Loyalist Paramilitaries: Their uselessness Mk2

Following on from my discussion about the uselessness and immorality of loyalists they have demonstrated themselves again. (thanks to Wild Turkey for pointing this one out).The UVF appear to have been behind beating and humiliating two young men on the Shankill Road. If you read the Observer’s article on this it seems that the young men have been warned not to speak to the police (unsurprising that). Fred Cobain has denounced all of this, I wonder if Dawn Purvis would like to comment? If so which specific weasel words and hypocrisy will she use?

Not to be out done it seems the UDA are also into this (see Observer article) with an attack on a man in Taughmonagh estate.

The fact that these punishments are for alleged drug dealing is of course particularly ironic in view of the loyalist paramilitaries track record of drug dealing.

The whole thing of course yet again demonstrates that the loyalist paramilitaries continue to hold a malign grip on some Protestant working class communities helping ensure that these communities have little future and little hope (exactly the way the loyalists want them).

This makes one remember the UDA’s statements in November does not it? And it is to be hoped that the courts will help ensure that the UDA do not get any of the CTI money.

By the way no loyalist cheerleaders showed up to defend themselves on the last thread. Any fancy coming out now?

  • Damian O’Loan

    Not to detract from your central point, but the allegations are of robbery, not drug dealing; the UDA are alleged to have publicly humiliated a third man on the Shankill (in addition to last year’s tarring and feathering in Taughmonagh; and finally, the call from Ms McIlvenny on withdrawal of funding appears to be directed at restorative justice groups (I would suggest NI Alternatives, or their Shankill branch may be that in question).

    I would hope that this matter could be raised at the next Policing Board meeting, if the Ombudsman does not choose to involve himself. And would ask, how could we gain an insight into genuine public feeling in the Shankill about paramilitary justice?

  • wild turkey

    “[PSNI spokesperson] said that because no complaint had been made by either of the men involved no further action could be taken at this point.”

    1. It is very obvious that at least two individuals were walking the road with placards on.
    2. Simplifying assumption one. They were not doing this of their own volition.
    3. It is alleged that at least one of them has had the shit kicked out of them.
    4. Unattributed statements suggest that the two “marchers” were being “supervised” by a number of individuals, some with dogs.
    5. Simplifying assumption two. The ‘supervisors’ with dogs were not rehearsing from Crufts.
    6. Allegedly, the march has occured for around an hour before PSNI intervention.

    … and no further action can be taken?

    WTF!

    Q1. Can anyone explain, given the above circumstances, how/why the PSNI cannot initiate investigations and actions without a complaint being made?

    Q2. In what other European cities can individuals can be assualted, placarded, and publicly paraded up and down a major urban arterial road without any police intervention for over an hour?

    I trust there are perfectly reasonable and transparent answers to the above questions…,uh, just what are they.

  • North Belfast View

    Here we go again the UVF, UDA and all the other spaghetti soup, of different so called loyalist groups, doing what they do best breaking legs and lives.

    To coin a phrase “the dogs in the street know who these people are”. Everyone who lives in the area knows who conducts these beatings and who controls what pub, club, street or area.

    The people of the Shankill and other areas need to get rid of this scum. They are killing our young, and with their flash cars, flash holidays, flash houses and their bling are condemning thousands of our young people to a live in poverty.

    These parasites are bleeding our young of money and hope.

    For the young to pay for the drugs that these scum control they are lead into crime and if they are hooked on the drugs they are going to live with the yoke of poverty.
    These paramilitaries are not loyalists they are parasites feeding on peoples fear and desperation.

    My question is what are the Government and PSNI doing? They are doing nothing as usual!!!

    There are shebeens and well known drug dealers who live and operate openly and the PSNI would rather bury their head in the proverbial fast food take-a-way or set up a speed trap.

    The PSNI are part of the problem and not part of the solution! With the PSNI’s inaction this will continue to cost us all, with more children dyeing at the hands of these scum, and to all the middle class that bury their head in their proverbial Volvo estates, it’s costing us millions of pounds in taxes and services.

    It’s time the PSNI got their act together and get out of the fast food take-a-ways and prioritise their resources form speed traps at midnight to raiding drug dens and shebeens and harassing these scum and putting them in prison where they belong, for a very long time.

    End 50% remission now!!!

  • Gum

    The PSNI are pathetic – why hide behind such a very flimsy excuse. The law has been broken, the culprits openly break it – and the PSNI do nothing. They should be ashamed of themselves. The only people who are free to wak the streets of Belfast are the thugs of paramilitary groups. The rest of us have to live in fear. Orde will get his knighthood and maybe the Met job but he has done a poor job of policing NI.

    But that is a second point compared to the act itself. This vigilanism is just sickening. Everytime I hear this type of story it only strengthens my resolve to leave NI. What does it say about our society that there is no sense of rage at these incidents? What has happened to our collective sense of outrage?

  • Gum

    Have to agree with [i]North Belfast View[/i] – why do we still have 50% remission? We should ALL insist that every party backs the abolition of remission at the next election.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Fred Cobain has denounced all of this,

    Not really, Turgon, and this is an example of unionism’s subtle but, in my opinion, deliberate use of weaslish language when it comes to loyalists. Fred doesn’t denounce the UVF or their continued existence, which is what he and all other elected representatives should be doing when it comes to any paramilitary activity. In fact, instead of addressing the UVF, his denunciation addresses “the community”. Perhaps he believes they are the same thing ? That said, at least he didn’t describe it as understandable.

    The reason why Fred is so reticient, and the reason why the PSNI are also so reticient, is likely to be because these people are feared, and at the same time supported, by the local community in equal measure. In circumstances where both the local community and the local politicians fail to get behind any initiatives to flush the paramilitaries out, the PSNI are powerless to do anything. There’s no point in blaming them for refusing to go against public opinion.

    North Belfast View:

    End 50% remission now!!!

    You won’t find any unionists loudly calling for loyalists to be sent back to jail. You won’t find any of them calling for the PSNI to move in and eliminate them. Local people in these neighbourhoods need to ask themselves just how much they need the help of the paramilitaries.

  • RepublicanStones

    I realise blogging is not exactly journalism, but Turgon i feel this sentence-

    ‘I wonder if Dawn Purvis would like to comment? If so which specific weasel words and hypocrisy will she use?’

    is prejudicial to anything Ms Purvis might say. I have always found the PUP to be a little more open and honest than the other mainstream unionist parties….in most areas.

    …….hang on, did i just defend the PUP?

  • DC

    So what Stones, has the PUP done owt, if lip service turns you on well fair and good.

    Dawn is a strong speaker but still actions remain to be seen so that corrupts the very essence of any such nice words while all the same rumbles over illegal bumbles cause community upset.

  • Comrade Stalin

    RepublicanStones,

    Actually the whole thing about the PUP and what they do or do not condemn is missing the whole point. I’ve opined at length about how the relationships between unionist politicians and loyalist paramilitaries do not mirror the situation on the republican side of things. The PUP are essentially irrelevant, and this can be seen by the fact that loyalist paramilitaries are clearly popular in neigbourhoods which don’t elect their political representatives. If the UDA men and their supporters don’t vote for UDA representatives, who do you think they actually do vote for ?

  • heck

    the PSNI not taking action against loyalist paramilitaries.

    I’m shocked –shocked

  • Twinbrook

    north belfast view…

    excellent post.

    As to the PUP….one of their spokesmen has attempted to muddy the waters concerning the brutal assault on that young lad by insinuating he had *in the past* caused trouble at the club!!!

    There you are cause get your throat cut…..back to the days of the butchers…

  • Twinbrook

    trouble should have been inserted after cause above..

  • wild turkey

    Two quick points

    1. Having checked out the BBC Norn Ireland website there is no news item or mention of the incident on the Shankill Road. Incompetence or deliberate omission? If deliberate, who is setting the BBC reporting agenda?

    2. After posting this morning, my eight year old asked me what I was writing about. I tried to explain. I was then asked the following. ‘If the baddies did the same thing to a policeman, would the police still do nothing?’ I was kinda stuck for an answer. Any help folks?

  • North Belfast View

    North Belfast View:

    End 50% remission now!!!

    You won’t find any unionists loudly calling for loyalists to be sent back to jail. You won’t find any of them calling for the PSNI to move in and eliminate them. Local people in these neighbourhoods need to ask themselves just how much they need the help of the paramilitaries.

    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Jan 13, 2008 @ 01:16 PM

    Comrade, I know the Shankill because I live there.

    I can tell you that the vast majority of the people of the Shankill want these scum removed form society and put into prison.

    However, the tiny but ever vocal minority who sympathise or are their hangers-on will don their woolly faces and will threaten and bully any resemblance of resistance to these scum.

    Let me give you a little insight into what is left of paramilitaries on the Shankill.

    The older paramilitaries who have families take their holidays to avoid their pathetic little shows of strength.

    The younger paramilitaries who are trying to make a name for themselves are the ones who parade around as if they are Teflon. None of whom could fight their way out of a wet paper bag.

    Now faced with a sustained and effective PSNI campaign to remove these parasites you will find that the PSNI will get the support of the people. However, if it’s just a piece of PSNI spin or window dressing then the people will just keep their heads down, and I would suspect that this would be the same for most areas.

    Here is a classic example of PSNI ineptitude, there was a new PSNI district commander who came to kill dead things in west Belfast. All his tough talk was nectar to the press. How did his tough talk actually manifest itself on the streets of the Shankill?

    His officers started to dish out fixed penalty fines to occupants of black taxies for not wearing their set belts!

    Call me cynical but this not getting tough on the paramilitaries!!!

    Law and order is in the hands of the PSNI and the Government so it is their responsibility to remove these scum. It is not for the people of the Shankill to do that, nor is it for the people of the Shankill to put themselves in the frontline in this battle for the control of the streets. That is why we pay the police and elect governments, they make laws and enforce the law?

    It is the responsibility and the right of the people of the Shankill to demand that PSNI and government do what they get paid for and to support and encourage the removal of these scum. I think you will find that if the PSNI and the government had the balls to take on these scum the people of the Shankill will not be found to be wanting!

  • lib2016

    …and when did any unionist party or British security service ever want to protect the people of the Shankill?

    Who took over these organisations, armed and led them, and financed it all by giving them a licence to sell drugs? Who competed and still competes for their votes? Who runs political defence whenever the paramilitaries are under pressure from their erstwhile allies in the security services?

    Sometimes I despair of the loyalist population ever realising just how they have been used. It can’t be that the relatively few loyalists I know are the only ones who are aware of what the last thirty years have been about…..can it?

  • North Belfast View

    Sometimes I despair of the republican population ever realising just how they have been used. It can’t be that the relatively few republicans I know are the only ones who are aware of what the last thirty years have been about…..can it?

    http://www.independent.ie/n...

    It seems that Sinn Fein have again spoken hollow wards not only to the McCartney sisters but to all the whole of their community. They have given a well paid community job to a bohy who allegedly may have information that could help the Robert McCartney murder case!

    Sinn Fein voter be under no illusion if it happened to McCartney’s then it could happen to a family member close to you!

    I have mentioned on this forum before that the only people the Sinners are interested in are the Sinners themselves and their mates as Gerry stated “they haven’t gone away ya know”!

    When are the Sinn Fein electorate going to see through these people for what they are?

    Sinn Fein are a collection of non entities, who if it was not for a terrorist campaign waged against all the people of Ireland. Then these people would not have well paid jobs doing nothing. They have disturbing influence over our day to day lives, they have swish holiday homes and foreign holidays when most of their electorate have nether a holiday or holiday home but need to watch were the next utility bill is going to get paid from.

    As was said before voters beware as you usually get what you vote for?

    “Sinn Fein has been quietly reinstating figures who were in the bar that night and who it claimed to have expelled. Several now hold well-paid ‘community’ jobs in organisations controlled by Sinn Fein in working-class Catholic areas of Belfast”.

    The key suspect recently given a ‘development’ job in the community sector is barely literate and has no qualifications, despite the fact, Catherine said, that the job requires development analysis and report writing skills. The appointment has also angered local people whose children have gone through university and are unable to get such jobs. Despite the fact that the IRA-man has no qualifications and left school early with limited reading and writing skills, he is now earning a higher public salary than a school teacher”.

    “The man, who served a prison sentence for IRA firearms offences, was “officer commanding” of the IRA in the Markets area where the McCartney’s lived. According to witnesses he had a dispute with Robert McCartney’s friend Brendan Devine and as he walked away he signalled to other IRA-men in the bar that the two were to be taken out and stabbed”.

    Sinn Fein will always put their political ideology before their constituents!

    I suppose putting their political ideology before their constituents should not come as a surprise to the Sinn Fein voter. However, the Sinn Fein voter should ask why?

    I await the posting in defence of this situation!

  • Damian O’Loan

    Far from attempting to remove paramilitary influence over working class areas, by funding restorative justice groups without having established rigorous oversight, the British Government has committed itself to its prolongation.

    Even a member of Alternatives brought to my attention that the PSNI were, in her view, abandoning Protestant working class areas to the mercy of her organisation.

    If the residents of the Shankill, and other demographically similar areas, wish to be relieved of paramilitary justice, they should lobby their parties to stop supporting these groups with carte blanche, and demand oversight, at least.

    The victims of the troubles are prevalently working class. That is not to detract from the suffering caused others, but let’s not deceive ourselves. The DUP and SF are where they are at the expense of their working class electorates. But that is a reversible situation. Were I resident in the Shankill, I would want to call them, and others, to account. I realise the practical difficulties, but am equally aware of the courage that is required not to.

  • Newton Emerson

    [b]Q1. Can anyone explain, given the above circumstances, how/why the PSNI cannot initiate investigations and actions without a complaint being made?[/b]

    I had an opportunity to raise exactly this point on Radio Ulster this afternoon. The PSNI press office responded that it was untrue to say police had not acted with regard to the Shankill Road incidents because they were appealing for further information.

    Firstly, this was not an answer to the point. The PSNI specifically stated that they could not act without a complaint although this is completely untrue.

    Secondly, there is little use appealing to people for information on paramilitary activity after clearly signalling by your previous inaction that those responsible are above the law. In fact, the apparent cynicism of such an appeal is quite breathtaking.

  • DC

    It seems to be that if police intervention happened in the form of a potentially successful state prosecution, the victims of the original crime could as a result face an even worse human rights breach than what was already meted out to them.

    The police, wholesale, have gone through fast-paced reform and it is clear to see their grip has slipped particulary due to such overhauling and new administration brought about via the implementation of Patten.

    The beating seems like a quid pro quo that may receive wider community support due to the escape route over the claim to be ‘drug dealing’.

    An acceptable mitigating circumstance ergo no community support no concern?

    Human rights policing, at a very local community level, seems to have put the police on a cautious back foot awaiting community support or wider support, as they test out the reaction to the new service operating under a ‘new dispensation’.

    Or alternatively, the old boys of the RUC are secretly conniving as there does seem to be something amiss with existing policy, almost like the police are saying tacitly, you got what you asked for in terms of a ‘new service’.

    I wonder how many cases have gone up to the PPS to come back down ticked with ‘mitigating circumstances’ therefore no sufficient grounds for a’criminal’ prosecution or if civil cases have risen as a result of any such inadequacies.

  • Comrade Stalin

    north belfast view:

    I can tell you that the vast majority of the people of the Shankill want these scum removed form society and put into prison.

    I remember watching the BBC NI News on the evening when the Shankill Bomb went off. One angry and frustrated Shankill Road resident being interviewed said words to the effect of “our ones should go over to the Falls Road and get them”. I accept that this situation isn’t particularly normal or realistic, but I don’t think anyone can dispute the feeling among the unionist electorate that the loyalist paramilitaries are “ours”.

    More recently, I remember an incident on the Shankill where there was rioting which led to several local shops being vandalized or otherwise damaged – I think it might have been the Whiterock parade rerouting. Several shopkeepers were asked who they blamed for the trouble, and they said they blamed Peter Hain, as the people “on this road” had had enough. Several of his customers chimed in to back him up. There’s something bizarre and fucked-up going on when a guy whose business is being attacked stands up voluntarily to justify the actions of the attackers. I don’t think it’s as simple as plain intimidation – he could have refused to talk to the media.

    However, the tiny but ever vocal minority who sympathise or are their hangers-on will don their woolly faces and will threaten and bully any resemblance of resistance to these scum.

    I appreciate your insight, and I don’t know jack about life on the ground on the Shankill. But what I don’t understand is : if the majority of people on the Shankill feel the way you do and want these people got rid of, why aren’t the politicians they’re electing leading the charge and asking the police to go in and start raiding people ? Why, instead, do their elected representatives feel the need either to justify punishment attacks as “understandable” or condemn the police for taking action ?

    Law and order is in the hands of the PSNI and the Government so it is their responsibility to remove these scum. It is not for the people of the Shankill to do that, nor is it for the people of the Shankill to put themselves in the frontline in this battle for the control of the streets. That is why we pay the police and elect governments, they make laws and enforce the law?

    This is where I take issue. If the police step in and take action against the paramilitaries, they need your support. The politicians that you’re electing don’t seem to understand this, and they seem to think, as Fred Cobain suggested, that the paramilitaries and “the community” are one and the same. Don’t look at me – you guys voted for him.

    It is the responsibility and the right of the people of the Shankill to demand that PSNI and government do what they get paid for and to support and encourage the removal of these scum.

    Exactly, and they do that through their elected representatives.

    Damien:

    The victims of the troubles are prevalently working class.

    Oh, don’t wheel out that old class rhetoric again. Which social class did all the shooting and bombing ? It was’t the champagne set up the Malone Road. I don’t see how your revisionism is helping anything at all.

    Newton:

    I think the police are having problems with their effectiveness at the moment. I believe that a lot of that has to do with a feeling of demoralization within the force. There are likely to be many causes for this, but one of them is undoubtedly the feeling that the community, the elected politicians, and the government will not back them if they begin to make life hard for the paramilitaries. In any normal country, ongoing organized crime and criminal organizations would be an election issue. Here it isn’t, in fact it doesn’t top the agenda of any of the largest four parties as far as I can see.

    If the community back the no-go areas; the politicians won’t condemn the no-go areas; and the government won’t condemn the no-go areas for fear of upsetting the “community leaders” and the “community restorative justice” – I’m not surprised that the PSNI would feel that they’re out on a limb.

  • DC

    ‘on the evening when the Shankill Bomb went off. One angry and frustrated Shankill Road resident being interviewed said words to the effect of “our ones should go over to the Falls Road and get them”. I accept that this situation isn’t particularly normal or realistic, but I don’t think anyone can dispute the feeling among the unionist electorate that the loyalist paramilitaries are “ours”.’

    A bit out of context CS, that’s a very painful experience full of anger and grief if not complete fury.

  • Damian O’Loan

    DC,

    Newton Emerson’s post explicitly demonstrates the human rights concerns of the PSNI in this instance, which if extreme, is not isolated. North Belfast View’s posts show the legitimate response which is thereby suppressed. How is that voice to be heard?

    The implementation of Patten in no way leads logically to events like this. The abuse of Patten might.

    The ‘drug-dealing’ smear ought not to be repeated so casually as you have done – it adds to the imperviousness of the more significant criminals at hand.

    I wonder, in these circumstances, what the state and the Assembly are doing to reduce paramilitary control? And who would stand to gain from its prolongation? I wonder if one public humiliation every six months will continue to suffice to maintain the control. I wonder how you blame this on Patten and not on the criminals who carried out these acts. To say they have community support is a gross simplification whose consequences are written clearly in this episode.

    This terrorism does not stop crime, it breeds an even more inhumane generation, and contributes to the destabilisation of our ‘peace.’ Hence, UTH/FTRA becomes the new slogan of schoolkids. And I repeat, the working class, on either side of the traditional divide, are the primary victims.

  • Damian O’Loan

    Comrade Stalin,

    Perpetrators and victims then. But since most people weren’t/aren’t killing and maiming, more victims. I agree with much of what you said. The PSNI do need the support of politicians, they are getting quite the opposite. And I imagine many of them are quite happy to wash their hands of policing the Shankill. But that isn’t what the Shankill citizens deserve, I’m sure you’ll agree.

    My main point in raising the class issue is that this is not peculiar to either the Nationalist/Republican or Unionist/Loyalist community. And it is a valid point. Further, the PSNI do not need to be given the power to do this themselves, as some have implied, to sort out the crime problem. These actions, morality aside, are counter-productive in the extreme.

  • Damian O’Loan

    Comrade Stalin,

    Also, for a unionist voter, there is not a single party that doesn’t support carte blanche for restorative justice groups. And to represent the Shankill based on its response to the Shankill bombing isn’t objective, I would submit. There is an absence of representation for this area, and the beneficiaries of that absence are the DUP and Dawn Purvis. The losers are those who live in fear of this kind of paramilitary control.

  • DC

    Damian,

    “The implementation of Patten in no way leads logically to events like this”

    Well yes and no. The best thing the State and Assembly can do now is back with encouragement the new evolving police service because previously Patten was viewed as a fast paced policy for changing policing structures.

    It was a disgrace that the apparent need for change wasn’t backed politically at the time by all quarters but then there were obvious concerns re the political climate, the key regarding propaganda is that there has to be something there to propagate, a small truth somewhere. Which there was in many ways.

    Patten was never put to work under a discourse of cross-party agreement, hopefully now this must change as it was always a positive measure, change is positive especially if you can control it.

    But on the ground the police remain responsible. Personally, the goal should be to get more part time people into the police, more local people with a genuine urge to police on behalf of their area.

    It’s hardly surprising given the harsh climate in which many police officers work in, if for example a steel-hardened loyalist says no thanks to further action State-side that this should be met with anything other than acceptance by a young inexperienced officer/s.

    It takes time to work on this and build up experience and training on the beat as decisions in real time are hard to take yet easily made on blogs or perhaps in the training college with officers all big up on human rights policing.

  • Damian O’Loan

    DC

    That post, while much closer to my thinking, does I think absolve those parties which do actively promote paramilitary control by failing to pursue the other options, if at all, more vigorously. And I think that the common thread of the responses is that the PSNI need the Assembly’s support.

    Re human rights concerns, I would only refer back to Newton Emerson’s post. Those are good positive points you make though. My worry is that community policing will really only be part-time, in a jobshare with restorative justice groups who, with carte blanche, will continue to create more work for the PSNI.

  • lib2016

    North Belfast View,

    This is a thread about Loyalist Paramilitaries. The fact is that within their own communities the different paramilitaries are seen very differently.

    The IRA can and should be criticised but simply viewing the UDA/UVF as mirror images of the PIRA is not helpful to any understanding of the last thirty years.

    The different groups emerged from different communities and have developed in even more different ways.

    Moreover republicans successfully made the transition to becoming politicans and Sinn Fein have in many areas replaced the existing SDLP which didn’t happen with the loyalist paramilitaries. There are reasons for why that happened which you might like to consider.

  • Siphonophore

    1977 state papers now reveal that the British not only knew that loyalist terrorists were in the UDR they actually wanted them there and did nothing to root them out. And that the British didn’t pursue loyalist murderers anywhere like how they did the IRA.

    I guess it’s a good thing Mick added another unionist blogger to the roll, avoids having anything awkward like this actually being a topic on the front page instead of buried in the comments.

  • aquifer

    Society needs people who can puncture these gangs, brave individuals who can manage the moral conflicts involved in prosecuting people close to them.

    We need more touts, lots of them.

    The PSNI should not be apologetic or secretive about the recruitment processes involved, and what is expected of informants.

    Some full page adverts in local papers describing their role in positive terms, with a freephone number, would help get the recovery of local civic pride underway.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Damien:

    And to represent the Shankill based on its response to the Shankill bombing isn’t objective, I would submit.

    I did say it wasn’t a normal scenario.

    There is an absence of representation for this area,

    Oh God, I hope we’re not going to get this tired old “nobody represents our interests” nonsense. The people of the Shankill and surrounding areas turn out and vote for unionists. There are five councillors in the Court constituency, and they’re all unionists. Two of them are paramilitary-linked.

    and the beneficiaries of that absence are the DUP and Dawn Purvis.

    Eh ? Dawn represents East. The people of the Shankill voted for the DUP as well as Hugh Smyth. You can’t say that the people on the Shankill don’t know what they’re getting.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Most people I talk to feel the PSNI are into very selective applications of the law in NI. Traffic offences are very high on their agenda, easy to detect and easy to convict, when it gets into the paramiltary areas it seems they have neither the will (or is it permission) nor the man power, detection is not high on their agenda here.

    This is making a mockery of the law it is either all upheld or we will descend into anarchy as the PSNI decide which bits they want and which bits they don’t.

    So much for our brave new society all gloss and froth in the US and EU and the dregs of society continue as they have always done, sectarian criminality with a very low detection rate.

  • lib2016

    Northern Ireland has relatively low crime rates and all modern societies are plagued by gang warfare, frequently financed by the profits from drugs.

    The old paramilitaries are either being replaced by drug gangs or have become drug gangs themselves. It’s something to be expected and dealt with rather than throwing up our hands in horror.

    No ordinary policeman has the knowhow, the time or the resources to take on organised crime. That’s a specialist job to be done by specialist units and we have those in plenty.

    Local or community policing is quite different and that’s the bit where we are just beginning. The quiet word in the ear of a young hooligan before he gets involved in more serious stuff. The helping hand to a pensioner who has been frightened by a few rowdy teenagers.

    Efforts are being made to build links between the communities and the local police but it will take time. Alarmist talk about it having already failed will get us nowhere.

  • Damian O’Loan

    CS,

    So should unionists, across Belfast, vote SDLP/SF/DUP then? Or, as I think we’ve both suggested, lobby their parties to support the PSNI in rooting out this paramilitary culture. There have been some suggestions as to how to do so – I think that is a more productive line for this argument to take.

    I mentioned Dawn Purvis as the only PUP member in the Assembly, but yes, there is paramilitary control in East Belfast too.

  • Bigger Picture

    Comrade Stalin

    The problem with the paramlitaries in the shankill goes beyond the bully boys in the street. You pointed out that two of the councillors have paramillitary connections with the UDA and UVF respectively and the paramilitaries use this to strenghten their influence. You only have to open up the Shankill Mirror to see Frank McCoubrey’s (UDA) face plastered all over it. I laughed when i read that the DUP voted for Jim Kirkpatrick as High Sheriff and the SM castigated the Shankill DUP cllrs for not supporting a local candidate in Frank McCoubrey instead. This despite the fact that when Diane Dodds was put up as the candidate for Lord Mayor McCoubrey and Smith voted for Rodgers instead.

    The paramilitary politicians are on a systematic campaign to attack the DUP in the area as the only party not linked to terrorists, they see them as a threat to their group’s position in the community. I am not saying this in complete support of the DUP as im getting increasingly fed up with Paisley but i cannot overlook all the good work they have done in the area also. It is sad to see that loyalists are so afraid of seeing their area prosper for fear of losing thier grip on it.

  • Bigger Picture

    btw North Belfast View

    Your arguments seem very similar to the guy from Alternatives on the Shankill who was speaking on Nolan this morning??

  • Damian O’Loan

    That ought to have read SF/SDLP/Alliance.

    To lib,

    Community policing does need the authentic support of the Assembly though, and I think this blog shows consensus on that point, and on the fact that its not been forthcoming so far. Your points are very relevant, but I do think there is still a NI spin to be considered.

  • Any discussion on Loyalist Paramilitaries is,imho, incomplete without examing the role they played in the war as part of the British counter insurgency effort.
    Had the UDA not existed in ,say, 1975 then General Kitson (Low Intensity Operations.1970) would have called for their invention!
    He was very clear that in order to defeat a terrorist enemy you must use a “counter gang”.
    What exists now is a redundant counter gang seeking gainful employment.
    To consider them mere criminals is,imho, to miss the point as to how they came into being.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    There’s a programme on TV3 tonight @ 12 about Mad Dog Adair and how he’s hanging out with neo-Nazi’s at the moment. Should be interesting viewing.

  • Bigger Picture

    Phil

    Your point about the loyalists and the nasty Brits has nothing whatsoever to do with this thread. It is about loyalists destroying their own community not the British securocrats. You obviously have quite deep set views on the topic but try and save your arguments for when they are actually needed. lol

  • lib2016

    Bigger Picture,

    Surely by this stage we have all recognised that the security services directly managed the loyalist paramilitaries and financed them by allowing the loyalist paramilitaries to trade in drugs?

    PMGB,

    Every modern community is plagued by drug gangs. The fact that the loyalist paramilitaries have been so easily criminalised is interesting but it has already happened.

    In the case of the loyalists we are dealing with a straightforward case of criminal rehabilitation or retribution for criminal acts.

    That would seem to me to make the task of dealing with them much more simple.

  • Granni Trixie

    Is it right that these were kids of around 14 years old? Where is the ‘champion of children’ (The Childrens Commissioner).
    I have read research claiming that the “informal justice system” ie punishment beatings etc is partly sustained because the authorities “look the other way” eg NIO,police,political parties etc.
    Alao, I have always found that Dawn, like her predecessor, is ambivilant on this subject.

    And what about kids exiled…if OTRs come home why not them…who will stick up for them?
    So much for the new NI.

  • Damian O’Loan

    Having just listened to Nolan on this, I would like to add a few points.

    The PSNI spokesperson’s first priority was to try and discredit the courageous lady who opposed the paramilitary actions. This, on top of Newton Emerson’s post, makes their position more than clear. Her performance was stunning. I cannot believe that it went unchallenged.

    The Nolan show vet the contributors before they go on air, and nothing was done to try and add balance. The event was undeniably sensationalised.

    This parade went straight past Tennent St PSNI station, twice. They arrived to meet the victims at the bottom, but have no idea who those who coerced it are. You almost wonder who’s infiltrating who.

    I have problems with what constitutes justice, what amounts to reparation. But it was clear from this that the view Nolan’s producers chose to present is that vengeance is justice. This is not what even a successful police service would provide, and certainly not in these proportions. How are the PUP/DUP/UUP/SF trying to counter this gap in expectation?

    If it is indeed the case that when petty criminals are caught and used for touts, and this leads to community frustration with justice, which in turn reinforces paramilitary control, then perhaps the PSNI ought to consider how many touts they need. Have they got the balance right?

    Tom Winston ‘understands.’ Diane Dodds ‘understands.’ Fred Cobain ‘understands.’ Dawn Purvis, as far as I can find, has no opinion. Who should a Shankill resident who opposes this turn to.

    I’ve been attacked, pretty well, by paramilitaries. The PSNI acheived precisely zero, that they could report. So do I want paramilitary ‘justice.’ It wouldn’t unscar my face, straighten my arm or ‘fix’ those who did it. It would add to their authority, to the community’s fear, would further undermine the justice system, would create more dangerous terrorists. So to those who, understandably despairing about living in high crime areas, support paramilitary justice and its modus operandi, I would only say, that’s more selfish than understandable.