Remarkable agreement has broken out in Derry’s diverse Campbell Clan. Almost certainly for the first time, our fluent Irish speaking Mayor Kevin Campbell received support from Ulster/Scots admiring Gregory Campbell.
Last week they were both speaking the same language.
“If it is the case that the police made a mistake in searching the mayor’s home then they should admit that,” said the MP for Coleraine and Limavady. (He did go on to add, “However, this incident must not be allowed to overshadow the fact that weapons were found in other searches on the same night.)
Meanwhile, Mayor Campbell is also demanding an apology from the police.
What does the over-worked expression, “accountable policing” mean?
Does it mean anything or is it just a high sounding slogan? And what does that other over-worked expression, “community policing” mean?
Does it mean anything or is it just another empty slogan? Surely if these things do actually mean anything, in the new post-agreement dispensation, the police can’t search the first citizen’s house and then hide behind the bland words, “The necessity of these searches was properly and fully considered.”
In fairness, in their letter to the council, the PSNI did eventually come up with a fuller explanation for the search.
Why it take so long?
Even then they didn’t concede that, as things turned out, the Mayor was right in his insistence that he was alone in his house.
The police must be free to act without political direction, but they must account for their actions to the courts and to their oversight bodies.
So, if the PSNI did make a mistake, however well intentioned, let them admit it and apologise to Mayor Campbell.
Isn’t it a turn up for the books when Gregory and Kevin find themselves speaking the same lingo?