Time for Hain to call it a day.. on the UVF.

While Tory MP David Liddington passes on the PR message, that he was told, to the media, there has been another attempted murder linked to the UVF in Belfast. I’ve noted this point before.. but what will it take for NI Secretary of State, Peter Hain, to take the necessary decision? Or.. perhaps.. he also prefers mediation between the individuals concerned?

  • reality check

    oh the shock!The secretary of state puts pressure on the uvf!His country colluded with them for years in the murder of catholics so perhaps they have served their purpose

  • Jacko

    Did Liddington not notice that there is a murderous feud being prosecuted by these people who are “seeking a way out of paramilitarism”?
    That all of them are recruiting everyone they can get their hands on in loyalist working class areas?
    Has no one told him that the areas they are crying about have been destroyed by them through their racketeering, drug dealing, intimidation etc.?
    Or that they have stolen every penny of the millions so far allocated to those areas?

  • Waitnsee

    The sight of Shinners complaining about this is laughable.

  • med

    Sammy Wilson has more influence over the uvf than Davey Irvine.

  • Manny Dorrison

    ‘His country colluded with them for years in the murder of catholics so perhaps they have served their purpose’

    Prove it.

  • reality check

    look at the various collusion cases.Uvf killers had access to the highest levels of intelligence from the udr.All of this was sponsored by the british goverment to eradicate the catholic population.Well we’re going nowhere sorry to disapoint you

  • Macswiney

    Waitnsee as usual you adopt your tired stance of TOTALLY ignoring the issue (ie the continuing murders and attempted murders by the UVF , and choose to have your ritual ‘pop’ at The Shinners. There is little point in you submitting a post on any issue if you totally refuse to comment on its core substance. Would you care to offer an opinion on how YOU actually feel about these murders and the effect they are having on ordinary people within the affected communities?

  • Ally

    Med Said:

    Sammy Wilson has more influence over the uvf than Davey Irvine.

    He certainly has more votes in the UVFs East Belfast heartland”

  • JD

    “His country colluded with them for years in the murder of catholics so perhaps they have served their purpose

    Prove it.”

    The fact that security information about republicans was given to the UVF and other loyalists is not in question. They posted those documents on walls all over in Belfast in the 90’s and have admitted this happened themselves on numerous occasions (see Peter Taylor’s ‘Loyalists’).

    What republicans are determined to prove and the British are doing all in their power to hide from, is that there was an institutional, officially sanctioned policy of collusion operated by RUC special branch,the FRU and others which led to the deaths of hundreds of nationalists and republicans. One of the reasons the British Government has resisted and international, independant inquiry into Pat Finucane death for so long and have now changed the rules over inquiries to frustrate it, is that this case would clearly prove that such a policy existed.

  • Dessertspoon

    JD – one wonders why the govt would want to hide it. I suppose it could be because senior people who are still around and haven’t been pensioned off are involved. That said none of the protagonists come out of the conflict here without many stains on their character and it would be naive to think otherwise. It was from start to finish (it has finished right??) a sleazy underhanded little excuse for a war with all sides indulging in less than honourable actions. If Republicans want the British Government to come clean then so must the Irish Government, the Americans and all those involved in terrorist groups or action over the last however many years. Although personally I don’t see what it will achieve other than vast expenditure which could be better spent elsewhere and bragging rights for one side or the other. No-one will be brought justice for the crimes.

  • Waitnsee

    Is that the totally discredited Macswiney back again?

  • JD

    Dessertspoon,

    I am not suggesting that any side in our conflict is blameless, all wars are sordid affairs. However the British Government maintains internationally that it is blameless during that conflict, for the most part, even attempting to portray themselves as a referee between to warring tribes rather than an active participant.

    Maintaining this international image as a modern western government, with the moral high ground to invade other countries because of human rights abuses, might not be so easy if it is found quilty of killing hundreds of its own citizens (in their view).

  • Macswiney

    Waitnsee your failure to answer any of my points perhaps illustrates the shallowness of your argument.

    NB “discredited” by whom exactly? Once again you appear to inventing others to support your views. Wouldnt it be better all round if you just argued your own case in an honest and passionate way rather than always putting in a one-line ‘soundbite’ castigating others.

  • Waitnsee

    Macswiney is clearly rattled.

  • Macswiney

    Waitnsee rattled I’m not but thanks for your incisive comment.Your amazing (yet again) one-line ‘retort’ has convinced me that you have no idea of complying with the spirit of this forum and arguing your points in an honest fashion. You are here purely to pursue individual vendettas which contradicts the entire ethos of Slugger. I will therefore desist from ever responding to your comments again. Good luck with the one-liners… (PS Whatever the issue it’s the Shinners fault).

  • willowfield

    Reality check

    look at the various collusion cases.

    How does this show that the UK “colluded with [the UVF] for years in the murder of catholics”?

    Uvf killers had access to the highest levels of intelligence from the udr.

    Evidence?

    All of this was sponsored by the british goverment to eradicate the catholic population.Well we’re going nowhere sorry to disapoint you

    Only a deluded nincompoop could believe that. One wonders why how the Catholic population survived and thrived in the face of an eradication campaign.

    JD

    What republicans are determined to prove and the British are doing all in their power to hide from, is that there was an institutional, officially sanctioned policy of collusion operated by RUC special branch,the FRU and others which led to the deaths of hundreds of nationalists and republicans. One of the reasons the British Government has resisted and international, independant inquiry into Pat Finucane death for so long and have now changed the rules over inquiries to frustrate it, is that this case would clearly prove that such a policy existed.

    How do you know?

    However the British Government maintains internationally that it is blameless during that conflict, for the most part, even attempting to portray themselves as a referee between to warring tribes rather than an active participant.

    The government was an active “participant” in the sense that it acted to protect its citizens and its constitution, as was its duty. I’m unaware of the government ever denying this. It could hardly not “participate” in the face of terrorist attack, standing by as its citizens were slaughtered, its territory annexed and put under terrorist rule.

  • Comrade Stalin

    More fuel for the “unionists are much nicer to loyalists” fire today. From the BBC, apparently Robin Newton of the DUP says those “paramilitaries “who pretend to represent the people,” should be listening to what they are saying. “They are saying, they don’t want violence on their streets,” he said. “

    Very nice, Robin. Where are the calls for disbandment and decommissioning ? Where are are the calls for right-thinking citizens to go to the police with any information they have ? Where are the calls for strong police action against the paramilitaries ?

    Further, dear old Reg says : “those “who brokered the last loyalist feud” [should] help end the current dispute.”

    Nothing other than disarmament and disbandment is acceptable when it comes to the IRA. So why, for loyalists, should it be a simple matter of “ending the dispute” ?

    It’s more than clear, as ever, that unionist politicians have much different opinions about loyalist paramilitarism than they do about republican paramilitarism.

  • Fobo

    “look at the various collusion cases.Uvf killers had access to the highest levels of intelligence from the udr.All of this was sponsored by the british goverment to eradicate the catholic population.Well we’re going nowhere sorry to disapoint you”

    Yes let’s look at the various collusion cases, specifically why haven’t Slab Murphy, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness et al not been knocked off? As I’m sure they would top any potential MI5 hit list.

  • TAFKABO

    “It’s more than clear, as ever, that unionist politicians have much different opinions about loyalist paramilitarism than they do about republican paramilitarism.”

    So what?

    I’m a unionist, I feel differently about the Loyalists than I do about republicans.

    So what?

    It’s silly to think that one holds exactly consistent views on different groups, with differing agendas.

    I don’t like the Loyalists, but I do’t feel threatened by them in the same way I do by republicans, especially the IRA.
    Republicans like to puff out their chests and procalim the IRA the terrorists terrorist, or the freedom fighters freedom fighter, if you prefer.
    And then they get indignant when people treat the IRA as a greater threat than all the others.

  • JD

    Willowfield,

    There is mounting evidence for the fact that there existed a structured, sanctioned collusion policy in the 1980’s and early 1990’s operated by Special Branch and the FRU. One example is the Brian Nelson affair, a British agent who operated at the highest levels of the UDA in Belfast and who was responsible for the deaths of numerous nationalists, most notably Pat Finucane. Judge Peter Cory after examining this case felt that there was enough evidence to justify an independant inquiry, belatedly the British Government agreed but then immediately change the rules on inquiries so that the truth could not be uncovered.

    The British Government announced in 1972 that it was at war with the IRA it has been an active participant, a side in this conflict, since this latest phase of our conflict began. It is not, as it sometimes portrays itself, a referee. The British Government fought this war with all of the agencies at its disposal its armed forces, its special forces, its intelligence agencies and its proxy forces – RUC, UDR, UFF, UVF.

  • bertie

    “It’s silly to think that one holds exactly consistent views on different groups, with differing agendas.”

    What’s silly about holding the view that all terrorist groups are just packs of evil bastards.

    That is the most significant part of their agenda

  • fair_deal

    Reality check

    “Uvf killers had access to the highest levels of intelligence from the udr”

    It was not high grade. The Stevens Inquiry said the information they had was low grade. Personal details of paramilitary members were available to all ranks.

  • Fobo

    “One example is the Brian Nelson affair, a British agent who operated at the highest levels of the UDA in Belfast and who was responsible for the deaths of numerous nationalists, most notably Pat Finucane.”

    When you infilitrate terrorist organisations it is inevitable that some agents are going to act outside the law. Are you suggesting it would have been better for the security services not to have tried to penetrate terrorist organisations?

    “The British Government announced in 1972 that it was at war with the IRA it has been an active participant, a side in this conflict, since this latest phase of our conflict began. It is not, as it sometimes portrays itself, a referee. The British Government fought this war with all of the agencies at its disposal its armed forces, its special forces, its intelligence agencies and its proxy forces – RUC, UDR, UFF, UVF.”

    Well if we are going to put on the tin hats can you explain to me how so many senior Irish Republicans are alive to this day? Because I know if I had all those resources at my disposal Messrs Adams, McGuinness, Murphy, Kelly etc wouldn’t be walking around. Unless of course you buy into the dissident Republican theory that they were more use to perifidous Albion alive? As that is the only logical explanation for their continued existence and a ‘collusion’ policy. Now if you cannot come up with an adequate explanation I think it is safe to say that your conspiracy theory is up there with Roswell.

  • JD

    “When you infilitrate terrorist organisations it is inevitable that some agents are going to act outside the law.”

    The allegations about Brian Nelson are not that he got caught up in some illegal acts while informing on the UDA, he was recruited by FRU specifically to join the UDA as agent of theirs to better direct the UDA assassination campaign. Through Nelson they supplied up to date and accurate information on republicans, their addresses, the lay out of their houses, their car registrations etc. The Special Branch then took over and through their agents in the UDA they arranged for safe passage to and from the murders and in some cases even helped ensure the weapons were delivered and removed from the scene after the killing.

    “Because I know if I had all those resources at my disposal Messrs Adams, McGuinness, Murphy, Kelly etc wouldn’t be walking around.”

    Even all the information which FRU supplied the sectarian nature of the UDA still meant the “the yaabaadaabaado any taig will do” mentality continued. In addition in many cases the FRU were willing to sacrafice ordinary nationalists/republicans to protect informers, as was the case with Francis Notorantonio. Simply because they did not succeed in murdering the people you mentioned is not an argument that this policy did not exist. The evidence from the 3 Stevens investigations, which have only scratched the surface, show that it clearly did.

  • willowfield

    JD

    There is mounting evidence for the fact that there existed a structured, sanctioned collusion policy in the 1980’s and early 1990’s operated by Special Branch and the FRU. One example is the Brian Nelson affair, a British agent who operated at the highest levels of the UDA in Belfast and who was responsible for the deaths of numerous nationalists, most notably Pat Finucane. Judge Peter Cory after examining this case felt that there was enough evidence to justify an independant [sic] inquiry, belatedly the British Government agreed but then immediately change the rules on inquiries so that the truth could not be uncovered.

    “There is mounting evidence” of a “structured, sanctioned” collusion policy? Is this the same as “institutional, officially sanctioned policy”? Perhaps you could define exactly what it is you are alleging?

    And what is this evidence? You have cited Nelson, yet that is not evidence of a “policy”.

    The British Government announced in 1972 that it was at war with the IRA …

    If it did, it did not mean in any legal sense, if that is what you are trying to imply. It was merely using a rhetorical devise to assure its citizens that measures would be taken to defeat it.

    … it has been an active participant, a side in this conflict …

    As I said, the government was an active “participant” in the sense that it acted to protect its citizens and its constitution, as was its duty. I’m unaware of the government ever denying this. It could hardly not “participate” in the face of terrorist attack, standing by as its citizens were slaughtered, its territory annexed and put under terrorist rule. So I’m not sure what point you are trying to make by repeating the statement that the government was an “active participant”.

    It is not, as it sometimes portrays itself, a referee.

    Portrayal merely as a “referee” is simplistic, sure. The government obviously and rightly adopted a stance clearly against terrorism and the PIRA.

    But in terms of its search for a political settlement, it is not unreasonable to describe the government’s role as that of a referee. Its policy, since at least 1972, was to secure a political agreement between nationalists and unionists. It really didn’t care that much about the detail of such an agreement and as such its main concern was to encourage and “referee” the two sides to come to such an agreement. In practical terms, the government’s position was always somewhere between unionists and nationalists, taking sides with either one as circumstances dictated. This policy continues and is well demonstrated in respect of the post-Agreement situation where strategy has been to stress a central position between PSF and UUP (now DUP), i.e. PSF – you need to close down the death squads; UUP/DUP – you need to commit to power-sharing with the Provos. The government has refused either to force unionists into power-sharing (what PSF wants), or allow power-sharing to continue without PSF (what UUP/DUP wanted/wants).

    The British Government fought this war with all of the agencies at its disposal its armed forces, its special forces, its intelligence agencies and its proxy forces – RUC, UDR, UFF, UVF.

    Well, obviously the government was going to use its resources to protect its citizens by combating terrorism. That was its duty. That is the duty of any government. You may describe this as a “war”, but, as I said above, it was only a war in rhetorical terms. There was no legal war and no consequent recognition of any legitimacy of terrorists.

    You’re attaching too much importance to the word “war” and, in doing do, implying legitimacy for the terrorist death squads. That is unfortunate and potentially dangerous.

  • Fobo

    “The allegations about Brian Nelson are not that he got caught up in some illegal acts while informing on the UDA, he was recruited by FRU specifically to join the UDA as agent of theirs to better direct the UDA assassination campaign.”

    Those that make those allegations have yet to provide a shred of proof. And if the FRU’s goal was to direct a UDA assasination campaign then the question still persists as to why so many senior Republicans are still walking around.

    “Even all the information which FRU supplied the sectarian nature of the UDA still meant the “the yaabaadaabaado any taig will do” mentality continued.”

    Then it doesn’t make sense for the FRU to use the UDA. If the UDA is incapable of killing targets that would damage the IRA terror campaign and can only murder innocent Catholics then they are of absolutely no use to the FRU. Your argument simply isn’t rational.

    “Simply because they did not succeed in murdering the people you mentioned is not an argument that this policy did not exist.”

    That is true, the specific names I cited doesn’t prove that such a policy didn’t exist but they were only examples. If such a policy did exist then you would expect to see a large number of senior Republicans dead. How many members of the IRA ‘army’ council or executive were killed by Loyalists?

    At the end of the day Loyalist terrorists killed a pathetic total of 42 Republican terrorists. If the crap about British intelligence agents running the UDA and UVF were true then one would expect that figure to significantly higher.

    “The evidence from the 3 Stevens investigations, which have only scratched the surface, show that it clearly did.”

    All Stevens found was that Loyalists were in position of the lowest grade of intelligence avaliable to anyone in the security forces. Considering the thousands who served the chances of probability mean a few will pass information onto Loyalists. That isn’t evidence of a vast conspiracy going to the highest level.

  • JD

    One of the reasons there is not conclusive proof about this policy and its implementation is the persistant refusal of the British Government to allow any independant light to be shone on these aspects of its dirty war in Ireland. It has seen off Stalker, Stevens and Cory.

    The purposes behind the FRU policy are not totally clear, but it may not have been to simply assasinate key republicans, which as you point out it failed to do, it may have been much more about the intelligence war and the giving the state the operational capability and freedom to murder anyone that might assist in their quest to protect existing informers or through suspicions on others.

    The reason we know about the collusion with the UDA is that they have admitted it and detailed what information they recieved and how they recieved it, however incompetent, the British state saw them as a useful tool when they needed them.

    Stevens found that every member the gang involved in the murder of Pat Finucane was a special branch agent, the man who supplied the gun William Stobie was also a special branch agent and the entire polt was hatched and directed by Brian Nelson a British agent working under the instructions of the FRU. Pat Finucane murder is a clear example of collusion in operation and the reason there has been so much resistance to an independant inquiry but it is only one example.

  • Fobo

    “One of the reasons there is not conclusive proof about this policy and its implementation is the persistant refusal of the British Government to allow any independant light to be shone on these aspects of its dirty war in Ireland.”

    Now there is a wonderful argument, so you believe there was a ‘collusion’ policy as you don’t have any evidence there was one. It always astounds me how rational Irish Republicans can be!

    “It has seen off Stalker, Stevens and Cory.”

    If there was a ‘collusion’ policy then why on earth would it appoint these people to carry out an inquiries?

    You will also note that none of the 3 people you have cited have ever claimed there was a major ‘collusion’ conspiracy going to the highest levels. And in the case of Stalker I believe in his book he also came to the conclusion ‘shoot to kill’ didn’t happen.

    “The purposes behind the FRU policy are not totally clear, but it may not have been to simply assasinate key republicans”

    I’m afraid that doesn’t make sense. Why on earth would the FRU be willing to kill innocent Catholics but not IRA terrorists? If I was in charge of the FRU and controlled the UDA through my agents I can assure you that the latter would be who I would have killed. After all, surely they were out to defeat the IRA and not give Republicans propoganda and a recruiting tool?

    ‘The reason we know about the collusion with the UDA is that they have admitted it and detailed what information they recieved and how they recieved it, however incompetent, the British state saw them as a useful tool when they needed them.’

    I hardly think a gang of sectarian psychopaths desperately trying to justify their evil is to be believed. As I said, cough up some evidence. Show me why you think the FRU felt the IRA would be defeated through killing Catholic civilians and not terrorists.

    “Stevens found that every member the gang involved in the murder of Pat Finucane was a special branch agent, the man who supplied the gun William Stobie was also a special branch agent and the entire polt was hatched and directed by Brian Nelson a British agent working under the instructions of the FRU.”

    If you want to talk about the Stevens Inquiry and it’s findings that is great. On collusion he said that ‘it is restricted to a small number of individuals who have gravely abused their position of trust’ and that such abuses were ‘not widespread or institutionalised’.