12 days left..

.. and the NI Social Development Minister, Margaret Ritchie meets a delegation led by the de facto UDA leader Jackie McDonald, along with UPRG spokesman Frankie Gallagher and Billy McQuiston – both of whom should have declared another interest in what happens to that funding.. And while the BBC Newsline report talked of nervousness behind the scenes within the British and Irish Governments [I wonder why that would be.. – Ed] here’s some earlier advice on dealing with for-profit-terrorists.

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  • gareth mccord

    here comes the spining from ritchie, i dont think she “will stick to her guns”!!

  • barnshee

    Stupid UDA
    Ignore her –wait until she withdraws/cancels funds.Then let the patsys in the “deprived areas ” complain to the FEA about “discrimination”- name the minister and watch the shit fly.

  • brendan,belfast

    what spin Gareth? what i heard was a Minister strongly re-iterating what she has already stated – the money will be withdrawn if the thugs don’t stop being thugs. Fair play to Ritchie – the best local Minister by a mile.

  • gareth mccord

    brendan i havent heard that before?

  • Rory

    Pete, I just loved your disarming naivitee in drawing attention to Justine Rosenthal’s definition of “for-profit terrorists” and her advice on how to deal with such a phenomenon.

    Rosenthal attributes resistance to US and British occupation in Iraq as being largely motivated by the greed of gangsterism and blithely ignores the perception of the rest of the world that it was precisely gangsterist greed that motivated the invasion, simply a grander form of “for-profit terrorism”.

    Her comments on the IRA and her failure to mention the criminal motivation of the Loyalist terrorist gangs supplied with weaponry by Israel, via its collobrators in the apartheid South African government, I leave for another day, or another contributor.

    The type of gangsterism and consequent demoralisation of the population in working class ghettoes that is extant in areas under the fiefdom of UDA thugs is not unusual in similar areas in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, outer Paris, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Johannesburg, London, Manchester and increasingly in smaller cities and larger towns in all the capitalist countries – pretty much tout le monde then.

    It suits the boss class. Stops the oiks thinking and maybe organising over the employment and welfare matters and education provision can remain a joke while the petty gangsters in government farm it out to the gangsters with City addresses.

    It breaks my heart to talk to black men in Tottenham who never heard of Paul Robeson, haven’t a clue who Bill Morris is, but admire vicious thugs simply because they were from their community and acquired riches and a reputation. But I understand why they see that. Because whatever of the feely good propaganda of government and society, life experience teaches them that only power, brutality and money allow for respect.

    There is about as much chance of government ending the gangsterist grip these villians have on their areas as their is of Buddhist monks bringing democracy to Myranmar (that’s Burma in old money). The people in these areas will have to rely on thir own power and kick these thugs out. Of course when they begin to do that it is more than likely that they will not recive the same benign attention from the state forces that their tormentors had and, it seems, continue to have.

  • Brendan, Belfast

    Gareth what are you referring to? what have you not heard before?

  • Aquifer

    Right on Rory. Government license the UDA to abuse us. How much UDA money comes from government funded building projects and tax forgone. Plenty.

    We need a new legal class of ‘disinterested’ witnesses who should have their identities hidden from murder gangs when informing against them.

    Government already employs ‘professional’ witnesses as wardens on British council estates, to be able to prosecute Anti Social Behaviour.

    I consider murder, extortion, vice, drugs sales with racist and sectarian abuse extremely anti-social, but our public representatives and the NIO clearly do not.

    The government has it in them to harass raving drunks or feral yoofs, but wilts when faced with a sectarian gang with pistols. Any UDA member with a gun is by his position complicit in many murders and should be jailed for life immediately. The state likes to delude itself that it faces only misguided individuals rather than effective competitors, but we face the reality of businesses bled white or gone.

    Why do Unionist politicians soft pedal the issue? Do their politics depend on a reserve army of sectarian thugs and assassins? Are they too used to the police and army doing the scaredy stuff for them? Do they imagine that the British will give a damn for them? If so they are even sadder and smaller people than I imagined.

  • Pete Baker

    Aquifer

    Not just Unionist politicians.. and not just the NIO.

    But then I did point to that in the original post.

  • Grouch

    Well, we wait with baited breath on the outcome of the Ritchie McDonald meeting – I think not. Do CTI and the UPRG really believe that this money is for Loyalist communities and has nothing to do with the UDA. Then why is McDonald involved? Frankie Gallagher must be really misguided if he thinks that any of us actually believe that crap. If it were just for the communities then let those communities apply for funding for specific projects. They don’t need the paramilitary thugs and semi-reconstituted murderers to do it for them.

    They are trying to copy the Shinners in controlling the local community groups and the funding to those communities but they don’t have the nous, they don’t have the wit and they don’t even have the support of the local community except through threat.

    They try to get the youths to hero worship thes godfather thugs and to role model themselves on people like the Shoukris and McDonalds.

    The real worry in all of this is the total absence of the Unionist politicians who have been elected to represent these areas. They are happy with the votes, but don’t ask them to do any work for local community.

    Somebody needs to take the UDA out of commission, not fund their continuing control of the loyalist community. Ritchie is doing her best, but where are the rest of her cabinet colleagues? Hiding behind the doors of their plush suites at Stormont?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Brendan

    You’re promotion of Ritchie is worthy of a press office posting at SDLP HQ, or perhaps your pining for the Minister’s advisor position….

    In any case, whatever about the difficulties Ritchie is experiencing across Belfast- in terms of dealing with the housing crisis in the north of the city and the Andersonstown Barracks faux pas in the west- on this, she has made a good move.

    Those arguing that other parties should be publicly supporting her are correct with regard to the unionist political leaderships. Both the DUP and UUP have failed to provide the necessary guidance and leadership to these communities to bring pressure on loyalist paramilitary outfits to go away.

    However, Sinn Fein’s stance of maintaining a back seat position is entirely appropriate and indeed strategically correct. How easy would it be for unionist politicians and the loyalist paramilitaries to cry and express fury at a republican campaign to deprive ‘protestants’ of money were Sinn Fein to vocally lead the charge over this one? Indeed, Davy Nicholl’s ominous sabre-rattling today included a reference to the supposed threat from ‘pan-nationalists,’ which many will remember was the cloak under which loyalists launched many of their violent attacks in the early 1990s.

    No, Sinn Fein’s position of supporting the need to address- in an objective manner- issues of poverty and deprivation with government funding (including stressing that the communities benefitting from funding through the CTI should not be adversely affected) has prevented unionism/ loyalism from the easy option and left both shifting uneasily as the issue of what to do with loyalist groups continues to take centre stage.

  • Pete Baker

    “Sinn Fein’s stance of maintaining a back seat position is entirely appropriate and indeed strategically correct.”

    Catch yourself on, Chris.

    Strategic..

    ..Nonsense.

  • Sean

    Chris
    You have forgotten the basic dynamic of political blogging in nIreland

    Any and all criticism of Sinn Fein is both applauded and required and any criticism by sinn Fein whether warranted or not is to be immediately condemned and spurious allegations made against them

  • Rapunsel

    They are trying to copy the Shinners in controlling the local community groups and the funding to those communities but they don’t have the nous, they don’t have the wit and they don’t even have the support of the local community except through threat.

    Grouch

    Spot on.

    Those of us working in this area and dealing with public funding have despaired for years over the failure of many community projects controlled by the UDA( and the continued allocation of funds to such projects despite recommendations otherwise) Its well understood in the various funding bodies that anything Frankie Gallagher touches turns to shit. East Belfast is littered with such projects established and left high and dry when the financial and other problems are uncovered. The main problem is that the UDA thinks it can fast track its members to community development through the provision of large sums of money and jobs for people whose agenda is to maintain control of the areas in which they work. There is little or no interest in the day to day hard graft of genuine inclusive community work carried out with limited resources.

    The fact is that this project is fuck all to do with community work and was a political response dreamed up under direct rule in a misguided attempt to deal with UDA weapons. DSD civil servants did what they were instructed to do as I undersyand it not really supporting the initiative in the first place.

    Margaret Ritchie is correct. Supporting working class loyalist communities can hardly be achieved by feeding the parasites further.

  • gareth mccord

    brendan what i mean is there is words and there is actions and we are always hearing words but i hope she will stick to her guns

  • brendan,belfast

    Chris – by asking Gareth what he meant i am aping an SDLP press officer, or pining for a job? great debating skills. As for SF’s position – are you saying that they support Ricthie’s stance so much that they are staying quiet? a strange politics. Indeed Alex Maskey wasn’t adhereing to the strategic line a couple of weeks back when he called for the funds to be stopped immediately.

    Gareth i was just pointing out that you were accussing Ritchie of spin before she uttered a word and that’s unfair.

  • the NIO clearly do not

    The NIO do not care what happens in this place as long as bombs are not planted in London. Do not expect any help from there. Similarly, while the DFA and Mary McAleese aren’t as bad, they can still take a relaxed attitude to dialogue with the UDA because they don’t see the drug dealing, racketeering, vermin swanning up and down the road in people carriers every day in the way that people in Carrickfergus do.

    This is one of the reasons why I have always supported locally accountable government; so our Ministers can be held to account for their actions. Personally, I hope Margaret stands firm despite the pressure undoubtedly being put on her. Despite the Macavity impression being performed by unionist politicians on this issue, I get the impression lot of ordinary Prods in UDA-infested areas are basically saying “Speak for Ulster, Margaret.”

    Let these bastards off now and they will know they will always have us wrapped around their finger. Stand firm, Margaret, for all of us.

  • Rory

    UDA letting off bombs on London, Sammy. Don’t be silly. They’d never find a member sober enough to be allowed on a plane.

  • UDA letting off bombs on London, Sammy. Don’t be silly. They’d never find a member sober enough to be allowed on a plane.

    You pig. I’ve just sprayed tea all over my laptop!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Chris Donnelly: “However, Sinn Fein’s stance of maintaining a back seat position is entirely appropriate and indeed strategically correct. How easy would it be for unionist politicians and the loyalist paramilitaries to cry and express fury at a republican campaign to deprive ‘protestants’ of money were Sinn Fein to vocally lead the charge over this one?”

    Frankly, Chris, I would have said it was a smart move based on Sinn Fein’s lack of moral authority, but that might be a little too frank from some to stomach.

    Sean: “Any and all criticism of Sinn Fein is both applauded and required and any criticism by sinn Fein whether warranted or not is to be immediately condemned and spurious allegations made against them ”

    I can see the t-shirt now… “Got MOPE?”

    I’ve seen the dynamic run both ways, seemingly dependent solely on which side makes up the majority of posters on a given topic. Sinn Fein are politicians. Folks are permitted to treat them as such.

    Rapunsel: “The main problem is that the UDA thinks it can fast track its members to community development through the provision of large sums of money and jobs for people whose agenda is to maintain control of the areas in which they work. There is little or no interest in the day to day hard graft of genuine inclusive community work carried out with limited resources. ”

    Which tracks with the fact that a full quarter of the CTI staff are UDA sock-puppets (UPRG, including the ineffable Frankie himself…) or UDA hardmen.

    And the boys are interested in all the graft they can extort… 😉

  • thetruthrevealed

    The deal has already been agreed. De Chastelain will report on “significant progress” without defining “significant”. Ritchie will fold (she will blatter on about continued monitoring but the funding will continue). On 11th November the UDA will read out a statement (to all Remembrance Day attendees) “committing” the organisation to to CTI. There will also be something vaguely alluded to but not explicit enough to excite or substantial enough to truly mean anything. I understand that the person charged with writing the statement is not Davy Nicol (who has left) nor Frankie Gallagher (who will gradually be sidelined after this current round of negotiations – he has apparently lost the support of the CTI staff) but someone close to Jackie Macdonald.

  • spiritof07

    and the “truth revealed” will turn out to be the giant turtle from the english lake

  • Dread Cthulhu

    TTR: “The deal has already been agreed. De Chastelain will report on “significant progress” without defining “significant”. Ritchie will fold (she will blatter on about continued monitoring but the funding will continue). On 11th November the UDA will read out a statement (to all Remembrance Day attendees) “committing” the organisation to to CTI.”

    Not nearly enough of a fig-leaf for Ritchie, I would think… Simply having the hoods swear their commitment to the CTI does nothing to address their armaments or their recent anti-social behavior — back-shooting coppers and setting off pipe-bombs tends to make things complicated.

    TTR: “I understand that the person charged with writing the statement is not Davy Nicol (who has left) nor Frankie Gallagher (who will gradually be sidelined after this current round of negotiations – he has apparently lost the support of the CTI staff) but someone close to Jackie Macdonald. ”

    So we’ll be rotating our way through the various and sundry “friends of Jackie” for CTI positions, is it?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Pete

    Still waiting on a more articulate response than that little fit earlier in the week…..

  • gareth mccord

    Is there anyone so gullable naive and completely thick to believe ritchie will pull the plug? Wise up and I WILL TAKE BETS but i suspect there will be no takers!! The bad guys always win in reality and the good guys on t.v.

  • Reader

    Dread Cthulhu: De Chastelain will report on “significant progress” without defining “significant”.
    Par for the course, though. The first 2 acts of decommissioning by the IRA were “significant”, the third was “substantial”, the 4th represented “totality”. Even “totality” was a bit vague, “significant” and “substantial” were never defined by the IICD