Luke warm response to package

Details of the proposed package for deprived loyalist communities have begun to emerge and received a lukewarm response from the DUP and UUP.

The DUP’s Nelson McCausland sees it as a start:
“This is a recognition by government that there is a problem and it is another step along what will have to be a long road to equality.”

While the UUP Leader, Sir Reg Empey, highlights how government cuts elsewhere weaken any package:
“I think the minister is trying his best to put a package together to deal with deprivation in a number of areas – primarily loyalist areas – but not exclusively, but the problem is that this is a cross-government issue. A couple of days ago, the Belfast Education and Library Board cut £6.5m out of its budget – a very high percentage of that cut will apply in loyalist areas. Given that educational under-achievement in the worst 15 wards in Northern Ireland – 13 are in loyalist wards – how can you fix a situation in a loyalist area when one government department is taking money out while another is putting it in?”

Sinn Fein have been getting their complaints in before it is announced too. The Daily Ireland also had a full page column attacking the notion of investment in deprived loyalist communities even if its evidence was scant.

  • unionist

    Don’t hold your breath on this one. Nelson and his mates are going to have to spin this very hard to claim it as a success for the DUP. It is a mish mash of previous commitments and promises repackaged with no strategic direction at all.

  • Bemused

    Hello Minister – I’m a rioting, workshy, biggoted little spide – can I have lots of money please?

    Why certainly little Tyler – now don’t spend it all in the one chip shop/bookies/tanning salon.

  • Tyler

    Hey! Cheap shot! 🙂

  • Donnie

    Elizabeth Duke at Argos are going to have bumper sales this year! Not another sovereign ring Janty…

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The evidence is in the Noble indices on deprivation. Funding should be directed towards the areas of greatest need not simply buying off the DUP and UDA.

  • fair_deal

    Pat

    “Given that educational under-achievement in the worst 15 wards in Northern Ireland – 13 are in loyalist wards”

    This is taken from Noble

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Noble is far more comprehensive than educational under achievement.

  • fair_deal

    Nobel is both comprehensive and thematic. The educational domain highlights that educational need is disproportionately in loyalist areas.

  • Einstein

    “The educational domain highlights that educational need is disproportionately in loyalist areas.”

    Might they not just be a bit thicker.;)

  • Yokel

    Give me one good reason why they should get it and tell me what its going to be spent on. Education? Probably not. They don’t need more effing community centres, they need those who break laws dealt with by the appropriate authorities and they need telling to go and make their own success and stop acting so hopeless and in some cases, enjoying such a position

  • heck

    Before this thread becomes silly (“thicker” what racist nonsense!)

    Fair deal-your comment “The educational domain highlights that educational need is disproportionately in loyalist areas” sums up what is wrong with loyalism.

    Granted that there is a problem with educational achievement within working class loyalism, then why do they keep voting for the UUP and DUP. Both these parties support keeping the 11 plus. While this policy might be to the advantage of unionists from the malone road or north down, it does not work to the advantage of the average kid from the shankill road or Mount Vernon.

    Working class and under class loyalists need to support a party which acts in their economic interests and not allow themselves to be used as ballot box fodder. (or much worse in the case of DUP, who will use them and then disown them when the going gets tough.)

    at the moment it seems the SF is the only party representing the economic interests of working and under class unionism, and if they thought about that I sure they would be embarassed,

  • fair_deal

    heck

    “Both these parties support keeping the 11 plus. While this policy might be to the advantage of unionists from the malone road or north down, it does not work to the advantage of the average kid from the shankill road or Mount Vernon.”

    The problems with education can be spotted long before anyone gets to do an 11plus, it is much about attitudes to education and the quality of education than a single test. The proposed reforms have the right motivations but it is the wrong cure.

    The 11plus is far from perfect but the alternative proposals are even worse. Poor people won’t be able to win the property battle of selection by postcode or as is already muted middle class institutions like Methody will go private to keep out the working classes of Donegall Pass, Sandy Row and Village.

    Also you seem to be arguing that the wealthy of the Malone Road need the 11plus to maintian their privileged position is patent rubbish. Their wealth is their means of maintianing privilege.

    “at the moment it seems the SF is the only party representing the economic interests of working and under class unionism, and if they thought about that I sure they would be embarassed,”

    LOL. So that is why Sinn Fein and Daily Ireland are lining up daily to criticise the government’s proposed package to tackle deprivation in deprived Loyalist areas. Strange way to show their concern by saying “dont give it to them give it to us.”

    Your analysis of Unionism is outdated applicable more to 1960’s Unionism rather than 21st century. Both of the main Unionist parties are vying to show who shows the greatest concern for deprived Loyalist communities not ignoring them.

    The PUP and UDP did not break the mould of Unionist politics but did make the UUP (especially) and the DUP (less so as they were built on a working class base) that it couldn’t take working class votes for granted. Also the DUP built its base on constituency work and its not going to allow itself to become vulnerable on that front anytime soon.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Before this thread becomes silly (“thicker” what racist nonsense!)

    Dividing the country up into areas consisting of taigs and prods is what the problem is (and it isn’t racism, it’s plain old sectarianism, made acceptable by our politicians and underwritten by those who vote for them) and if this was not done in the first place, then it wouldn’t be possible for people to make such sweeping assertions.

    It is a serious mistake to believe that putting a pile of cash beside the 12th bonfire site counts as some sort of solution to any problems. The government is saying “here’s £30m, now please go away”. This funding package is utterly meaningless and is nothing other than a buy-off for loyalist paramilitaries with the nod of the unionist parties.

    Instead of throwing money about, can we possibly have a list of what the problems are here and what needs to be done about them ? People are talking on this thread about educational underachievement – a problem right across the UK. Instead of saying “just giz £45m and clear off” can we have some suggestions about how it should be addressed ?

    When we’re talking about educational underachievement, can anyone suggest what kind of message is sent out by lads with guns driving around in fancy cars with jewellry, apparently untouchable by the police, who are able to make a nice living for themselves without having had to go through the bother of getting an education ? What kind of a role do they have in creating a stable community consensus ?

  • Bemused

    Slightly off the point I know, but – anyone else witness the various ‘parades’ in the Ormeau this evening?

    Jesus Fucking Christ – as a non-catholic reasonably neutral observer I was utterly astounded by the carry-on. Gangs of the roughest looking ferals slugging on alco-pops while their lard-bellied elders stood about hammering Lambegs and pissing on the street. Needless to say the cops stood by utterly impassive as ever. The whole ‘event’ had the most astonishingly menacing atmosphere. Numerous ‘fuck the pope’ t-shirts and UDA/UFF polo shirts in evidence and the racket created was quite unbelievable. I live on the Cregagh Road – the noise was so loud that I ended up wandering about in the car trying to identify it’s source until I ended up over at the Ormeau.

    Seriously, Fair Deal, Shore Road Resident and others – how the fuck can you genuinely and honestly defend this sort of embarassing tripe and seek to portray it as anything other than a grotesque social nuisance? The sooner we confront these neanderthals and start calling a spade a spade the better for everyone in Northern Ireland.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Bemused, it isn’t right to tar fair deal and shore road resident with that brush.

    However, it is true that unionism needs to start confronting the skeletons in it’s own closet. Instead, the UUP and DUP are aligning themselves with the paramilitaries.

    It’s funny the way the general thrust is “loyalist communities have been ignored for 30 years”. Leaving aside whether or not that is true, why hasn’t anyone been asking why the DUP/UUP spent the last 30 years apparently doing precisely nothing about this ?

  • fair_deal

    “why the DUP/UUP spent the last 30 years apparently doing precisely nothing about this ?”

    Because they had no access to any meaningful power to do anything?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Because they had no access to any meaningful power to do anything?

    eh ? So what’s changed ?

  • fair_deal

    CS

    “So what’s changed ?”

    There has been intermittent access to real power and the prospect of another retrun to power. Also those presently in power are willing to offer enticements for such a return to power.

  • I have to agree with the thrust of CS’s 7:55 post.

    What exactly is the preoblem that this money is to address and how exactly is it going to address it? That is if it isn’t just a sweetner to the criminals of the UVF/UDA etc.

  • Bemused

    Fair Deal – are you saying that if and when the DUP have full access to real power they will confront the issue of parades?

  • Comrade Stalin

    There has been intermittent access to real power and the prospect of another retrun to power.

    At the minute there is no access whatsoever to real power. I cannot remember this stuff about “poor oppressed loyalist communities” until very recently. Doesn’t the fact that until now these communities have been ignored – as they say – tell us something about their awful representation ?

    This point is important. If the communities involved were been effectively represented then why didn’t they change their vote ? The PUP are making lots of noises about trying to get more money for loyalist areas, so why did the loyalists areas not switch their votes that way during the 1980s or 1990s ? The only possible conclusion is that the loyalist areas were happy enough with what they were getting.

    That of course means that this recent complaining about money is nothing other than a cheap political exercise. It’s pretty obvious that this is the case anyway – sums of money are being bandied about with little real indication about how or where they will be spent, other than that the money is for prods and certainly not for taigs.

    Also those presently in power are willing to offer enticements for such a return to power.

    DUP politicians (Jim Allister in particular AFAIK) have been saying lately that direct rule does alright and they don’t really care for a return to local government. Don’t you wish they’d get their story straight ?

    I support devolved government because it is the best way to ensure that local people get the services and social funding that they need. If the DUP believe this, they could do well to say it a bit louder. In particular, the DUP should explain why they feel blocking better services and funding through local devolved government due to Sinn Fein’s presence is a price worth paying.

    bertie, I feel very much it is a sweetener. Now, if the DUP or someone had presented a list of things like “let’s build a community centre in the Orangefield area to get the kids off the streets; let’s build a training workshop on the Newtownards Road to train school leavers up in trade skills” etc then a reasonable person couldn’t possibly complain. Instead it seems to be “the taigs are getting everything, we want a pile of cash too” which isn’t the way forward.

  • fair_deal

    CS Bertie

    I will come back with the info etc 2moro Up to my eyes today. Your patience is appreciated

  • Yokel

    Here’s a thought., maybe the 11plus offered a way OUT of problems for kids from disadvantaged communities. Part fo the probem within loyalist areas is the fact that achievement isnt seen as worth anything, its easier to get dragged down.

    An 11plus pass gave kids a chance to get out of their areas and to spread the wings a bit, go to another school, mix with the middle class kids for whom achievement is expected and encouraged. The alternative was to go to the local secndary and get half the opportunities because the schools are too busy battling just to get kids to spell well and take a GCSE in Tech Drawing than helping nuture geater talents. Result, kids with talent and aptitude already are sunk.

    To change in attitude in loyalist communities will require 10-15 years at least, So what do we do for those who can so readily succeed but are surrounded by mediocrity? We get those with talent and the will to against the grain and we fund them to succeed. Monkey see, monkey do? Better to support what talent and will there is now as well as try to drag the rest ot of their lethargy. But they won’t, it’ll be all about facilities for kids and young people and they will be the wrong facilities, we don’t need more pool tables, we need them to be shoved int afterschool clubs, to learn more, see more, discover more. The more I travel the world, the more I realse that there are two keys to making life work, attitude and some education.

    I have an idea for really digging kids from apparently deprived backgrounds out of the aparent terrible mire they are in. It wouldnt take 30 million, desn’t involve religion (though god loves you) and doesn’t involve pool tables or trips away to meet with the other side. Question is who do i speak to?