UTV are reporting that the IMC have confirmed to Secretary of State, Peter Hain, who seems to be back from his holidays, that the UVF were responsible for 4 murders over the summer months.. as I’ve been noting over those same summer months, this shouldn’t be any surprise to Hain as the IMC have been saying that “the UVF remained active and violent and that it continued to be involved in organised crime” for some time.. whether Hain will finally respond by specifying that organistion is another matter. Two reports on the recent rioting in Belfast may suggest otherwise.
First up is the report from the BBC on yesterday’s violence, which includes these interesting paragraphs –
Police say they had authorised the use of water cannon and impact rounds to try to stop the trouble, and the Army was also on standby.
Discussions between the PSNI and community representatives managed to calm the situation before these measures were needed.
So far so standard.. under the threat of actual moves against those rioting the community representatives stopped the rioting.. and I’ll just remind you that my view of those ubiquitous un-named community representatives is along the lines of this previous post.
The next paragraph comes from a report from the Press Association on the re-igniting of the violence today –
Police linked the street violence to the searches and said there appeared to have been “an element of orchestration behind it”.
While the NIO continue to follow the policy, previously exemplified by the secretive negotiations between the British Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Jonathan Powell [anyone seen him recently? – Ed], and various organisations, of attempting to entice active, violent and criminal gangs [in the words of the IMC] to emerge butterfly-like from their mummifying cocoons rather than tackling such violence with an appropriate policing, rather than political, response, the use of street violence and the hyping of the control of those unnamed community representatives will continue to be an obstacle to effective policing.