PUP, anti-sectarianism and the UVF…

Fortnight magazine this month features a piece called Loyalist Crossroads by Aaron Edwards and Stephen Bloomer. It’s a joint article based on their research paper, Democratising the Peace in Northern Ireland: Progressive Loyalists and the Politics of Conflict Transformation. It’s dated November 2005. You can find the full copy here. It’s lengthy and detailed. But given the controversy around David Ervine’s joining of the UUP, there are a few bits worth highlighting:Firstly his and his party’s anti sectarianist stance:

During the 1990s the words ‘Committed to a Democratic, Non-Sectarian, Pluralist Society’ were to be found adorning official PUP documents. Later this slogan was to be altered slightly to incorporate the term ‘anti-sectarian’ because it was thought that to be ‘non-sectarian’ meant that you did little to tackle the rot of religious bigotry in Northern Ireland’s ‘abnormal society’.6 The PUP’s disdain for sectarian politics has a long lineage. It was initially fostered by those who had been incarcerated in Long Kesh in the 1970s when Gusty Spence sought to equip UVF and RHC Volunteers under his command with a sophisticated array of tools to engage in political dialogue and debate with their opponents. One of those who had come under Spence’s tuition in the 1970s was David Ervine. During a debate on anti-sectarianism in the Northern Ireland Assembly in September 2002 Ervine articulated his party’s attitude to the issue of sectarianism:

There are places in Northern Ireland where there are few paramilitaries but a great deal of sectarianism. Of course, there are places where there are plenty of paramilitaries and plenty of sectarianism: it would be foolish to refute that. Our communities, which have been led by many in the Chamber, are sectarian, and one could argue that they are encouraged to be so. In many ways drawingroom sectarianism is more insidious and frightening than working-class sectarianism. At working class level it is brutal, and we see it all the time. However, we can deal with it. Many people in the Chamber come from places where drawing-room sectarianism is at its worst, and they have luxuriated and benefited as society, divided more and more, crashes on the rocks.

Ervine’s speech combines a potent mix of class consciousness with social responsibility. It was a point he had drawn upon the previous year in a lecture to the Institute of British Irish Studies at University College, Dublin, during which he likened sectarianism to a flower: ‘Here, too, sectarianism could grow. Sectarianism is a flower – a beautiful flower. It does not grow wild in a field – it is nourished. It is nourished and it is cared for; it is reproduced, generation after generation after generation’.

And on the apparent disparity between the decommissioning of IRA weapons, and the UVF’s determination to hold onto theirs:

The decommissioning of Provo weapons has failed to gain a reciprocal gesture from within the UVF and RHC camp. This will come as no surprise to those who read the UVF Brigade Staff communiqué issued through the medium of Combat magazine back in April 2001. The statement maintained that the organisation would be maintaining ‘a watching brief’ on dissident republican activity. It reiterated the point that – regardless of political developments – the organisation would not be drawn into a symmetrical process of decommissioning, despite the belief (even among many loyalists) that in the event of a ‘war is over’ statement from the Provos the loyalist campaign would cease to serve any political or military purpose. That position does not seem to have altered any great deal. In a recent interview with a leading UVF Brigade Staff Officer the issue of decommissioning was raised and the following reply was given:

Loyalism wasn’t going to jump because the Provos jumped. Loyalists didn’t see decommissioning on the radar screen. They did see an end to paramilitarism and they are (as we speak) trying to get to that point. They are not making anyone any promises. I would be quietly confident that at some juncture we can get to the point where there is no paramilitary action from the UVF.

It remains to be seen whether the PUP’s electoral compact with the UUP hastens a move to that juncture.

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  • Concerned Loyalist

    In my personal experience I have found some middle-class Unionists to be MORE sectarian than working-class Loyalists. I am a university student, but am a working-class 21 year-old Loyalist so am in daily contact with people from a wide cross-section of society. I can honestly say that I have come across and am even friends with working-class UDA members and even UFF active-service paramilitants who are LESS b1goted, prejudiced and sectarian than middle-class Unionists.

    I have also noticed that my Protestant university-educated friends at different universities are not bitter against RC’s in the slightest. However, I observed the antithesis of this at my University campus, which is predominantly made up of Roman Catholic students. These students, like middle-class unionists I have met, are MORE sectarian than the paramilitants I know and have come across throughout my life. The RC students’ ignorance of the Protestant religion in particular astounded me and some of them have admitted that prior ro university they had never had a proper conversation with a Protestant, and were actively discouraged to do so by their parents…it reminded me of the Apartheid regime in South Africa and these people are meant to be educated, well-rounded individuals!

    All of this would prove my belief that the War In Ulster is primarily concerned with the question of nationality, with religion a secondary by-product that is used by both sides of the divide to stoke the flames of hatred for political gain.

    It depresses me – what chance do we have of lasting peace and even of equal opportunities in the work-place when current sectarian University students get management jobs in companies? I honestly believe that if some of the students I have met were in charge of hiring and firing and had the choice of two mixed-religion candidates, they would picked the Roman Catholic person every time, regardless of ability…sad but true

  • pitt park

    “I would be quietly confident that at some juncture we can get to the point where there is no paramilitary action from the UVF.”

    That will give them more time to concentrate on building their drugs empire.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    pitt park,
    Ever the optimist aren’t we? By fuck, people like you depress me. You should live every day like it’s going to be your last and believe in the best in people…i realise, like everything, that the road from paramilitarism to politicization will take time, but I believe in the UDA brigade staff and am sure the UVF are in the same process. I am willing to give them that time, so why don’t you?

  • CL – no harm to you, but would many of us have said the same of the IRA. I do hope you’re right about the intentions of the loyalist groups, but you seem to be asking people to give them much more leeway than many of us gave republican terrorists.

  • elfinto

    CL,

    I honestly believe that if some of the students I have met were in charge of hiring and firing and had the choice of two mixed-religion candidates, they would picked the Roman Catholic person every time, regardless of ability…sad but true

    I agree, it’s true that you hold these extremist beliefs and it’s sad that you hold them.

  • TAFKABO

    People shouldn’t misinterpret the constant and repetitious references to Loyalists and drugs.
    The type of person who continually parrots the drugs line is simply trying to find a way to differentiate between murdering bastards of different backgrounds.

    Sure we know that both Loyalist and Republican paramilitaries often took peoples lives, tearing them limb from limb in the process, but one side was more directly involved in selling them a bit of blow which is simply unforgiveable.

    It’s about the dehumanisation of the entire Unionist community.
    They’ll tell you it’s not, but they’re only fooling themselves.

    Oh and BTW, check out this story linking the IRA to drugs, who woulda thunk it?

    A COCAINE trafficker who paid out thousands in protection money to the Provos was last week jailed for over five years.

    http://www.sundaylife.co.uk/news/story.jsp?story=689979

  • bertie

    elfinto

    “CL,

    I honestly believe that if some of the students I have met were in charge of hiring and firing and had the choice of two mixed-religion candidates, they would picked the Roman Catholic person every time, regardless of ability…sad but true

    I agree, it’s true that you hold these extremist beliefs and it’s sad that you hold them.

    Posted by elfinto on May 16, 2006 @ 11:36 PM”

    How do you know that that is an extremeist belief? He said that that was true of SOME of the students He KNEW.

  • elfinto

    OK, TAFKABO. Loyalists don’t sell drugs. The whole court system is trying to dehumanise the entire unionist population!!

    And ‘security sources’ used by Sunday Life journalists never have large axes to grind with the Provos.

  • quis separabit

    “I believe in the UDA brigade staff”

    The Ulster Defence Association’s involvement in criminality remains “endemic”. In other words, the UDA is up to its ears in the mire, it also said that the UDA continued to act violently, undertaking both shootings and assaults.

    “The UDA’s heavy involvement in crime, including drug dealing and blackmail, continues and in some parts of the organisation criminality can be described as endemic.”

    The IMC believes the organisation “aspires to arm up and equip” itself.

  • elfinto

    How do you know that that is an extremeist belief? He said that that was true of SOME of the students He KNEW.

    I know his beliefs are extreme because I read the rest of his post.

    He also expressed a personal belief about some people he knew and then said it was sad but true. He turned his own subjective belief into objective truth. Must be taking some powerful stuff!

    Or can you not read, bertie!?

  • TAFKABO

    OK, TAFKABO. Loyalists don’t sell drugs. The whole court system is trying to dehumanise the entire unionist population!!

    Either you are deliberately and willfully misinterpreting what I said, or your basic comprehension skills are lacking.

    And ‘security sources’ used by Sunday Life journalists never have large axes to grind with the Provos.

    Aye, that’s it, it’s all a conspiracy.

  • elfinto

    If I misunderstood what you said it’s because you didn’t express yourself terribly clearly.

  • elfinto

    Sorry, that should have read:

    If I misunderstood what you meant to say it’s because you didn’t express yourself terribly clearly.

  • Bilbo

    In fairness the loyalists are making attempts to clear themselves up with the Shoukris being isolated as they have.

    Concerned Loyalist

    I did not study here but friends of mine who have studied here have said the same as you have about catholics in universities. Alot are from the country and seem to think prods are all boogie men, they cannot comprehend of a non-sectarian prod let along a leftist thinking prod. Its something that I think does need to be addressed. As for employment I remember walking around QUB and seeing posters for casual jobs that pleaded for protestants to apply, is it any wonder so many protestants leave NI to go to uni.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    bilbo,
    I thank you and Takfabo for actually understanding what I was saying: that I was fearful of future equal opportunities in the work-place for Protestants due to personal experiences of anti-Protestant sectarianism and ignorance, instead of looking through a one-eyed green spectacle, in the case of “elfinto”…

  • Carnhill

    CL – I think you should be a bit more concerned with the activities of your ‘working-class UDA members and even UFF active-service paramilitant (?!)’ friends, than the attitudes you ‘have noticed’ or ‘observed’ from fellow students at Magee. I wonder why these well-balanced (imaginary?) and ‘not that sectarian really’ friends of yours decided to join the local active service unit (/drinking club)in the first place ? The Peace people fully subscribed at the time up in Coleraine ? Or maybe they just wanted to fight the good fight against the world famous IRA fighting units from Coleraine !

    It’s good that you have noticed that Protestant students ‘are not bitter against RC’s in the slightest’, whereas Catholic students at Magee ‘are MORE sectarian than your paramilitant’ friends – all very true and believable isn’t it – just the way things are, eh ! It’s amazing what you notice when you put your crayons down for a while isn’t it !

    CL – do yourself a favour and concentrate a bit more on educating yourself – maybe that way you can be a bit smarter in hiding your own sectarian attitudes. Post after post from you tends to highlight your lack of intelligence possibly even more than your sectarianism !

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Ball and not man comes to mind but I’ll humour you Carnhill. You believe that I am an intellectually inferior fellow to you, oh wise one. Pray give examples to argue your case…

  • Loftholdingswood

    You clearly believe you have a superior intellect “Carnhill” so please enlighten all of us thicko Loyalists who are merely seekers of truth.

    I can understand completely the points CL is trying to make and those same points are replicated throughout the Province. I believe that both the UVF and the UDA are making sincere attempts in all areas to curtail activity and to move forward via their respective political representatives (PUP and UPRG). We move towards what we see and I see progress and a desire to change.

    I’ll get back to my crayons now.

  • Mick Fealty

    Carnhill, if you have a point, make it. But please, play the ball, and not the man.

  • Carnhill

    Apologies Mick, but the absolute absurdity of CL’s post at 10.40 just proved too much for me. Maybe i’d be better off replying that ‘in my experience’ IRA men are not as bad as prods really, that ‘I’ve noticed’ that all prod students are bitter and sectarian, whilst all the ‘RC’ students are dead nice and really quite like prods despite their nastiness. And I’ll end of course with the genius thought that ‘All of this would prove my belief’ that the probs in NI are all about nationality !

    CL – it’s not that I feel that you are intellectually inferior to my good self, more that you are intellectually inferior to the brick wall that your post has me bangin my head against. For evidence of the ridiculousness of your post then please show it to some of your catholic friends – or, surprise, surprise, don’t you have any ?!

    Apologies again Mick, from now on I’ll refrain from replying to any of CL’s posts and go back into lurker mode.

  • Jo

    I agreed with Cl’s earlier points about bourgeois attitudes. The bourgeosie here of course having hitherto been largly Unionist/Protestant is now more evenly balanced than ever previously.

    One common feature I have noted over many months of blogging is the oft-repeated belief that “Prods are more sectarian than Taigs.”

    It is plain to me, after said months of blogging that “Taigs” are every bit as capable of sectarianism as “Prods.” The only thing is – when someone cites example of “Taig” sectarianism – as CL did from his/her own experience, he and others who hold the mirror up, are abused.

    I think abuse/ denial confirms his/her point with eloquence. Sectarianism is no respecter of class difference, hence its pervasive malignance.

  • elfinto

    This thread amazes me. A guy who hangs around with the local loyalist paramilitaries is accusing others of bigotry and does not see the irony. Anyone who points out the glaring irony is a nationalist bigot. Please!!

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Carnhill,
    Sorry for taking so long, but I’m just back from a test on International Conflict And Co-Operation. Quite apt for our discussion if you replace “International” with “Ulster”…

    You seem to have latched on to my indifference to Roman Catholic students’ prejudice against Protestants and forgotten that I also was shocked at, I quote:

    “middle class unionists I have met”,
    who are also,
    “MORE sectarian than the paramilitants I know”.

    This was not meant as a one-sided anti-Roman Catholic tirade, but an observation of sectarianism that is endemic within the “bourgeoise” as “Jo” aptly puts it…

    The same UDA that you despise realised there was descrimination of Roman Catholics during the old Ulster Unionist Stormont regime. I, and you, should know this, as the astute Gary McMichael, former leader of the now defunct UDP and son of the politically brilliant John McMichael, delivered many well-received lectures and speeches on the subject, ACROSS the political and religious divide.

    The UDA and their political advisors in the UPRG have never once denied descrimination occured, but for them and loyalists in the UVF/RHC, (I do not view the LVF as a Loyalist organisation – their only loyalty is crime) the thing that galls us the most is that the descrimination, gerrymandering etc was carried out by the Ulster Unionist ruling-class and not the working-class Protestants who lived in back-to-back shitholes as bad, and worse in some cases, than their neighbours in Roman Catholic areas. For example Carnhill, you cannot for one moment tell me that the Ballysally estate in Coleraine, the third biggest in Northern Ireland, (the only ones bigger being Rathcoole in South-East Antrim/Newtownabbey and Dunclug in Ballymena) is the “Garden of Eden” to coin a phrase from Frank Gallagher of “Shameless” fame.

  • Stephen Copeland

    elfinto,

    100% in agreement with you!

    CL says: “I have come across and am even friends with working-class UDA members and even UFF active-service paramilitants who are LESS b1goted, prejudiced and sectarian than middle-class Unionists.”

    Now while I also know a load of bigoted middle-class unionists, I have never known one of them to go out and kill an innocent person based solely on their perceived religion – but the UFF does that. So, all in all, I think I’d feel happier in the company of my bigoted middle-class friends than with CL’s ‘UFF active-service paramilitants’.

    Its not always the attitude that is most important, it is the actions that you take based upon those attitudes.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Back into the fray jumps my arch-detractor “elfinto” who accused me of being a Protestant “extremist” because i highlighted the sectarianism of local students AND “snabby”, so-called educated unionists…it feels like a tag-team wrestling match – the “Laughable Loyalists” of “Jo the Joke” & “Crazy Concerned Loyalist” versus the “Respectable Republicans” of “Erudite Elfinto” & “Caring Carnhill”…

  • Jo

    Stephen

    The bourgeoisie have not needed to kill, they had the proletariat to do that on their behalf.
    As one of the smarter examples of the latter, David Ervine, said: “I have seen the wallpaper.”

    Wm Craig:

    “We are prepared to liquidate the enemy.”

    No, YOU weren’t, Mr Craig.

    Interesting indicator that the company you keep, according to Elfinto, marks out your “bigotry.”

    Really?

    Wow.

    Then…according to this “theory” when I was going out with a north Belfast (Tigers Bay) Protestant boy at Queens, I was obviously a Loyalist bigot.

    Then when I started dating a guy from Newry, I became a arch Republican bigot. Its clear to me now that I’m completely schizo! Or is it just that the theory is completely bonkers?

  • tonyclifton

    I can see the logic behind the attacks on CL, but it is an easy target due to the way it was framed originally.

    I too know many paramilitaries of both persuasions and both have some bigots and sectarian monkeys, but far far fewer than I would have expected before or than other people still expect.

    I too have noticed the far greated degree of sectarianism that runs free through are supposedly ‘better’ elements of society, especially universities. At queens I encountered far more sectarianism than in a room full of paramilitaries. Both Catholic and Protestant, admitidly I noticed more Catholic for whats its worth, but only I assume because Catholics are greater in number at queens and therefore more visible.

    I would like it noted that although I said paramilitaries on the whole were less sectarian than I would have thought, I am not saying they are angels, just that the possibilty exists that there are many that are open to debate and are prepared to progress.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Stephen Copeland,
    With all due respect I don’t agree with you. If a working, even under-class Protestant youth from Ballysally or Ballybeen joins the UYM at the age of 15 and progresses through the ranks of the UDA and the UFF to become a political assassin, I feel passionately that we should be more shocked that a young middle-class Protestant/Roman Catholic grows up to be a b1got when they have had all the attendant advantages of money, security and a good education. They may not join the UFF or the Provos, but they will descriminate in other ways in later life due to their prejudices – watch the movie “Crash” with Matt Dillon, Don Cheadle and Sandra Bullock – they are all racists and most of their racism is unintended but a by-product of their prejudices, but they are just as bad as the black gang-banger Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, who is obsessed with the oppression of the black people at the hands of the “white man”, but who is himself undoubtedly racist against the “Chinaman” and other ethnic minorities.
    It’s all about opportunities and personal experiences. The bourgeoise won’t join the paramilitaries as they won’t experience the day-to-day cycle of sectarian strife, but the young Protestant from Tigers Bay will, as his community is under siege from local New Lodge and Antrim Road Republicans on an almost nightly basis in a concerted campaign to “ethnically cleanse” (I hate that euphemism) North Belfast’s Protestant population. He will feel that his only option is to join up to help to stop these incursions before his community is annihilated. (The same could probably be said on the republican side in areas like the Short Strand where they are outnumbered and perceive themselves to be under threat from the rest of Loyalist East Belfast)…

  • Jo

    “Crash” was a brill movie, CL. I think it should be made compulsory viewing very week between now and July…

  • Stephen Copeland

    Concerned Loyalist,

    You appear to attach too little value to human life. The middle-class bigots do not usually kill, and therefore the victims of their bigotry have opportunities to fight against it, through education, the legal system, the media … The victims of working-class bigotry (as expressed via the UDA, UVF, UFF, RHC, whoever) often end up dead, for no reason except their religion. Their families, their friends, everyone, has a part of their lives stolen and polluted. There is simply no comparison. I have argued till I’m blue in the face with middle-class bogots, but I have walked away, as have they. Too many other people have never had that chance to walk away because the loyalist killers rob them of the chancee. And please don’t insult our intelligence by pretending that ‘your’ side were ‘defending’ anything by killing random Catholics, old men, children, women …

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Jo,
    I will lower my macho veil for a moment and tell you that my eyes were getting a little moist on two paticular occasions. I don’t want to spoil the film too much for those who NEED to see it, but I defy anyone to say they haven’t a heavy heart during these two scenes in particular, and probably throughout much of the film:

    1) When Matt Dillon’s character, who up to that point had no redeeming features whatsoever, was putting his life on the line to rescue Thandie Newton’s character from the burning car after he had previously sexually harassed/indecently assaulted her at a police checkpoint. The score alone did it for me – it was haunting!

    2) When the reformed gang-banger who had made a career for himself as a locksmith held his little girl in his arms. He believed she had been shot by the North African shopkeeper who wanted revenge after his shop and his livelihood was turned upside down by a burglary which the insurance company refused to pay out on because of a faulty door, NOT lock. Again the overwhelmingly emotive music sent a chill down my spine…

    P.S. I think I should stress here that I am a heterosexual, red-blooded male with macho tendencies, in his prime at the age of 21, but the film did have a profound effect on me because it was so REAL…do you know what I mean Jo?

  • Jo

    CL:

    Ditto re. the eyes at 2) above.

    I had to freeze the DVD at that point. Several tissues later and a tearful hug later…

    As I said compulsory viewing. A tad hard to get into at the start, but then again, Sandra Bullock was worth waiting for. And she CAN act. I shall re-buy it on ebay now lol

  • Carnhill

    If anyone ever progresses through the UDA or UFF to become a ‘political assassin’ then I’d be astounded ! – a braindead sectarian murderer on the other hand, well…

    CL, any arguements that you attempt to make are constantly undermined by your blatant bias and the undercurrent of sectarianism contained within them – e.g. your friends in the ‘Active Service Units of the UFF’ (ha,ha!), your belief in the ‘Brigade Staff of the UFF’ (!!), your ridiculous observations at university, added of course to numerous other examples of bias littered throughout your posts e.g. whilst Tigers Bay ‘is under siege from local New Lodge and Antrim Road Republicans on an almost nightly basis in a concerted campaign to “ethnically cleanse” North Belfast’s Protestant population’, the Short Strand is merely ‘outnumbered and perceive themselves to be under threat ‘.
    Again i’d say to you to show your ridiculous first post to some of your catholic friends to see what they think. Oh, I forgot – you’ve not got any because……

  • Jo

    Carnhill

    You seem very confident that none of those supporting CL’s stance either here or among his circle of friends is a Catholic.

    Why would that be?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Stephen Copeland,
    Again with all due respect, after the Stevens Enquiry rooted out all the dead wood and criminals within the UDA, the UFF became a killing machine superior to that of the Ulster Volunteer Force, and on the same level as the Provisional IRA. They were not interested in slaying innocent Nationalists/ RC’s.
    Yes, there were instances of impulsive tit-for-tat sectarian killings but the majority of these were sanctioned not by the brigadier of the relevant area, but by Battalion or even Company Commanders. After republicans’ murder of innocent Protestants, the UDA Inner Council believed that sectarian reprisals were counter-productive, and this is why 26 republicans were killed at the hands of UFF and UVF active-servicemen the loyalist ceasefires in 1994 – they wanted to terrorize the terrorists, not the Roman Catholic population as a whole.

    UFF members who are privy to the ins and outs of military operations will themselves admit they were only human, their intelligence was wrong at times and innocent Roman Catholics were killed, but they qualify this by using the “balance of terror” argument – by killing nationalists, although in error, it stunned the nationalist/republican communities that harboured the republican murderers into saying “enough is enough, you don’t represent us”.

    The UDA/UFF proved to be correct because within 4 years the strategy of targeting republican activists and gunmen forced the IRA into their August ’94 ceasefires – they realised they couldn’t militarily beat either the security forces or the Ulster Freedom Fighters or the other Loyalist organisation, the UVF…

  • Carnhill

    Just a wild random guess !!

  • Concerned Loyalist

    The 9th line of the first paragraph should read:
    “killed at the hands of UFF and UVF active-servicemen between 1990 and the loyalist ceasefires of 1994”

  • Carnhill

    Ha, ha – it get’s better and better – the Stevens Enquiry rooted all the criminals out of the UDA !
    You couldn’t make this stuff up ! Someone better tell the IMC – dunno why they’re wastin their time monitoring the UDA with regard to criminality – don’t they know that Sir John Stevens rooted all that stuff out years ago !

  • SpellingBee

    Concerned Loyalist is quite patently so intoxicated by the exuberance of his own verbosity that he doesn’t seem to realise that he’s talking sh1t. Just listen to yourself! Glorifying terrorism! Pathetic!

  • Jo

    CL:

    I’ll have to walk behind you a little on this are, but I do take your point on the increased militaristic oriientation of Loyalism.

    But criminality isnt divorced from Loaylist paramiltarism either latterly, or at present. However it ill behoves Republicans celebrating and lauding the heroism of Francie Hughes to tackle you on that issue. I would also seriously doubt your confident assertion that the Inner Council ever acted coherently other than by accident or very temporarily. Gregg is dead, Adair drugged to Hell, Shoukhri compromised. There isnt an IRA Army Council equivalence there or the corresponding centralisation.

  • elfinto

    Concerned Loyalist is quite patently so intoxicated by the exuberance of his own verbosity that he doesn’t seem to realise that he’s talking sh1t. Just listen to yourself! Glorifying terrorism! Pathetic!

    You got it SB. A review of Crash and a lying justification of paramilitarism in north Belfast all in the same paragraph! Mind you, Jo is fairly close behind in the BS stakes. Who even mentioned Francie Hughes?

    Why don’t you ask her out CL? Bring her to some chav flick, buy her a bucket of popcorn and some Rangers bling.

  • Jo

    Elf: is that a shade of jealous green rather than your usual green? I have challenged his thinking on a couple of things, as you can see. Go see the movie.

  • Northsider

    CL must be a troll. If you’re still there, perhaps you might want to explain how your loyalist terrorist heroes carefully targetted known republicans when they went into betting shops and shot dead 15 year old kids, or when they entered the Devenish Arms and pulled an eleven year old – who was cowering under a snooker table – out so they could shoot him in the back. Crippling him for life.

    Next time you’re in their company, ask them about that. Ask them if they took their lead from the legacy of the ‘politically brilliant’ John McMichael who discussed politics for hours in carparks with the likes of Michael Stone and other kilelrs who loved to go into battle against fearsome milkmen on their morning round, warrior taxi drivers with their back to them, mighty Chinese deilivery drivers….

    And listen mate, if you want to come on here and glorify sectarian terrorists then come out and say it. Although Is uppose coming on here is better than writing it on gable ends.

    Maybe if you do good the boys’ll let you join in, you’ll be running errands for the Shoukris before you know it – saving Ulster from bad gambling debts and defending the right to be British drug dealers, pimps, and murderers…

    Maybe if you’re really good, Willie might hand you out a plaque.

  • loftholdingswood

    CL is patently no troll and, yet again, you are playing the man and not the ball. His views are perfectly reasonable and, please, being lectured on bigotry and sectarianism by some of the more rabid Republicans on this and other threads is hilarious. What do I think of shooting taxi drivers and chinese delivery men? Oh, about the same as I think of shooting workers after stopping their van on the way to work. Glorification of sectarian terrorists is an age old problem perpetuated by both “sides”.

    I look at it like this; years ago I saw the damage that following a certain path took me so I decided to change. Instead of the usual “finding God” I found community work,politics and (are you listening at the back?) the ability to influence events through dialogue. I imagine CL is similar to me insomuch as he is seeking to change the way things are in his respective area. There are many of us in many areas. We are making progress and we now wield a degree (I said a degree) of influence which could alter the current way things are. Are things perfect? not a chance. Do I get exasperated at some of my colleagues? certainly. Am I going to give up? not while I’m still breathing.

  • SpellingBee

    Loftholdingswood,

    All very laudable, I’m sure. However, the outrageousness of the submissions by CL to this, and in fact most debates, give rise to the completely plausible accusation that he is a troll. If this is not the case and he is in fact genuine, then will the last person to leave Northern Ireland please turn out the lights? I’m only a few years older then CL and originate from a strongly republican community however I would hate to think that I could in any way justify the murderous campaigns of the various republican terrorist groups in the same manner that he lends legitimacy to the murderous campaigns of the loyalist terror groups. If he is an example of an educated loyalist then God forbid what it’ll be like once the uneducated loyalists, from whom one would expect nothing else, get their £30million worth of education. Several thousand verbose legitimisers of sectarian murders. I think I shall emigrate.

  • Mayoman

    A direct Q then loftholdingswood and CL — do you see any difference between republican and loyalist terrorists?

  • Jo

    I have just done a round robin of 5 people and of the five of us, 4 Catholics, 1 Prod, all 5 see and agree with CL’s main point about sectarianism.

    If anyone is a troll here it might as reasonably be belived to be one who interjects to correct grammar rather than add substantively to the issue being debated – the PUPs and sectarianism. Oh and heres a throwaway one, one of the 5 voted PUP and it wasn’t the Prod one.

    Results:
    Joblog Research 2006 (1% margin of error) 🙂

  • TAFKABO

    “Crash” was a brill movie, CL. I think it should be made compulsory viewing very week between now and July…

    Frankly, there’s nothing more likely to get me out on the streets throwing petrol bombs or participating in apunishment beating than the notion of being forced to watch that pile of old wank one more time.
    Rather than confront and expose racism and bigotry, the film sought to excuse it.
    I don’t care how may good deeds a person does they’re still a nasty piece of shit if they racially harrass and sexualy molest people.
    Anyone who thinks that Crash has anything relevant to teach us needs to have their heads removed from their arses.
    Whilst the film has a stellar cast, they struggle with a sub standard script and ham fisted directing.
    Matt Dillons character says and does nothing that wasn’t already touched upon and explored by the Brilliant Dennis Franz playing Andy Sipowizc in NYPD blue.

    The only message I got from Crash was that all the best writers are currently working in television, usually for companies like HBO.

  • loftholdingswood

    But where I am from CL’s “outrageousness” is seen as progressive thinking!. For every person I meet who looks towards the future and wants to engage with the “other” side I meet others who would quite happily return to another form of engagement that went away (for the most part) years ago. Better a thousand meetings on the way forward than a thousand military meeting to discuss the next target. I sincerely and honestly want people to believe that the mainstream organisations want to change. For some it is slow progress. Very slow progress. For a thread that is talking about the UVF I should really butt out because it is not my area of expertise. I can say that, through the UPRG, the UDA is gradually moving away from the terrible excesses of the past. Before the laughter dies down I should state that this is in some areas and the progress is not always readily apparent. But it is there, you just need to look hard.

  • loftholdingswood

    mayoman,

    I would answer the question if I felt I could give the genuine answers and explanations that such a complex question entails without getting myself arrested! This is a public forum after all and I am not sure of the legal ramifications of a straight answer!

  • Mayoman

    Jo

    What was the question? “Do you agree that loyalist terrotists are lovely people?”. That seems to be CL’s main point ot me!

    I also notice neithen CL nor loftholdingswood bothered to answer my question. So I’ll ask again. As both sides have a similar demography re: education, working-class bacgorund, sense of alientation, etc. etc., do you see any difference between republican and loyalist terrorists?

  • [i] Tigers Bay under attack. [/i] I thought that was a good one. How may Taigs have been killed by Protestant death squads using Tigers bay as their base?
    Many of the Orange death squad activists probably don’t have highly developed political skills. Witness the different career tracks/educational achievements of ex Republican and Loyalist prisoners.
    David Ervine has done his best. Frankly, I feel if he can lift a seat from Sinn Fein with his UUP/UVF buddies, let him go for it. All part of the political process. If this is an own goal, let the electorate vote DUP or Sinn Fein next time round.

    One of the DUP leadies impressed me with all she has been through. I guess she joined the DUP through the FPC.

    Jo takes interesting surveys. Of course, most Catholics vote PUP. That is why the non sectarian UVF/UFF love them so much.

    Concerned Loyalist: I will pray to Our Lady for you.

  • Mayoman

    I sense, maybe, it is a reluctance not to be hung on your own petard by realising that much of what you and CL have said defends the IRA as much as it does the UVF etc.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LHW: “But where I am from CL’s “outrageousness” is seen as progressive thinking!. ”

    ‘splain me, please, how excusing / rationalizing indiscriminate sectarian violence is “progress.” It sounds more like he’s a parlor paramilitary — talks a good game, glorifies the muggings and the violence, but has his cap firmly wedged in his fourth point of contact.

    LHW: “I sincerely and honestly want people to believe that the mainstream organisations want to change. For some it is slow progress. Very slow progress. For a thread that is talking about the UVF I should really butt out because it is not my area of expertise. I can say that, through the UPRG, the UDA is gradually moving away from the terrible excesses of the past. Before the laughter dies down I should state that this is in some areas and the progress is not always readily apparent. But it is there, you just need to look hard. ”

    Riiiiiight. I mean, hey, according to the IMC, there some actual talk on the matter — not that its halted the drugs, the beatings and the like, but at least they are talking. That said, talk is not progress. Talk is talk. Deeds represent progress. Anyone can talk a good game.

    Now that the UVF have a bigger political playmate, might we see some progress, or are they going to be too busy defending their drug turf to discuss the matter?

  • loftholdingswood

    mayoman,

    If it pleases you to believe that then go for it. We move towards what we see. Deep down you probably know my answer and it would probably not surprise you.

    Dread Cthulhu,

    The IMC reports what it is told to report. It is a Blair/Hain spin machine set to Turbo mode. I can’t speak for every area and I don’t travel to every town but I can tell you that changes are taking effect. Genuine changes. But no doubt you want to believe it is smoke and mirrors.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LHW: “But no doubt you want to believe it is smoke and mirrors. ”

    Quite the contrary – I’d really like to believe its the truth. However, recent events call your interpretation into question.

    Besides, why should we take this seriously until guns are decomissioned and there is real progress, rather than just “talk,” on criminality?

  • loftholdingswood

    It is a bit more than just talk. There is no doubt that we have to get our own house in order before we can truly progress. And sadly that normally means a degree of bloodletting as our culture is steeped in doing things the hard way. But it will come to pass and we will get to where we want to be.

    Guns? They are as easy to dispose of as they are to obtain. They are an irrelevance insomuch as if we can decommission the mindset to use them then they will rust. The mindset of violence is far more dangerous hence talk,talk,talk.

  • Carnhill

    Loftholdingswood,

    Any changes that are being made by the loyalist paramilitaries to move away from violence and criminality is certainly to be welcomed. However it appears to many of us looking in from the outside that the ‘thinkers’ or ‘reformers’ within the UDA and UVF are heavily outnumbered and are faced with an almost impossible task of tryin to persuade the vast majority for whom life within the UDA & UVF is and always has been about hating Catholics. I, along with many others, would love to be proved wrong on this. For what it’s worth I would certainly be someone who would respect people like David Ervine – I do think he is trying to do the right thing, however i just think that he and his ilk are too heavily outnumbered by the numbskulls within both the UDA & UVF. It’s therefore gonnae be up to the PSNI to deal with them – if they can be bothered !

  • Bilbo

    “I think you should be a bit more concerned with the activities of your ‘working-class UDA members and even UFF active-service paramilitant (?!)’ friends, than the attitudes you ‘have noticed’ or ‘observed’ from fellow students at Magee”

    and I think you should look at why these guys are doing these things, why the loyalists are still at war, why they don’t feel represented and confident like their republican counterparts. There are some serious issues which is why I am glad that the UUP have come off their high horse and are trying to tackle these things.

  • loftholdingswood

    As I’ve said before I can’t speak for the UVF (which gives the game away of who I can speak for) but, from my perspective and my area, the reformers and thinkers hold sway over the more belligerent or militaristic. This is clearly not the case in some areas and this has been highlighted in the media. We need the equivalent of a David Ervine in the UPRG (not that I am belittling the good work of our current spokesmen) and I think you will see this happening in the not to distant future as further progress is made and the progressive elements gain more control. There have been a few setbacks recently as things are debated and hard decisions are being taken but this is what it is all about and I do believe some positive things will come out of these discussions.

    I think you will understand me when I say that the PSNI are an irrelevance to what must happen and all changes will come about because we choose to change. It is our mess after all….

  • pitt park

    “and I think you should look at why these guys are doing these things, why the loyalists are still at war, why they don’t feel represented and confident like their republican counterparts.”

    They are doing ‘these things’because they are making huge ammounts of money from selling drugs within ‘their’ community.

    They are doing ‘these things’ because they are extorting huge ammounts of money from local legitimate businness people within ‘their’ communities.

    Still at war….? Drugs, Extortion, prostitution, Illegal shebeens, protection money, punishment shootings & beatings.

    Do you honestly believe that Jackie McDonald’s boys in South Belfast are any different than Shoukri’s crew in the North of the city.

    The extortion, drugs and prostitution rackets are just as previlent in South Belfast, as North Belfast.

    They need the weapons to protect their drug and
    extortion empires.

    Thier only loyality is to themselves

  • bertie

    Elfinto

    How do you know that that is an extremeist belief? He said that that was true of SOME of the students He KNEW.
    I know his beliefs are extreme because I read the rest of his post.
    He also expressed a personal belief about some people he knew and then said it was sad but true. He turned his own subjective belief into objective truth. Must be taking some powerful stuff!
    Or can you not read, bertie!?
    Posted by elfinto on May 16, 2006 @ 11:55 PM

    I didn’t ask you how you know that his beliefs are extreme! I asked you “How do you know that that is an extremeist belief” Can YOU not read?

    The post that I responded to was
    CL,
    I honestly believe that if some of the students I have met were in charge of hiring and firing and had the choice of two mixed-religion candidates, they would picked the Roman Catholic person every time, regardless of ability…sad but true
    I agree, it’s true that you hold these extremist beliefs and it’s sad that you hold them.
    Posted by elfinto on May 16, 2006 @ 11:36 PM

    The “I honestly….sad but true” is CL’s quote. Your post is (more than) suggesting that THIS quote is an extremist belief.

  • bertie

    However…..

    “CL says: “I have come across and am even friends with working-class UDA members and even UFF active-service paramilitants who are LESS b1goted, prejudiced and sectarian than middle-class Unionists.”

    Now while I also know a load of bigoted middle-class unionists, I have never known one of them to go out and kill an innocent person based solely on their perceived religion – but the UFF does that. So, all in all, I think I’d feel happier in the company of my bigoted middle-class friends than with CL’s ‘UFF active-service paramilitants’.

    Its not always the attitude that is most important, it is the actions that you take based upon those attitudes.

    Posted by Stephen Copeland on May 17, 2006 @ 01:04 PM”

    …..I am in total agreement with this statement and the paradox that the whole post starts with

    “elfinto,

    100% in agreement with you! ”

    ….is not lost on me!

  • Comrade Stalin

    bertie, I agree completely. Clearly a bigot who is prepared to join a death-squad paramilitary organization to kill is somewhat worse than a more vociferous bigot who is not prepared to kill.

    Concerned Loyalist’s logic is badly warped, but maybe that’s why he’s a loyalist. CL, your business should be to ensure that the UDA and UVF disarm and disband. I don’t really see the point in talking to you while you appear to justify the existence of criminal organizations.

  • bertie

    Comrade

    is this a first for us 😉

  • elfinto

    Most loyalist paramilitaries vote DUP so what the UPRG or PUP say is pretty much irrelevant in any case. Surely it would be much more relevant if the DUP called on the UVF or UDA to decommission their weapons.

  • bertie

    Various DUP politicians have called on the UVF/UDA not just to “decommission” weapons but to decommission themselves.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    pitt park,
    South Belfast and North Belfast, although only aproximately 3 miles away geographically, are in reality a million miles apart…Jackie McDonald’s brigade is ANTI-drugs and ANTI-all-round criminality, whereas, it galls me to say it, the North Belfast Brigade has RECENTLY degenerated into a criminal empire under the leadership of the Shoukri brothers, at the expense of the grassroots volunteers who have gained nothing but a bad reputation as a maverick brigade area…