Will the UVF save the PUP..?

IT will be difficult enough for the Progressive Unionists to fill David Ervine‘s shoes. The unfortunate timing of his tragic death just before an election makes things hard enough, but Ervine‘s charisma and public profile will be sorely missed in this campaign, and his successor could struggle to make much of an impact before the polls. With the party not having performed particularly well in recent elections, even with Ervine’s profile, I doubt if invoking his name in this one will increase the vote. The PUP is fighting for survival in this election campaign. If the PUP went the same way as the UDP, political loyalism would be completely voiceless in a new Assembly. Without the restraint of the PUP, and with repercussions likely to flow from the Police Ombudsman report into security force collusion, the UVF could find itself in the same divided position as the UDA. However, as Sinn Fein has shown, there is one vote-winning card the UVF could play to the PUP’s advantage – it could seize the initiative and decommission or disband before the election, even though it’s more likely to happen later. If Gerry Adams can freely attend a UVF man’s funeral, their war is clearly over.

  • Alternatively, if an IRA leader can attend a UVF leaders funeral, it shows how corrupted our society has become care of the “peace process”. There was a time we put terror godfathers in prison, now we capture their planned photo-ops on our TV’s and present it as “hope”.

  • Comrade Stalin

    David,

    Why don’t you stand for election, and lose again so that we can reminded that your views aren’t whatsoever representative of sane people.

  • joe ninety

    Now, why is it no surprise that the one sentence picked up on relates to the secondary element of the original post???? Mr Vance, do you have anything, anything at all, to say on the substantive piece regrading PUP electability/ survival.

    Oh, and if you do want to pick up on a secondary point, try the issue of security force collusion.

    For my part, I sadly do not see a future for the PUP. That is not a good thing. Whatever his faults, Ervine was a force for good in his political role. I do not believe there is anyone competent or capanle to fill his shoes.

  • Joe90,

    You need new glasses. I am entitled to comment on any aspect of any post. Why waste my breath on the PUP no-chance electoral hopes? Contrary to the eulogisation of last week, the reality is that the pro-Union people do NOT easily lend their votes to the delegates of loyalist paramilitarism, as the PUP’s performance shows. Would that those who vote for IRA/Sinn Fein showed the same judgement.

    Uncle Joe,

    Last time I checked, the majority of unionists voted AGAINST the provisions of the Belfast Telegraph. Of course that was back in the old days when the DUP were anti-“Agreement.”

  • bertie

    David

    I totally agree with your first post.

    I also don’t understand all this “why don’t you put your view to the electorate stuff”. The value of blogs is that those of us who don’t, get to have their say.

  • joe ninety

    Well now, Mr Vance, taking my lead from you, I will exercise my entitlement also.

    In the context of (your perceived) PUP non-viability, do you consider that the DUP/UVF will be able to remain as a political entity in light of the known security force collusion?

  • darth rumsfeld

    if gerry Adams can attend a UVF leader’s funeral flanked by earpiece and bulging leather jacket wearing hoods ( hint- the bulges weren’t rosary beads)as his bodyguard under the benign gaze of the Chief Constable, Assistant Chief Constable and assorted other plods, we can safely say that the IRA is above the law and the Chief Con is…er, a Con

  • middle-class taig

    “eulogisation” – now that’s a word you don’t hear every day – maybe Vance has more in common with Ervine than we might think.

    Rumsfeld

    Are you really alleging that Gerry’s bodyguards were packing in a chapel packed with UVF-men and peelers? Wise up.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    darth,

    none of the people who accompanied Adams were wearing leather jackets, that is so 1970’s (look at the TV coverage). Therefore it is impossible to know who you saw and who they were. Unless of course you are just spoofing and inventing straw men

  • Vance, if you want to restart the war, can we have a signed guarantee that you will join the army and vote for whatever tax increases may be necessary? Your grandstanding with other people’s money and safety is repellent. Frankly, I’ve never thought Northern Ireland was worth the bones of a single British Grenadier.

    That you see former enemies behaving to each other in a civilised manner as “corruption” speaks volumes about your philosophy. Violence is purity, clearly, with the age-old corollary as long as it doesn’t happen to me.

  • Alex,

    First off, have the manners to address me by my first name.

    Second, I see terrorists grandstanding as politicians pretty good evidence of how corrupting events have been.

    Third, I thought the “war” (Nice euphemism that, rather than talk about a bloody terror campaign) was over. Who would be starting it up again? I understood the IRA had disarmed and was committed to peace? Unlike the paramilitary scum eulogised by some, I have no weapons. I am armed only with my legitimate views? Is that too much for you to handle?

    Joe Ninety,

    Last time I checked, it was the UUP who had joined up with PUP/UVF? I assume you disapproved of that, otherwise your comment could be seen as more rank hypocrisy. As to the DUP, I consider any attempt by it to resile from the anti-Belfast Agreement it was voted in on as unacceptable.

    Back to Gonzo’s original point for a second; The best thing the UVF could do IS disarm and disband forever. They have no reason or right to exist and their disappearance from the scene would be most welcome. We don’t need thugs of any hue.

  • Dublin Exile

    The only person accompanying Gerry Adams in the church was Alex Maskey.

  • smcgiff

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/6261295.stm

    PUP seem safe at least for immediate future at local level.

    Any idea who’ll be parachuted into the seat?

  • mickhall

    Whilst disagreeing David Vance on just about everything, his question was perfectly proper, especially coming from his political position where the security forces excreta dose not stink.

    There is little doubt Mr Ervine’s funeral was used as a photo opportunity by the [supposedly] great and good of the Peace Process; and if this plays a role in reconciling the two communities who am I to growl.

    Although we should not over look the fact that the whole event resembled the media lala land which our politicians in the west increasingly inhabit. For the ordinary folk of the north I feel it will take a bit more than one professional politico, attending the passing of another to heal the wounds of the past or fix the problems that in truth both of these men helped create.

  • Thanks Mickhall,

    I appreciate we do not agree on 99.9% of things but I welcome your plain speaking on this. A media contrived love-in aimed at bolstering political images means little to those people who suffer daily under the jackboot of loyalist and republican paramilitary thugs.

  • So what’s the alternative then? Thread after dreary thread of whingeing and pomposity, but where’s the alternative? Another thirty years’ coercion?

    You can’t have a negotiated settlement with the enemy without negotiating a settlement with the enemy. There’s no point having a peace process with the peaceful by definition – hell, if it had been a question of the SDLP, Alliance, and UUP all agreeing that the troubles were pretty shit all round and would be better ended, everybody could have gone home in 1969. But it wasn’t – they weren’t the ones doing the fighting.

    Yeah, it would be nice if all the people involved were nice people. Go ahead and wish for it, it won’t do any damage. Don’t forget to wish for a pony whilst you’re there.

  • New leader for the PUP, Jackie McDonald or Frankie Gallagher, then we will get a politician who shoots from the hip, (sorry for the pun), and we will get a party, PUP, who do exactly what they say on the tin.

    Dane’s geld for everyone.

  • joeCanuck
  • What’s the alternative to thread after thread of miserable appeasement-minded garbage, you mean Alex?

    Let me spell it out for you. I have NO interest in coming to ANY agreement with terrorists of any hue. Simple. If the thugs that have put thousands in their graves now seek to behave in a civil manner, good. About time. But don’t expect a little slap on the back for stopping what should never have started.

    The only one trick pony I see is a gutless Government and conniving terrorists seeking to accommodate each other whilst decent people are ignored.

  • darth rumsfeld

    DAMN! my whole argument invalidated by Pat because I got the dress code of the IRA wrong!
    Or are some people unable to see burly skinheads in a large black 4×4 posing as FBI style bodyguards as somehow sinister? Oh sorry they must have been concerned community workers and peace activists who swallowed some steroids in mistake for lentils.

    MCT is of course correct to imply that exactly the same applies to the dozens/hundreds of UVF men who were also visible but who on this occasion refrained from driving coal lorries piled with floral tributes paid for by subscriptions “donated” by the small businessmen of the Newtownards Road. Perhaps our Chief Con needs new specs, or maybe all that marathon training has simply destroyed his backbone.

  • micky

    What’s the alternative to thread after thread of miserable appeasement-minded garbage, you mean Alex?

    Let me spell it out for you. I have NO interest in coming to ANY agreement with terrorists of any hue. Simple. If the thugs that have put thousands in their graves now seek to behave in a civil manner, good. About time. But don’t expect a little slap on the back for stopping what should never have started.

    The only one trick pony I see is a gutless Government and conniving terrorists seeking to accommodate each other whilst decent people are ignored.

    Mr Vance, Would this include the terrorists in the British Government/British Army who by definition are TERRORIZING communities right across the globe?

  • Those who describe the democratically elected Government and forces of the United Kingdom in such a way are beyond reason or argument.

  • andyK

    mickhall

    Some people may have used ervine’s funeral as a photo op, I dont think that SF could be cast in this role however, it is already public knowledge (coming from the ervine family) that SF visited the Ervine home before the funeral and have made well wishing phone calls since…all without any media opportunity.

    Back on topic….UVF movement on their ‘tranformation process’ and a statement of intent would do the PUP no harm whatsoever, however the PUP have survived and been a positive influence despite the UVF not because of them……UVF men almost to a man vote DUP.

    As for who the PUP choose as replacments for David Ervine in Council and Assembly, I would have thought Dawn Purvis is a candidate for the MLA post, as for the council there will be no ‘parachuting’ as someone suggested PUP history would suggest a local candidate.

  • Aaron McDaid

    David Vance,
    It is actually those, like you, who treat it as axiomatic that states (like the UK) are incapable of error who are beyond reason or argument.

    You repeat the nonsense claim that if a bunch of blokes here say so, then any action is morally sound.

    When you cut your arbitrary legalistic mumbo jumbo, that fact is that any individual or organization or state (even hallowed UK) is capable of great evil (including ‘terrorism’) as well as great goodness.

    You claim to be fond of logic and reason, so surely you accept these points?

  • I have NO interest in coming to ANY agreement with terrorists of any hue.

    Well, I do. I’m a British citizen and I don’t think the exclusion of individuals David Vance doesn’t like from the government of Northern Ireland (which is what “appeasement” appears to mean here) is an interest worth maintaining the biggest infantry commitment in the British Army for, to say nothing of perpetually subsidising the place.

    Again, what is your alternative? Thanks to this terrible appeasement of which you speak, several hundred people are now alive who would otherwise be dead, some billions of public money went unwasted, and the worst downside you can find is…what? Roll back to ’96 – what’s your solution?

    I think it would be “huff and puff and more violence. Rinse, repeat for N years.” At least, whatever the blowhardry in advance, that would be the ground truth.

  • gareth mccord

    The p.u.p. are finished the u.v.f. are finished!!
    nobody wants either one of them and elections prove it! so no matter who goes on to take over the top job they must have the right criteria!
    1.deny all drug dealing murdering racketeering robbing u.v.f. activities!
    2.ignore and disrespect murder victims and their families!
    3.talk big words and embrace other paramilitaries
    4.try to hide from i.m.c.
    5. any other ways of fooling the public into “WE ARE THE PEOPLE”!
    6. anyone interested has to be interviewed by bunter graham at his discretion!
    So i think their is many who could do this within the u.v.f. family but i wonder how they will deal with the FALLOUT starting on monday the 22nd of jan 2007 when the u.v.f./p.u.p goes TITS UP!!
    I Would advise everyone to get the biggest bag of popcorn and watch the uvf/pup fall to pieces with the biggest smile on your face!!

  • Aaron,

    I do indeed accept that States can be capable of great evil – I think of Germany, of Japan, of Iran, of the USSR. However the evil flowed from tyrannical leaders, Saddam, Hitler, Stalin etc. I do indeed accept that the UK has made some very bad mistakes in the past – such as not crushing the IRA, for example.

    Alex,

    Glad to hear you too are a British subject – count your blessings every day. I note you trot out the argument of all good little peace processors that all the perversions of the peace process have been worth it since it has “saved” hundreds of lives. This is spurious trash. The fact that barbarians cease their barbarity, as I keep pointing out, is merely them stopping that which they should never have started. Post 9/11, the Provos realised that they had to be good little boys and girls and stop their overt terrorism. Since then, they’ve been trading terms with Blair and whatever Unionist was foolish enought to indulge them.

    The form of “peace” available by appeasing killers is not worth a damn, since it degrades any society that elevates murderers. Further, Irish insurrectionists should NEVER have any role in the government of Northern Ireland for the most obvious reason of all – they seek to subvert the very British nature of this State. So sorry Alex – we’re not gonna agree.

  • lookingforyu

    ” Further, Irish insurrectionists should NEVER have any role in the government of Northern Ireland”

    Does this include the DUP/third force/ulster resistance insurectionists ???

  • weemanfrom an egg

    davey irvines son was seen carrying his dads moustache down the newtownards rd singing its the tash my father wore

  • gareth mccord

    weemanfrom an egg
    even i dont mock the death and certainly not the pain his son is in now!!
    get a life you sad waster

  • I Wonder

    “Further, Irish insurrectionists should NEVER have any role in the government of Northern Ireland for the most obvious reason of all – they seek to subvert the very British nature of this State.”

    DV, 17/1/2007

    “…nationalists are unfit for ANY form of Government. Why? Because they seek to destroy the State, ergo they cannot be trusted to do anything in Government.”

    DV, 14/2/2006

    Is the man a democrat? All nationalists are the same as insurrectionists. Someone spot the difference between this set of attitudes and “not having a Taig about the place.”?

  • The fact that barbarians cease their barbarity, as I keep pointing out, is merely them stopping that which they should never have started.

    Shorter DV: Please don’t pull my decayed tooth, Doc, it had no right to start aching.

    Seriously, what does all this stuff actually mean? Yes, it sounds impressive, but what use is it? It looks to me like the old classic far-right routine where you advocate something with unacceptable consequences loudly, up to the point where someone calls you on it, when you then deny it and whinge.

    If you think any terms whatsoever except unconditional surrender are unacceptable, then you are by definition arguing for continued war. I see no reason to think that the IRA would be eradicated by military means in the long run, especially as in Vanceworld absolutely NO political solution would be acceptable EVER. In fact, all past counter-insurgency experience suggests that the best you can expect is to keep the fighting down to a no-decision and wait the insurgents out until they agree to negotiate.

    Now, I would argue from the experience of the ’96 mainland offensive that the ‘Ra might have developed quite quickly in the direction of 4th Generation Warfare tactics of infrastructure systems disruption.

  • John East Belfast

    Alex

    Are you not being as extreme as David Vance but at the other end of the spectrum ?

    There are those of us who are/were Pro Agreement pragmatists who could agree with most of your penultimate paragraph and who are also of the Trimble mind that ‘because they had a past didnt mean they couldnt have a future’

    However this should not be interpreted as bestowing legitimacy on their actions.

    My problem with this Ervine affair is that people somehow cant see the difference between him regretting his past and him saying that past was wrong and unjustified.

    Unless I have missed a comment from him others either equate the two as synonomous or simply dont care.

    The issue is that given the same set of circumstances but now with the benfit of hindsight would Ervine have lived his life the same way ?

    or in a nutshell did he to his death believe that, despite living in a functioning democracy which he gave his full allegiance to and which had due process and rule of law, it was still justified for militia. paramilitaries or vigilanties to exact revenge on who they saw as enemies of the state ?

    I still havent heard anywhere that he still didnt maintain that in circumstances it was justified to believe and act as above.

    Maybe you did ?

    Therefore by not pointing out these facts we are corrupting the system and undermining our rule of law.

  • I Wonder

    John

    You dont have to be a nationalist to hold that the very establishment of the state of NI bestowed legitimacy on the treasonable activities of the original UVF (what happened to Sir Wilfrid Spender?) without which, that state would not have been brought into being in the first instance?

    Unionists, as I have said before, kicked away the (embarrassing) ladder that got them the state they wanted, including, against all sane precepts of democracy, two counties and one city where Unionsts were not even a majority….