Is DUP up for paramilitary challenge..?

FORMER BBC security correspondent Brian Rowan reports a senior loyalist source calling for the DUP to meet openly with loyalist paramilitaries, in order to help them move towards a more political path – a difficult task, to say the least. The DUP says it’s “looking at a number of ways as to how best we could use our influence to encourage those within the loyalist paramilitaries to commit to an exclusively peaceful and democratic route.” The problem is, if the DUP is prepared to meet officially with the UDA or UVF, how can it justify not talking to Sinn Fein, since the IRA no longer poses anything close to the kind of threat to peace that loyalists do?

  • Pete Baker

    Actually Gonzo, I’d suggest the problem with this story is Brian Rowan’s anonymous sources.. again.

    There is little to prevent loyalist paramilitaries committing to exclusively peaceful democratic routes – ie ending their violent and criminal activities – except the will to do so.

    In the meantime.. there should be no hand-outs.. and no hand-ups.

  • TAFKABO

    In the meantime.. there should be no hand-outs.. and no hand-ups.

    Are you seriously suggesting that Loyalist communities be deprived of much needed funding because of Loyalist paramilitary activity?
    You do know that the Geneva convention forbids collective punishment?

  • Pete Baker

    You clearly didn’t read the linked posts, TAFKABO.. did you now?

  • TAFKABO

    Uh no, I didn’t.
    My bad.
    Apologies.

  • pol

    If the DUP were to lead by example and hand over the weapons they brought in to our we Provence, then maybe the other loyalist paramilitaries will follow their lead.

    It would also get them off the hook in regards, talking to loyalist paras.. and not talking to Sinn Fein.

  • smcgiff

    ‘how can it justify not talking to Sinn Fein,’

    Doesn’t the DUP and SF talk at levels below Executive power levels?

    Besides, it’s hardly the same. The DUP are not expected to go into government with the political wing of the UDA.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Besides, it’s hardly the same. The DUP are not expected to go into government with the political wing of the UDA.

    This is a red herring. The DUP said recently that they would resign from the Police Board is Sinn Fein took their seats on it – but notice how they are strangely silent about the presence of the PUP there.

    If SF had joined that board there would have been fire and brimstone. But a loyalist, linked to an active paramilitary organization who do not even have a recognized ceasefire, provokes no comment from those quarters. Don’t you think this is a tad inconsistent ?

    If the loyalists miraculously did manage to get a mandate, I’ve seen nothing in the way of precedent to suggest that the DUP would try to keep them out of power.

  • smcgiff

    ‘Don’t you think this is a tad inconsistent ?’

    Perhaps, but there’s still a difference between the policing board and the governing level that’s the executive.

    ‘If the loyalists miraculously did manage to get a mandate, I’ve seen nothing in the way of precedent to suggest that the DUP would try to keep them out of power.’

    It would be miraculous. Does the DUP have official policy on what their position would be if the US democratic party received a mandate in NI?

    I don’t think the DUP want to see the PUP receive a mandate any more than they want to see the UUP win seats. Whether they would do business with them?

    Well, probably not outside of a SF inclusive executive. For the very reason it would be held as a gun to their head.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Perhaps, but there’s still a difference between the policing board and the governing level that’s the executive.

    There is, but like I said, this is a red herring.

    Unionists elected Hugh Smyth as Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1994. They didn’t just sit back, they actively voted him in. But when there was a Sinn Fein Lord Mayor elected a few years later, they all walked out in disgust.

    The precedent is clear – if loyalists are in a position to get power, unionists won’t stop them and indeed will actively assist them in that endeavour. If republicans are, unionists will move mountains to stop them – irrespective of how high it goes.

    It would be miraculous. Does the DUP have official policy on what their position would be if the US democratic party received a mandate in NI?

    Based on the precedents that we know about, the DUP would happily share power with them as long as they were not republicans. That is the whole problem.

    I don’t think the DUP want to see the PUP receive a mandate any more than they want to see the UUP win seats. Whether they would do business with them?

    Then why is the DUP so silent on the PUP ? Surely if there were straightforward electoral politics being played out here, the DUP would be seeking to undermine the PUP – whom it competes with for votes – right now ?

    I don’t see how it is relevant talking about who the DUP would like to see receiving a mandate. Obviously they would like to receive all of it. What is relevant is talking about whether the DUP’s attitude to sitting down with other parties for talks, for quangos, for executive government or for anything else that you may think of, is based on core principles concerning democracy, or is based on bigotry. Given that the DUP apparently have no problems sitting down with parties linked to loyalists – despite the fact that those loyalists are busy killing other DUP constituents – yet refuses to sit down with republicans who as far as anyone can tell are not killing any DUP constituents – what do you think ?

    I wouldn’t mind if the DUP position really was “no guns no government” but it isn’t. Guns are apparently perfectly acceptable as long as they aren’t in the possession of republicans.

  • I actually wonder if Ms Purvis’ gender has contributed to her selection. Did the powers-that-be think that that might her seem that bit more removed from the thuggery?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Of course it’s different! The DUP are being pressurised into going into government with the unreconstructed bully boys, rapists, murderers and thieves of SF/IRA – currently neither the UDA-aligned UPRG or UVF-aligned PUP are in a similar position…

  • Thrasymachus

    “The DUP are being pressurised into going into government with the unreconstructed bully boys, rapists, murderers and thieves of SF/IRA – currently neither the UDA-aligned UPRG or UVF-aligned PUP are in a similar position…”

    Would there be no unreconstructed bully boys, rapists, murderers and thieves in the UDA/UPRG or UVF/PUP?