“So we must now take our fight into the political arena..”

For some reason the BBC report on the ongoing trial of one of those arrested at the Alexandra Bar, the one man who denies membership of the UDA, is currently titled – UDA gang ‘planned Blaze of Glory’. But the only apparent reference to a ‘Blaze of Glory’ is the use of the Bon Jovi track. And, rather than the “this does not spell the end for the UDA”, the salient point from the recovered statement would seem to be this

So we must now take our fight into the political arena. However, this does not spell the end for the UDA. We want to reassure you all that the Ulster Defence Association is here to stay. I would also like to take this opportunity to let our prisoners and their families know that we will continue to fight for them. And while Hugh Orde continually calls us criminals and puts only North Belfast Brigade Staff in jail on trumped up charges, we remain as strong as ever. [added emphasis]

Which, if it wasn’t for the presence of the ‘good’ UDA, might otherwise have been compared to the Provisional IRA directive in July 2005 – “All Volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means.” Meanwhile, of those who have already pleaded guilty, the Irish News had a report on the time they may serve.

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  • McGrath

    I have to date, not understood the acceptance of the Egyptian brothers into the erstwhile UDA. Those with ground knowledge, please explain?

  • Rapunsel

    Don’t know about that but surely it is clear to everyone that these guys are only being prosecuted because they are the “bad” recalcitrant UDA whilst the Jackie McDonalds of this world can make their UDA statements with impunity.

  • Steve

    Pete

    its completely disengenuous to compare the UDA with the PIRA.

    The UDA is still a ciminal gang involved in paramilitary activity including attempted murder and extortion

    PIRA has widely disbanded and has disarmed and there is no evidence that they are still operating a paramilitary organization except for the army council. Which appears to be morphed into a care and control organization

  • Paul

    I have to date, not understood the acceptance of the Egyptian brothers into the erstwhile UDA. Those with ground knowledge, please explain?

    Well i think his younger brother led the way, proving himself after killing a young tennis player outside the Landsdowne with one punch (he fell onto the road and was run over), naturally Unionists will just shrug their shoulders but the young innocent tennis player was a Protestant who was in the wrong place and the wrong time, after his arrest he mysteriously started his rise within the UDA, became involved with drugs and so did his brothers. Now probably a valued informer working for Her Britannic Majesty. As an aside, as if this is news, all the brothers are as thick as pigshit and couldn’t spell ‘politics’, typical UDA men really.

  • Mick Fealty

    steve,

    Pete actually made the comparison between statements (not the whole organisation):

    “All Volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means.”

    If he’s wrong, let’s hear why?

  • Mick Fealty

    Paul,

    According to AP/RN (http://url.ie/bos) the victim was catholic, not protestant. Perhaps you should just shrug your own shoulders and let others decide how they react for themselves?

  • Hogan

    Is there any truth in the eldest trying his luck within republican circles as a young man before they discovered he just craved power without ideology?

    Again those with ground knowledge?

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    What’s this thing with Unionist/Loyalist terrorists and cheesy rock. We have had ‘Simply the Best’ and and now this.

    Ha, ha…I can just imagine, UDA gang strutting their stuff to ‘Blaze of Glory’….. mullet poodle hair, skinny jeans, mascara and professing an undying loyalty!…..Yeah, rock and roll!

    http://www.realcrash.com/images/living-on-a-prayer-bon-jovi1.jpg

    or is that mispelled and should be ‘Blades of Glory’…..
    http://www.collider.com/uploads/imageGallery/Blades_of_Glory_DVD/blades_of_glory_blue-ray_dvd.jpg

    Uuuuuuugh!

  • Steve

    Mick

    He isn’t just comparing statements hes comparing the organizations and where they see their features. Or atleast in my opinion he is. Pete is trying to show a paralel between the organizations that I just don’t see and until the UDA verifyingly decomision can never exist

  • Steve

    oops

    features = futures

  • It’s not exactly live blogging, but the daily summary of the NI Committee of the ICTU conference has been posted on http://www.ictuni.org.
    Despite a once-in-two-years meeting of delegates from 36 trade unions that represent 250,000 workers, there is a virtual press blackout, so let’s see if the web can surmount the silence of the Beeb, UTV, Irish News, etc, blah, whatever.

    BTW, the conference was addressed by Martin Mc?Guinness and is about to welcome Sir Reg Empey, so no news there obviously…

    Stick it on and see what happens.

    Fraternally
    John

  • Mick Fealty

    Steve, read it again. You’re making bits up…

  • Steve

    Okay lets open it up to a democratic vote

    Who believes Pete was just comparing statements?

    And who believes that Pete was trying to equate current UDA and current PIRA actions and organizations?

  • Paul

    Mick – I’m stunned that you use AP/RN as your source, though not half as stunned as actually trying to check on the guys religion.

    Maybe I’m guilty of assuming his religion as I’m quite sure the guy attended Belfast Royal Academy. I’m happy to stand corrected.

  • Mick Fealty

    Steve,

    This is not a democracy. All you have to do is back your argument up.

    Paul,

    Assumption is just the thin end of a very long polemical wedge.

  • George

    Pete,
    So we must now take our fight into the political arena. … might otherwise have been compared to the Provisional IRA directive in July 2005 – “All Volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means.”

    Considering the UDA statement makes no mention of democratic programmes or any commitment to exclusively peaceful means I would say that it can in no way be compared with the PIRA statement of 2005.

  • good grief

    I have some family friends who knew the young man in question. Let’s drop the clumsy attempts at sectarian point scoring. He was killed in cold blood by those with no rightful place in decent society anywhere in the world.

    You gain little credit by trying and score cheap sectarian points. In his life he would have mixed with anyone regardless of religion. It is a horrid, cold and pathetic act to suggest any community would shrug their shoulders in response to this act, you have no right to make the comment and you clearly don’t know those involved and their background or the hurt felt by friends of differing religions

    I’m holding back in order to avoid a banning. It’s difficult.

  • Pete Baker

    Gréagóir

    “I can just imagine, UDA gang strutting their stuff to ‘Blaze of Glory’”

    Which is precisely what the BBC report tells us.

    George

    “it can in no way be compared”?

    It may lack the finesse of, say, a statement written by Jonathan Powell, but it points in the same general direction – despite the BBC reporting.

  • Rory

    I suppose they could cobble together a programme of sorts. On health they could promise a regular drug supply. On the economic front a reduction of a few pence on shebeen lager. On sports and culture – more marches – and together with a catchy slogan like, “Vote for us – or else!”, who knows what a bright new political future might open before them?

    And later perhaps, who knows, with their new found resolve to eschew violence they may even contemplate joining Turgon in the ranks of the TUV.

  • Nestor Makhno

    There is definitely a rich vein of research to be mined on the links between terrible music and the paramilitaries.

    Bon Jovi, Tina Turner and really bad hard core dance music seem intimately linked with loyalism. (Embarrassingly poor taste.)

    Not sure what would be on the average Republican’s ipod? Surely not just the Wolf Tones and Christy Moore?

  • George

    Pete,
    It may lack the finesse of, say, a statement written by Jonathan Powell, but it points in the same general direction – despite the BBC reporting.

    I would say it is more comparable with a 1980s style ballot box in one hand an armalite in the other type statement than the 2005 statement.

    To put the absence of a commitment to totally democratic and exclusively peaceful means down to a “lack of finesse” in the drafting is entering whole new realms of reading between the lines, in my view.

  • Steve

    Believe me Mick anyone with republican sympathies that posts on here knows only too well your penchant for autocratic rule

  • cut the bull

    A song the UDA may now be singing,

    I’m a UDA man

    I’m a UDA man, I think I’m really grand
    I’ve never worked, I stole everything that I own
    I demanded a lot, I was never happy with what I’d got
    I took all from many families home

    Now times are hard, I cant get clocked in at he shipyard
    They say there’s only genuine work to go around
    And when I snort and I blow, this powder up my nose
    I usually fall flat down on the ground
    I fall flat d-o-w-n

    I never worked a day, for an honest days pay
    For twenty years I served the UDA best I could
    Now with a handshake and a few bum checks, I feel like shit
    Loyalty through the bad times and through good

    The Inner Councils sad to see that things have got so bad
    The South East Antrim and Westland Hill Billy’s are on the lose
    Their leader’s driving a big car and smoking wacky baccy cigars
    And still he takes his family on a cruise, he’ll never lose

    Well it seems to me such a cruel irony
    The Hill Billy’s are richer now than ever they were before
    Now my check is spent and no body pay protection money or rent
    There’s no fearful building site owners any more,
    Every day I’ve tried to set some ill gotten gains aside
    So if a feud starts, I can run way
    Oh but everywhere I go, the answer’s always no
    There’s no protection money for you here today, fuck off and go away

    And so condemned I stand, a lonely sad UDA man
    There was thousands of us, now there’s only a few
    I watch my ex wife, with a new man and a good life

    And I know the kids are sniffing glue
    Now I realise, I’m a disgrace, I’m a human waste
    My community, I have robbed blind
    And as long as They live, I hope some day they will forgive

    I’ve stripped them of their dignity and pride, I’ve stripped the community bare
    I’ve stripped it bare, I’ve stripped it bare.

  • Rory

    For God’s sake bring back William McGonigall – quick!

  • ladysnowblood

    I think i’d prefer the bon jovi sing along. Don’t give up the day job for heavens sake.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Steve,

    You’re getting boring. Why don’t you answer the point instead of slagging off anyone who calls you to back up your point of view ?

    I interpreted Pete’s remark as a warning that organizations committing themselves to peaceful means aren’t necessarily to be trusted – for whatever reason. The murder of Paul Quinn tends to underline this with respect to the IRA.

  • Steve

    Why comrade? show me the link to the IRA?

  • picador

    Paul,

    Andre Shoukri and Jock McKenzie’s victim was not a Protestant, did not go to B.R.A. and was assulted outside the now defunct Shaftesbury Inn and not the Lansdowne. Regardless of which both the Shoukris (and their mate) are thugs who have a history of receiving treatment at the hands of the judiciary.

  • picador

    McGrath and Hogan,

    The Shoukri’s father was Egyptian but their mother is a Belfast Protestant. Ihab, Andre and Yuk (!) lived on the Westland estate in north Belfast school and went to the Boy’s Model School on the Ballysillan Road. With their penchant for thuggery they found a ready home in the U.D.A. No info on any republican dabblings but it seems unlikely. As schoolboys they ‘stood out’ as ‘huns’ during recreational rioting in the Waterworks.

  • picador

    both the Shoukris (and their mate) are thugs who have a history of receiving treatment at the hands of the judiciary.

    That should have read ‘lenient treatment’

  • matalan

    “The Shoukri’s father was Egyptian but their mother is a Belfast Protestant. Ihab, Andre and Yuk (!) lived on the Westland estate in north Belfast school and went to the Boy’s Model School on the Ballysillan Road. With their penchant for thuggery they found a ready home in the U.D.A. No info on any republican dabblings but it seems unlikely. As schoolboys they ‘stood out’ as ‘huns’ during recreational rioting in the Waterworks”

    They actually went to Lagan college a intergrated school in south Belfast apart from that the rest is acurate enough. It was Adair that brought them into the ranks of the UDA and then got jealous that the brothers replaced him as UDA pin ups.
    They are famous for having put most of the north Belfast UDA behind bars by sending them out to rob to help feed there big spending lifestyles.

  • cut the bull

    I remeber the time the UDA did enter the political arena with very little success under the UDP.

    Frank Mc Coubrey was elected. One of the fummiest interviews I ever seen was Frank on the Shankill estate claiming that locals had found a hidden camera at the back of Crumlin Rd court house, which he claimed was being used by the Special Branch to spy on the community.

    He looked as if some body had just pulled him out of bed as his hair was standing on end and he was wearing his best shiny suit and doing his best to sound intelligent.

    As the camera panned to a wider shot which showed frank in his entirety, wearing a pair of white guddies to compliment his suit, a fashion disaster and a memorable vision of a politician that i found funny.

  • picador

    Matatlan

    They actually went to Lagan college a intergrated school in south Belfast apart from that the rest is acurate enough.

    The benefits of an integrated education, eh? I know somebody who was at the Boys’ Model with Andre. Maybe one or more of the Shokris switched from one school to another.

    In the early 90s Ihab spent a summer working in a hotel bar in the Isle of Man. A mate of mine recognised him from confrontations in the Waterworks. We had a good few jokes about Egyptian Protestants afterwards. Little did we realise he was bound to be a ‘brigadier’ (allegedly).