process papering over that reality will mask it. It seems a lifetime ago our politicians were endlessly rabbiting on about taking the gun out of local politics.

But the gun, the pipe bomb, the petrol bomb, the viable-device-capable-of-causing-death-and-serious-injury are with us still. Why do we tolerate this?

Why don't our politicians – at least some of our politicians – come together to campaign against this? So many questions in this place, still.

As ever – no answers.

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