DUP warming up for terror group talks…

AFTER a meeting with the IMC, the DUP says it’s close to the point where it will talk (officially) to loyalist paramilitaries about ending violence and criminality. Of course, by talking to loyalists – who have demonstrated a greater propensity for violence in recent times – it makes it harder to justify not talking to Sinn Fein. What verbal gymnastics will the party come up with I wonder…

  • Yokel

    Here is a big fat side of North Antrim flank to shoot at (metaphorically).

    Unbelieveable stupidity and two faced….most loyalists don’t even have time for the DUP to boot.

  • Jacko 92

    Usually a political party is top-dog for a good few years before it starts treating the electorate with total contempt.
    Not the DUP, though.
    The God-squad is at it already.
    I have to laugh at all those who voted for DUP as a party of principle.

  • Jim

    In many respects the DUP have a duty to deliver peace within the Unionist community and to engage the loyalist paramilitaries. The loyalist paramilitaries
    in one guise or another constitute a significant portion of the DUP electorate.

  • TAFKABO

    Doesn’t the GFA task everyone with doing whatever they can to help secure decomissioning ?
    Aren’t the DUP just living up to their responsibilities?

  • Jacko 92

    “Aren’t the DUP just living up to their responsibilities?”

    If they had made even the slightest effort at “living up to” the entirety of their responsibilities, then that might wash.
    If they hadn’t built a winning electoral charge on “not talking to terrorists” then this might seem more plausible.

    They are being highly selective in which “terrorists” they choose to deal with and which they don’t.
    Given everything in the IMC reports – they are so fond of selectively quoting – about the activities of loyalist paramilitaries and Paisley Junior’s recent lambasting of the McAleese’s for their naive dalliances with the UDA (I agree with him on that), this announcement reeks of double-standards and hypocrisy.

    If they lay down a set of demands for these criminal gangsters and stick rigidly to it, then it might be worthwhile.
    But, more than likely, this is about forming a united front with loyalist paramilitaries.

  • Stephen Copeland

    TAFKABO,

    Doesn’t the GFA task everyone with doing whatever they can to help secure decomissioning ?
    Aren’t the DUP just living up to their responsibilities?

    The DUP are not signatories of the GFA. Their only ‘responsibilities’ are those subsequently set down in law, and the issue of actively encouraging decommissioning was not set down.

    Even those parties who signed up to the GFA (apparently without actually physically signing) are only morally required to do their best on decommissioning. There is no legal obligation in it.

  • BogExile

    The DUP has talked officially ‘at’ the republican community about ending violence and criminality from time immemorial.

    This choreography is bullshit. If the DUP genuinely want to distance themselves from the stain of Loyalist paramilitarism they need to get real right now and demand openly that politicians not chromosonally challenged rangers supporters speak for the pro-union people.

  • TAFKABO

    Fact is that there is not a single thing the DUP could do that would alter a ot of peoples perceptions of them.
    So why bother?

  • Stephen Copeland

    So why bother?

    To provide the UDA et al with a face-saving device? So that they can decommission ‘at the request of the DUP’ rather than (a) because the police are about to dismantle them or (b) because they’re copying the IRA?

    In that case the question would be: why bother giving the UDA a helping hand? It looks like a cooperative step too far.

  • George

    Doesn’t change that much for the DUP I don’t think.

    They can simply say they’ll gladly talk to Sinn Fein about helping it to “cease criminality” if it would help but won’t talk to the party about going into an elected assembly.

    Anyway, if the DUP can get the loyalists to cease any activities, it has to be a good thing.

    Is it just me or does Peter Robinson seem to have aged terribly in that BBC picture?

  • TAFKABO

    OK, just to clarify, are people complaining that the DUP haven’t helped secure Loyalist decomissioning, or that they are just about to help secure Loyalist decomissioning?

    I suspect the answer is that people are gurning for the sake of gurning, no matter what course of action the DUP chose.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Regardless, TAFKABO, Robinson’s hypocrisy here is laughable. He’s been talking to loyalists since the early 1970s – Paisley has been ‘talking’ to them for even longer.

  • Jim

    Yeah great. Where have they been for the last 10 years or longer when engaging with terrorist was carried out by braver men (Renolds, Hume et al) or was it a case that the DUP advocated these terrorist during those times.

    On a more positive note if the can delivery now then great but it will only be successfull and meanful if it delivers cross party engagement

  • Dave

    The DUP “talking with “loyalist paramilitaries” to bring and end to their activities will not plaese Irish terror groups like Sinn Fein or many who support these groups.

    Is that not a good enough reason for the DUP to talk to “loyalist paramitiitaries” who see themselves as defenders of their own community.

    Go ahead (DUP) have a chat with them as there is all to gain and nothing to lose.

  • Yokel

    Jim’s comment earlier this afternoon..Jim its the opposite in many cases. Many paramilitaries, especially at the top dislike, Paisley. They see him as a two faced flag waver who had no problem indirectly or directly exploiting paramilitary muscle then washed his hands of it.

  • TAFKABO

    There is another possible explanation for all this.

    The DUP are laying the groundwork for talking directly to Sinn Fein.

    Any takers for that scenario?

  • Jacko 92

    TAFKABO

    Yes, that is a distinct possibility.

  • Newryman

    If the DUP are going to sit down with one lot for the sake of peace, surely it’s about time they did the same with the others.

    Why is it only now that they are sitting down with them. Is it because the DUP have come to conclusion that the IRA have given up violence and think it is only OK now to give the nod to fellow Loyalists to stand down.

  • circles

    I think this is definitely something to be welcomed. Paisley has often enough talked “for” the loyalist paramilitaries (even if this was never officially acknowledged), and “at” them, and it is time the DUP were seen to talk with them.
    I don’t buy that old argument that many senior loyalist paramilitaries can’t stand Paisley. The Good Rev after all distrubuted the Hymn sheets that they’ve all been singing from for nearly 40 years. Additonally, given the abysmal performance of the political parties linked to the paramilitaries, its fairly safe to assume that the DUP have the vote of those who support the loyalist paramilitaries – making them basically the poltical voice of violent loyalism. So its onlw right that they get their heads together to create an exit for them.
    So although it is to be welcomed, the reason this “announcement” bothers is that it shows the bare faced unashamed hypocrisy of the DUP. And although this aint nothing new – it does still annoy a little.

  • CaptainBlack

    Surely the DUP have been talking to the loyalist paramilitaries for a while anyway via the Loyalist Commission and I imagine in less formal settings as well. Its just they’re admitting to it for a change. Its good that they’re finally coming down to earth and getting their hands dirty instead of sitting on their high horse criticising others but not actually doing much.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Yokel, you said that “most loyalists don’t have tome for the DUP”. I think you are wrong. Within the UVF there is a more socialist grouping which would vote for the PUP, I give you that, but even within that organisation there are still a considerable number of the rank-and-file who would vote for the DUP rather than their own-aligned party because they are more likely to “get results” due to their huge representation in Ulster. As for the UDA, due to the fact the UPRG don’t organise as a party for elections (instead UPRG activists stand as Independents), the majority of the membership vote for the DUP, as the Ulster Unionists and UKUP are yesterday’s men and too small to make a difference, respectively…