McLaughlin briefs British trade unionists on policing
Sinn Féin's Mitchell McLaughlin was in London on Thursday 12 October in response to an invitation from British trades union activists to provide an unpdate on the current state of the policing issue, particulary in respect of the title and symbols of the RUC. The meeting at Hammersmith Irish Centre was organised by the Hammersmith and Fulham Trades Union Council and the Connolly Association with the support the Acton Trade Union Club. It was chaired by Gwen Cook and also on the platform were Daltún Ó Ceallaigh from Trade Unionists for Irish Unity, Dublin, and Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn.
The meeting was also called to discuss the proposed appointment of a ``commission of experts'' to examine policing issues in the Six Counties and the present failure of the British government to implement in full the Pattern Report.
The Police (Northern Ireland) Bill, was criticised not only Mitchell McLaughlin, but also by other bodies, including the UNISON Working Group on Ireland. All the speakers emphasised that Pattern was a compromise and that, unless implemented in full, should be rejected.
The final draft of the Police (Northern Ireland) Bill, scheduled to become law next month. On Wednesday 18 October, the Secretary of State Peter Mandelson tabled amendments to the Bill for consideration during next week's Committee Stage in the House of Lords, but these still fall well short of what is required by both Sinn Fein and the SDLP.