Loyalists are wrong to demonise PSNI

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I was dismayed by what happened on the Ormeau Road on Easter Tuesday.

I was doubly dismayed by the chorus of protest that then followed from loyalists, backed by unionist politicians.

As people loyal to the Crown it is incumbent that all paraders and participants to obey the officers of the Crown who are simply policing the Queen’s highway.

What happened in Lurgan was unlawful and will be dealt with in due time.

It is wildly outlandish to call the PSNI the “PSN-IRA” or the “Police Service of Nationalist Interests”.

It is a childish exaggeration, and it also forgets that bandsmen are a tiny proportion of the pro-Union community.

Moreover, history tells us that this type of overreaction and hysteria, and demonising of Crown servants is profoundly counter-productive.

When British troops first came to Belfast in 1969 they were received with open arms by the Catholic people, relations were very strong.

Jealous of the warm and cordial relations, loyalists protested on the Shankill Road, an RUC officer was killed.

The British army was also forced to act, which led them to lean on the Catholic community.

British troops started to cordon-and-search parts of West Belfast, a curfew was also implemented. All this led to deep resentment and alienation, throwing the Catholic community into the arms of the IRA.

Those who favour and want to strengthen our partnership with Great Britain must engage positively with members of the police and all sections of the community.

Jealousy, pettiness and discrimination fatally weakens the position of the pro-Union community.

Brian John Spencer, Belfast BT8