The news that Margaret Ritchie’s decision to stop funding the CTI was illegal came this week. It allowed David Simpson to denounce her for wasting public money (though there seems a certain irony in that from the DUP). However, the legal decision continues the establishment’s appeasement of loyalist paramilitaries which is as predictable as rain in Fermanagh. I am sure the legal grounds were correct but once again it shows that legality and morality are unrelated.
This decision continues the funding of groups which we are told will help working class unionist areas which suffer from severe deprivation. However, there are of course other groups which also help working class unionist communities and are not linked to the loyalist paramilitaries which Ms Ritchie had stated were going to receive this funding. The central problem remains that the loyalist terrorists, whilst they may have stopped the sectarian murder of Roman Catholics (except of course the have not: Thomas Devlin, Lisa Dorrian); continue to prey in a vampiric fashion on the unionist working class communities which they infest. They suck the very life blood from these areas, prevent and destroy investment and opportunities and blight and destroy lives apart from those individuals whom they make into other vampiric thugs like themselves.
Into this hideous vista another group whom I respect have blundered, again unwittingly helping these ghastly criminals. That group is of course the Roman Catholic hierarchy led by Cardinal Sean Brady. At this meeting Cardinal Brady thanked loyalists for not retaliating for the recent republican murders. Whist we should all be pleased that the loyalists have not recently added sectarian murder to the litany of crimes they continuously commit even by existing, meeting them to express pleasure that they have not broken this law is problematic. It serves to raise the profile of a group (The UPRG) which has no political mandate and exists only as a mouth piece for drug dealers and pimps. Cardinal Brady said We wanted to help in any way we can to address fears and build trust, we especially wanted to better understand the concerns and hopes of the Loyalist community. This is entirely laudable but the cardinal should remember that the community he refers to is actually the loyalist criminals. The working class unionist community seem to have no time for these so called politicians and have time and again rejected them at the ballot box: remember the Ulster Democratic Party?
Cardinal Brady and everyone else should also remember the utter dishonesty of these criminals. For anyone to believe anything which these groups say is to make Neville Chamberlain’s actions at Munich in 1938 look like warmongering.
We must remember why people spoke to these groups in the aftermath of the recent murders: that is because the loyalist criminals continue to possess illegal weapons which they could use to murder people. That possession of weapons is the sole reason for anyone to entreat with the UPRG or any other loyalist mouthpiece. Quite simply it is because the criminals they represent have a blackmail potential in their guns. As such unfortunately all these episodes will reinforce to the loyalists the utility of their guns.
My gravest concern in all this is that the latest set of utterances from the loyalists and the fact that otherwise sensible people go to see the mouth pieces of the pimps will be used by our utterly spineless Secretary of State as an indication that the loyalists are somehow making progress and as such he will allow the deadline for loyalist decommissioning to pass yet again with no or at absolute best minimal decommissioning. I hope to be wrong but I fear that yet again the loyalists will eat the carrot, not do what they should and see absolutely none of the stick.