Orde says unionists doing nothing about loyalist violence

The Daily Ireland reports that PSNI Chief Constable, Hugh Orde, has been called a “disgrace” by the chairman of the Loyalist Commission over his claim in an e-mail that the police “are the only ones doing anything about the loyalist feud”.

The Reverend Mervyn Gibson said Orde “doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about”.

“If the PSNI did their job properly, we would not have had this feud in the first place,” he said. Meanwhile, another man was shot and wounded in Belfast as the loyalist feud continues.

  • Levitas

    Surely this continuous fighting between loyalists and the murder of another man in North Belfast last night…the 3rd in a short period of time represents the most significant threat to the peace process at present. When will the DUP act to rein in this futile feud? When will the UVF and LVF be called upon by the DUP to “make brave decisions” and when will they “dump arms” and call on all combatants to engage in no other activity other than the peaceful and democratic variety…we are all waiting..

  • Keith M

    Orde can’t have it both ways. Just over a week ago he was staying the the situation was now so “normal” that the PSNI did not need support from anyone else (including the home regiments of the RIR). Now he seems to have changed his mind and appears to suggest that the PSNI does need outside support. Which is it?

  • stripe

    Is the problem not that many of these paramilitaries are in the pay of various branches of the security agencies.

    The psni don’t want to move against their own informants

  • Comrade Stalin

    Orde is 100% correct and I’m delighted to hear him saying something I’ve been rabbiting on about for ages. The PSNI cannot move against paramilitarism while that paramilitarism continues to have political apologists. Following last Thursday’s serious rioting, the DUP’s initial response was to blame the police because of the way they arrested people.

    The Rev Gibson obviously isn’t the sharpest tool in the box. He burbles : “By saying the police are the only ones doing anything about the feud, he is accusing unionist politicians and community workers of standing idly by and not trying to prevent more killings.” Well, no shit. Unionist politicians have reacted to the feud and indeed loyalist violence in general with indifference and selectively chosen words. The Loyalist Commission have never at any time demonstrated any kind of power to stop loyalists from feuding. They are little more than a front organization and it’s a disgrace that people who describe themselves as Christians are involved in it.

    If this crap keeps going on it’s going to look very much like Sinn Fein’s favoured term “unionist paramilitaries” will make it’s way into the mainstream.

  • Jacko

    Comrade Stalin

    Spot on. Couldn’t agree more.

  • Denny Boy

    I’m trying to figure out what Gibson meant by, “If the PSNI did their job properly, we would not have had this feud in the first place.”

    Is this the usual scapegoating or have I missed something?

  • irishman

    Still waiting for the North Antrim MP to visit any of the 4 catholic churches, 4 catholic-owned pubs or even 2 catholic families put out of Ahoghill, targeted by unionist paramilitaries in his own constituency in recent days.Perhaps Paisley could even vocally condemn those responsible- something the DUP on Ballymena council could not do last week.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Denny Boy,

    I regard Gibson’s response as a reaction that hasn’t been thought out very carefully, but the way I read it is that he believes the police should have moved against the LVF before the UVF found it necessary to do so. I suspect, like me, you may believe that Gibson’s response is a veiled note of justification for the way the UVF have decided to deal with the matter. This is pretty unsurprising, given the Loyalist Commission’s objective in life which is to provide political cover for loyalist paramilitaries.

    irishman, the DUP avoid condemnation of loyalist paramilitarism because for some reason they seem to see themselves as the political wing of the CLMC. I guess they believe if they came out against loyalists they would lose votes.

  • fair_deal

    Irishman

    “something the DUP on Ballymena council could not do last week.”

    Despite the claims in a SF press statement by Philip McGuigan, the DUP have responded to the attacks, local DUP MLA Mervyn Storey pointed out:

    “They [sinn Fein] accuse unionist politicians of ‘total silence’ concerning the attacks in Ballymena despite the fact that, during several interviews with both radio and television, I have called for this sort of violence to cease immediately.”

    This is what local UUP MLA had to say:

    Mr Coulter said he condemned the sectarian violence “utterly”…There is no reason why people are not allowed to live their lives according to their conscience,” he said. To allow this anarchy to continue would be to let this country degenerate into a place where nobody wants to live.”

    On a sectarian attack in Ahoghill UUP candidate Rodney McCune said

    “Rodney McCune has condemned the overnight sectarian attack on a Catholic woman’s home in Ahoghill.

    Mr Cune, the UUP Prospective Parliamentary candidate for North Antrim, after a sectarian attack in Ahoghill said:
    “I was disgusted to learn of this attack and the subsequent attack on police officers investigating the incident. There is simply no place for this type of behaviour in the modern day Northern Ireland and I condemn it unequivocally. I would encourage anyone who knows anything about the initial incident or the follow-up disturbances will pass on the details to the PSNI.”

    On sectarian attacks in Stoneyford Jeffrey Donaldson said:
    “the use of violence against any individual has to be condemned,”

    After sectarian attacks in North Belfast Nelson McCausland of the DUP said:
    “It’s clear that since a number of attacks took place in one area on the same night, this was an orchestrated campaign and it’s totally unacceptable,” he said. “As well as hurting the families attacked, these attacks damage the entire community and are to be deplored.”

  • Don’t ring Hugh Orde

    “the police “are the only ones doing anything about the loyalist feud”

    What exactly were the PSNI doing at Garnerville? Does spectating count as doing something these days?

  • lib2016

    fair_deal

    Where are the attacks on named organisations or people or the calls for the loyalist paramilitaries to be broken up? Why no reference to Ardoyne where the Orange Order marched behind local UVF leaders and got further provocative marches banned despite efforts by republicans to quell disturbances on the day?

    Most importantly, where are the unionist politicans when it’s time to be stand their ground on the streets?

  • alfie

    Rev. Gibson’s relationship with the uvf should be treated with some concern

  • The Binlid

    What do these unionist paramilitaries intend to do when this so called feud finishes?
    Is the main reason why the DUPers wont call on them to disarm, disband and embrace totally democratic means is that it may be necessary to wind up sectarian tension when it becomes apparent that the RA may mean what they say about the campaign being over.
    God forbid they would have to share power with republicans and have to do some work for their salary.Imagine having to engage in real politics, discussing real social issues and heaven forbid the possibility of being held accountable for making decisions.
    Never…Never..Ne

  • Comrade Stalin

    DUP condemnations of violence tend to be seldom. Whenever they do happen it tends to be “please stop”. I’d like to see the DUP give loyalist paramilitaries an ultimatum, like the ultimatum they have given to republicans.

    McCune’s condemnation is an example of the kind of language I would generally expect. On the other hand, the words of Donaldson and McCausland are words of equivocation.

    Now, let’s see some DUP members leading the push to get loyalist paramilitary murals taken down around Belfast.

  • Denny Boy

    Comrade Stalin

    “I suspect, like me, you may believe that Gibson’s response is a veiled note of justification for the way the UVF have decided to deal with the matter.”

    Thanks for clearing that up for me, though I have to be honest and say that I hadn’t thought it through as thoroughly as you did. I simply figured it was an unusual statement for the Gibson to make.

  • Denny Boy

    ‘On sectarian attacks in Stoneyford Jeffrey Donaldson said:
    “the use of violence against any individual has to be condemned,”‘

    Would it be terribly pedantic of me to point out that this is not quite the same as Donaldson’s saying: “I condemn the use of violence against any individual?” 😉

  • fair_deal

    lib2016

    Why no reference to Ardoyne where the Orange Order marched behind local UVF leaders and got further provocative marches banned despite efforts by republicans to quell disturbances on the day?

    1. The claim being disputed was Unionist parties did not condemn sectarian violence against Catholics. The statements above show this claim to be deeply flawed if not plain false.
    2. The only paramilitary violence at Ardoyne during parades was republican not loyalist.
    3. The reason the latest parade was banned was because the government knew the Provo statement wouldn’t stand up to a test on the streets. Past assurances from Ardoyne republicans proved worthless. Just as the Republican movement’s statement has been shown to be worthless by the latest on the Columbia 3.

  • beano; EverythingUlster.com

    “What do these unionist paramilitaries intend to do when this so called feud finishes?”
    The first thing they’re going to do is ignore anyone who uses the term “unionist paramilitaries” since they clearly have an agenda.

    DUP leader Rev Ian Paisley has condemmned the rioters and said that if there really are complaints about the police his party will take up the case. “I would call upon those involved to step back and ensure that there are no repeats. If people in North Belfast have genuine grievances against the police, then I and my party colleagues in the constituency are more than happy to take up their cases but there can never be any excuse for attacking the police in this way.”

    Sammy Wilson said he suspects the UVF were behind organising the violence and subjecting the police to an unjustified attack.”

    I’m sure it would ease the consciences of republicans if they could claim unionist politicians never condemned loyalist violence. Unfortunately they’re living in a dream world. In

    As for “I’d like to see the DUP give loyalist paramilitaries an ultimatum, like the ultimatum they have given to republicans.”

    You’re right, whatabout …. oops! Considering the DUP’s ultimatum to republicans was about ministerial posts, how would a similar ultimatum to loyalists work since they have no prospect of attaining any government posts? When you’re comparing double-standards you have to compare like with like, or it just becomes futile whataboutery.

  • Ginfizz

    The Loyalist Commission is nothing short of a joke. Mervyn Gibson brings shame upon the collar he wears and upon himself by engaging with these gangsters, as does UUP Education spokesman David McNarry.

    As for murals – I have my own theory – every gable wall in working class districts of Belfast should be pebble-dashed – thereby making it impossible to paint a mural on.

    I find it more than a little ironic that those who are engaging in the loudest yelping on this subject are people with Provo sympathies stretching back well-before the most recent IRA statement.

    As a Unionist who has no truck with or sympathy for paramilitaries, I find it offensive in the extreme for them to be afforded the epithet “Unionist”. Real Unionists believe in the rule of law and non-violence.

  • reality check

    If only there was more unionists like you who made this statements more and in a public fashion

  • beano; EverythingUlster.com

    reality – I think most unionists feel that way regarding the rule of law and would assume that that goes without saying.

    I don’t know enough about the pastor in question to comment on his involvement, but throughout the troubles religious men on both sides have tried to use their influence to calm the heavies. If this is really what he’s doing then I’d let him continue.

    If he’s just mixing though “bringing shame to the collar” is putting it mildly.

  • lib2016

    “If he’s just mixing though’bringing shame to the collar’ is putting it mildly.”

    If that’s how “most unionists” feel why have they elected a notorious ex-prisoner/pastor to be the leader of unionism?

  • beano; EverythingUlster.com

    A touché.

    When it comes to election time most who would describe themselves as loyalists vote for unionist parties. I suppose it depends if you see loyalists as a subset of unionists or as something different, something I’m not sure of and which is probably beyond the boundaries of this discussion.

  • Ginfizz

    Lib

    Prisoner of conscience and terrorist are two very different things.

  • The Binlid

    “What do these unionist paramilitaries intend to do when this so called feud finishes?”
    who uses the term “unionist paramilitaries” since they clearly have an agenda.”
    Please explain the difference between loyalist and unionist since they seem to be one and the same. Well, with respect to the DUP, who are eager to share the same stage with known terrorists, appear to socialise with them at traditional church parades in Portadown and officiate at their funerals.
    ” The first thing they’re going to do is ignore anyone “
    Well sure isn’t that what unionists do best…NO..Never..Never.

  • Biffo

    Binlid

    “Well, with respect to the DUP, who are eager to share the same stage with known terrorists, appear to socialise with them at traditional church parades in Portadown and officiate at their funerals.”

    You’ve obviously got some kind of agenda, like telling the truth.

  • Comrade Stalin

    beano :

    “I’m sure it would ease the consciences of republicans if they could claim unionist politicians never condemned loyalist violence. “

    The point is that their condemnations are weak and infrequent. By the way, I’m not a republican. I’m pro-union.

    In a recent case, it took the DUP a full day to condemn the violence. The first reaction they had was to blame the police. It’s pretty reasonable to conclude that the DUP’s reticience in condemnation was due to sympathies for loyalist paramilitarism among the grassroots. The party leadership had to step in to save embarassment.

    “Unfortunately they’re living in a dream world.”

    A dream world would be one where Paisley did not try to have a strike in 1978 with the assistance of Andy Tyrie, did not set up the Third Force and have an army of men waving gun licenses up on a hill, and did not set up Ulster Resistance and stand on a podium making a speech to a crowd containing known paramilitaries wearing a red beret. Unfortunately he did all those things and there is no compelling explanation as to why he did them if he is a man of peaceful means.

    Remind me, what was Willie McCrea doing on that stand with Billy Wright again ? That’s right – showing solidarity with a mass-murderer. Why did he feel the need to do that ? Why did McCrea officiate at the funerals of the Miami Showband murderers ? Why did the DUP take such an active interest in securing an enquiry into the death of Billy Wright ?

    You quoted Sammy Wilson – a chap who has attended several UVF commemorative events. Brilliant.

    You can’t get away from unionism’s long association with paramilitary violence. To try to do so is revisionism. To try to suggest that their infrequent, feeble “condemnations” of what goes on belie their true feelings about paramilitary methods is pure dishonesty.

    “Considering the DUP’s ultimatum to republicans was about ministerial posts ..”

    I meant in more general terms. The DUP have told republicans that there must be a long cooling-off period before they will even think about talking to them. What cooling-off period was there before McCrea took to the stand with Wright ? The DUP have told the republicans that before there can be any talks, all arms must be destroyed and the organization disbanded. Did the DUP seek this precondition before they abstained during the election of Hugh Smyth (PUP/UVF) as Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1993 ?

    On the term “unionist paramilitaries”, it is a term invented by Sinn Fein and they have been working hard to popularize it. I generally refuse to use it myself, but the term seems pretty accurate given how unionism seems to line itself up to allow loyalist paramilitarism to continue unchecked. Show me a DUP politician working to take away paramilitary flags and murals, and I’ll believe that they are sincere about peaceful means and upholding the law. Otherwise, I will continue to regard them as the political wing of the CLMC, and the patterns of electoral results in neighbourhoods controlled by loyalists support that notion.

  • Denny Boy

    “A dream world would be one where Paisley did not try to have a strike in 1978 with the assistance of Andy Tyrie, did not set up the Third Force and have an army of men waving gun licenses up on a hill, and did not set up Ulster Resistance and stand on a podium making a speech to a crowd containing known paramilitaries wearing a red beret. Unfortunately he did all those things and there is no compelling explanation as to why he did them if he is a man of peaceful means.”

    Hang on a mo, your comradeship. Lib2016 tells us, when referring to Paisley, that: “Prisoner of conscience and terrorist are two very different things.”

    If I were to set up an organization called, say Slugger Resistance, and import illegal guns ‘n’ ammo from, say, South Africa, would that not make me a sort of terrorist? Just asking….

  • Robert Keogh

    Orde says unionists doing nothing about loyalist violence.

    Unionists say Orde doing nothing about loyalist violence.

  • fair_deal

    CS

    “You quoted Sammy Wilson – a chap who has attended several UVF commemorative events. Brilliant.”

    Could you list these ‘several’ events?

  • aquifer

    Are the Unionists simply relieved to be getting shot of the LVF, considered to be the worst gang of sectarian murderers, drug dealers, and criminals, who are likely to drop unionism in it sooner or later?

    And what’s to gain by becoming involved?

    A bullet in the post or a pipebomb?

  • toni

    fd

    This commemoration also honoured the red hand commando

    Thats the boys who murdered Margaret Wright, the young protestant woman with learning difficulties who was mistaken for being a Catholic and was beaten to death in a Sandy Row band hall.

    She was then stripped naked and her body was stuffed into a wheelie bin before being tipped out of the wheelie bin into the back yard of a derelict house.

    Why Sammy is happy to commemorate these people is beyond me

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/817946.stm

  • Robert Keogh

    acquifer,

    And what’s to gain by becoming involved?

    A bullet in the post or a pipebomb?

    Interesting that this logic was never advanced by unionism to avoid becoming “involved” in the same way with the IRAs.

    Any excuse will do?

  • jamesy

    Sammy Wilson also attended an lvf rally in Portadown in March 1988 in support of their dead leader Billy Wright.

    Will sat on the stage sandwiched between Mark ‘swinger’ Fulton and Stewart Kirk, both lvf leaders.

  • Denny Boy

    Toni wrote:

    “Why Sammy is happy to commemorate these people is beyond me.”

    Because neither they nor Sammy relishes a taig about the place?

  • The Binlid

    “Unionist Paramilitaries” seems a justifiable term to me since DUP/UVF/RHC/LVF/UDA/UFF is a bit of a mouthful.

  • william

    Sammy’s intolerance and ignorance even extends to the Dalai Lama

    “Unionist politician Sammy Wilson has extended his catalogue of intolerant remarks when he criticised the the Dalai Lama in advance of his visit to Belfast next week.

    Wilson, the current Lord Mayor of Belfast, admitted he did not know who the Dalai Lama is, but dismissed the Tibetan spiritual leader’s “peace and love” message.

    “I don’t think many people in Belfast know who the Dalai Lama is,” Wilson said. “I don’t know anything about the man or his teachings and I’ve never had much of an interest in the affairs of his country,” he said.

    “I think I know human nature too well. There’s maybe people not in touch with reality who think if they preach peace and love to people they’ll behave like that. I think people can afford to be a bit cynical. I certainly am.”

    The Dalai Lama will spend three days in Ireland, during which he will cross the peace line dividing the nationalist and loyalist communities in Belfast and plant a “symbolic tree” at Lanark Way.

    The Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, will also attend a youth conference in Belfast on the theme, “Non-violence Works”, and deliver an Amnesty International Lecture.”

  • Robert Keogh

    There’s maybe people not in touch with reality who think if they preach peace and love to people they’ll behave like that.

    You mean like that Jesus guy?

  • Denny Boy

    “I don’t think many people in Belfast know who the Dalai Lama is,” Wilson said. “I don’t know anything about the man or his teachings and I’ve never had much of an interest in the affairs of his country,” he said.

    And this character was appointed Lord Mayor of Belfast?!
    You have got to be kidding.

  • kyle

    An extract from an interview Sammy Wilson gave during the protests against the Anglo-Irish Agreement

    Sammy Wilson (DUP) is prepared for what he terms “…extra-parliamentary actions .. ” if the (1985) Hillsborough Treaty is not withdrawn : ” I would’nt be a very good General , so I would hardly imagine that they (ie the Loyalist paramilitaries) would sign me up for that , but I’m sure there would be something I could do in a situation like that . I would’nt relish it , but I would imagine there are other people and that’s their forte .

  • The Binlid

    Kyle
    it looks like Sammy is a wannabe gangster that doesn’t want to do the gangstering to me.

  • Biffo

    toni

    The article you linked comes as no surprise.

    It reminds me of the many occasions over the years where Sammy asked for the “kid gloves” to be taken off the security forces so they could go into nationalist and carry out large scale summary executions of republican suspects.

    When asked “what about” loyalists Sammy contended there was no need for similar action in loyalist areas because “protestants are law-abiding”.

    You know, I know and all the unionist commentators on this site know that that was always complete horseshit.

    But things haven’t changed, now I’m hearing the same party criticising the security forces for heavyhandedness in the middle of the latest loyalist killing spree.

    I’m fed up and want to know when will unionists get real and give up the self-righteous bullshit.

    Is honesty and consistency beyond unionism?

  • The Watchman

    I find Hugh Orde’s comments rather disturbing. Whatever the “loyalist” organisations might say about themselves, they are no more than criminal gangs and should be treated accordingly. Someone should gently remind the Chief Constable that stamping out criminality is what he gets paid to do. Passing the buck to the Loyalist Commission or anyone else simply isn’t good enough, although it does give an interesting insight into the way in which Orde desires to uphold the rule of law.

    Mark Langhammmer has written a very good paper on working class loyalist areas (accessible from the Athol Books website). I share his belief that loyalist groups should not be indulged as indirect community representatives and need to be stamped out. There is no problem in any loyalist area that is not worsened by the presence of the paramilitaries.

    I don’t know enough about the Loyalist Commission to comment about it, but I would be wary of any organisation that views loyalist paramilitarism as anything other than a cancer to be wiped out.

  • Biffo

    Malignant or benign cancer?

  • Gum

    Beano, can we have your answer to Comrade Stalin’s post please???

  • The Watchman

    Thoroughly malign

  • Denny Boy

    Gum wrote:

    “Beano, can we have your answer to Comrade Stalin’s post please???”

    … and I’m waiting for somebody to answer Biffo’s question: “Is honesty and consistency beyond unionism?”

    But it won’t be me 😉

  • cladycowboy

    Shouldn’t we be using the term ‘Unionist terrorists’?
    Why do we afford paramilitary status, whatever that is, to these drug-dealers with a nasty sectarian streak?
    Yes, i propose that whenever speaking about these real narco-terrorists who are pro-union, vote unionist and are from the unionist community we call them ‘Unionist terrorists’.
    This would put a lot more pressure on Unionist politicans to speak out strongly and actively use whatever means possible to reign in HM Drug-dealing and sectarian murder Service.
    I mean if its only ‘Loyalist paramilitaries’ there’s not an awful lot that Unionist politicans, loyal to the Queen, can do, is there Mr Orde?
    Lets all bring an end to Unionist terrorism… as per the GFA

  • fair_deal

    On the commemoration of the UVF and the 36th Ulster division, the Unionist community has a problem.

    My great-grandfather joined the UVF and the 36th Ulster Division (a number of half brothers did likewise (except the black sheep who was a republican)). My great-great grandfather was a member of the 36th Ulster Division and later the Black and Tans (dark family secret he’d been rejected for membership of the UVF because of his criminal record). Both fought at the Somme (my great grandfather was taken prisoner in the final month of that battle and later escaped from a POW camp) and my great-great grandfather fought in a number of other battles.

    The third home-rule crisis was a limited political success for Unionism and like most communities a partial success or victory gets celebrated just as much as a complete one.

    However, a modern organisation has been persistent in its attempts to co-opt the symbols and name of that organisation, army unit and that time. A modern organisation that most Unionists don’t nor ever have identified with.In a number of communities the modern organisation has been successful in convincing a section of the community that it is indeed an inheritor of the old organisation. Many more do not see it that way.

    I can identify with the names symbols etc of the UVF of the earlier era and its military service but not the modern organisation.

    It is a time, an organisation and service worthy of commemoration by Unionists, and from my own family’s perspective a personal thing. To do so can have some accuse you of glorifiying the modern terrorist group. It is a Catch 22.

    Toni

    Thanks for the link. I had heard about that one. It was the claim of ‘several UVF commemorations’ that had me wondering.

    I am well aware of the activities of the RHC and the band hall murder. I lived in the area at the time.

    Biffo

    “Is honesty and consistency beyond unionism?”

    It seems beyond every other actor in this political process so I wouldn’t hold out much hope.

  • The Binlid

    “Shouldn’t we be using the term ‘Unionist terrorists’?”

    Most definately.

  • jamesy

    “Thanks for the link. I had heard about that one. It was the claim of ‘several UVF commemorations’ that had me wondering.”

    fd

    Sammy Wilson also attended an lvf rally in Portadown in March 1988 in support of their dead leader Billy Wright.

    Will sat on the stage sandwiched between Mark ‘swinger’ Fulton and Stewart Kirk, both lvf leaders.

  • jamesy

    Typo….Wilson sat on the stage

  • jiggy

    The orange order in scotland seem to have the same ambivilant attitude towards terrorism as their fellow travellers in the north.

    http://www.sundayherald.com/16837

  • lib2016

    The frontpage story in the Telegraph that Paisley is ‘unavailable for comment’ on the sectarian attacks on his constituents is interesting. Is it an attack on the whole party or just the Doc?

  • wes holmes

    Since the signing of the Agreement, the British government always had to bear in mind the desirability of keeping the Unionist Party comfortable with the devolution project. A lack of governmental diplomatic delicacy carried the electoral danger of the DUP replacing the Unionist Party as the majority voice for pro-union voters. This was every Unionist leader’s big stick. Ah, but our discerning electorate spoke and now there’s no need for equivocation on the part of the Secretary of State!
    O’Neill, Chichester-Clark, Faulkner and, finally, Trimble had to go, each undermined by the contemporary manifestations of the right wing in the party, all accusing their leaders of being too concessionary. Always the spectre at the subsequent celebratory feast was Dr Paisley.
    Pro-union voters, in plumping for the DUP in the Assembly election, unwittingly gave the Secretary of State carte blanche to implement the Agreement as he sees fit. There are no bogeymen left to deflect Mr Blair’s government from its intentions. The bogeyman’s got the parcel! We’re at the butt end of unionism.
    It should always have been apparent but we’re only seeing now that the Democratic Unionists are impotent. Essentially, as a party of protest, their only ploy now in any disagreement with the government is to threaten non-cooperation with the setting up of a new Assembly. The uselessness of that tactic is that few care, least of all Sinn Féin who have bigger fish to catch in the Republic. However, the danger for unionism is that wrecking behaviour from the DUP has the potential to undermine the very union that party purports to preserve.
    If there was ever a case for maintaining the union intact in its old form, it’s not going to be made by the DUP. As sure as day follows night that party will begin to fragment as the starkness of its predicament begins to separate pragmatist and fundamentalist. Already, politically attuned ears can hear the stirrings.
    So, are there progressive, secular, articulate unionists out there who can begin to convince those of us who want to live in a sane, multi-cultural society that Northern Ireland has that potential despite eighty years of evidence to the contrary?

    Wes Holmes, New Ireland Group
    sec.newirelandgroup@ntlworld.com

  • Fraggle

    “they (loyalist paramilitaries) should go back to what they’re good at”

    DUP’s Edwin Poots.

    I could not believe it when I heard him say it.

  • fair_deal

    Fraggle

    Do you have a source for that?

  • Fraggle

    It was on talkback on monday. the comment was repeated after requests from callers.

  • fair_deal

    Thanks

  • fair_deal

    I wondered why Poots had been chosen by the DUP to attack loyalist paramilitaries yesterday.