Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Orange or Green: all crime must be condemned

There is no acceptable level of violence and, as a society, we cannot allow the soft bigotry of low expectations to determine our response to continued law-breaking, terrorism and public disruption.

Simply, the rule of law must be enforced equally and consistently – no matter who the law-breakers are. Almost daily, we are visited by echoes of the violence that engulfed Northern Ireland for far too long. Each time I turn on the news, I hear of bomb-scares, shootings, illegal road-blocks and other events that we had hoped to consign to the past.

As Northern Ireland has flirted with the excesses of its past, I have been struck by the unashamed hypocrisy of our public representatives. The two-faced approach by those who demand different responses depending on someone's religion, or perceived constitutional preference, is utterly unacceptable.

When our politicians's first response to any event in their community is to criticise the PSNI and the courts, then they set the tone for the events that have been visited upon us.

Is it any wonder the division in our country has failed to be addressed when our leaders still demand an apartheid response by the forces of law and order?

Whether a shooting occurs in west Belfast or Moira we must all condemn it with equal fervour.

How much longer must we suffer politicians who see criminality through the prism of their Orange or Green-tinted glasses?

DAVID CAIRNS

NI Conservatives

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