Loyalists looking for a way out…

Westminster NI opposition spokesman, David Liddington, has met with the Loyalist Commission, which protests that despite the recent inter paramilitary violence, most of Loyalist paramilitaries are keen on finding a way out of their political isolation.

  • spirit-level

    “But they asserted very strongly to me that they wanted a way out of paramilitarism, to concentrate on working to help their communities.”
    This has to restore your faith, hearing this.
    It’s possible, that baring a few nutters, people of both sides want to move on. Maybe the london bombing reminds us again how much we want to live. I dearly hope for a fairy-tale ending in Northen Ireland.

  • JD

    I don’t know about ‘fairytale endings’ but fairytales do spring to mind. I have no doubt that some within the loyalist paramilitaries are genuinely interested in the welfare of their communities and may see the damage that their own presence does to those self same communities, however unfortunately there is no tangiable evidence that the bulk of loyalists are trying to move away from anything. The attacks on Catholics, the internal feuding and killings, the drug dealing continues. We all dearly hope that the vioces of reason within loyalism come to the fore however I am not holding my breath.

  • reality check

    if the attacks on catholic homes desist then we can take this statement seriously

  • fair_deal

    Such sentiments have been expressed before and not enough has changed on the ground. Time to start walking the walk.

  • Gonzo

    Elsewhere, Ervine made some comment about the UVF thinking ahead to a time after IRA decommissioning and entering its ‘new mode’. What would the UVF’s role be, since its primary raison d’etre would be gone?

    Ervine has blamed ‘drug dealers’ – a reference to the LVF, which he believes is rife with informers and is certainly involved in drug smuggling and dealing to help fund itself – for getting in the way of the UVF seriously considering disarming.

    While this will smack of the mirror image of one of Gerry Adams’ ‘I blame the securocrats…’ statements, there have been enough strange sentences passed and bail issued in Laganside Courthouse to raise the odd eyebrow and wonder if he maybe has a point…

  • Young Fogey

    It’s nice to see the Loyalists’ claims rejected by people of every stripe.

    people of both sides want to move on

    Dualist, two-dimensional, thinking like this is exactly what legitimises the UVF in their campaign of intimidation, extortion, contrabanding, etc., etc. I do not believe in ‘both sides’. I believe in one good side – people who believe in decency, the rule of law and are able to resolve their differences in a sensible framework, and another side who like exploiting historic divisions to line their pockets and get off on shooting and kicking the crap out of people.

    Communities do not have rights. People have rights. I have the right to stand outside the community in which I happen to have been brought up and in which I happen to live now. I can choose to reject the consensus. Granting communities rights is what allows the UVF to claim to speak for people just because they happen to live in, say, Mersey Street even though they may loathe them and everything they stand for.

  • bertie

    Young Fogey

    I have got to stop coming on to this site. I am getting seriously disorientated finding myself in such agreement with pro agreement unionists like moderate unionists and now even an Alliance supporter. How far have I sunk?

    I am desparately trying to find something in your last post that I can disagree with and I can’t.

    I have long since objected to phrases like “there are terrorists on both sides”. As far as I am concerned the two sides that matter are terrorists and their supporters and apologists and the rest. By that definition the UVF and the IRA are on the same side and they have for more in common with each other than either have with me. Although sometimes you can find yourself sliping into the accepted shorthand.

    Again I am more interested in the rights of the individual and for me groups only have rights by dint of the rights that the indivduals in it have.

    I have been brought up in a unionist family and I do have the right not to be. By the same token I have the right to be a unionist. So to the degree that I still adher to the loyalities I was brought up on, I could say that that was a point of difference but it would be a trivial one.

  • Young Fogey

    and now even an Alliance supporter. How far have I sunk?

    You’re not just agreeing with an Alliance supporter. You’re agreeing with the very raison d’etre of the Alliance Party.

    Now I bet you feel really scared!

  • Comrade Stalin

    The loyalist commission is a work of pure genius – somehow, these individuals who would be in jail if they operated in any other part of the UK with the impunity they operate with here, are able to get the Opposition’s leading spokesperson to promote their political objectives to the general public. God love them, they’re trying to find a way out of the isolation they despise. Unsurprisingly, no unionist politicians have come forward to say a word about this.

  • bertie

    Pardon my ignorance but what is the loyalist commission and who is in it?

  • Comrade Stalin

    It’s an umbrella group for the loyalist paramilitary organizations which they use to present a respectable face to the public. Shamefully, several clergymen and unionist politicians sit on it (I understand David McNarry is pretty central to the whole thing) and their business seems to mainly revolve around getting leading loyalists photographed alongside important politicians to make them look good.

  • beano

    Well if we’re to believe that Sinn Fein have led/are leading the PIRA away from violence, wouldn’t it be an idea for a similar sort of shepherd for the loyalist groups?

  • derek

    I don’t see to many signs of the loyalist commission leading anyone away from violence.

    How many years has this loyalist umbrella group been operating. ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    beano – no, among other reasons because the loyalists have no electoral support, as well as the fact that they’ve shown absolutely no inclination to end violence.

  • Wichser

    Hmmmm, maybe a way out of their political isolation might be to…win some elections ? Oh yeah, sorry, having a mandate doesn’t count either, silly me.

    Maybe they could take up golf and give the oul’ politics a miss.

  • shark

    I believe the South Belfast Commander of the uff, Jackie McDonald is a keen golfer.

    Although he does hit the odd bogey (and i’m not referring to Andre Shoukri)

  • Wichser


    Aye the Kimberley must be the 19th (black) hole

    : – )

  • shark

    The Kimberley has closed down due to market forces (not paramilitary forces)

    Apartments, i believe.

    The new 19th hole is called the bandhall

  • Wichser

    thuh bawndhahawall, like ?

    Ach the oul’ Kimberely, they don’t build them like that any more.

  • shark

    I believe the music’s better in the bandhall, especially on practic nights.

    The decor is outstanding also, its based on a 70’s shebeen theme.

    Nice !!

  • Ginfizz

    The Loyalist Commission is a joke. What is also a joke is the behaviour of Unionist political representatives who sit on it and the Presbyterian Minister who cahirs it. These people (UVF/UDA etc.) are nothing but parasites feeding off the communities in which they operate. The PSNI know who these people are, they should all be arrested as their organisations are clearly not on ceasefire. Will they? Will they Hell! Because the gutless spineless British government needs them on-side!

  • Young Fogey

    Hmmmm, maybe a way out of their political isolation might be to…win some elections ? Oh yeah, sorry, having a mandate doesn’t count either, silly me.

    The electoral system was rigged to suit the Loyalist paramilitaries back in 1996 and even then they just scraped into the talks. Despite gratuitously fawning media coverage for the next two years, and lectures from every BBC journalist going that we had to vote for David Ervine because he was a true Socialist and Peacemaker and if we didn’t his mates would shoot us, they continued to go nowhere. And his mates did keep shooting us.

    The UDP were wiped out in 1998 becuase, well, nobody voted for them; the same happened to the PUP last time. So, to recap, they don’t have a mandate because nobody votes for them and they still shoot people. But instead of crushing the scumbags the Brits fall over themselves to give them jobs doing Sweet Fanny Adams courtesy of the taxpayer.

    PS – Wichser, I wonder how many people know what your username and e-mail address means?