On this blog and elsewhere I have spent several years arguing that the threat from republican terrorists in Northern Ireland was being systematically downplayed to give a false impression that all in the province was well.
Despite repeated assurances from the Stormont administration that the ‘dissidents’ are only few in number; and a shocking refusal on the part of some media outlets to report some terror incidents over the last couple of years, both now seem to have come to an reluctant acceptance of the true state of affairs.
And that reality is borne out by the request from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) for an extra £245m over the next four years to combat ‘dissident’ republican violence. An extra £61m per year is a huge some of money for a minor problem. Clearly the number of terrorists involved with these groups, their increasing capability and enhanced reach can no longer be swept under the carpet and dismissed as a little local difficulty.
The breakneck effort to drawdown security forces in Northern Ireland and decommission assets necessary to combat terrorist activity has given the republican groups the space to recruit, train and carry out attacks. The pandering to IRA/Sinn Fein by the Labour government, which is carrying on under the faux Conservatives, has increased the threat in Northern Ireland and restored a threat to mainland Britain.
Giving us yet another reason not to trust anything the political class say, it is clear weapons we were assured by terrorists and politicians had been put beyond use, under independent scrutiny, are being used having been transferred to these groups by the IRA. Maybe now the political class will be hauled back into the real world to deliver on the obligations they have failed to fulfil as they engaged in spin and self congratulation. Hopefully not too many more lives will be lost while the security forces try to get hold of what they were instructed to let go of.