Prelude to the UVF’s long goodbye?

ON Saturday David Ervine, noted that Friday marked more than Ian and Eileen Paisley’s wedding anniversary but also the 12th Anniversary of the Loyalist Ceasefires. He points to unfinished business on the Loyalist side of the fence.From David Ervine:

The agreement in St Andrews shares an anniversary with not only Ian and Eileen Paisley but the 12th Anniversary of the Loyalist Ceasefires. That ceasefire created the atmosphere where debate and negotiation could take place, not everyone was ready for that debate, some were stuck in the jungle, others fought their way out. However, I am glad that now all parties are at the table.”

“This deal will mean that the provisionals will be in Government, both Republican and Unionist Provisionals.”

“If you look back at PUP submissions to all negotiations going back decades, almost everything we advocated has come to pass and the UUP cartel joined our position then Sinn Fein and now the DUP. There is only one person better at deals than the PUP and that is Jeffrey Donaldson, everywhere he goes a deal happens, I wonder if he will stay where he is or try and find a new deal?.”

“I would like to congratulate Ian Paisley on doing a deal, not only as a human being and an individual, but for the benefit it will bring to our children. It was ‘Never! Never! Never!’ and people didn’t think this would Ever! Ever! Ever! happen.”

“Unionism is for the first time doing what is in its own best interests.”

“We have a choice; to wallow in the fact that the DUP are now walking the ground that we broke, some people say we are on our knees as a party, they are right!, in fact sometimes I think that being in the PUP is about wearing knee pads and using a club hammer to break the ground for our politicians to walk on, Trimble and now Paisley. But no more, we are going to stand on our feet, get on the streets and make a difference.”

“We shouldn’t be afraid to deal with and talk about the UVF and RHC. Right is right and wrong is wrong and times change, everyday that passes is a day closer to the end of their existence. It is important that they have support from us to help them off the stage because our lives need to change, Northern Ireland needs to take its society back from all paramilitaries. The UVF/RHC can see this society changing and want to be part of it, we need to facilitate and make room for this to happen.”

,

  • bertie

    “He points to unfinished business on the Loyalist side of the fence.”

    Well why the hell doesn’t he and the rest of them finish it. They had no bloody business starting it!

    Or rather they did have a very bloody business.

  • Henry94

    ON Saturday David Ervine, noted that Friday marked more than Ian and Eileen Paisley’s wedding anniversary but also the 12th Anniversary of the Loyalist Ceasefires.

    I hope the Paisley marriage showed more fidelity to its original intentions.

  • He points to unfinished business on the Loyalist side of the fence.

    Well David, as soon as the Brit govt release the millions to Frankie G and Jackie McDonald, then, to keep things fair, allow Thomas Slab Murphy to retire gracefully, assets intact, we can all move on towards a permanent peaceful NI.

    To all those so-called “Silent moral majority” who complain about paying off former paramilitaries, I say, if it helps define criminality from now on and keeps those paramilitaries on a lawful and peaceful path, then get the bloody chequebook out.

    What did last weeks junket to Scotland cost,1/2 million pounds, no-one questioned that.

  • bertie

    yeah get the blood chequebook out and give another message to coming generations that terrorism and crime pays.

  • Yokel

    Art Hostage

    Half a mil for the possibility:

    That rates bills may change

    For kids who do well academically can go to schools with equallydoing well kids

    For me being able to use my vote to kick out politicians if they aren’t good in government

    Well worth it. But sure pay criminals the money to nto be criminals any more…why don’t we just turn everything on its head. I’ll be starting a group of my own shortly if I can get money otu of it. Hold on and I’ll phone through some bomb alerts to kick it off…

  • Observer

    Heh, I can remember reading “for peace to last, we all must profit” :p

    The UDA requests for cash have at least succeeded in making me laugh out loud, albeit bitterly.

  • GWB

    “the governments should not waste an estimated £500,000 taxpayers money on an elaborate PR stunt in St Andrews”

    Sir Reg Empey, Spet 28th 2006.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Art Hostage: “To all those so-called “Silent moral majority” who complain about paying off former paramilitaries, I say, if it helps define criminality from now on and keeps those paramilitaries on a lawful and peaceful path, then get the bloody chequebook out. ”

    “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

  • circles

    Déjà vu or what DC!

  • lib2016

    In the ‘good old days’ of the 1970’s and 80’s when the UDA was a legal group complete with romper rooms etc unionists weren’t so quick to call for their prosecution. In fact there were times when they seemed to be working together.

    Now that they are finally being confronted and wound up we have huge condemnation from the same unionists – strange that!

  • I Wonder

    ..where are the Danes now then? 🙂

  • Yokel

    Lib…Unionists? Don’t you mean the political parties of Unionism?

    I don’t know a single unionist who hasnt always wanted them strung up.

  • interested

    Art Hostage.

    I agree with you to an extent, that whatever we have to do….we should do to move on. However I think it is important to note that David Ervine, PUP and indeed the UVF have taken a very different stance on this from the UDA.

    At no point has Ervine, PUP or the UVF sought any monetary gain for the processes they are engaged in…unlike other loyalist groups. In fact if I am not mistaken Ervine has turned down money for moneys sake and demanded positive outcomes instead.

    Sounds like a very positive statement, I would have liked to have heard it first hand, the last paragraph is very definative and constructively positive.

  • obey

    Lib
    You are very right, that is a very strange situation, our current moral guardians dont have a very sound history to stand on. Makes me wonder if it had anything to do with Ervine and co brief fling with the world media and electoral success. 94-98 they were the darling of the worlds media and everyone was interested in this ‘new breed’. It has been downhill from there with the mainstream parties playing an active role in the demonisation.

    Yokel
    You must live somewhere very isolated and moral or have a short memory. I know tons of Unionists both working class and those who would be considered of a ‘better class’ who had at the least a passing interest in loyalist paramiltary activity when it was alot worse than it is today. This comes back to Lib’s point….its these same people who are now the moral cheerleaders…..lots if them also hold elected offices.

  • Yokel

    Obey..and they are the same people who are backing the loyalist terrorists moves now or have decided to set their faces against it…that does not however mean they are speaking for most or all of the unionists on this issue at all.

    It’s blanket terminology.

  • agree with DC

    “We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
    No matter how trifling the cost;
    For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
    And the nation that pays it is lost!”

  • POL

    ON Saturday David Ervine, noted that Friday marked more than Ian and Eileen Paisley’s wedding anniversary but also the 12th Anniversary of the Loyalist Ceasefires.

    Wasnt aware they were on ceasefire.Have i missed something.

  • 94-98 they were the darling of the worlds media and everyone was interested in this ‘new breed’. It has been downhill from there with the mainstream parties playing an active role in the demonisation.

    So, despite the world (and local) media jumping over the PUP like a teenager over an Anna Kournikova pinup, nobody voted for them. What does that tell you?

    (Not that I’m disagreeing with the UUP/DUP hypocrisy point.)

  • POL

    I don’t know a single unionist who hasnt always wanted them strung up.

    And one way do do this is to sit on community forums or share a platform with them Hmmmmmm.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “He points to unfinished business on the Loyalist side of the fence.”

    Well why the hell doesn’t he and the rest of them finish it. They had no bloody business starting it!

    Or rather they did have a very bloody business.

    Posted by bertie on Oct 16, 2006 @ 01:44 PM

    They had no business starting what exactly you muppet? Republicans killed 59% of the victims of the euphemistically named “Troubles” as opposed to 28% by Loyalists (cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem/incorepaper.htm) – that is more than twice as many so don’t come come on here and preach about who “had no bloody business starting it” – people from my community got off their knees and took their lives in their hands as reactionary counter-terrorists who were not going to be coerced into an oppressive 32-county sovereign banana republic…

  • Concerned Loyalist

    The UDA requests for cash have at least succeeded in making me laugh out loud, albeit bitterly.

    Posted by Observer on Oct 16, 2006 @ 02:12 PM

    Did you laugh so loudly when the IRA infiltrated Civil Rights Association (NICRA) asked for “parity of esteem” for Roman Catholics who they claimed were “second class citizens” when if you travelled to Protestant areas of Londonderry where the NICRA had their infamous clashes with police and Protestant civilians, or even down Lanark Way from the republican Springfield Road to the loyalist Shankill Road, working-class Protestants lived in similar, or in a lot of cases worse conditions! Reading about those times I laugh out loud but it is not a laugh of joy, but a laugh of utter disbelief at the hypocrisy of it all…

  • Yokel

    POl well done..blanketing again…..

  • Dread Cthulhu

    circles: “Déjà vu or what DC! ”

    Should not the same proposal, if it has not changed materially, be met with the same response? If someone were to repeatedly submit the proposition that 2 + 2 = 5, would you not seek to correct them?

  • Colin

    last time i checked the UVF had murdered a few people recently and had their ceasefire declared null and void. did i miss something?
    or is Ervine just talking the usual rubbish?

  • Yokel

    Concerned Loyalist.

    As one of those people born and partially raised in one of those downtrodden areas that you mention, I remember the loyalist paramilitaries very well and most of the times I saw them or heard about their actions they weren’t counter terrorising anybody, well other than people in their own community….I do remember one of them once threatening me for, I assume, walking past him at the wrong time because he didnt get what he wanted at the local chippy. I was about 9 or 10….

    No surrender.

  • Observer

    Concerned Loyalist,

    you seem to have inferred quite a lot about my political alignment from my comment.

    I don’t dispute that many working-class Protestants had it as bad as many working-class Catholics, after all my mother was one of them.

    I wasn’t alive when NICRA was active, though I’ve read enough about it to know that the various tangents you’ve gone on are debatable.

    I have however had enough experience of the effects of the UDA on some communities to wax sardonic about their bullshit requests for money.

  • bertie

    CL

    “They had no business starting what exactly you muppet?”

    Murdering people you muppet that’s what!

    “Republicans killed 59% of the victims of the euphemistically named “Troubles” as opposed to 28% by Loyalists ”

    So?

    (cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem/incorepaper.htm) – that is more than twice as many so don’t come come on here and preach about who “had no bloody business starting it”

    No terrorists had any bloody business starting their murdering.

    “people from my community got off their knees and took their lives in their hands as reactionary counter-terrorists ”

    which is just the sort on b*****x that the provos spout.

    “who were not going to be coerced into an oppressive 32-county sovereign banana republic… ”

    Oh and murdering people just because of their religion is the way to do it.

  • POL

    Yokel

    Davy Ervine said himself that he could describe the wall paper in some unionist politicans houses cos they held their meetings in them.Obviously not all unionists wanted to string them up.

    Concerned loyalist

    youre correct some loyalist areas are as bad if not worse than their nationalist neighbours however,unlike the loyalists The Ra didnt pump our areas and community full of drugs.My advice would be to trawl all your ill gotten gains from drug dealing, prostitution and racketeering in general and reinvest in issues less despicable.Hey try invest n.i they may have a few ideas.LoL

  • Yokel

    And POL not all unionists have done a volte face. Of course some unionist politicians had very convenient relationships with the terrorists when it suited them but they are not exactly everybody.

  • bertie

    “I do remember one of them once threatening me for, I assume, walking past him at the wrong time because he didnt get what he wanted at the local chippy. I was about 9 or 10….

    No surrender. ”

    Now Now Yokel don’t be churlish, those chips were probably pivotal in defneding the Union and you might have looked all of 11!

  • POL

    Yokel

    not saying every unionist either.Just saying that over all the years of trouble there tended to be a hushed silence in terms of what they got up to.

  • Billy

    Concerned Loyalist

    So, all the “loyalist” terrorism was just in response to Republican terrorism. Tell that to the Quinn family or the hundreds of innocent Catholics who were killed simply because they were Catholic.

    All this “fighting against coercion stuff” is just the same bollox that ALL terrorist supporters come out with. You either condemn terrorism or you don’t – and clearly you don’t condemn it if it’s targetted against Catholics.

    No-one would deny that there were Protestants who lived in squalid conditions. However, there was an undemocratic (i.e. NOT 1 person, 1 vote) electoral system that was massively advantageous to Protestants. Only a idiot or a b-i-g-o-t can deny the statistical evidence of the discrimination in jobs, housing etc against Catholics not to mention the blatent gerrymandering in Derry.

    I have never supported the IRA or any violent organisation. However, the aims of the Civil rights movement were to get equality for Catholics in a country where they had been treated as second class citizens for 50 years.

    It seems that you think NI was a great place prior to the civil rights movement (i.e equality for Catholics) and that “loyalist” violence was justified.

    I have many Protestant/Unionist friends and colleagues – I’m very happy to say that none of them are like you i.e. they are not prejudiced nor do they condone violence of any kind.

  • I have read the posts and come to the conclusion that those who say that any pay off means they will come back for more are guilty of resentful nonsense.

    Crime pay’s, it always has, thats why people comitt crime, because they don’t want to live on the peanuts, low wages offered.

    When the young get wealth rammed down their throats via the media, see uneducated thicko’s like footballers, or hairy arse plumbers getting
    £millions and £100,000 a year repsectively, and all the trappings of wealth displayed for all to see,X5, Rolex watches, diamond rings, tastey looking girls on their arms, high living, no wonder there is a real resentment and a “Fuck you” attitude.

    Mainstream criminality is a direct result of the “Loads of money” culture.

    Both Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries are so experienced at generating illigal money they can run rings round the PSNI making them look incompetent time after time.

    All the PSNI can hope for is to make a few token arrests that look good in the press so people think they are doing their job.

    My point is if there is money given to those engaged in criminality to stop then those who continue will have to take their chances against law enforcement like other conventional criminals.

    I would like to read Lofty’s opinion on how to finally steer former paramiltaries away from criminality?

    How much money has been given to the politicians in NI for “Not” doing their jobs these past few years??

    Paying criminals blood money, or what ever one wants to call it may be a bitter pill to swallow, but paying criminal politicians blood money not to serve is just as bad.

  • Observer

    Art Hostage,

    I am in complete agreement with you that we live in a culture of the vacuous super-rich.

    However this doesn’t justify adding insult to stupidity by paying off a nakedly criminal organization on the basis of it nurturing the pretension of being a legitimate combatant in need of ‘transformation’ and/or ‘re-training’.

    The politicians salaries is, in my view, a separate issue and has its own debates about whether they warrant their wages or not.

    What you seem to be saying though is that these pay-offs are the nature of the beast, and to be honest I agree with you.

    The loyalists need to be coaxed into having some kind of stake in the current political process and a transformation package seems the only feasible way, since not enough people will actually vote for the bastards.

    Such incentives will probably be used in conjunction with conventional policing to eventually eliminate loyalist crime while at the same time addressing the social fabric of the areas in which it takes place.

    However galling it is this might well be the best way forward.

  • Luke

    I see Billy Hutchinson is talking at Queen’s Students Union tuesday nite we cud put some of these questions to him there.

  • “To have once been a criminal is no disgrace, to remain a criminal is the disgrace”
    Malcolm X

  • Full quote:

    “To have once been a criminal is no disgrace. To remain a criminal is the disgrace. I formerly was a criminal. I formerly was in prison. I’m not ashamed of that”
    “You never can use that over my head”
    Malcolm X

  • bertie

    To only cease to be a criminal only because someone pays you off is a disgrace.

  • balmoral

    “I see Billy Hutchinson is talking at Queen’s Students Union tuesday nite we cud put some of these questions to him there.”

    On the SU webite they gave him the title MLA- I think not…

  • Upper Falls

    Concern Loyalist,

    “…even down Lanark Way from the republican Springfield Road to the loyalist Shankill Road”

    I totally agree with the valid points you are raising.

    Although I wouldnt call the Springfield rd republican- there are still unionists from Workman avenue to the springmartin road.

  • [i]hairy arse plumbers getting £millions and £100,000 a year repsectively[/i]

    That’s a pretty disgraceful piece of snobbery Art Hostage.

    You could earn the hundred grand a year yourself if you were willing to stick you arm down somebody’s blocked up toilet.

    Would the world miss you if you didn’t do your job (I doubt it would in my case)? Would you miss plumbers of they weren’t around? I rest my case.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Art Hostage: “I have read the posts and come to the conclusion that those who say that any pay off means they will come back for more are guilty of resentful nonsense. ”

    Firmly wedged up your fourth point of contact, you are.

    It is not resentful, its common sense — crime may pay, but there is no reason to reward it.

    Art Hostage: “My point is if there is money given to those engaged in criminality to stop then those who continue will have to take their chances against law enforcement like other conventional criminals.”

    And your guarantee of this is? Once the precedent is set, the second and third iterations will be that much easier. The PSNI is not worth a tinker’s damn — they have proven themselves either unwilling or unable to control crime currently — what makes you think that after the pay-off to the hoods, this will change?

    Art Hostage: “Paying criminals blood money, or what ever one wants to call it may be a bitter pill to swallow, but paying criminal politicians blood money not to serve is just as bad. ”

    Not so – Reg Empey has his faults, but I don’t think he’s ever talked anyone to death. As for your misappropriation of Malcom X’s quote, You’re so twisted about the axle that its not funny — Loyalism is not some movement to better the state of an oppressed underclass. It is the bastard child of Unionism and the “counter-gang” tactic used by the UK in Africa and the Middle East in the waning day of the British Empire.

  • Kedz

    The UDA with the exception of the vile LVF must be the most moranic, greedy and hypocritical organisation in the North today. They do not deserve a penny Jackie McDonald is a thug plain and simple (how did he get to his position without being so). The PSNI should smash this organisation and throw them in Jail end of story. Also the idea that they plan to use this money for community delevopment is laughable they couldnt sustain any political wing for any length of time (at my last count they have three attempts at party politics) so how would they distribute the money. The money would be used to buy more drugs to flood working class Unionist communties end of story. Moranic scum plain and simple

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I do remember one of them once threatening me for, I assume, walking past him at the wrong time because he didnt get what he wanted at the local chippy. I was about 9 or 10….

    No surrender.

    Posted by Yokel on Oct 16, 2006 @ 05:00 PM

    Have you any evidence to substantiate these claims or is it just another anti-loyalist diatribe? I’m getting more and more disillusioned with Slugger – republicans are engaged in debate and treated like equals but loyalists like myself are patronised and dismissed with unsubstantiated anecdotes like the one above, of a time when “one of them once” allegedly threatened Yokel. If loyalist coomentators are not welcome on the forum fine, but make it clear on the “About” section and don’t palm me off with hearsay drivel…

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “Republicans killed 59% of the victims of the euphemistically named “Troubles” as opposed to 28% by Loyalists “

    So?

    Posted by bertie on Oct 16, 2006 @ 05:01 PM

    To quote the old adage: “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”…

    Republicans shot, butchered and maimed more than double the victims targeted by loyalists. No life should have been lost but our community was being systematically ethnically cleansed by the RAfia of SF/IRA so we had the choice of following the New Testament teaching of “turn the other cheek” and get trodden into the ground or instead take inspiration from the Old Testament and prosecute a campaign of “an eye for an eye”.

    I regret having to say that, but that’s the way I feel. I want a future were I can grow older without feeling I need to be affiliated with a loyalist paramilitary organisation, and I don’t want my children, if I decide to have any, to feel the need to join the UYM/UDA or even worse to go on to become an active-service member in the UFF. It’s the 21st Century, we all need to read the McKittrick book “Lost Lives”, just as Jeffrey Donaldson said last night on RTE’s Questions And Answers programme – it might put things into a bit of perspective…this can’t go on, young people my age are growing up to hate, even more so perhaps than during the darkest days of The Troubles, and they feel as if they’ve missed out or something in not getting “to take the war to the IRA”. We all need to work together and TALK to achieve a stable political climate where sectarian and political hatred is a thing of the past. To do that we need to focus minds on other pursuits such as sport, training to make the “unemployable” feel a part of society and proud of the communities in which they live, and to do that we need to regenerate the aforementioned areas and to do that we need BIG money, possibly even more than the figure of 1 Billion pounds being bandied about – you can’t put a price on peace!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Concerned Loyalist: “Republicans shot, butchered and maimed more than double the victims targeted by loyalists. No life should have been lost but our community was being systematically ethnically cleansed by the RAfia of SF/IRA so we had the choice of following the New Testament teaching of “turn the other cheek” and get trodden into the ground or instead take inspiration from the Old Testament and prosecute a campaign of “an eye for an eye”. ”

    I think you will find that relying upon the information in those archives is a mixed blessing, insofar as while the Republican groups were more active than Loyalists, Loyalists demonstrated themselves to be, how shall we say, apathetic and/or incompetant in their ability to target, seeming to target unarmed Catholics in preference to those troublesome Republicans, despite the aid and input of the UK, to the tune of 80%. Bravo.

    Given the police and the military, Unionism and the UK still felt the need to kit out these knuckle-draggers. Despite access to military intelligence, these incompetants, illegally and inappropriately armed by the state, simply shot whomever. These are not figures to be lauded for their sacrifice, CL. They are gangsters and thugs, lacking even PIRA’s one threadbare fig-leaf of a political manifesto, instead murdering for the status quo, which was never really ever in danger.

    Now, the thugs and gangsters think the law-abiding citizenry should could up millions? What, the wages of sin — drug-dealing, extortion and the like — insufficient for you?

  • bertie

    ““Republicans killed 59% of the victims of the euphemistically named “Troubles” as opposed to 28% by Loyalists “

    So?

    Posted by bertie on Oct 16, 2006 @ 05:01 PM

    To quote the old adage: “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”… ”

    What is that supposed to mean? Are you labouring under the delusion that I am a republican?

    “Republicans shot, butchered and maimed more than double the victims targeted by loyalists”

    Again
    So?

    How exactly did that justify murdering people because of their religion? “Eye for an eye”, They weren’t too particular who’s eye they took.

  • Observer

    Art Hostage,

    Thanks for the quotation, I’m not sure how much it can really be applied to the loyalists but I guess we’ll have to agree to differ here.

    I am willing to see these pay-offs as a possibly necessary expedient, but to be honest I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable with it.

    If I thought the PSNI could dismantle the whole loyalist edifice I’d say go for it, but the social fabric of these communities does genuinely need to be addressed, in my opinion anyway.

    Concerned Loyalist,

    It’s pretty positive if you are serious about changing the areas in which you live and defusing the old hatreds.

    However I think the loyalists have a LOT of facing up to do in terms of their role in damaging such communities in the first place, not to mention the nature of their actions in the conflict.

    Let’s face it, the loyalist’s “military tactics” rarely went beyond a paroxysm of sectarian hatred, and when they marginally did it was likely only because they’d got their hands on some information courtesy of Brian Nelson or someone similar.

    In terms of their own communities the loyalists have done more to damage working-class Protestant areas that the ‘RA ever have – drug-dealing, racketeering, vigilante justice, fairly caprcious use of power etc.

    I’m not pretending that the UDA, for instance, is a monolith from top-to-bottom because you have various groups and brigades generally doing their own thing, so I guess your experience may vary.

    However the loyalists broadly need to realize there’s a significant gulf between the valiant-defenders soliloquy that seems to float around in their collective head and the reality of what they’ve been doing actually is.

  • Interested

    Dread Cthulhu

    Thats a pretty impressive rewriting of history, yes loyalist paramilitaries have been incompetant and badly lacking in the intel front….but they are hardly on their own, you seem to be suggesting that Republicans were somehow better at targeting, I find this both inaccurate and a strange point to make. I think that at times Republican intelligence was equally as bad and their killing/maming equally indiscriminate…..but their Spin and PR was always better, they only admitted to the ‘military’ targets and denied the others (McConville is the most notorious) or just refused to admit they were wrong!!

    Even if we accept your point….so what? They were ‘better’ and more accurate killers?

    Observer

    You are right, Loyalism does have to take a long hard look at its prior role in the conflict and what negative impacts they continue to have within their communities. From what I have heard about the UVF consultation process, I am satisfied that they are asking themselves those questions up to and including ‘why and indeed should we exist?’

    On a side note I think that most of our society should ask themselves similar questions, mainstream unionist politicians as has been pointed out in previous posts in this thread do not have clean hands, it is these same people who are now finger waving and claiming moral highground……this may be because they are afraid of loyalist working class communities united behaind something or someone else.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Interested: “Thats a pretty impressive rewriting of history, yes loyalist paramilitaries have been incompetant and badly lacking in the intel front….but they are hardly on their own, you seem to be suggesting that Republicans were somehow better at targeting”

    Its not a “re-writing” of history, Interested. It is simply an ananlysis of the database that Concerned Loyalist is using for the basis of his arguement. Using the CAIN crosstab feature, Republican parmilitaries killed 738 civilians, out of a total “activity” of 2056, for a ratio of .359 to 1. This goes down to about .300 if PIRA is isolated and analyzed individually. The comparable Loyalist paramilitary rate is 873 out of 1020, or .855 to 1.

    Interested: ” I think that at times Republican intelligence was equally as bad and their killing/maming equally indiscriminate…..but their Spin and PR was always better, they only admitted to the ‘military’ targets and denied the others (McConville is the most notorious) or just refused to admit they were wrong!!”

    Assuming the Sutton database is accurate, I would say that there are only two valid arguements one can make — either the Republicans were *MUCH* better at targetting non-civilians or the Loyalists were *DELIBERATELY* targetting non-combatants. If you has an alternate hypothesis that you can logically derive from the data and explain the disparate rates, feel free to add it.

    My point was not one of moral superiority, Interested… it was merely that there are any number of legitimate ways to analyze the data. Concerned Loyalist made a poor arguement, one easily rebutted using the sources he or she was relying upon.

    As for the subject of moral superiority, one could make that arguement — I wouldn’t, being more utilitarian on the matter. Personally, I think it has more to do with the political orientation of the Republicans and the lack or political ambition of the Loyalists. The Republicans, at the end of the day, in their own minds, were fighting a war — sometimes defined as politics by other means. As such, they had to be able to justify their deeds within the framework of their own definitions. Loyalist groups lacked such a framework — they were trying to defend the status quo and left the political aspects of that to the established political entities. This freed them from having to explain themselves to a constituency, giving them the freedom to be more nihilistic in their choice of targets.

  • Byzant

    I also wonder how many nationalists would advocate compulsory places for unionists in every cabinet in perpetuity in a united Ireland Dail. Obviously anything less would be “undemocratic” by the same logic.

  • Interested

    Dread Cthulhu

    What I am saying is that while I accept your general point that Republicans were better at targeting ‘combatants’ I dont accept the figures as accurate, Republicans including PIRA were far less successful in killing and injuring ‘combatants’ than the figures would suggest and that they would admit.

    PIRA refused point blank to admit they had killed the wrong person or that their source had been inaccurate. They also denied many of their own when they were killed, some have been ‘reclaimed’ later. Also when they got it so badly wrong they just didnt admit anything.

    Also the scenario you are painting fits far better into the Republican glamorisation strategy that continues to operate. republicans only killed british soldiers/loyalists were all armed by the state/loyalism is about bigotry Republicanism is about freedom etc etc ad nauseum. The problem for me is that there is an element of truth even in these extreme examples which makes their spin all the more believable.

    Long story short – It is the figure I dont trust, who difines the ‘innocents’ and ‘combatants’? Lots of times the spin I have outlined above kicked in, others families mistakenly claimed ‘mistaken identity’. It is such a grey area figure like the ones quoted are very unreliable.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Interested: “What I am saying is that while I accept your general point that Republicans were better at targeting ‘combatants’ I dont accept the figures as accurate, Republicans including PIRA were far less successful in killing and injuring ‘combatants’ than the figures would suggest and that they would admit.”

    Can you substantiate that any discrepancy in material to the analysis? Those deaths which the Sutton database is not comfortable attributing they clearly label as being “unknown.” It is, if not perfect, the best tool that I am aware of for this sort of analysis. Also, as I point out, I’m not the one who brought up the subject of who killed who and how many, nor the one who suggested arguing over head-count. My purpose was simply to call into question C.L.’s logic.

    Interested: “Also the scenario you are painting fits far better into the Republican glamorisation strategy that continues to operate. republicans only killed british soldiers/loyalists were all armed by the state/loyalism is about ####### Republicanism is about freedom etc etc ad nauseum. ”

    Obviously, you aren’t reading what I am writing too closely, Interested. I stated plainly that the Republican paramilitaries killed approximately 738 civilians. There is no glorification, simply the expression of a hypothesis.

    If you dislike the image of Loyalist as knuckle-dragging thugs more comfortable killing civilians than fighting Republican paramilitaries, I’ll ask again — do you have a theory that explains the discrepancy?

    Interested: “Long story short – It is the figure I dont trust, who difines the ‘innocents’ and ‘combatants’? Lots of times the spin I have outlined above kicked in, others families mistakenly claimed ‘mistaken identity’. It is such a grey area figure like the ones quoted are very unreliable. ”

    In other words, no, you *DON’T* have a viable alternative hypothesis and, therefore, wish to have the data-set disqualified as not cooperating to the version of events you would prefer to promulgate. If you have a more reliable database than the Sutton, by all means, bring it into evidence. However, your “disbelief” and feelings don’t really amount to much in the face of statistical analysis.

  • John East Belfast

    Dread Cthulhu

    “If you dislike the image of Loyalist as knuckle-dragging thugs more comfortable killing civilians than fighting Republican paramilitaries, I’ll ask again—do you have a theory that explains the discrepancy?”

    Surely it is nothing more complicated than PIRA not wearing a uniform unlike the Army, RUC & UDR ?
    They operated in close and small cells and often were not known to each other.

    I have no truck with loyalist paramilitarism but if Republicans had worn uniforms then I have little doubt the ‘combatants’ murdered by loyalists would have been higher.

  • interested

    John East Belfast makes an interesting point and one that would be impossible to back up with a statistical database. My point was not against Dread Cthulhu but the reference used (no matter who it was used by). It is not that I completely disagree with it, as I have said I accept the general point. However I think the idea of the database itself is flawed, there are too many variables and reasons for mis truth and information.

    My point does not require an alternative, I was merely bringing into question the source, I dont have to supply another. I may want to go to Australia and only have a peddlo to get there, that doesnt make it the most effective way.

    I dont want the data-set disqualified, but I would like to be able to argue its accuracy and examine closely its definition and its methods of gathering the information it sets out rather than just accept it no matter what the conclusion.

    Dread Cthulhu I was not trying to suggest that you were glorifying anything, I apologise if thats the impact it left. I meant that Republicanism has attempted to glorify itself, part of this tactic has been what we are currently discussing – the misuse/misrepresentation of figures and motives.

  • annie

    Reading all of these comments just amplifies the fact that no matter what our ‘politicians’ are saying, we as a public will never agree with them or each other…..too much hatred in each and every one of us prevents it. How sad is that?

  • [i]I have no truck with loyalist paramilitarism but if Republicans had worn uniforms then I have little doubt the ‘combatants’ murdered by loyalists would have been higher.[/i]

    Only problem with that little bit of argument is that Sutton goes on to identify “sectarian” killings which he defines as killings for which the sole or primary motive was the religious belief of the victim — which makes such killings murders.

    According to Sutton, loyalist paramilitaries — or the death squads — committed 715 sectarian killings — including some 65 non-Catholics whom the squads killed because they thought they were Catholic.

    So, JEB, I suggest you review your analysis. It’s quite all right to question Sutton BUT until you can provide other databases with the same or better authority than Sutton’s, we’re stuck with that and all the “But, but,….” really doesn’t address the issue.

    And, in the final analysis, soldiers are not supposed to shoot to kill until the target presents a threat or is armed if the target is not wearing a uniform. Even the security forces –Army and RUC, etc.– killed more civilians than they did combatants according to the Sutton analysis. AND over 85% of those victims were Catholics.

    Sorry, JEB, I don’t think your excuse really stands up to analysis.

  • John East Belfast

    Bob McGowan

    “Only problem with that little bit of argument is that Sutton goes on to identify “sectarian” killings which he defines as killings for which the sole or primary motive was the religious belief of the victim —which makes such killings murders.”

    Bob do you want to constantly try and justify your own propaganda that goes something like – Loyalists murder Catholics – Loyalists controlled by Crown Forces – Crown Forces murder Catholics – PIRA React by killing Crown Forces

    Therefore PIRA campaign justified as recation by victims.

    OR

    Do you want to understand the problem ?

    The Loyalist Mindset (and as I grew up in Working Class Belfast know a little bit about it) is

    PIRA murder army, police and civilians and generally attack NI – Loyalists want revenge – PIRA dont wear uniforms – Catholics by and large from certain areas support PIRA therefore they will do.
    There was also a more sinister and thought out plot as well to exert pressure indirectly on PIRA by murdering Catholics and bringing suffering to “their community”.

    Although certain hate filled individuals might have often done the killing it simply isnt intellectually correct to ascribe all loyalist murders as sectarian – Totally WRONG in my opinion but you wont solve/fight problems in this world by not understanding their route cause.

    The murder of anyone by loyalists Pre 1969 was largely non existant so the Post 1970 actions did not occur in a vacuum.

    ie Loyalists considered themselves at war with the Republican community.

    As I said if PIRA had obliged them and identified themselves with uniforms the loyalists would have targetted their actions there.

    Indeed in the Collusion incidents I suspect that was the raison detre of rougish elements in the security forces.

    “And, in the final analysis, soldiers are not supposed to shoot to kill until the target presents a threat or is armed if the target is not wearing a uniform.”

    Loyalists (like PIRA) were not proper soldiers and didnt abide by such rules if they did exist – which they dont anyway as once at war all enemy soldiers are targets unless they have surrendered – have you ever heard of an ambush ?

    “Sorry, JEB, I don’t think your excuse really stands up to analysis”

    But hopefully it stands up to common sense

  • Dread Cthulhu

    JEB: “PIRA murder army, police and civilians and generally attack NI – Loyalists want revenge – PIRA dont wear uniforms – Catholics by and large from certain areas support PIRA therefore they will do.”

    So, their “defense” attribution is a red herring and these hoods are just that — a collection of murderous thugs operating under the guiding principle of “any Taig will do.”

    JEB: “The murder of anyone by loyalists Pre 1969 was largely non existant so the Post 1970 actions did not occur in a vacuum. ”

    The assault of Catholics by other state-sponsored auxilliaries, such as the B-Specials, is well documented. If you will remember, JEB, the British Army was initially introduced to Northern Ireland not to protect the Union, but to protect Catholics from the Protestant mobs.

    From the BBC: “The presence of a single camera crew from RTE, the Irish national television station, caught graphic pictures of police brutality as the RUC beat the marchers, including a number of prominent politicians, off the street. The pictures broadcast around the world reminded people of the tactics used by police against the black civil rights movement in America’s southern states. The Catholic community’s confidence in the RUC was further eroded and this seriously undermined the Unionist state.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/recent/troubles/origins/nicivil.shtml

    JEB: “Loyalists (like PIRA) were not proper soldiers and didnt abide by such rules if they did exist – which they dont anyway as once at war all enemy soldiers are targets unless they have surrendered – have you ever heard of an ambush ? ”

    Loyalists were murderous thugs, as you’ve admitted yourself — “any Taig will do.” Despite British aid in material and access to British intelligence, they simply murdered Catholics. They degenerated into mobs of thugs who now wish to extort millions from the state.

    When one hood robs you, he’s a mugger;

    When a gang of hoods robs a neighborhood, they’re a gang.

    When several gangs of hoods seeks to rob a nation, apparently they;d like to be called “community activists.”

  • Dread Cthulhu

    JEB: “The murder of anyone by loyalists Pre 1969 was largely non existant so the Post 1970 actions did not occur in a vacuum. “

    Another tidbit from the BBC…

    “Influenced by the mood of the times, the IRA embraced a Marxist agenda and gave up violence as a means of achieving a united Ireland. Its new policy was a 32-county socialist republic. Influenced by the writings of Wolfe Tone, its strategy was to unite Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter in Northern Ireland so that they would eventually join workers in the south to overthrow capitalism.

    Their idealistic theory left two important factors out of the equation: Rev Ian Paisley and other diehard unionists opposed to O’Neill’s liberal policies had begun to plot his downfall; and working class Catholics whose lives had been blighted by discrimination were fervently anti-communist.

    While the IRA chose politics, militant loyalists revamped the Ulster Volunteer Force in 1966 and embarked on a sectarian campaign against Catholics.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Interested: “My point does not require an alternative, I was merely bringing into question the source, I dont have to supply another. I may want to go to Australia and only have a peddlo to get there, that doesnt make it the most effective way. ”

    You claims of even-handedness are belied by your silence vis-a-vis Concerned Loyalist’s use of the database, giving the appearance that, for some arguments, you don’t mind it so much. Similarly, your occasional use of anecdotes to refute the statistical arguments are inherently weak.

    Likewise, you analogy is weak. It is the best dataset available. The caretakers are fairly scrupulous in quarantining datapoints they cannot confirm and, iirc, have corrected past errors in characterization. If it is not 100% accurate, it is because war is a messy business.

    Interested: “I dont want the data-set disqualified, but I would like to be able to argue its accuracy and examine closely its definition and its methods of gathering the information it sets out rather than just accept it no matter what the conclusion. ”

    And just how far into the differential do you think you can cut with your arguement that there are some marginal errors? You already concede that the dataset is generally valid, ergo the conclusions drawn from it must be generally valid. The disparity in civilian killings between the two broad groups (Loyalist and Republican) is clear — how much difference do you think these marginal errors could make in the analysis? I doubt it would be enough to get the Loyalists down to killing civilians at just twice the rate of Republicans, not would it be likely to get the gross number of civilians killed by Loyalists down to a number equal to or less than that of Republicans.

    Interested: “I meant that Republicanism has attempted to glorify itself, part of this tactic has been what we are currently discussing – the misuse/misrepresentation of figures and motives.”

    No misrepresentation of the Loyalist’s motive — JEB, to turn a phrase, was there — the standard operating procedure was “any Taig will do.” As for the Republicans, their slouch to nihilism was constrained by their political origins and aspiriations. To present one’s self as a political beast, one’s deeds must fit a certain narrative. In a sense, their stated goal restrained them, at least for a time. The lack of political aspirations / airs freed the Loyalists to simply go forth and murder without a care as to “counter-productivity.” To retain the mantle of “freedom fighter,” the Republicans had to be more circumspect — its not a matter of motive as much as it is the price of politics.

  • interested

    Dread Cthulhu

    I thought you were making some decent points before, although you did appear to have a pre concieved idea that you could not be shifted from whether or not databases were used.

    The last line bolded whether by the bbc or not is nonsense, it was well into the 80s before anyone in the IRA chose politics and even later than that before that policy was inacted. Jean McConville was murdered because she helped a wounded soldier that not sectarian because she was a Catholic, but it was motivated by b-i-g-o-t-r-y. Things like the shankill bomb were claimed to be attacks on ‘paramilitary meetings’ where in actually fact the IRA just killed Protestants going about their daily business.

    The IRA did and does have a politcal goal whereas being reactionary Loyalists reason for existence was as a counter movement, against the IRA and a United Ireland.

  • Interested

    Dread

    You hit the nail on the head “If it is not 100% accurate, it is because war is a messy business.” That is the point I was trying to make, we will never get an accurate reading and the further we get from the events the less likely it is.

    “You claims of even-handedness are belied by your silence vis-a-vis Concerned Loyalist’s use of the database, giving the appearance that, for some arguments, you don’t mind it so much. Similarly, your occasional use of anecdotes to refute the statistical arguments are inherently weak.”

    You see this is where we are going to have to disagree. I can see the use of statistics as useful in a very narrow field and with the assumption that they may be flawed. To fully understand a conflict and any argument or person for that matter you must experience and truely listen to everyone you meet, being prepared to have your mind changed….including by anecdotes.

    E.g. There are no statitistics for how the army treated Republican suspects in relation to Loyalist suspects. Many Republicans I have spoken to felt they were the only people to be beaten and then thrown out of a military helicopter because they were being harassed and discriminated against not realising that the same tactics were being used against loyalists. – Just an example of how new information (anecdotal) can and rightfully so change an opinion

  • lib2016

    The attempt to paint unionists, with 40,000 men in uniform and 80 years of ‘Emergency Legislation’ i.e. repressive laws, as victims is doomed. Don’t make an eijit of yourself, there’s a good man. Irish colonialisation failed and the Brits have been remarkably inept about winding it up – the whole world knows the truth.

  • Interested

    It was never academics and statistically minded people that changed our country and political situation.

    It was not the use of academic criteria that led the IRA to begin the process of examining themselves and exploring new avenues and ideas.

    Similarily on the Loyalist side Gusty Spence had no database to tell him that he should seek dialogue with Republicans it was a gut feeling and a reading of Republican people.

    Loyalists are as a group less politically minded than their Republican counterparts, but there are Loyalists who have an ideology and political goals. I think Ervine is one of those (going back on topic) I also believe that Billy Mitchell was another (sadly recently passed away) – Make an attempt to read ‘The Principle of Loyalism’ and any other Mitchell writings you can find.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Interested: “The last line bolded whether by the bbc or not is nonsense, it was well into the 80s before anyone in the IRA chose politics and even later than that before that policy was inacted.”

    Again, you apparently deliberately misconstrue my point.

    JEB erroneously stated “The murder of anyone by loyalists Pre 1969 was largely non existant so the Post 1970 actions did not occur in a vacuum. ”

    If the UVF was reorganized and active in 1967, as stated by the BBC, then it would poke a hole in JEB’s assertion. Likewise, we are discussing 1967, when the Republican side of the arguement *was* largely political.

    Likewise, I would note you seem to have serious issues with sources that do not agree with your take on the Troubles, even when they are British sources.

    Interested: “The IRA did and does have a politcal goal whereas being reactionary Loyalists reason for existence was as a counter movement, against the IRA and a United Ireland. ”

    Ah, but defending the status quo, particularly when one is not an official representative of the realm, arms, money, guidance and training notwithstanding, one is not constrained in one’s tactics — the Loyalists were a deniable, disposable asset.

    Interested: “You see this is where we are going to have to disagree. I can see the use of statistics as useful in a very narrow field and with the assumption that they may be flawed. To fully understand a conflict and any argument or person for that matter you must experience and truely listen to everyone you meet, being prepared to have your mind changed….including by anecdotes. ”

    As noted before, you seem only upset when the statistics tell a truth you don’t like — obviously, given your silence, you don’t appear to mind all conclusions from the database, just some. As for anecdotes, they’re simply another data-point, writ large because they fufill someone else’s folklore or make a good stone upon which to grind one’s axe.

    Interested: “It was never academics and statistically minded people that changed our country and political situation. ”

    Not entirely true; I will concede, however, they simply rarely exert overt power.

    Interested: “Loyalists are as a group less politically minded than their Republican counterparts, but there are Loyalists who have an ideology and political goals. I think Ervine is one of those (going back on topic) I also believe that Billy Mitchell was another (sadly recently passed away) – Make an attempt to read ‘The Principle of Loyalism’ and any other Mitchell writings you can find. ”

    Now we come to the meat of the matter — you dislike my analysis because it conflicts with your folklore. Loyalism failed itself on several fronts. First, it allowed itself to degenerate into a collection of hoods, assuming arguendo it didn’t start there to begin with. Second, it allowed itself to be walled off from the legitimate political machinery, making it a disposable asset. Lastly, it held no political ambitions of its own, meaning that Unionist politicians reaped whatever benefit there was to be had from Loyalism’s struggles. When a time came that Unionism could jettison Loyalism, they did so, having gained the benefit without having to be seen dirtying their hands. In the end, what has Loyalism to show? Hoods, gangsters, drug-dealers — a collection of hard men whose best answer to their state is one last extortion attempt against the state. It would be tragic, were it not so predictable.

  • Interested

    [i]Jean McConville was murdered because she helped a wounded soldier[/i]

    Sorry, but the recent ombudsman’s investigtion into the incident specifically determined that such is NOT the case.

    Seems to me that none of your objections to the information in the database really challenge the conclusions drawn from it. And, nowhere have you presented any evidence that those who created it were not scrupulously objective or that the “errors” were more than marginal.

    JEB

    I suggest that it’s time to drop the nonsense about the murder of soldiers or police by the PIRA. These WAS a war on, an armed rebellion — like the American Revolution — and combatants are killed not murdered.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Bob McGowan

    You may see it as a war, the British establishment didn’t.

    If they had seen it as a war, they would have eradicated the IRA leaders as they knew exactly who they were, in fact they employed many of them particulary senior ones. They therefore also knew what the IRA were planning, where the arms dumps were etc. etc.

    So no, KILLED is the wrong word MURDERED is the right word. The problem is that the British Establishment allow them to be MURDERERS as long as they got the flow of information from a grouping riddled with informers from top to bottom.

    So not a war just a squalid little uprising controlled in part by the BRITS for 30 years.

  • [i]You may see it as a war, the British establishment didn’t.[/i]

    Unfortunately, the British establishment’s opinion is not germane and your logic really does not follow. You try to negotiate with your enemies in a war, not kill them. Sorry, but your use of the word “murder” is propaganda, i.e. fantasy.

    BTW, a senior member of said establishment publicly said that the PIRA’s campaign was justified. Now, that’s a clear statement from the British establishment.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Frustrated Democrat: “If they had seen it as a war, they would have eradicated the IRA leaders as they knew exactly who they were, in fact they employed many of them particulary senior ones. They therefore also knew what the IRA were planning, where the arms dumps were etc. etc. ”

    An interesting thesis… would that not, in turn, make the British ultimately responsible for PIRA’s violence, seeing as they were, as you descibe, omniscient as to PIRA’s activities, due to infiltration and control over the group?