One is the capital city of Northern Ireland. The other is a small town on the periphery of Greater Manchester. At first glance they’ve little or nothing in common. But the respective sad events of this week in both places serve to highlight one of the curses of contemporary Britain – that of two-tier law-enforcement.

In Belfast, the anger against such has manifested itself in three nights of thuggish vandalism and street violence. Though I do not condone the actions of the loyalist youths concerned, I fully appreciate where their anger comes from. As a Unionist myself, I’ve sat and watched events unfold in Ulster for 23 years as appeasement after appeasement has been bestowed on Sinn Fein. It matters not what their ‘comrades’ in the IRA have done: the murder of Paul Quinn, the murder of Robert McCartney, the Northern Bank robbery, the putative spy ring….. Their cancerous presence in government in never anything other than guaranteed to be preserved in aspic. Even when they breach COVID laws a brain-damaged Dachshund could figure out in order to stage a public jamboree for a deceased terrorist, the police and prosecuting authorities do nothing. Why? Because never must a hair be ruffled on the proverbial head of the republican movement.

That double-standard has played itself out in Rochdale, too. In a similar manner to the hands-off approach adopted by the PSNI for reasons of ‘peace process expediency’, the police in Greater Manchester continue to shirk their responsibilities to protect the town’s girls from convicted Muslim grooming gangs. That’s why one of them was allowed to waltz around the town centre this week, even though he was due to be kicked out of the UK three years ago! Today’s constabularies are governed by cowards so afraid of disturbing certain minorities, lest they be accused of ‘racism’ or ‘sectarianism’, they prefer to see those who most disrespect this country’s laws unencumbered by the same rules that supposedly apply to the rest of us.

Policing without fear or favour is a cornerstone of a stable society. Without it we have the germinating seeds of anarchy. That anarchy is already starting to gather momentum on the streets of Belfast. I wonder how long many people in the rest of the UK will put up with an a la carte approach designed to give preferential treatment to serial criminals by virtue of their background?

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