Loyalist violence racking up the political pressure?

Malachi O’Doherty reckons that most of the journalism around the loyalist rioting would fail the Orwell test for clarity in writing about politics. What puzzles him is how few have looked for a political motive behind the rioting. He wonders aloud whether it may simply be a controlled racking up of pressure on the British to draw the centre of gravity in the continuing peace process back towards Unionists:

The history of the UVF shows that they have been ruthless and indulgent sadists, responsible both for the bombings of Dublin and Monaghan in 1974 and for the grotesque Shankill Butcher killings. That doesn’t prove that they are stupid. Political operators often put barbarians to good use.

If a dispassionate analysis of the feasible outcomes of last week’s uprising suggests political outcomes that Loyalists are likely to be happy with then it is reasonable to infer that they had thought of them too before they ordered their gangs onto the streets last Saturday.

I can think of several conceivably attainable advantages the Loyalists might be working to but they depend on my cynical reading of the peace process. Many people still believe that the process is a tricky courtship between unionists and republicans leading, in time, to an amicable marriage. It is not. It is conflict by other means and it is a conflict which unionists are losing. Republicans have seen off their SDLP rivals and destroyed the Ulster Unionist party to face Ian Paisley’s DUP and neuter it too.

  • Deezer

    “The history of the UVF shows that they have been ruthless and indulgent sadists, responsible both for the bombings of London and Monaghan in 1974”

    Im assuming thats a Typo ????

  • spirit-level

    The following passage from the world socialist website adds further weight to O’Doherty’s argument that “it is a conflict by other means, and it is a conflict which unionists are losing.

    “IRA disarmament was the central issue raised by Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party as the reason for its opposing power-sharing with Sinn Fein. It has successfully exploited the issue as a rallying point for Protestant disenchantment to eclipse the Ulster Unionist party of David Trimble, which negotiated the 1998 Good Friday Agreement with Sinn Fein and the British, Irish and US governments. But for both the DUP and UUP the issue was a bargaining counter in seeking concessions from the British government and excluding Sinn Fein from positions of power and influence that the Unionist parties had once monopolised.

    For this reason, the IRA declaration was not seen as a victory by the DUP and other Protestant loyalist formations such as the Orange Order, but as a setback. Anything that results in Sinn Fein’s political advancement only further encroaches on the political and social privileges once enjoyed by the Protestant bourgeoisie and the more privileged layers of the petty bourgeoisie.”
    The full article is here:
    Northern Ireland: loyalist riots point to unresolved social and political tensions

  • looking in

    Anything that results in Sinn Fein’s political advancement only further encroaches on the political and social privileges once enjoyed by the Protestant bourgeoisie and the more privileged layers of the petty bourgeoisie.”

    …spot on…. it cuts all the way from politics “…no taigs about the place” to society “protesant police for…” to education vis-a-viz 11+ and the total disinterest in seeing the education of the prod. working classes