UDA ‘Ready for Battle’

Fresh from their display of solidarity with parading British soldiers last week, the UDA has declared itself ‘ready for battle’ whilst accusing republicans of being ‘racist, ignorant and bigoted’ (Carlsberg don’t do irony, but if they did…..)

The UPRG’s Frankie Gallagher elaborated upon the ‘battle’ declaration by stating that it meant “to do battle in terms of social economy, in terms of bringing jobs into Protestant communities, in terms of unionist unity,” he said.

Which raises more questions than it answers. How does the UDA plan to ‘battle’ to bring jobs into protestant communities? Should businessmen/ women feel anxious about facing repercussions if they choose to locate business premises in areas which the UDA deem as not ‘protestant?’ Is this statement linked to loyalist agitation at interfaces in Belfast in recent days or with events elsewhere?

  • mick cooper

    This mob make Give my head peace a serious piece of drama, but not to worry they are a reactionary force, I wonder what they’ll react to though .

  • Ri Na Deise

    ‘whilst accusing republicans of being racist,ignorant and bigoted’.

    Great stuff. Maybe their new aim is merely self deprecating comedy?

  • mick cooper

    Is it true Russell Brand and Jonathan Woss penned their statement?

  • Turgon

    This might almost be a positive development if the UDA were trying to promote something positive and sensible.

    It is of course not positive because for it to be so, one would have to forget the fact that they murdered so many people, that they still have their illegal and immoral weapons and that they continue to intimidate and practice criminality. One would have to forget that they never contributed anything positive to northern Ireland or elsewhere.

    There are of course positive things they could do: they could give up their illegal weapons, they could show proper contrition for the foul crimes they committed, they could help the police with answers to the unsolved crimes. Then they could disappear.

    If the UDA were truly representative of Britishness I would be in the queue for an Irish passport.

    Fortunately, whatever the UDA say most people know that their Britishness is an utter sham, an insulting one at that, on this day of all days, when real British people (and others) remember the sacrifices made to prevent fascist bully boys not dissimilar to the UDA from taking over Europe.

    Do not worry Mr. Donnelly; the murderous cowards of the UDA with their blood soaked ways are no more representative of Britishness than the IRA are of Irishness. Fortunately most people on this island and further afield can see that.

  • picador

    I think that, bearing in mind that the UDA is still fully armed, this is at the very least a very worrying development. Do we have any further details about the context of this statement or is there only the story on the BBC website which has already been relegated to ‘other stories’?

  • I hope that, at the very least, Gallagher has been brought in by the PSNI for questioning.

    As for reactions from the ‘democratic’ and ‘anti-terrorist’ unionist politicians, … well, I might be surprised, but I don’t expect to be!

  • latcheeco

    Turgon,
    Does that go for the people who control/controlled them as well?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Does that go for the people who control/controlled them as well?

    latcheeco

    Of course not! Don’t ask such silly questions of ‘Mr. Turgon’…..

  • k

    So Turgon, when the UDA were used as ‘irregulars’ to carry out official British Government policy via their RUC Special Branch and MI5 handlers, were they British then?
    Unionists cannot disown the UDA & UVF that easily.
    These morons were armed and run by the British state. The British government realised that openly killing unarmed IRA men and nationalist civilians via the RUC and British army was counterproductive so they came up with a new policy; Terrorise the nationalist community through indiscriminate sectarian murder carried out by deniable proxies.
    That way, the community can be scared into dropping its support for revolutionary struggle through the fear of loyalist retribution, yet the British government, with the help of an ever compliant media, can portray itself as a neutral ‘referee’ stuck in the middle of a tribal squabble.
    The tactic has been used in many colonial disengagements and did, in fact, work very successfully here.
    Like it or not, the UDA are the muscle of the unionist community.

  • Turgon

    I am sure there was some collusion: it was utterly wrong and even now should be investigated and punished. I agree there was collusion between the security forces and loyalists which was utterly wrong. It also seems there was collusion between the security forces and republicans which was just as wrong.

    However, the large number of loyalists arrested and the simple fact that the majority of IRA terrorists were not murdered shows it was limited. No less wrong for that but limited.

    I would like to see those responsible for collusion investigated and punished both in Northern Ireland and those responsible within the RoI. I trust Mr. Donnelly and the rest of you would like to see Jean McConville’s tormentors investigated and punished.

  • Kaido

    Can we not starve these people of the “oxygen of publicity”.
    Who the hell cares what these nutters say or think.

  • UFB

    Turgon 8.36 translation – just as bad as them’uns

  • pith

    See what happens when serious intellectuals get analagous?

  • loftholdingswood

    picador,

    In the usual rush by everyone to condemn you alone have raised an important point, namely context and understanding the full statement and what it explicitly states as opposed to what Chris Donnelly infers.There is a huge difference.

    The UDA asserts that it wishes to campaign, in the political arena, for the maintenance of a British identity and to counter the Sinn Fein propaganda machine. As is their right.

    Chris Donnelly asks how they will bring jobs into the Protestant communities that they are represented in? Simple. The further continuation of the Conflict Transformation Initiative (CTI) together with additional funding streams will ensure this.

  • picador

    I think that, bearing in mind that the UDA is still fully armed, this is at the very least a (very) worrying development.

    Scrub that second very. I am not hysterical. It is a worrying development.

    Lofty,

    In the context that the UDA has not decommissioned any of its weapons talk of being ‘ready for battle’ is going to be taken as a threat.

    In the context where the media have been ‘bigging up’ the dissident republican threat recently I am saddened but not surprised to see the BBC give this story ‘scant’ attention.

    When are the UDA going to decommission?

  • aquifer

    They haven’t gone away you know. Ask any small business that considered starting up in UDA areas. These creatures even extorted money from a church building project. Lets not wait for god to be their judge.

  • Chris Donnelly

    loftholdingswood

    So let’s clear this up. For jobs in protestant communities read jobs for a small number of loyalists (and a few others) through the CTI?

    And, the charge of ‘ignorance, bigotry and racism’ (still laughing as I type…) is due to opposition to a British Army parade in Belfast?

    I take it then that loyalists opposing republican parades in Randalstown, or republican commemorations in Coleraine or Ballymena (and let’s not forget the opposition to the latter a couple of years back involved a month long series of violent attacks on homes, properties and people by loyalists), or for that matter, a similar IRA commemoration in Belfast City Centre, will be supported by loyalists not wishing to be viewed as ‘ignorant, bigoted or racist?’

    Good then. Now maybe said loyalists will do something about those racist attacks in loyalist parts of Belfast linked to some amongst their number….

    And I’m intrigued about the ‘additional funding streams’ line. Maybe you can enlighten us about that one- are loyalists pining for a return of the ‘Only Protestant/ Unionist/ Loyalist (PUL) need apply’ funding streams available after the last time loyalists shot at British soldiers in Whiterock- the same British soldiers they’ve accused republicans of being ‘bigoted, racist and ignorant’ towards?

    It justs gets better…

  • loftholdingswood

    Chris,

    I think the bigotry tag relates to the abiding hatred that Sinn Fein have of all things “British”. Except money.In large envelopes. The ignorance accusation relates to the lack of knowledge (or is it just self denial?)concerning the role of “Irish” soldiers in the first world war. A trip to Dublin looking at graves certainly enlightens and illuminates.

    Funding streams? You would be amazed at the people who positively swoon at the opportunity to assist in the transformation. Middle class liberal guilt I presume. And the desire to help the great unwashed.

    Jobs in Protestant communities would require an intricate knowledge of said communities. If you know of any catholics with such knowledge please let them know so that they can apply.I am not a fan of the phrase “P/U/L” but what can you do? The many jobs created in Republican/Nationalist areas simply cry out for suitable catholics and I am delighted that there seems to be a plethora of excellent candidates.And all “Spike” approved. Great stuff.

  • picador

    From what lofty says this seems to be some kind of extortion demand.

    Who is the leader of the UDA?

    Oh yeah, Jackie McDonald. Wait a minute! Isn’t he a convicted extortionist?

  • Chris Donnelly

    money in large envelopes and Jackie McDonald mentioned in two successive posts- surely a coincidence??

    On ‘hatred of all things British’:

    loftholdingswood, it really must throw a spanner in the works when the republican Mayor of Belfast knows more about British soldiers in World War I than many of the ‘loyal’ subjects of Belfast- oh, and his party’s hatred of all things British didn’t extend to removing the Union Flag from the Mayoral office as Sinn Fein are pledged to an Equality or Neutrality position regarding flags and emblems from civic buildings.

    Care to enlighten me about the possibility of a reciprocal gesture from the all new, battling loyalists, or indeed their fellow UUP/ DUP colleagues?

    Hatred of all things Irish may be more appropriate in this regard.

    Regarding the assertion that there are ‘many’ jobs in catholic areas: I’m afraid that reads like a Shankill Mirror headline (mind flashes back to infamous ‘Mirror’ article of two years ago proclaiming that Shankill residents claim catholics are getting all the speed ramps….’)

    The most obscene element of the PUL funding for me was the fact that, whilst Protestant/ State schools were targeted in a big way for additional funding through ‘Renewing Communities’, even Integrated schools got a smaller slice of the pie ’cause they also had some protestants in their schools.

    Incredible.

  • latcheeco

    Turgon,
    “and the rest of you” cheers for the condescension it proves your unionist bona fides. Are you then saying that the British government weren’t being… er…British?

    Fair play to you though for your (qualified) rejection of government collusion with loyalists. But they didn’t jail all their allies as you know and not jailing the incompetant knuckle draggers would obviously have prevented plausible deniability. To have no loyalists in jail might have been too obvious even for them and ruined their “we’re just holding the line guvnor” excuse, don’t you think. Incidently what happened to Mrs. McConville was unequivocally wrong and the perpetrators should be hauled before an Irish court.

  • Dave

    “Terrorise the nationalist community through indiscriminate sectarian murder carried out by deniable proxies.”

    Wouldn’t a better counterinsurgent policy have been to target PIRA members via said proxies rather than to grow support for the ‘insurgents’ by attacking civilians? Why then were so few PIRA members killed by the loyalists? The state didn’t want to kill its own touts?

    It remains the case that atrocities carried out by the state (such as Bloody Sunday) and by loyalists had the effect of increasing support for terrorism and not decreasing it. That is why, for example, PIRA deliberately targeted protestant civilians, knowing that such attacks would bring retaliation upon the Catholics and thereby increase support among the Catholics for PIRA.

    The actual policy of the State was to bring those who rejected the constitutional legitimacy of Her Majesty’s dominion of Northern Ireland to a position whereby they reversed their opposition and accepted the constitution as legitimate. That policy is the actual outcome. The ideology that rejected British rule and asserted the right of one nation to self-determination and a nation-state has been duly discredited and rejected, being replaced with the original ‘ideology’ of the repealed Government of Ireland Act 1920 (and Northern Ireland Act 1998) which served as the de facto constitution of Northern Ireland.

    The intelligence agencies of the State set out to ‘put manners’ on the natives, and manners were duly put on said natives. You now accept the primacy of British rule within Her Majesty’s dominion. 😉

  • latcheeco

    Is that it Lofty? You have “Spike” issues? At night when you close your eyes do you dream of being “Spike”? When you’re by yourself at home do you dress up like him? Do you talk to yourself in a “Spike” accent?
    So to sum up the argument is: “the river is running dry again and Magaluf has to be booked before January so if we don’t get more grants andwhathaveye we’re gonna go buck”

  • Turgon

    latcheeco,
    “Are you then saying that the British government weren’t being… er…British”

    This is all a bit off thread but any collusion was utterly morally wrong. I guess you could call it “unBritish” but I do not regard Britain as the repository of all righteousness. Britain has always prided itself on fair play etc. but we all know that our history is very, very far from perfect. it is actually far from good viz the empire etc.

    I do reject the claim that there was widespread collusion. I am sure there was some by some in the security forces with criminals of both sides. I think it was limited for the reasons I outlined above. I also suspect there was some (also limited) collusion between some in the Irish state / security forces and the IRA.

    I also suspect sometimes the security forces had a fair idea that things might happen but were too slow to stop it. That was also wrong but maybe more understandable in view of the amount of criminal terrorist activity going on. Clearly I will in all honesty have a completely different analysis of the motives of the security forces in such circumstances than a republican would.

    In terms of the like of Mrs. McConville, I would care little which court. I suspect, however, such a hope, whilst appropriate, is in vain.

  • latcheeco

    Dave,
    You blatantly ignore the buffoonery and incompetance of your own side in the equation. I’m sure if they could have targeted those chaps they would have, the way the israelis do. That they didn’t suggests they didn’t have a lot to work with rather than some cunning overarching plan.Let’s face it, controlling loyalists from shooting too many strays was about all they could control. Else they wouldn’t have been at it for over thirty years would they? Else they would have closed down the show after her majesty’s uncle went fishing. If by “manners” you mean “if we give you a limo will you stop rearranging our cities” then I hear you brother.

  • Dave

    Latch, if you ever wondered if your best friend fancied your wife, and then one day you find them in bed together, I’d say that answers your question.

    “The actual policy of the State was to bring those who rejected the constitutional legitimacy of Her Majesty’s dominion of Northern Ireland to a position whereby they reversed their opposition and accepted the constitution as legitimate. That policy is the actual outcome.”

    The end justifies the means. By the way, have you seen a Shinner put the case for a united Ireland lately? 😉

  • latcheeco

    Turgon,
    Cheers for the reply.Fair enough, we’ll agree to disagree then. I’m not sure from a HMG perspective collusion ever needed to be widespread, just expediently employed. But that does not lessen the charge that the people who e you feel unrepresentative of Britishness were (at times) British government apparatus. You’ve mellowed since you were suppin’ in cloisters. Say hello to Tufty for me next time your out. BTW I see nothing wrong with an Irish court for Irish accused in the case of an Irish death.

  • latcheeco

    Dave,
    I’m sorry your wife did that to you mucker but you know what the say “big boys games big boys rules” 🙂

  • latcheeco

    Dave,
    I doubt they’d mention it. They’re busy tryin’ to take control of the RUC.

  • William

    When will Republicans ever stop whingeing? MOPEs [Most Oppressed People Ever].

    Republicans hate everything British [pronounced Brattish] except the handouts bearing the Queen’s head.

  • Ri Na Deise

    William

    ‘except the handouts with the Queens head.’

    I think in my time here I’ve just once seen a note with the Queens head on it. Generally the local banks notes dont bother. You’re probably well aware of this. But carry on.

  • Dec

    The ignorance accusation relates to the lack of knowledge (or is it just self denial?)concerning the role of “Irish” soldiers in the first world war. A trip to Dublin looking at graves certainly enlightens and illuminates.

    Oh priceless. This from the organisation that, a couple of years back, had to explain to it’s ‘constituency’ that petrol bombing the homes of Polish workers during Remembrance week was inappropriate as Poland had actually fought on the side of the allies in the second world war (And I’ll not even bother mentioning the amusing mix-up between Irish and Ulster-Scots streetsigns in Ballybeen – oops I just did).

    You’ll find the vast majority of Republicans are more than aware of Ireland’s involvement in both world wars – my own personal favourite ex-serviceman being the great Tom Barry.

  • Rapunsel

    Its all about the money , The DSD funded initiative is coming to an end and the SEUPB are on the verge of giving a multi million pound grant to the IRA ex prisoners through Peace III. The UDA guys are not organised enough to get that themselves , this is a pitch for money or else

  • POL

    Fridays Telegraph job section.

    Positions need filling in loyalist areas.

    Drug dealers
    arsonists
    pimps
    murderers
    extortionists.

    CVs welcome.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    UDA ‘Ready for Battle’

    ….Where’s the Battle?

    There’s a war in Iraq and Afghanistan if they want to sign up!

    Why not be a ‘real’ soldier!

  • jimmy hoffa

    I believe the vast majority of nationalists couldn’t care less if the unionist population wish to be British or not but I’m sure they are well able to pursue their Britishness without the assistance of a bunch of badly dressed middle aged gangsters.
    I read this and the first thing that came to mind was that appalling picture taken in a car park in Larne when the brigadiers of bad taste paraded themselves like a conquering force.
    Can Frankie Gallagher please inform McDonald/Bunting/McFarlane and (most pitiful of all) Hill along with the rest of the cartel that calls itself the inner council that they are not auditioning for a part in Goodfellas.
    If this is what it looks like to be British and proud then I’ll pass thanks.

  • jimmy hoffa

    I believe the vast majority of nationalists couldn’t care less if the unionist population wish to be British or not but I’m sure they are well able to pursue their Britishness without the assistance of a bunch of badly dressed middle aged gangsters.
    I read this and the first thing that came to mind was that appalling picture taken in a car park in Larne when the brigadiers of bad taste paraded themselves like a conquering force.
    Can Frankie Gallagher please inform McDonald/Bunting/McFarlane and (most pitiful of all) Hill along with the rest of the cartel that calls itself the inner council that they are not auditioning for a part in Goodfellas.
    If this is what it looks like to be British and proud then I’ll pass thanks.

  • hole-in-one

    Look at that a post so good they said it twice lol

  • An Lochlannach

    Why are you all getting so worked up? Mr Gallagher can point to clear progress in the UDA ranks:

    Mr Gallagher said while the language of the UDA statement was “pretty harsh, I can tell you if that had been 10 or 15 years ago that would have been a lot harsher”.

    Well, glad that’s sorted out.

  • watchdog

    They are not so ‘harsh’ now glad that’s cleared that up then, thanks Mr G

  • lardass

    This statement really has to be considered in its proper context.

    In the past week extracts from a book on President MacAleese has Jackie MacDonald boasting of how the Pres’s hubby Martin fixed him up with an Irish passport so he could go watch Rangers play in the US (you really couldn’t make it up).

    Bit of agitation amongst the great unwashed over this so the UDA release a “British till we die” statement to take the heat off Jackie.

    We’ve nothing to worry about on the nationalist side, the price of Jackie’s Britishness is a Rangers match in the states and Frankie’s is a couple of media interviews and a “community worker’s” salary.

  • seamus o’shey

    Just think of the lives that could have been saved if Mr and Mrs McAleese had of just started their community ‘outreach’ earlier. Dangle a free dinner in the K Club under the nose of a brig and he downs arms and becomes as Irish as leprechaun in the blink of an eye. Problem solved.

  • dantheman

    This thread is has descended into typical anti-UDA BIGOTRY. In fairness to the UDA, it wasn’t so long ago that they wanted to retire:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/jul/16/politics.northernireland

    At least now they are doing their bit for the local economy in light of a gloomy economic forecast:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/nov/12/inflation-interest-rates-recession:

    So would ever give the UDA a break? Jackie McDonald has been trying to secure FDI from Dublin for a few years now. He plans to turn the upper end of the Shankill Road into a golf and leisure resort. And yet he is accused of slacking around. They’re volunteers! They’re not even paid for their good work!! What IGNORANCE!

    Who are the real bigots here, the UDA or those who attack their sterling community work? I suspect I know who. Reflect on your RACIST, BIGOTTED AND IGNORANT words. You anti-UDA ignorant, racist bigots..

  • Whose_ a_brit

    It comes to something when a man with an Irish passport launches a public campaign to retain his British heritage.

  • ulsterfan

    It also shows how cheap an Irish passport is.

  • Sandy

    Depend what ya mean by cheap selling yur sole to the irish gov is hardly cheap

  • dantheman

    “Depend what ya mean by cheap selling yur sole to the irish gov is hardly cheap.”

    Indeed, but enough about the price of fish…

  • GaryF

    I feel a lot of comment is unfair in that the current batch of loyalists are by far a better alternative to what went before them. There is a lot of work going on at the interfaces and this can be clearly seen on the ground in the relative peace we currently enjoy. It’s easy for those who dont live in areas of sectarian conflict to poke fun but this is a matter of quality of life for some people. I think Gallagher/McDonald etc should be given a chance to prove themselves after all playing golf with catholics has to be better than trying to killing them in anyones book.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “Reflect on your RACIST, BIGOTTED AND IGNORANT words. You anti-UDA ignorant, racist bigots..”

    Oh dear!

    “I think Gallagher/McDonald etc should be given a chance to prove themselves after all playing golf with catholics has to be better than trying to killing them in anyones book.”

    Indeed, they should be given a chance! They are on the edge of Unionist society, left out, abandoned, looked down upon. Any sort of gestures of reparation, reconcilliation etc…that they make to NI society even though it might seem inarticulate should be heeded by all, not snubbed! Remember, that such people were led on a ‘merry dance’ years ago by middle class fundamentalist preachers and the like! Saw on the BBC Ceefax this morning that Protestant boys from working class areas are likely to suffer from many disadvantages including failure to do well in school, etc…

    Enough of the slagging off and cutting remarks. It’s just cheap and will not settle anything. And we all know too well the crimes that people on either side of the communities have done in the past! Some deep breaths and a bit of self-reflection needed by all!

  • mick cooper

    “There is a lot of work going on at the interfaces and this can be clearly seen on the ground in the relative peace we currently enjoy”

    Tell that to the Catholic pensioners who’s homes were wrecked last week in East Belfast, maybe this was the beginning of the preperation for battle !!

  • lee

    Have any of these UDA guys ever had a proper job?

    http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c39/petebkr/McDonald_et_al.jpg

  • Tiberius

    to the loyalist leaders i say

    Irish Republicans want to live side by side in peace together with your communities but not in a partitioned Ireland, we just cant.

  • riverlagan

    The last thing the Unionist community needs is for the UDA to represent them as leaders. What a terrible and demoralizing situation that would be; These people should remain in the gutter were they belong.

  • mick cooper

    “Have any of these UDA guys ever had a proper job? ”

    It depends what you define as a proper job, the Krays worked full time, and even worked a little overtime to supplement their wages.

  • dantheman

    I long for the day when a UDA man is stationed in every British Embassy across the globe, proudly flying the flag for Britannia. They are ambassadors and a credit to our great nation!!

    We should also send a few UDA men to Afganistan to catch Bin Laden. With their heroic war experience he’ll be smoked out of his hole in no time! A great bunch of lads…