More Rope for the Dopes?

Brian Feeney has an interesting take on the British strategy for dealing with the UDA. He charts the seamless pattern which has developed in recent years and ultimately remains unimpressed by a strategy which relies on the protection of a ‘good’ UDA to the detriment of the poorest unionist communities.

  • Garibaldy

    Isn’t the government just being consistent in facilitating the shift of position by the UDA. Not very palatable, but not very new either.

  • loftholdingswood

    Brian Feeney alludes to the famous “rumble in the jungle” bout between Ali and Foreman. Those of us old enough to remember the actual fight recall that Foreman never looked at ease in the build up to and the actual fight itself. It is said that he was concerned that a local witch doctor had placed a voodoo spell on him and that he truly never believed he would win. Foreman quickly left straight away after the fight with a suitcase of cash and an uncertain future. Ali went on to a glorious few more years. Ultimately Foreman made a transformation, found God, regained a boxing title and made millions from a “lean mean” grilling machine. Ali can barely remember his own name as he suffers from a debilitating disease. Those “rope a dope” punches were not what they seemed.

    The moral of the story? I have absolutely no idea. Just like the NIO.

  • The Devil

    Good old Brian Feeney. I’m glad somebody is calling it as he sees it.

    I was growing a little weary of hearing about “brigadiers” and “inner councils”, and such nonsense, and news channels giving valuable airtime to all this.

    Yes, Brian, they are yahoos in hoodies and jeans. You didn’t mention the earrings, tattoos, shaved heads and general ugliness. Where I come from they’re called yobs.

    It’s common knowledge that if you give a yob ideas above his station you’ll be feeding the beast and no good will ever come of it. Wonder when this will dawn on the NIO.

  • Moochin photoman

    Foreman is also known as the “Punchin Preacher”………i’m sure there’s something in there about our own Preachers!
    I think that the coverage overall has been subdued which has probably helped if anything.

  • Pete Baker

    Mr Satan

    “Good old Brian Feeney. I’m glad somebody is calling it as he sees it.”

    Yeah… ’cause no-one else has…

    Of course, Brian neglected to mention the other interested parties..

  • The Devil

    Pete, don’t know if you’re being sarcastic. Seems to me that Feeney is the only journo who knows the difference between an army and a rabble of yobs. High command indeed! Who else is saying this in case I missed it?

  • Pete Baker

    Mr Satan

    Slightly sarcastic… but follow the links anyway.

  • The Devil,

    High command indeed!

    It’s a THC high!

  • aquifer

    The police find it hard to limit the financial growth of drug and extortion gangs and their attraction for young men. But when these gangs are prone to murder innocent citizens on the basis of their religious background, or to suhvert democracy from time to time, something else must be tried. The legal ‘something elses’ that can be introduced are limited by the paramilitary connections of the major nationalist party, so we have this sordid dance between the NIO and elements within the UDA. If lawyer Brian has some legal ideas about how to defeat paramilitarism, I’ll be glad to hear them.

    I think that because of the success of all paramilitaries in intimidating witnesses and defeating normal legal prosecutions, that we may need more covert survelliance and new conspiracy laws, though we should try the alternatives of flattery and bribery first. i.e. The state should continue to apply the principles of minimum force and maximum freedom, to distinguish itself from the paramilitaries, but only so far as the state is succeeding in ending their rule.

    The state should not license effective competitors in any area. This was the lesson of the ‘no go’ areas in the 1970’s.

    Is the CRJ scheme in danger of unremembering this?

  • Nevin

    [i]The state should not license effective competitors in any area.[/i]

    But London and Dublin will when it comes to containing, as far as possible, paramilitary fascism and mafiaism to Northern Ireland.

    I think we can expect a ‘side-deal’ on CRJ and Police Community Support Officers.

  • blandy

    Its just a pity he isnt as perceptive when its the provos being mollycoddled

  • T.Ruth

    Both governments are capable of selling out on any principle in the interest of expediency or the quick fix, although the Blair government would be well ahead of Bertie and the boys in this respect.
    It is sickening to listen to Blair’s current speeches on the Middle East about the need to protect Democracy ,Freedom,Liberty.
    Expediency will enable the Blair government to promote and support CRJ shemes irrespective of the shambles it creates in deprived areas of the community.
    My own view on Justice is that the severity of Retribution should be directly proportional to the inability to make Restoration.
    The Retribution to follow on foot of arrest by a well trained,impartial,skilled and legitimate PSNI,a proper trial in an open legitimate court,and sentencing by a qualified legitimate judiciary.

  • Peking

    “My own view on Justice is that the severity of Retribution should be directly proportional to the inability to make Restoration.”

    Think about it. If you take that idea to its logical conclusion then in most cases the poor will be made suffer more than the rich. I might add, even more than is the case already.

  • T.Ruth

    I was not necessarily referring to financial restoration. There are crimes where one might feel that rehabilitation is a possibility and certainly perpetrators should be offered that possibility.I believe that is the level at which community schemes under police supervision would have some value.
    Where rehabilitation does not seem likely-the Attracta Harron murder for example-and restoration is not possible, then the retribution that follows should be related to the ernomity of the crime.
    Rapists and paedophi;es have a very high rate of recidivism-in the region of 95 percent-and to my mind the penalties, whether they are poor or rich should be such that they are removed from normal society and imprisoned indefinitely.
    Those who ungergo a genuine change perhaps as the result of a religious conversion should be happy to regard the punishment as a just penance and having done the crime -do the time.
    Our legal system seems obsessively biased in favour of the evil people in our society at the expense of decent citizens-rich and poor alike.
    Poverty is no excuse for committing a crime.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    As a nationalist Feeney should adhere to the adage “People In Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stone”. His first question should be to ask himself how IRA/Sinn Fein are treated by the British Government and not how the UDA are treated. His community’s so-called defenders know more than anyone what it is like to be treated like royalty, bleeding concession after concession out of a weak, compliant Labour government.
    Another point, he “remains unimpressed by a strategy which relies on the protection of a ‘good’ UDA to the detriment of the poorest unionist communities.”

    How can he write this when he has no understanding of loyalist communities? Has he ever lived in Lincoln Courts or the Fountain in Londonderry, Ballysally or Harpurs Hill in Coleraine or Rathcoole or Taughmonagh Estates in Greater Belfast for example? How does he then know that “a ‘good UDA (is) to the detriment of the poorest unionist communities”?