Brian Feeney reckons that the next stages in the great peace process two step (okay, slow waltz then) (alright, dead fly anyone?) are predictable. The IMC report will provide there’s enough room for the two governments to pressurise the DUP into coming to the table:
It’s clear both Dublin and London have already decided that there will be enough in the IMC report to enable them to arm-wrestle the DUP to the conference table. Bertie Ahern’s response in India to the Policing Board leak made that obvious. Besides, Tony Blair is visiting Ireland tomorrow to start the ball rolling. Most bet it will have rolled into a bunker by St Patrick’s Day. All very predictable.
What is equally predictable is that all concerned will turn a blind eye to that part of the IMC report which will certainly state that the UDA and UVF are still up to their necks in murder, drug-dealing and racketeering. It will also confirm that there is no UVF ceasefire. Just as both the DUP and UUP paid no attention to the alleged remarks of assistant chief constable Sam Kincaid about continuing loyalist activity in his briefing to the Policing Board, so they will say nothing about the contents of the IMC report which relate loyalist terrorist groups.
It’s a perfect example of the despicable quality of unionist political representation. The UVF and their horrible little client, the Red Hand Commando, whose activities the security forces have always ignored, continue along with the ‘wee teams’ of the UDA to batten on the districts unionist politicians represent. There, extortion and violence ensure that no investment goes into those districts which sink deeper and deeper into poverty and dereliction. Yet not one word from unionists about loyalist gangsters. Instead, unionists remain obsessed with the IRA which now has no impact whatsoever on their districts.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty