“The IRA hasn’t gone away, and the UDA is exactly the same.”

One of the more interesting aspects of the list of candidates in the forthcoming election is the absence of anyone officially endorsed by the UPRG.. or the ‘good’ UDA. It may be that despite the recent PR work, and the granting of political capital and the previous official imprimatur of both governments, events on the ground have not progressed sufficiently to allow that appearance.. but regardless of how well, or not, PUP candidates perform this time, the indications, together with some of the statements made, are that we should expect such candidates to emerge in the future... regardless of what sort of society it will signal we’ve been left with..From the Belfast Telegraph report

Amid calls for the UDA to be legalised, the organisation vowed to wage a political battle to replace decades of armed conflict.

In the document an unnamed member of the Inner Council says: “We fought the IRA when they tried to destroy this country, tried to take away our identity, and we will still fight them.

“But it will be in a different way, not on the battlefield but through the force of our arguments.”

David Nicholl, the Ulster Political Research Group spokesman in the North West, said a new path to peace was being forged by the UDA, whose ceasefire has lasted for 12 years.

“It is now a political process that the UDA are engaged in, and they are in favour of powersharing and integrated education and they are prepared to contemplate recognition of Sinn Fein ministers when they are in office.

“The UDA is giving a lead saying they want bread and butter issues tackled, and they want to create an environment in which there is no longer a need for paramilitarism.”

However he ruled out disbandment saying: “The IRA hasn’t gone away, and the UDA is exactly the same.”

, , , ,

  • Henry94

    I wonder if we would have had a thread on this story at all only for the excuse to use the headline.

  • Pete Baker

    Henry

    Catch yourself on. It’s not as if it’s an issue that I haven’t covered in the past – see links above.

  • loftholdingswood

    The launch of the booklet/pamphlet at the Guidhall on Wednesday night was yet another step on the path of CTI (Conflict Transformation initiative) that the UDA has been engaged in this past 18 months or so. It is an evolution not a revolution and is being conducted openly through consultations within the organisation.

    I salute the efforts that the leadership have taken to introduce radical thinking and risk taking for peace and reconciliation. I urge those with influence to continue along this path.

  • derry

    Nicholl himself has endorsed Peter Munce over willy hay in foyle.

  • Pete Baker

    lofty

    How long do you think it will be before we can expect to see Frankie Gallagher’s name on a ballot paper?

  • quizzical

    “Amid calls for the UDA to be legalised” – WTF!
    Anybody able to give me some info on just who is making these calls? and why?
    And would that also involve the legalisation of extortion, drug dealing, concealed weapons and pirate copies of designer label clothing?

  • Polycarp

    “The IRA hasn’t gone away, and the UDA is exactly the same.”

    Great title Pete and I agree however I think they remain at their strongest in the mindsets of their communities.

    The last few years have shown that, left to themselves, the DUP and Sinn Fein cannot
    make politics work and keep it working so it is precisely for this reason that people need to re-open the middle ground. IMO, only this will ensure an end to direct rule. The same result as the last time will only produce more of the same: suspension, direct rule and chest banging, blame-game politics. Is that going happen? I doubt it. Why? Because of uncompromising, entrenched and begrudging attitudes that think that all the murdering and killing was sad and regrettable, it wouldn’t have to happen if “them’uns” would just see sense!

    No, the UDA, the IRA and all the rest have NOT gone away and they’ll be with us until WE send them away.

    Vote the middle ground and make politics work!

  • Dec

    However he ruled out disbandment saying: “The IRA hasn’t gone away, and the UDA is exactly the same.”

    a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/4283444.stm”>Hmmm…

  • Dec

    Try again

    Hmm…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LHW: “The launch of the booklet/pamphlet at the Guidhall on Wednesday night was yet another step on the path of CTI (Conflict Transformation initiative) that the UDA has been engaged in this past 18 months or so. It is an evolution not a revolution and is being conducted openly through consultations within the organisation. ”

    Still debating the amount of Danegeld to demand? Gotta make sure they has enough extorted gov’t cash to spread around…

  • Sean

    I noticed among all the chest thumping and finger pointing there is not one mention of decommisioning

  • marty (not ingram)

    It is an evolution not a revolution

    Sorry for going off-subject but it reminds me of the Alan Partridge quote – “I evolve but I don’t revolve”

  • marty (not ingram)

    “The UDA is giving a lead saying they want bread and butter issues tackled, and they want to create an environment in which there is no longer a need for paramilitarism.”

    What a load of old cobblers! Coming up with acronyms such as CTI and waffling about “creating environments” can’t deflect from the simple truth – a bunch of thugs want a large wedge of cash from the taxpayer and will dress it up as “conflict transformation”.

    Here’s a tip for ya gents if you want to make some money. Go and get a feckin job like the rest of us.

    These people are unelected and already pulling in an illegal fortune and to that end they deserve squat.

  • loftholdingswood

    “lofty

    How long do you think it will be before we can expect to see Frankie Gallagher’s name on a ballot paper?”

    A good question. The honest answer is within a few years I would imagine. Or at least that is what he would hope. Whether ultimately any UPRG representative stands for election (on behalf of the UPRG as a political party) is the subject of much debate. As an Independent then anything is possible (even probable). Electable though? Something entirely different. There is a huge ‘constituency’ of non voting UDA members (and friends and families) out there. Is there someone who could inspire them to vote? We shall see.

    “Still debating the amount of Danegeld to demand? Gotta make sure they has enough extorted gov’t cash to spread around…”

    Utter drivel. We have been down this argument before. No demands are being placed and any request for legitimate funding will be based on achievable and deliverable improvements for impoverished areas.

    “Sorry for going off-subject but it reminds me of the Alan Partridge quote – “I evolve but I don’t revolve””

    I preferred his famous quote on Bloody Sunday but there you go. By evolution not revolution I am indicating that changes will occur without bloodshed.

  • loftholdingswood

    “I noticed among all the chest thumping and finger pointing there is not one mention of decommisioning”

    For the simple reason that it is not part of CTI. The IMC are the body responsible for that aspect of the transformation and they meet regularly with representatives of the UPRG.

    Decommissioning minds is far more important than decommissioning some guns. As England has shown recently guns are cheap, throwaway items nowadays. We need to stop people firing the guns. Logic surely dictates that we do this in any way we can.

  • marty (not ingram)

    We have been down this argument before. No demands are being placed and any request for legitimate funding will be based on achievable and deliverable improvements for impoverished areas.

    If regeneration of loyalist areas is the issue then why is this not being driven by the local MP’s? E.g. Peter Robinson, East Belfast.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LHW: “We have been down this argument before. No demands are being placed and any request for legitimate funding will be based on achievable and deliverable improvements for impoverished areas. ”

    Just because they gotten marginally more sophisticated and learned to make implicit threats, what with their amassed armaments still in hand, makes them no less the thugs, LHW.

    LHW: “For the simple reason that it is not part of CTI. The IMC are the body responsible for that aspect of the transformation and they meet regularly with representatives of the UPRG. ”

    And get told “no, not without a dump-trucks worth of money for the lads…”

    LHW: “Decommissioning minds is far more important than decommissioning some guns.”

    Right — pull the other leg, its got bells… How many folks you killed telekinetically this week, LHW?

    LHW: ” As England has shown recently guns are cheap, throwaway items nowadays. We need to stop people firing the guns. Logic surely dictates that we do this in any way we can.”

    Paying off the godfathers of the street is just Danegeld and will have the same effect, i.e. none.

  • Dec

    David Nicholl, the Ulster Political Research Group spokesman in the North West, said a new path to peace was being forged by the UDA, whose ceasefire has lasted for 12 years.

    Couldn’t make it up…hold on, they just did.

    Decommissioning minds is far more important than decommissioning some guns. As England has shown recently guns are cheap, throwaway items nowadays. We need to stop people firing the guns. Logic surely dictates that we do this in any way we can.

    As you may remember, that line didn’t work for the IRA so I’m not sure it should work for the UDA. Having said that why should the UDA (or uVF)decommission? Nobody outside of Nationalism seems that bothered.

  • loftholdingswood

    “How many folks you killed telekinetically this week, LHW?”

    None. But if you know the way to do it telekinetically reveal all – I’ll pass it on and we’ll give it a shot (literally!).

    I’m not sure if i am reading the same IMC report as you all seem to have but I did a quick count of murders directly attributed to and sanctioned by the UDA in the last six months and came up with….zero.

    The fact remains that CTI is with us, it is working, it is a laudable effort and it is seemingly achieving the task it set out to do. More is needed and it will no doubt follow. I admire those that at least try and consult with UDA members and achieve a consensus and a way forward. They are doing fantastic work on the ground and deserve recognition.

  • marty (not ingram)

    They are doing fantastic work on the ground and deserve recognition.
    I’d advise the people on the ground to recommend that their colleagues buy Friday’s Tele and look for a job rather than expect the taxpayer to foot the bill of their “new mode”.

    You personally do seem to have honourable intentions LHW, but when I look at my payslip and see how much goes out the door in NI and tax it sickens me to think that wee Janty propping up the bar in the Bunch of Grapes is going to get his mits on my Govt deductions.

  • ally

    “wee Janty propping up the bar in the Bunch of Grapes is going to get his mits on my Govt deductions”

    It’s not called the Bunch Of Grapes any more (too many murders)Its now called the Brox Bar and is a shrine to all things Glasgow Rangers. Not sure if you have to give a nazi salute going in the door but the uda drug lords are still very visable

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LHW: “I’m not sure if i am reading the same IMC report as you all seem to have but I did a quick count of murders directly attributed to and sanctioned by the UDA in the last six months and came up with….zero. ”

    Since you seem memory impaired…

    You put forth the thesis that guns don’t kill, minds kill.

    Now, as we have just agreed, minds don’t kill They can’t. You can think all the nasty thoughts at me you want, but it just can’t be done. Ergo, turn in the guns and let the UDA think all the unpleasent thoughts they wish.

    But then, how will the boys defend their drug turf?

    LHW: “I admire those that at least try and consult with UDA members and achieve a consensus and a way forward.”

    Bollocks. It cements the state’s surrender of civic power. When the street-fathers are more important and have more influence that the city-fathers, we have a problem. Lauding the continutation of this surrender does nothing to solve the problem.

  • Yoda

    Pete,

    Definitely not one of your better headlines. I’m actually surprised.

  • Pete Baker

    Yoda

    Surprised by my use of a quote from the article which reflects how the UDA see their current position?

    You did see the quotation marks?.. and you did read past the headline?

  • Yoda

    Indeed, Pete, which makes the headline all the worse.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Pete Baker: “You did see the quotation marks?.. and you did read past the headline? ”

    There’s no pleasing everybody. Hang ’em with a new rope and still they complain, eh?

  • susan

    Too bad the thread title is becoming the topic of this thread. If you only read the title, you would assume the pamphlet was merely “chest thumping and finger pointing.” But if you read the whole BT link, you see the pamphlet’s final thoughts conclude:

    “The UDA/UFF will have to acknowledge that, although they talked of ‘taking the war to the IRA’, the ordinary Catholic community suffered appallingly.

    Likewise, the IRA will have to acknowledge that their violent pursuit of a united Ireland was not the pure and idealistic liberation struggle it was so often portrayed as being.

    “The State, too, has to accept its share of culpability.”

    Decommissioning myths of the armed conflict is a valid contribution, and few are in better position to expose the bitter realities of myths than those who once lived for them.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Susan: “Decommissioning myths of the armed conflict is a valid contribution, and few are in better position to expose the bitter realities of myths than those who once lived for them. ”

    And yet they still defend their turf, sell their drugs and demand their Danegeld. When they yield their power back to the city-fathers, rather than playing godfather of the streets, perhaps then their words might have some use — until then, it’s better to go by their deeds.

  • susan

    Well, if you recall the street riots of September 2005, giving young loyalists every reason to believe they have no voice in the political process has not been a spectacularly effective path to stability, either.

  • marty (not ingram)

    giving young loyalists every reason to believe they have no voice in the political process

    Susan, I don’t feel I’ve any voice in the political process, yet I haven’t torched my neighbours car or looted the local Spar.

    The “young loyalists” you speak of were a bunch of thugs out for trouble. Most of the time the most simple explanation is the correct one.

  • susan

    Marty (not ingram), I’m sorry if I sounded as though I was excusing or endorsing the thuggery. But a simple explanation, however right you may be, is not a solution. Do you really think Loftholdingwood’s efforts will do more harm than good? (I’m really interested in your opinion by the way, that isn’t a rhetorical question.)

  • marty (not ingram)

    Susan,
    Having read Loftholdingwood’s posts here before I think he is trying to do the right thing. However the majority of the organisation he represents are the bottom the pit. Nothing more than a criminal gang with no credible political ideology. Want to buy drugs? Get them off the UDA. Does that sound like people defending “Ulster”?

    If they want to give up violence, then decommission the weapons and get a job. Sadly they expect the Govt to stump huge amounts of cash under the auspices of it being for “conflict transformation”. I don’t, and can’t, buy it.

  • marty (not ingram)

    Forgot to add – one of the main reasons the loyalist areas need financial regeneration is down to the UDA & UVF, because of racketeering.

    It’s a bit rich to then approach the Govt and ask for money to regenerate an area they had a large stake in making redundant.

  • Briso

    Dane-geld
    (A.D. 980-1016)
    Rudyard Kipling

    IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,
    To call upon a neighbour and to say:—
    “We invaded you last night—we are quite prepared to fight,
    Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

    And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
    And the people who ask it explain
    That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
    And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

    It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
    To puff and look important and to say:—
    “Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
    We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

    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.

    It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
    For fear they should succumb and go astray,
    So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
    You will find it better policy to say:—

    “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 plays it is lost!”

  • Pete Baker

    “Whether ultimately any UPRG representative stands for election (on behalf of the UPRG as a political party) is the subject of much debate. As an Independent then anything is possible (even probable). Electable though? Something entirely different.”

    lofty

    Thanks for the honest response. Don’t forget though, in light of the gifting of political capital I noted in the original post, that timing is everything.

    Susan

    “Decommissioning myths of the armed conflict is a valid contribution”

    True.. but not if they’re simply replaced by myths of the ‘peace’.

    [if that sounds a little too gnomic then here’s a reminder of a link from the original post]

  • susan

    I’ve got to leave now. I can’t say I disagree with either Pete or Marty (thank you for not being Ingram). I guess it is just that I too, respect LHW’s sincerity and intentions.

  • marty (not ingram)

    (thank you for not being Ingram)
    you’re welcome :O)

  • loftholdingswood

    Susan – thank you for your comments and support, much appreciated.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Susan: “Do you really think Loftholdingwood’s efforts will do more harm than good? (I’m really interested in your opinion by the way, that isn’t a rhetorical question.)”

    Loftholdingswood is not the problem. He’s not even part of the problem.

    That said, any process that legitimizes the street thugs without returning civic power to the city fathers will ultimately cause more harm than good.