28 November 2000
NIO Mounting Rearguard action
Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey MLA has said that ``It appears to me that the NIO spin doctors are mounting a fully fledged rearguard action in support of their flawed position.''
Mr. Maskey said:
``I am disappointed that Chris Patten has put the integrity of the Patten recommendations on the line in this way. At the launch of the Independent Commission's report last year he categorically counselled against the ``cherry picking'' of its recommendations which he stated need ``to be implemented comprehensively.''
``But as the independent Patten Commissioner Clifford Shearing pointed out recently ``the Patten Report has not been cherry picked, it has been gutted.
``Furthermore, though this may be a bit naive, I am a little surprised that Chris Patten has made any public comment at all. When Sinn Fein contacted him in May, after the initial legislation was published, to suggest that the Paten Commission reconvene to assess the British government's proposals against the benchmark recommendations of the Commission report Chris Patten responded in writing.
``In this he told us that the Policing Commission has said all it wished to say in its report, which speaks for itself. Given this background, and in particular the irrefutable evidence of the significant gap between the British governent's legislation and the Patten recommendations, I can draw no conclusion other than that it represents a closing of ranks by the British establishment on Ireland related issues.
``It appears to me that the NIO spin doctors are mounting a fully fledged rearguard action in support of their flawed position. Instead of injecting conflict resolution politics into the situation we are getting a dose of nothing but the same old story.''ENDS
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