“we could end up with an absolutely fantastic society..”

On Monday regular Slugger commenter, loftholdingswood, predicted “further announcements later in the week from the mainstream” [the ‘good’ UDA? -Ed] in response to the South East Antrim UDA’s Beyond Conflict document.. and today, as reported by the BBC, Frankie Gallagher of the ‘good’ UPRG announced that – A pamphlet outlining ways of transforming loyalist areas is set to be published. Added link belowHere’s the reported comment from Mr Gallagher

“If we applied the same type of resource and the same type of structures to help loyalism move on – that republicanism successfully dealt with – I think we could end up with an absolutely fantastic society where there would be no paramilitarism.

Time to get that chequebook out, Mr Hain.. yet again..

Adds The BBC report also states

It follows a consultation within working class Protestant areas and includes the views of UDA members.

Added link to a previously asked, and still relevant, question – “the basis of a civilised society?

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  • Fanny

    A pamphlet????

    I thought a 64-page full-colour extravaganza was de rigueur for such things — funded by the taxpayer of course.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
    But we’ve proved it again and again,
    That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
    You never get rid of the Dane.

    — Kipling

  • Skintown lad

    Agreed Dread. If people like the loyalist leadership were actually capable of doing what was right for ‘their people’ in the first place, they would have no need for further money to be thrown at them to clean up their mess.

  • baldrick45

    Come on boys

    How can the “Brigadeers” sell this to their “men” if they can’t point to their new top of the range Rangerover as proof that they’ve won.

    Instead, why not just give the money to an expanded ARA and f*ck the lot of them, one ar*ehole at a time!

    Sorry but I have even less time for loyalist criminals than I have for Republican criminals!

  • Dublin Exile

    I think Frankie Gallagher and his likeminded colleagues should be congratulated and encouraged for trying to lead their organisations out of the past, and not mocked and ridiculed from the comfort of your laptops and ‘workstations’.

    This sort of initiative takes courage and should be supported.

  • Skintown lad

    this sort of initiative does not take millions of extra pounds, on top of that which they get at the moment

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Dublin Exile: “I think Frankie Gallagher and his likeminded colleagues should be congratulated and encouraged for trying to lead their organisations out of the past, and not mocked and ridiculed from the comfort of your laptops and ‘workstations’. ”

    Frankie Gallagher and his like-minded “collegues” *ARE* the problem, DE. They are the drug-dealers on their patch, so “hiring” them to address the “problem” of drugs on their patch smacks of the absurd.

    That they wish to lead their “colleagues” out of criminality should be lauded. What I find absurd are their disingenuous rationales and their “requests” for dane-geld.

  • Dec

    I think Frankie Gallagher and his likeminded colleagues should be congratulated and encouraged for trying to lead their organisations out of the past, and not mocked and ridiculed from the comfort of your laptops and ‘workstations’.

    Dublin Exile

    Considering many here (myself included) have buried relatives murdered by those ‘likeminded colleagues’, you might cut us a bit of slack for our cynicism every time they produce their (rather large) begging bowls.

  • loftholdingswood

    Some rather snotty comments so far (with the exception of Dublin Exile). Seeing as no one has actually read the document yet (I am off shortly to the official publication launch) it is disappointing to see such a reaction. This publication (which I have made reference to before) is the result of a long, wide ranging consultation with members of the UDA, their families and other Loyalists in the broad definition of that title. It does not gloss over some difficult aspects and it does not ask for a blank cheque in exchange for a “jobs for the boys” jamboree. Please at least read it before passing the usual judgment. Possibly later tonight or certainly tomorrow I’ll be able to fully answer questions that relate to what we have said. As a contributor to the publication I’ll be more than interested to give it a once over myself tonight when I go to the launch and receive my copy.

    There has been a great deal of time and effort put into this publication with some real debates within the organisation as to where we can go from here. As I’ve said before we want to bring everyone on board and that is the most difficult task of all.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LHW: “This publication (which I have made reference to before) is the result of a long, wide ranging consultation with members of the UDA, their families and other Loyalists in the broad definition of that title. It does not gloss over some difficult aspects and it does not ask for a blank cheque in exchange for a “jobs for the boys” jamboree. ”

    No, I’m certain it doesn’t — it asks for a signed check, in the sum of, what, the low to mid eight figures.

    The problem, LHW, is a matter of credibility. The problems Frankie and the boys are offering to “help fix” are the problems they’ve so lovingly worked to create over the years. One does not hire the fox to guard the chicken-coop, LHW, nor does one pay criminals not to commit crimes.

  • Dublin Exile

    Dec-

    Cynicism is all well and good and indeed understandable. But shouldn’t we be cutting those within loyalism who seem to be willing to change ‘some slack’?

    Lets see the document before it gets written off.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Dublin Exile: “But shouldn’t we be cutting those within loyalism who seem to be willing to change ‘some slack’?”

    Why pay them dane-geld, DE?

    When this sort of operation is performed on a more personal level — the transfer of funds to an agent to prevent the transferer from being the target of criminality — its called extortion. Why should this process, when performed on a far grander scale, be given the time of day?

    They *ARE* the problem in most respects. They are the ones committing violence, dealing the drugs, etc. Paying them to not do these things is absurd. If they truly represented the interests of the masses, why have they such a dearth of elected politicians to show for it?

  • Fanny

    “There has been a great deal of time and effort put into this publication… ”

    Someone’s started a book here, loftholdingswood, and you can settle it for us.

    The smart money is on a 4-colour job with an extra spot colour. I’m betting on its being gold; others are saying it’ll be gunmetal blue.

    You’ll let us know right away, won’t you?

  • Yokel

    Dublin Exile

    What it looks like they are asking for (Loftholdingthewoods wait and see comments notwithstanding) is that the government funds their transfer from the illegimate power of the gun to the power of something else.

    Result, they have some kind of community power and influence gifted to them without the wider communities, which they are a section of,asking for it or agreeing to it.

    Is that a good idea? You don’t need millions to create peace, you need people to stop pissing their communities about. I haven’t heard about any independent survey in Rathcoole or the Shankill or Taughmonagh or wherever asking residents what they think. Maybe there has been, maybe there will be or maybe the consultations &surveys will be restricted to loyalists, ie the lads.

    Bear in mind that the loyalist groupings involved have overall carried comparatively little support in their wider communities when they’ve put themselves up for the vote.

    Loftholdingthewoods, you know as well as I do that this initiative will stick in the throats of a majority of the unionist population including working class unionists that live on teh same housing estates that theseloyalists come from. What do you think the reasons for that are?

    Are we going to say goodbye to the following?

    If I have an argument with a known player for whatever reason after a few pints, am I going to have 5 of his player mates come round with pickaxe handles to beat the crap out of me?

    When one of these players dies, is my small shop going to be asked by 3 large blokes to close ‘as a mark of respect’ when in fact they shouldnt be coming in and suggesting I do anything?

    Are people with no visible means of inclome (other than their community workers salary) still going to be driving about in cars worth more than my family’s combined annual salary?

    These are just a mere few of the things that occur that need to go. But will they? Are the people people behind this initiative going to be subject to the same meritocracy as the rest of us?

  • JD

    On Good Morning Ulster (or part of it) this morning, Frankie Gallagher was asked if he supported the 8.7 million pound proposal for SE Antrim Brigade and he said he did, but reckoned to finish the job of dismantling the UDA may cost 700 million. I nearly choked on my orange juice.

  • Yokel

    Fanny

    A tenner on the blue skies of Ulster…..

  • Dread Cthulhu

    JD: “On Good Morning Ulster (or part of it) this morning, Frankie Gallagher was asked if he supported the 8.7 million pound proposal for SE Antrim Brigade and he said he did, but reckoned to finish the job of dismantling the UDA may cost 700 million. I nearly choked on my orange juice. ”

    Okay… In terms of just how ludicrous this proposal is, I think we have just gone plaid…

  • Yokel

    New detached bungalows cost a lot of money JD.

    700 million, now lets have a bit of honesty.

    That would be the greatest swindle of modern times…well no thats the Iraqi Oil for Food programme but it comes close.

    Maybe if they stopped talking about the money and started talking about the principles it would be well helpful.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Fanny: “The smart money is on a 4-colour job with an extra spot colour. I’m betting on its being gold; others are saying it’ll be gunmetal blue. ”

    Nah, not flashy enough, the gun-metal…

    The fifth color is the color of money, plain and simple.

  • Fanny

    “A tenner on the blue skies of Ulster…..”

    Nah, Yokel, easily arrived at with 42% cyan, 11% magenta and 5% black.

    It’ll have to be a metallic I reckon. Or maybe a white, powdery finish.

  • Fanny

    “The fifth color is the color of money, plain and simple.”

    Tricky, Cthulhu. Too many different bank-notes in circulation in NI. What colour were the Ulster Bank using a coupla years ago? Or am I confusing suspects here?

  • Captain Renault

    700 million!
    How many major bank robberies would that be equivalent to?

  • Yokel

    Any betting on the logo?

    Just wondering if there were odds on a steroidal red arm with a big red hand on the end of it.

  • Skintown lad

    “There has been a great deal of time and effort put into this publication… “

    I reckon I could spend a fair bit of time on my shopping list too

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Fanny: “Tricky, Cthulhu. Too many different bank-notes in circulation in NI. What colour were the Ulster Bank using a coupla years ago? Or am I confusing suspects here? ”

    Gold… although, with a 700 million price-tag, maybe platinum or a sparkly “diamond” finish would be more appropriate.

    Frankie G was not going far enough… this could be more than fantastic — we could reach “Chav-tastic,” with plenty of heavy gold chains and new Nike trainers for everyone!

    Yokel: “Just wondering if there were odds on a steroidal red arm with a big red hand on the end of it. ”

    With the title “An Offer you Can’t Refuse” across the top… or better yet, tattooed on the bicep.

  • Fanny

    “Any betting on the logo?

    Just wondering if there were odds on a steroidal red arm with a big red hand on the end of it.”

    LOL, Yokel. Any outlet of Elizabeth Duke joolery is full of inspiration for logos.

  • Audrey 11

    Feed me.

  • Proud

    Yokel, post number 14 – couldn’t have put it better mysef.

  • cladycowboy

    F*** me! It’ll be a production line of Mikey Carroll’s about the place.

    Still, thugs that defended the realm have always been well paid. Many a wealthy,respectable family nowadays reached such a station utilizing the capital earned with thuggery defending the realm.
    A few generations time and you’ll be hearing about Shoukri’s being called to the bar instead of extorting one!

  • Fanny

    “Still, thugs that defended the realm have always been well paid.”

    Cladycowboy, as you’ll know, the very realm itself was created by thugs, although in the beginning they weren’t called that (is that Hindustani?). They were known as warlords or robber barons, and the one with (literally) the biggest clout got the top position. From that point on on, he was known as a “king.”

  • Cromwell

    Fanny

    I wish you would talk to my wife. I’ve been trying to explain that to her ever since I first met her but she stubbornly continues to admire royal families (thankfully though, she didn’t fall for the rubbish that Princess Di was the best mother who ever lived).

  • Pete Baker

    All very humorous, people.. but not very constructive in terms of a wider discussion on the topic itself, and as we can now see, it’s an approach that tends to result in the thread heading down a cul-de-sac.

  • wsc

    Pete

    I hope your last comment wasn’t directed at me.
    We have these thugs demanding a pay off to stop their parasitical behaviour. That does have a long and cotinuing precedence.\
    I think that is fair comment.

  • Fanny

    “I wish you would talk to my wife. I’ve been trying to explain that to her ever since I first met her but she stubbornly continues to admire royal families”

    Cromwell, have her text me. Happy to help.

    “she didn’t fall for the rubbish that Princess Di was the best mother who ever lived).”

    I’m glad. We all know that honour goes to Jordan.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Pete Baker: “All very humorous, people.. but not very constructive in terms of a wider discussion on the topic itself, and as we can now see, it’s an approach that tends to result in the thread heading down a cul-de-sac. ”

    Pete, c’mon — a “request” has been put forward for a 700 million pounds (1.036 billion Euros or 1.3 billion US dollars) to turn Loyalist criminal organizations into “community activists.”

    When one hood does it one victim, its called “extortion…”

    When one gang does it to a neighborhood, its called “racketeering…”

    When all the hoods do it to government, apparently, they wish to call it “community activism.”

    Is not a little sarcasm and cynicism to be expected?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Fanny: “I’m glad. We all know that honour goes to Jordan. ”

    Thanks, Fanny, my dear… I’m going to be days cleaning the spit-take out of my keyboard…

  • Pete Baker

    If I had intended to direct it at any particular individual, even an anonymous one, wsc, I would have.

    It’s all very well to direct comments at the particular group involved in this example… but it directly follows a long-standing, if publicly unstated, policy of the NIO, British government advisors and the Irish government – and it clearly hasn’t been restricted to loyalist paramilitary and criminal groups.

    Given what’s has already passed between all these interested parties this latest demand, if more public than most, is hardly a surprise.

  • Pete Baker

    A little is acceptable, DC, it’s when it becomes the only form of contribution to the thread that it becomes a problem.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Peter Baker: “A little is acceptable, DC, it’s when it becomes the only form of contribution to the thread that it becomes a problem. ”

    To laugh is one of two sane responses to an insane situation, Pete.

    Their claim to represent these areas is not borne out by any sort of actual democratic political support. They are the primary source of many of the problems they are offering to “help solve,” leastwise in their own neighborhoods. They have steadfastly resisted decommissioning arms.

    What rational reaction is there, save to laugh?

  • joeCanuck

    Pete

    Low blow.
    I almost always post under my real identity but, for a bit of humour, I sometimes use a sock puppet.
    I commented under another thread under wsc (can you guess who that is?) and forgot to change to my true identity.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Pete Baker: “Given what’s has already passed between all these interested parties this latest demand, if more public than most, is hardly a surprise. ”

    And now we have back to where I started…

    “And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
    But we’ve proved it again and again,
    That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
    You never get rid of the Dane.”

    — Kipling

  • Little Eva

    JD
    I heard the vacuous Gallagher on GMU this morning with the new pet phrase he has picked up somewhere – he’s must have described the UDA as counter-insurgents about 10 times – and could swear it was £800 million he mentioned. But hey, what’s another £100 million when you’re bandying about figures like that.
    This place really is turning into Alice in Wonderland.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    The proper terminology would be “counter-gang,” the tactics having been developed in Kenya and Aden by the S.A.S. during the local unpleasentness in the waning days of the Empire.

  • Yokel

    I’m glad some people finds my comments amusing/pertinent/agreeable. I normally hack off one at least one person whenever I post, so I am naturally disappointed.

    Pete B. I think there is substance in the reactions, its incredulity that a figure of 700 million has been mentioned.

    That reaction is substantial in its own right, just because its brief. If people didn’t laugh they’d be so angry that there’d be smashed plates or worse in homes around the country. Maybe there is a government policy of chucking money at paramilitaries but the UDA are giving the money such prominence that its leaving even more of a bad smell than the whole proposition in itself. They could have said was that they want to move to community development etc and the costs remained to be worked out but it looks like an exercise in public blackmail.

    I await the return of Loftsholdingwood from launch of said (possibly gold bound) document.

  • Little Eva

    Gallagher’s suggestion of (demand for?) £700 or £800 million makes Kirkham and the SEA gang look decidedly parsimonious.

  • loftholdingswood

    Back from the Linen Hall Library Belfast official launch of “A New Reality?- Loyalism in Transition”. It was a well attended event I’m glad to say. Those who thought that we were putting a monetary value on things tonight were sorely disappointed. The pamphlet (I hate that word- to me it is a booklet pure and simple, pamphlet sounds like something thrust at you in the High Street on a Saturday afternoon shop) is basically the first of a series (are you not excited?) outlining our thoughts and, most importantly, the thoughts of many thousands of people who define themselves as Loyalists in an organisation that is in transition. Therefore it encapsulates a wide range of opinions and desires. It reads fairly well but what is striking is the membership’s desire for a political solution and a peaceful outcome to the future. The membership place the onus on the UPRG to lay further foundations on the road to peace and the vast majority accept that it is through political persuasion and only that type of persuasion that a true peace can be won. It is but a start.

    If viewed as a snapshot of the minds and thoughts in 2005/2006 of Loyalists within the UDA then it makes heartening reading insomuch as there is an acceptance that violence is not the way forward and that we need to face up to the more unsavory criminal activities contained within the organisation and rid ourselves completely of that sort of activity. Easier said than done I hear you cry but if you read the booklet you will see that this is what the vast majority want. And in that and that alone we see progress.

  • Frankie is going on what he has been told the Republican side has assets worth, property portfolio worth nearly a billion dollars worldwide!

    However, giving Frankie what ever amount on the one hand, and going after Thomas Slab Murphy etc smacks of double standards.

    As quoted by a poster before on Slugger,

    “rather than robbing Peter to pay Paul, this is a case of nailing Slab to pay Frankie”

    If there is to be money given to keep those paramilitaries on a peaceful and lawful path, and I agree there should be, then surely there needs to equal measures.

    Bobby Storey gets a political job, give Jackie McDonald a similar role, Frankie gets a pay off, then give Slab a break, and allow Thomas slab Murhpy to retire gracefully.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LHW: “It reads fairly well but what is striking is the membership’s desire for a political solution and a peaceful outcome to the future.”

    Only after the Dane-geld has been delivered, no doubt.

    LHW: “The membership place the onus on the UPRG to lay further foundations on the road to peace and the vast majority accept that it is through political persuasion and only that type of persuasion that a true peace can be won. It is but a start. ”

    If this membership represents “many thousands of people who define themselves as Loyalists,” why are there so few democratically elected leaders to push for this wonderful bit of extortion, LHW?

    LHW: “If viewed as a snapshot of the minds and thoughts in 2005/2006 of Loyalists within the UDA then it makes heartening reading insomuch as there is an acceptance that violence is not the way forward and that we need to face up to the more unsavory criminal activities contained within the organisation and rid ourselves completely of that sort of activity. ”

    Seeing as the Brigades are the authors of much of the violence and criminal activity, then this should simple — simply turn in the guns and get out of the business. As previously stressed, you are a group that is “committed to non-violence.” Likewise, if drug-dealing is now considered offensive, simply stop dealing drugs. Its really not that complicated a process, LHW. It take no energy and no infusion of tax-payor dollars for a body to not commit a crime.

    LHW: “you will see that this is what the vast majority want. ”

    Money. Lots and lots of money.

  • darth rumsfeld

    dread
    I agree entirely with you about paying the Danegeld, and applaud your knowledge of the works of the great Unionist poet Kipling.

    But sadly the archive section of slugger seems to be broken, cos it hasn’t any record of your similarly forthright comments about paying the danegeld to the IRA and its involvement in criminality-y’know, the fuel laundering, ciggie smuggling, extortion, kneecapping. Complain to mick, otherwise people might get the wrong end of the stick, and,er somehow think you were turning a blind eye to “your side’s” godfathers.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Darth Rumsfeld: “But sadly the archive section of slugger seems to be broken, cos it hasn’t any record of your similarly forthright comments about paying the danegeld to the IRA and its involvement in criminality-y’know, the fuel laundering, ciggie smuggling, extortion, kneecapping.”

    More than likely, its a function of when I came to the party that is Slugger, Darth, than a disparity of opinion. And, I would point out, I have been rather forthright on criminality — you arrest criminals, period. I don;t care if they’re “my” bastards or “your” bastards, hoods is hoods.

    As for Kipling, one does not ignore classics on the basis of politics.