Loyalists leaving the stage…

THE UDA and UVF are, according to reports, slowly shifting away from crime and paramilitarism. We’ll believe it when we see it, and that will take time to evaluate, but news that one of the most fascistic factions of loyalism – the UFF – is going first, is welcome. The carrot appears to have been British ‘investment’ in loyalist communities, and the stick appears to have been the crackdown on illegal loyalist assets by law enforcement agencies, such as the Assets Recovery Agency.

  • tadgh

    “Sources also claim there is intense speculation in loyalist circles that a senior UDA figure and former close associate of deposed Shankill boss, Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair was about to be ‘outed’ as a intelligence services agent.

    Intelligence agents were everywhere. Who knew? Martin Ingram I guess.. (trying not to laugh out loud)

    Looks like Winter / Spring 2006 will be the Outing Season. Maybe afterward we can get down to the serious business at hand.

  • “We’ll believe it when we see it”

    sums up my view of it all!

  • BogExile

    Not a moment too soon. If there’s one thing more replulsive than republican terorists masquerading as freedom fighters to commit ,moraal murder,’ it is that collection of grotesques and clowns on my side of the fence who did not even have the intellectual capacity to disguise their naked sectarian psycopathy.

    The dustbin of history is too grand a place for them.

  • Ah sure these poor guys have been killing, robbing, and engaging in extortion, intimidation drug dealing, counterfeiting and blackmail for thirty seven years, all in the name of Queen and country – couldn’t the intelligence services lay on a nice little bank for them to rob, before they go out of business….

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “one of the most fascistic factions of loyalism-the UFF-is going first”?

    If you are “fascistic” it means that you are an advocate of, or practice fascism- this is not an appropriate label for the UFF, who’s members, well 99.9% anyway, are loyalists who abhor fascism and Nazism just as much as violent republicanism/nationalism and Communism…

    Also, a “faction” is a contentious minority within a larger group- this is also a misleading description of the UFF. To be a member of the UFF a person has to be a member of the UDA, but the reverse is not necessarily the case. The Ulster Freedom Fighters are the military wing of the Ulster Defence Association, with only a few hundred active service men and women. This is compared to the 30-40 thousand members of the UDA, most of which are never involved in military operations. Therefore it would be appropriate to describe the UFF as a “wing” or “unit” within the UDA, but not as a “faction”, which infers that it is at odds with the leadership of the organisation…

  • Stephen Copeland

    … the 30-40 thousand members of the UDA …

    I don’t think so!

    CAIN says the following;

    Membership: At its peak in the mid-1970s, the UDA could organise 30,000 members on the streets of Belfast. Its current strength is probably several hundred with a few dozen being ‘active’ in the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) a covername used by the UDA.

  • baldrick45

    I would agree entirely with Bogexile. “Loyalists” from whatever, faction, splinter group, or sphincter group espoused loyalty to a country with a clearly defined system of law and order while violently undermining those same laws for 35 years+.

    In doing so those that suffered most were the communities they claimed to defend while the only ones to benefit were a few fat cat “Brigadeers”, their hangers-on, their drug dealers and their BMW sales reps.

    Methinks CL should stop glorifying this squalid little collection of ar*eholes and look forward to the day when both communities can look back to the “hard men” who used to dominate and control their lives and say loudly and publically , “Thank God we’re well rid of those tossers”!

    Just my 2c worth…..

  • Concerned Loyalist

    CAIN is seriously mistaken Mr Copeland- if I say a blackbird is white long enough will you believe me? It has been a deliberate ploy by propagandists at HMG, republicans and writers sympathetic to the “Irish Republican cause” to downplay support and membership for all the loyalist groups, but most notably the UDA, the largest paramilitary organisation in Western Europe. It is from the aforementioned sources CAIN base their statistics, so it is logical that they will be misleading…

    If 800 UDA men (a conservative estimation) were at Sandy Row in November for a Remembrance Day commemoration, how many more were sitting at home or at their work? I’m not trying to inflate the UDA’s membership for personal gain, I am merely stating facts. Think about it…

  • Stiofán de Buit

    “If you are “fascistic” it means that you are an advocate of, or practice fascism- this is not an appropriate label for the UFF, who’s members, well 99.9% anyway, are loyalists who abhor fascism and Nazism just as much as violent republicanism/nationalism and Communism…”

    Haven’t the UDA/UFF been guilty of having links with neo-Fascist groups in Britain? I don’t quite see how an organisation which “abhors Fascism” coukd bring itself to do that.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “a few dozen being ‘active’ in the …(UFF)”

    It’s laughable- misleading, unresearched rubbish…

  • Henry94

    CL

    This is compared to the 30-40 thousand members of the UDA, most of which are never involved in military operations.

    Interesting. Who do you think they vote for?

  • Mike

    CL –

    30,000-40,000 members of the UDA? In the early 1970s maybe, I would seriously doubt they have even a fraction of that now. Surelyheir numbers were drastically reduced into the 1980s and on, even before they were banned in 1992.

    I would see the ‘standing down’ of the UFF as little more than a cosmetic exercise, since UFF is simply the name the UDA gives to its murder squads – they’ll still be there until the UDA disbands.

  • Betty Boo

    “…but most notably the UDA, the largest paramilitary organisation in Western Europe”

    If you are right CL, than that would mean that the British Government not only kindly overlooked such a large, illegal group, they basically breast fed them as well. Spies and agents and all that.
    Strange priorities indeed.

  • Stephen Copeland

    CL,

    You appear to be conflating ‘members’ with ‘supporters’ of the UDA.

    If your estimate of 30,000 members is correct, given the known demographics you would be implying a membership rate of around one per ten working class male Protestants.

    And given that one in five members of the UDA is a British agent (allegedly), the salary budget of MI5 must be pretty enormous.

    All in all, I think I trust CAIN (despite its sources) more than an anonymous poster on a ‘bored-at-work’ website! 🙂

  • Yoda

    If true, this is most welcome.

  • TAFKABO

    I lived for a number of years in Carrickfergus.
    The number of UDA members in that one town alone is easily in the hundreds.
    And I count those members as active members since I know that they were shipped en masse to take part in riots all over Belfast.

    Yes, it’s great that the organisations seem to be going out of business, but these sociopaths are not simply going to dissappear are they?

  • headmelter

    “… the 30-40 thousand members of the UDA …”

    I haven’t stopped laughing since I read this…….CL do you really believe this?

    “If you are “fascistic” it means that you are an advocate of, or practice fascism- this is not an appropriate label for the UFF, who’s members, well 99.9% anyway, are loyalists who abhor fascism and Nazism”

    Feck I thought the first one was funny ’till I read the post again and couldn’t believe I missed this one and near wet myself.

  • Dec

    If 800 UDA men (a conservative estimation) were at Sandy Row in November for a Remembrance Day commemoration, how many more were sitting at home or at their work?

    Please Stop. My sides are splitting…

  • Belfast Gonzo

    CL said:

    If you are “fascistic” it means that you are an advocate of, or practice fascism- this is not an appropriate label for the UFF, who’s members, well 99.9% anyway, are loyalists who abhor fascism and Nazism just as much as violent republicanism/nationalism and Communism…

    They are fascistic because they act like fascists. If it walks like a duck…

    The UFF’s most pathetic-ever member, Johnny Adair, was in Combat 18, like many of his far-right mates in ‘C’ company. I can think of a few others, but overall, yes, I think it’s a fair description of that pack of sectarian terrorists.

    Therefore it would be appropriate to describe the UFF as a “wing” or “unit” within the UDA, but not as a “faction”, which infers that it is at odds with the leadership of the organisation…

    Considering the number of internal feuds the UFF has been involved in, I’d say that’s highly unlikely.

    Glad to see the back of them.

    Looking forward to the rest going.