UPRG gets a million

While we wait to see what Gordon does or doesn’t give us the NIO has announced £1m for the UPRG.

  • Bemused

    Hello Mr. Hain – me and my sub-human band of parasitic mates would like a million pounds to stop murdering everyone that we don’t like the look of – cany you fix it?

    Certainly, Frankie/Jackie/Andre…….

  • surely there needs to be some upfront decomissioning in return for funds?

  • wee slabber

    Well, it makes a change from the incremental payments they were used to getting. You know the bonus payments they used to get (are still getting?) for “hits” on the odd bothersome solicitor, SF politician et al!

  • JD

    The mercenaries finally get their pay off for years of doing some of the British Governments dirty work in Ireland.

  • Yokel

    Pandering, all over again.

    Stop rewarding people for this shit.

  • wee slabber, that money for “hits” wasn’t spread around though, only went to a few.
    So cannot be described as equally distributive 😉

  • Biff2

    Could this by any chance be a way of returning money
    & assets seized by by Mr mc Quillans Assets recovery Agency .Stranger things have happened!

  • protorious

    Only a million? I thought the going rate was a billion…

    Clearly the UDA are far behind the mechanics of the peace process

  • Sean

    And who says crime doesnt pay

  • Greágóir O’ Frainclín

    This is incredible! Ah sure’ll they’ll squander it on heroin, tattoos and red, white and blue paint.

  • Carnlough

    What a laugh.Allegedly this money will be used for community regeneration.No hope of decommissioning yet these scumbags expect money in their hands.Cant wait to the “concerned loyalist”writes an entry on this thread

  • bpower

    Wow, some nice quotes from Hain in the BBC article. He deliberate use of muddled language is striking.

    I guess it can be justified in utilitarian terms but to attach any notion of justice or fairness to it is takin the piss.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    parcifal: “surely there needs to be some upfront decomissioning in return for funds? ”

    Surely you jest — what will they wave about after they’ve blown through this million?

    protorious: “Clearly the UDA are far behind the mechanics of the peace process.”

    They’re far behind on a great many things…

    Carnlough: “Allegedly this money will be used for community regeneration.”

    Paying degenerates for community regeneration… After the tattoos and smack is paid for, mayhap there will be enough left over for a new mural.

  • do I detect an air of cynicism 😉

    Be good to see some practical cost/benefit analysis on what these regeneration projects are?

    fair deal you were outed mate a while back on working closely in this area with loyalists!

    Could you enlighten us with some hyperlinks?

  • Dr Strangelove

    Any word on what those custodians of moral decency, the DUP, make of this little windfall for their comrades in arms ?

  • protorious

    Dread Cthulu: “They’re far behind on a great many things…”

    Naturally, the UDA happily exist in some bizarre alternate universe permanently trapped in the Silver Jubilee.

    After all, what self-respecting terrorist organisation would settle for just a million pounds to cease their activites unless they were operating on some kind of bizzare 1977 price system?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    parcifal: “do I detect an air of cynicism 😉 ”

    mayhap a touch… O:)

    parcifal: “Be good to see some practical cost/benefit analysis on what these regeneration projects are?”

    That would require the ability to count past ten without taking off their shoes. This is simply another sleight-of-hand pay-off, putting the thugs on the pay-roll so the boys can avoid the ignomity of real and honest work.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    protorius: “After all, what self-respecting terrorist organisation would settle for just a million pounds to cease their activites unless they were operating on some kind of bizzare 1977 price system? ”

    They could be very canny and are “boiling the frog,” so to speak. A million is not really “real money” in governmental terms.

    Mayhap it is a bit like a would-be molester “grooming” a child — they get the public and the government used to the notion of paying Danegeld, so when the 2007 rate-card comes into play, they’ll go along with it with cow-like placidity.

  • philip

    If you obey the rule of law and pay your TAXs on time what reward to you get?

  • IJP

    This is genuinely shocking stuff.

    First, it is frankly morally depraved to pay people a million quid not to be violent.

    But, frankly, if a million quid did deliver the removal of the UDA, in the end we’d probably gladly pay it.

    The problem is, it won’t!

    Money has been poured into “deprived communities” for a generation now. Take a look at the 10% most deprived wards in NI. Now take a look at the 10% most deprived wards in NI in 1997. Or 1987. See any difference?

    What is required is sustainable community development. That doesn’t involve pouring money in. It involves people reclaiming a sense of self-esteem and working within their own communities to deliver the results they want to see for those communities. Most of all, it involves reflecting on the fact that nearly all such communities have at their heart courageous, peaceful, hard-working people – not gangsters. The former should be supported by government, not kicked in the face while the gangsters who have destroyed those communities get rewarded.

    It’s disgusting, it really is.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    philip: “If you obey the rule of law and pay your TAXs on time what reward to you get? ”

    A high and hardy handshake in the best of times… and the opportunity to watch the political class piss it away on boon-doggles like this one.

  • Dread,
    It is fair to say there’s many a republican who seeks to avoid the ignominy of work too, but I take your point.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    parcifal: “It is fair to say there’s many a republican who seeks to avoid the ignominy of work too, but I take your point. ”

    And its a grand situation, if you can get it. Likewise, given the number of folks on the dole in NI, I suppose that they’re not all that different, but the fact that this is being done by a collection of armed thugs who have already made clear their disinclination to surrender their weapons… mayhap that just makes the stink a little more obvious.

  • yes Dread its the lack of any attempt to disassociate themselves from their weapons that is the affront.
    IJP couldn’t agree more with your analysis

  • young fella

    I feel for the protestant communities that have the UPRG as their tool for community regeneration,i really do.The DUP shuns them,the paramilitaries shun them and anything between that falls between the two flounders as a political force.

    Time for a rethink about how “evil” the green side is?

  • young fella

    *anything that falls between the two

  • StarHound

    Where is the political leadership or involvement in community activism in loyalist or unionist communities?

    Surely the DUP should be getting involved on the ground instead of leaving it to UDA/UPRG etc who are hardly numerous never mind up to the the job of encouraging community development.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    StarHound: “Surely the DUP should be getting involved on the ground instead of leaving it to UDA/UPRG etc who are hardly numerous never mind up to the the job of encouraging community development. ”

    For starters, there is no real incentive for DUP to break a sweat, seeing as the residents already vote for DUP, by and large. Why buy the cow when you get your cream for free?

  • Greágóir O’ Frainclín

    The DUP would much rather attend to the Unionist middle classes with their biblical whims and cups of Earl Gray tea. The Unionist/Loyalist working classes are only ever called on when a bit of bullying and muscle is required, as we have seen too very often in the past.

  • loftholdingswood

    I welcome the announcement and congratulate the hard work that has gone into making such an impressive achievement of the initial six month Conflict Transformation Initiative (CTI). I wish the soon to be appointed staff every success and urge them to focus on the huge tasks ahead and not be detracted by quibbling and sniping from the uninformed and unambitious.

    I know that the civil servants from the DSD and indeed the Minister himself has been deeply impressed by the presentation that was made and the business plan that was put forward. It is especially encouraging to see new faces appearing and being encouraged to participate. It is an exiting time for you all in your transformation and I wish you all well.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LHW: “It is an exiting time for you all in your transformation and I wish you all well.”

    By all means, let the UDA exit.

  • loftholdingswood

    Well spotted, should have used a spell check!

    Read that as “Exciting”

  • Dread Cthulhu

    No, I think it sounded better the first time…

    Seriously, how excited should anyone be at the notion that the cancerous growth that has been retarding the development of Loyalist neighborhoods has been hired to be the cure?

  • ian

    Loftholdingswood, could you offer insight into my question in the other related thread?

    (“In return for the funding the government wants to see..” Post 5)

  • Johnny

    Troon’s starting to seem a wee bit less attractive now. I wonder mmmmmm………….

  • loftholdingswood

    Ian,

    I have responded on the other thread (never noticed that one).

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LHW: “Well spotted, should have used a spell check! ”

    Come to think on it, just to be fair, the spell-check would have passed on it.

  • Ian

    Nationalists should be philosophical and patient about this. Once the DUP go into power-sharing they can’t back out as they would look foolish (how often did they berate Trimble for the hokey-kokey approach?), but if these sweeteners by the NIO don’t stand up to scrutiny on equality grounds then they can be successfully judicially reviewed later (a la Interim Victims Commissioner and Parades Commission appointments).

    And if that happens, Unionists can at least take comfort in the fact that Nationalists are displaying increasing faith in the NI criminal justice system.

  • Ian

    LHW,

    Saw your reply – cheers – and have followed it up with another Q.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Ian: “Nationalists should be philosophical and patient about this. ”

    IOW, Unionist / Loyalist hypocrisy should be accepted without comment. If this non-representative group wishes to be seen as part of the solution, as opposed to being seen as a part of the problem, let them disarm and roll-up their criminal activities. The fact is that they either are unwilling or incapable of delivering either.

    Ian: “Once the DUP go into power-sharing they can’t back out as they would look foolish (how often did they berate Trimble for the hokey-kokey approach?), but if these sweeteners by the NIO don’t stand up to scrutiny on equality grounds then they can be successfully judicially reviewed later”

    Were that the only problem / objection, I would be inclined to agree. The UDA / UPRG represent the narrowest of interests — those of the UDA, which is currently engaged in criminal activities and has yet to disarm. As such, they seek to put themselves in a position where these “noble volunteers” can squeeze the state for largesse, at the expense of ordinary decent tax-payers.

  • Ian

    DC, by all means object and object loudly, I just mean it shouldn’t be treated as a a deal-breaker (which I’m sure it won’t since it’s not nationalists that are putting up obstacles to devolution). All these NIO bribes and sweeteners surely are unlikely to stand up to judicial scrutiny, but if they help to persuade the DUP into power-sharing then they’ll be locked in and reluctant to back out again.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Ian: “I just mean it shouldn’t be treated as a a deal-breaker (which I’m sure it won’t since it’s not nationalists that are putting up obstacles to devolution).”

    They’re not deal-breakers. What they are is an affront to every law-abiding rate-payor. I would no more hire the Klu Klux Klan to provide diversity counseling than I would the UPRG / UDA to perform community regeneration. It smacks of danegeld — rather than squeezing the locals for protection payments, they hopd to squeeze the government.

    Ian: “All these NIO bribes and sweeteners surely are unlikely to stand up to judicial scrutiny, but if they help to persuade the DUP into power-sharing then they’ll be locked in and reluctant to back out again. ”

    The DUP should be somewhere between apathetic and incensed about these transfers of wealth from the law-abiding to the UDA’s sock-puppets. The DUP already enjoys the votes of these communities — UPRG has no major political support, even in the UDA’s “strongholds.” If anything, they should be standing on their principles so frequently expounded in the past.

  • Ian

    DC:

    “What they are is an affront to every law-abiding rate-payer.”

    If you’re incensed now wait till the UVF demand – and get given – the same (they’re not even officially on ceasefire!)

  • Ian

    Not to mention the one-man-loose-cannon Michael Stone, to fund his next public arts project!!!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Ian: “If you’re incensed now wait till the UVF demand – and get given – the same (they’re not even officially on ceasefire!) ”

    Again, assuming we accept Sammy’s terms as a basis of argument, that is, at worse, a push. Yes, they are not on ceasefire, but they have at least a modicum of political representation via PUP and, arguably, the UUP. As such, they have the backing of enough people to be at least a blip on the radar.

    Do not mistake me, it would still be a mistake and I would still protest… but it would strike me that the rehabilitation of the UVF is more important than that of the UDA, if only because they actually represent a constiuency, rather than simply representing themselves and their guns.

    Ian: “Not to mention the one-man-loose-cannon Michael Stone, to fund his next public arts project!!! ”

    Loyalism is the bastard child of Unionist politics and British CO-IN tactics. Corruptly born, poorly used, easily disowned.

    I don’t fault Mr. Stone’s or, more aptly, his solicitor’s efforts at a defense… poor bastard had to say *something* now, didn’t he?

  • Ian

    I’ve long found Mr Stone to be a source of amusement – ever since he was released from the Maze and everyone was seemingly too fearful of him to point how deeply unfashionable his mullet had become in the intervening 15 years since he went inside 🙂

  • circles

    Except Ian, Stone is a convicted multiple murderer and recently attempted another multiple murder. As charming as his mullet may or may not be there is very little that is actually amusing about the man.
    I don’t think people would have laughed as hard if it had have been the defense Mickey McKevitt had used in his trial. Funny how broad the double standard is isn’t it?

  • A bitter pill to swallow for many.

    However, if this is the way forward as deemed correct by elected govt’s, then equality is needed.

    Surely then the blatent, sectarian, persecution and tax demand of the Murphy family, Thomas in partiqular, should be withdrawn forthwith.

    Unless this danegeld/money is to be given to the UDA via Republicans in South Armagh just to rub salt in the wound.

    It is not hand outs that Republicans require, just the ability to keep monies earnt in the black economy.

    If the powers that be are to be dishonest then at least do it for both sides.

  • bertie

    This is simply disgusting but unfortunatly not in the least suprising!

  • marty (not ingram)

    LHW,
    I wish the soon to be appointed staff every success and urge them to focus on the huge tasks ahead and not be detracted by quibbling and sniping from the uninformed and unambitious.

    Out of interest, and I’m not trolling, will all the staff be UDA members? Surely that can’t get passed the fair employment people.

  • marty (not ingram)

    Here’s an interesting link, though hardly a surprise.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6483555.stm

  • loftholdingswood

    “Out of interest, and I’m not trolling, will all the staff be UDA members? Surely that can’t get passed the fair employment people.”

    They will not be UDA members.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LHW: “They will not be UDA members. ”

    Too busy with the old rackets to work the new ones?

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/significant-evidence-the-uda-are-involved-in-extortion/

  • marty (not ingram)

    They will not be UDA members

    But presumably it will be overseen by the UDA/UPRG?

  • loftholdingswood

    Dread,

    You must believe what you choose to believe. I do not doubt that there are still the remnants of a small criminal gang extorting money and claiming to be from the UDA. It was only last week that I was in a nightclub and was approached by someone offering drugs. He claimed to be from the UDA. When I asked the name of his commanding officer so that I could speak to him about it he became somewhat reticent. I subsequently find out exactly who he was and, surprise surprise, he was not a member of any organisation. And so on. Have the UDA extorted money in the past? of course they have. Is it current UDA policy (as sanctioned by the Inner Council) to extort money from any person or business? Absolutely not. I hope the PSNI representative quoted is taking urgent steps to arrest these criminals and bring them to court.

  • loftholdingswood

    “But presumably it will be overseen by the UDA/UPRG?”

    Yes.

  • marty (not ingram)

    LHW – and the jobs will be advertised in the usual media?

  • loftholdingswood

    “LHW – and the jobs will be advertised in the usual media?”

    As I understand it, yes. And therefore anyone can apply. Presumably any applicant will need to demonstrate an understanding of Loyalist issues and can relate to UDA members in a way that can move this process forward.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LHW: “You must believe what you choose to believe.”

    And who should I believe, you or the PSNI and gov’t?

    LHW: “Have the UDA extorted money in the past? of course they have. Is it current UDA policy (as sanctioned by the Inner Council) to extort money from any person or business? Absolutely not.”

    Uh-huh… so your arguement is, what, that old habits are hard to break? And I am supposed to believe you, particularly in light of the UDA’s unwillingness to disarm and the statements of the government and PSNI? Where, pray tell, am I supposed to suddenly gain any belief in the UDA’s goodwill in these areas, in defiance of logic and evidence to the contrary?

    I find it laughable that the UDA is being paid to oversee a community regeneration plan when the UDA itself was the cancerous growth that sapped the life out of the community in the first place.

  • loftholdingswood

    As I have said before, the evidence of the last 6 months (during the CTI pilot scheme) certainly showed to the civil servants and the minister responsible that there was a noticeable reduction in the areas that needed addressing and that the scheme was worthwhile and (the dreaded words) ‘value for money’. Contact the DSD and ask them for their opinions and justification for their analysis. Could it be that they know things that you do not? Have you visited any particular area and discussed the issues with UDA members? After all, over 4000 of them have voiced their opinion at meetings to discuss the very issues that concern you. Have you contacted FARSET to ask them their opinion on the last six months? Their moderators (a mixture of both sections of the community) have been deeply impressed with the work that has been done and the personnel that have engaged with them (a combination of the ‘usual faces’ and new younger progressive elements). Do you think they are part of the ‘conspiracy’? And so on. These people would be more than happy to talk to you I am sure. Alternatively contact me via email and I will put you in touch with people who may be able to alleviate your concerns.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LHW: “As I have said before, the evidence of the last 6 months (during the CTI pilot scheme) certainly showed to the civil servants and the minister responsible that there was a noticeable reduction in the areas that needed addressing and that the scheme was worthwhile and (the dreaded words) ‘value for money’.”

    Six months against how many *YEARS* of criminal behavior?

    As for “value for the money,” do you have an independent analyst / auditor’s work to review, or simply that of the UPRG and the Gov’t?

    LHW: “Could it be that they know things that you do not? Have you visited any particular area and discussed the issues with UDA members? After all, over 4000 of them have voiced their opinion at meetings to discuss the very issues that concern you.”

    And yet they still find the time to extort from their neighbors and push drugs… funny thing that.

    Anyone can talk a good game. How many guns have been turned in? What reduction in drug-dealing and protection rackets has occurred? According to the PSNI, the UDA is still hip-deep in the mischief, whilst the best the IMC will say is that there are glimmering and hints of progress.

    The UDA created the problems they are now being paid to repair, beggaring their neighbors, poisoning the neighbor’s children and sapping the life out of their areas, like a cancerous growth. To expect to be greeted with open arms based on new works that are in their infancy, particularly when old works of a more dubious nature are still extant, is unreasonable.

  • loftholdingswood

    So I take it the invitation to explore this further with people is turned down? Spend some time away from the internet and come and experience the reality of what is taking place. It is a humbling experience.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    LHW: “So I take it the invitation to explore this further with people is turned down? ”

    Let me quote my previous post…

    “As for “value for the money,” do you have an independent analyst / auditor’s work to review, or simply that of the UPRG and the Gov’t? ”

    I would think that would be an excellent starting place — I don’t want some feel-good dog-and-pony show, LHW. I want evidence, analyzed by someone who has no political or public relations lily to gild. Is that too much to ask for?

  • marty (not ingram)

    It is a humbling experience.
    Don’t over-egg the pudding LHW.

    There are a number of experiences in life I can think of that would be humbling, watching the UDA get £1m of tax payers money to attempt to build some sort of bizarre “we are the community” facade is, I’m sorry to tell you, not humbling. One of the words to describe it would be “galling”, though I can think of many more.

    And now that you’re humbled would you mind telling us if there’s any plans to decommission weapons?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    marty (not ingram): “There are a number of experiences in life I can think of that would be humbling, watching the UDA get £1m of tax payers money to attempt to build some sort of bizarre “we are the community” facade is, I’m sorry to tell you, not humbling. One of the words to describe it would be “galling”, though I can think of many more.”

    Most of those other words aren’t fit for polite company…

    marty (not ingram): “And now that you’re humbled would you mind telling us if there’s any plans to decommission weapons?”

    Apparently LHW and the UDA are not in the business of “tangibles,” preferring a tour through some urban “Potempkin village” than anything that an independent outsider could analyze.