Undecided bloggers

There has been much posturing on David Ervine’s taking the UUP whip. Tim Roll-Pickering and Beano have both taken a cautious view of this and its consequences.

  • Loyalist

    Shilliday, your lame attempts at justifying this move are pathetic. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Come on, loyalist, you have to admit that is was a masterly piece of political sabotage.

    In one move, they have;

    – Presented their principal unionist rival, the DUP, with a massive problem. As Ian Paisley himself put it today: “The North Antrim MP said: “Let me make it very clear to you that this party will not have any association in government with any party that is linked to terrorism, linked to murderers and linked also to crime and will not support the police. Oops, thats the end of DUP-UUP cooperation in the Executive (if ever … ) then.

    – Put one of their minor rivals, the PUP, out of business. No loss, of course.

    – Robbed SF of one of its possible Ministries.

    – Oh, and buggered their own credibility too. “No guns, no government”, remember. The PUP’s friends are not on the side of the angels here. So now we have a new party with paramilitary links – the UUP!

    Masterful work here …. well, if you’re an SDLP or Alliance supporter. I cannot think of aanyone else it serves.

  • Rory

    If we follow the UUP’s precedent in how it always referred to Sinn Fein as Sinn Fein/IRA we must surely now in future refer to the UUP as UUP/UVF.

    At least since the Unionist Party was ever the party of protestant entrepreneurs the new group should have little difficulty in accomodating support from UVF drugs racketeers (or “independent pharmacists” as they must in future be feferred to).

  • Loyalist

    Rory

    At least one DUP MLA was heard referring to the UUP in those terms.

  • Loyalist is quite right, and contrary to what Michael says, the only posturing is to be found in the double standards of the UUP/UVF. This decision by Empey is a new low, and evidence of a Party in such desperation that it embraces the horrors in UVF/PUP.

  • Loyalist

    Maybe Michael will tell us how he thinks Raymond McCord will be feeling this evening?

  • Paul P

    Will Reg stand aside in East Belfast to let Commrade Ervine have a go at Robinson. Naomi Long must be wishing that prospect. Don’t think the Decent folks in East Belfast and similar want a UUP/UVF MP.

    Anybody predict how many UUP/UVF MLA’s there will be after next election?

  • The UUP have no formal links with the UVF…

    They have 1, and I repeat 1 MLA working in coalition with the assembly group, he has not joined the party and I would not expect him to.

    BTW was ervine not in the last assembly? Do you not think there was a reason why everyone practically ignored him? Hes head of a party that have virtually no power, no people, no votes and no control over the UVF… a stark contrast to sinn fein and the IRA

    Paul P,

    The DUP has won recent elections on the back of lies such as a ‘a confession a day to the ira’ etc etc

    Unionism was in a far stronger position 6 years ago than what it is in now, yes the ira have decommissioned but lets be honest they were never going to do much after the signing of the GFA…

    I would not expect the UUP vote to be affected much by this? If anything I would expect it to increase after the DUP’s disastrous spell in power

  • Paul P

    FYU

    There are thousands of unionsts that have nothing but contempt for the UVF/UDA etc they would never vote for a party alligned to their political representatives, especially before any decommissioning.

  • Paul P

    In the last PR election I voted for every listed candidate/party except the Sinn Fein/IRA and PUP/UVF. Next time UUP/UVF will not be getting a preference either.

  • TAFKABO

    The UUP have no formal links with the UVF…

    Ah, so your links to the UVF are on an informal basis, well I guess that makes it OK?

    I’m sorry, but apart from yourself, who do you think believes you?.
    Next you’ll be telling us that your girlfriend is only a little bit pregnant.

  • To both Taf & Paul P…

    Are or are there not UVF men in the DUP?

    Now if you ask me, that is a lot worse than Ervine alligning with the UUP in an attempt to demote SF…

    Ervines an ex-uvf man but not in the UUP, there are ex-uvf men in the DUP…

  • TAFKABO

    Are or are there not UVF men in the DUP?

    Theoretically I guess it is well within the bounds of possibility.
    But it is irrelevant to the fact that your party have openly endorsed paramilitarism.

    Now if you ask me, that is a lot worse than Ervine alligning with the UUP in an attempt to demote SF…

    I think it absolutely is worse to keep one group out of power when theyare moving away from paramiltarism and criminality, whilst endorsing another group that shows little sign of doing either.

    Ervines an ex-uvf man but not in the UUP, there are ex-uvf men in the DUP…

    When did Ervine leave the UVF?

    Seriously, if I was you I’d stop digging.

  • Comrade Stalin

    But it is irrelevant to the fact that your party have openly endorsed paramilitarism.

    This is the problem with unionism. You guys look the other way when people endorse paramilitarism behind closed doors, which is what the DUP do. Oh look, there’s David Vance overlooking the DUP’s old loyalist links too. Great.

    Michael S and FYU, you guys in the UUP are a bunch of wimps. This is a great opportunity to embarass the DUP by confronting them about Ulster Resistance, Third Force, McCrea on a podium with Wright, all those dodgy ex-UVF councillors, Gary Blair and so on. Why aren’t you guys doing it ?

  • TAFKABO

    CS.

    I am not happy for anyone to endorse paramilitarism, anywhere.
    My point was that theoretically there could be people who were both members of the UVF and the DUP, just as there could be members of the IRA and the Garda, it doesn’t mean the whole organisation is in cahhots with,or aware of the deception.
    If anyone has any proof they want to share, go ahead, I’ll be happy to look at it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    TAFKABO, the issue is peaceful and democratic means and whether a person can be judged to be committed to those; the specific way this issue is borne out here is in terms of the company he/she keeps. Why make it any more complicated than that ?

    The UUP and DUP have a history of keeping bad company, and some of their members are themselves part of the bad company. Sinn Fein obviously also have a history of keeping bad company too, in a rather more direct and obvious way. So what do we do ? Do we exclude 80% of the elected reps from government ? Or do we come up with some funny set of gerrymandered rules to keep some people in and some out ?

  • Taf,

    So ervines still an active, supportive member of the UVF?…. what about this

    I quote from another piece (ervine speaking);

    Not only myself but the whole of the Progressive Unionist Party has no influence on what’s happening on our streets at all.

    CS,

    Can’t you see, we have mentioned all these. I talked about the UVF men in the DUP (referring to the Cllrs) yet TAF only replied by saying Theoretically I guess it is well within the bounds of possibility. LOL!

    They obviously have a selective mind! They have elected reps with history, they are fully paid up members of the party and canvass under the party name yet people like TAFKABO still have no problem with this yet they go on to say “your party have openly endorsed paramilitarism”… how? By letting a PUP member who has no influence join its group to fight SF?

    What I find most interesting is Paisleys comments today in regards to terrorists in government… what about terrorists in his own party?

  • UUP Policy

    This may help undecided bloggers decide.

    The UUP

    Written by Sir Reg Empey

    Directed by Major Alan McFarland

    Starring Pte Michael Shilliday

  • TAFKABO

    FYU

    Let’s get a few things clear.

    I’m not a member of the DUP, not have I ever voted for the DUP.
    I am however, an ex member of the PUP, and I can state with absolute certainty that leading members of the PUP were also leading members of the UVF.
    Not only that, but I have seen good people passed over in the PUP for less able ‘connected’ members to be given positions of prominence.

    I simply do not accept the claim that the UVF has no direct links or influence over the PUP, I was a witness to it, and left the PUP because of it.

    Comrade Stalin

    I accept your point about keeping bad company, and have heard many rumours about the DUP in this regard, I wouldn’t rush to defend it.I still maintain it is not the same as legitimising and endorsing paramilitarism by making links (formal or otherwise) in the Assembly.
    And that’s not even getting into the hypocrisy of the UUP lecturing nationalist and Republicans for all those years, and then turning around and doing the very thing they spent so long complaining about.

  • Comrade Stalin

    TAFKABO, I see it very differently and there are plenty of examples out there of questionable actions by the DUP which served to legitimize paramilitarism, but there is no point in arguing, especially when you are being reasonable about it.

    If the UUP were really smart they’d hit back at the DUP, and start publishing details of all the unpleasant people they’ve hung around with. However, I don’t think they’ve thought this out. I think this whole matter is a can of worms which unionism as a whole is too scared to open.

  • TAF,

    No one is denying that…

    Ervines done time, on them Peter Taylor documentaries he talked of his desire to kill. He has moved on, likewise the UVF respect for the PUP has all but disappeared…

  • Paul P

    FYU
    How the heck would I know if there are UVF men in the DUP?

    But one thing I am sure about is that no-one in the DUP assembly “group” is a representative for a political organisation that is linked to a paramilitary organisation that is not even on cease fire and IS engaged in all sorts of criminality.

  • How the heck would I know if there are UVF men in the DUP?

    Its common knowledge, within the DUP there are elected representatives with a paramilitary background.

    Now I assume you are a Unionist, there I ask you… would you rather have;

    a) A UUP minister elected with the help of Ervine, who is now a strong supporter of peace and the only person at present who has the slightest influence in the UVF’s move to reconciliation

    or

    b) A Sinn Feiner minister who is proud to be a murderer, proud of all the bombs they planted and proud that they are getting in on the back of some Unionist’s recklessness

  • bertie

    “Ulster Resistance, Third Force,”

    can anyone tell me anything that they have been responsible for?

    I know that they wre a strange couple of groups. As I understand it Pailey condemned one or other of them when they started to arm. So I don’t see how he can be charged with supporting terrorism in relation to this. But even hearing that one of them was armed I homestly don’t remember them doing anything (Thany God!). How can this be equated with what the UUP has done?

  • Rubicon

    There seems to be an attempt at UUP spin here by suggesting there’s a difference between this Assembly “group” and the “political parties” that make it up. This has no reality in law and I expect the points of order put by Robinson and Paisley today will soon resolve all doubt on the matter – indeed, I expect this is precisely why the points of order were raised.

    The Assembly simply cannot recognise MLAs as belonging to 2 parties (or call them “groups” if you must). Think for a minute – what seat counts are to be counted for the d’Hondt nominations? Empey has been very clear – it is to be the seats held by the “group”. D’Hondt is a mechanism for distributing positions between parties/groups (yawn!) – but you can only be in one.

    The UUP and PUP may organise sepatately for local elections, Westminster elections and EU elections but – as from today – the UUP and PUP ceased to exist in the NI Assembly. It would help if UUP supporters talking rubbish made it clear that they were talking about councils – and NOT the devolved government of NI.

    Now – the Empey notion (that you can be 2 things at the same time) will need to be explained to his constituency organisations and its Council – for if he is right then he has broken its rules (members cannot belong to another political party). The Assembly is likely to save him from that though by recognising this UUPAG – but in doing so he’ll need to explain how he reduced UUP representation in the Assembly to zero (as occurred today).

    Even Trimble didn’t do that!

  • elfinto

    There’s a lot of allegations flying around here about well-known DUP paramilitaries but people are being remarkably coy about the specifics.

    UVF/LVF murderer Gary Blair is a DUP office holder in north Antrim.

    Any other instances you are aware of?

  • Loyalist

    Could someone point me to a reference were Ervine apologised for his past deeds?

  • Evidence Gatherer

    Fermanagh Young Unionist
    “Its common knowledge, within the DUP there are elected representatives with a paramilitary background.”

    Have you any substantive evidence which you can use to back that claim up? I am not talking some rumour that one of your YU mates has peddled you, but hard FACTS?

  • Evidence Provider

    DUP Councillor Bobby McKee is a former local commanding officer of the UVF. Used to go by the name of Boots….

    Row over MBE for former UVF chief
    Sinn Fein fury at Queen’s honour
    By Jonathan McCambridge
    jmccambridge@belfasttelegraph.co.uk
    31 December 2003
    A MAJOR row today threatened to overshadow the New Year’s Honours list after a self-confessed former UVF commander was awarded an MBE.
    “What I did is in the past, it was over 30 years ago; I have turned that corner and left it behind.
    I make no apology for my past; people get caught up in the emotion of the time. “

  • TAFKABO

    So, still no names of UVF members in the DUP then?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    The long and the short of it is Ervine was/is the front man for terrorists and drug-dealers. The UUP has chosen to lie down with a dog, it should not come as a shock if some suspect they’ll wake up with fleas off of the PUP.

    As some have pointed out, deeds, not words, are what matter. According to the IMC, the PUP’ers pet pitbulls are still commiting violence and still selling drugs…

    For the realpolitik of it, Ervine is still associated with his past, the same as Adams and McGuinness continue to be. Short-term political gains aside, what does the UUP gain from clutching this PUP to their breasts? Their political views aren’t a natural mix, Ervine’s terrorist and drug gang ties make the UUP look hypocritical and, frankly, make the DUP look like responsible political leaders.

    cui bono?

  • notvfunny