The defeat of the PUP and Dawn Purvis

Throughout most of the election campaign there was a large billboard on the lower Newtownards Road with a picture of a young woman and the following quote “One year on still no one has delivered for working class unionism; that’s why I’m voting PUP.” As it turned out of course relatively few working class unionists seem to have decided to vote PUP and few unionists of whatever class voted for the PUP’s prodigal former leader Dawn Purvis.

The fundamental conceit at the heart of the PUP was that they alone could represent working class unionists. This was nonsense at a whole variety of levels:

Working class unionists like any other demographic group are not homogeneous: they vary in views, politics, the locality they live in and in innumerable other ways. The idea that they could all be pigeon holed into one group and represented by one political party is a piece of naïve, nonsensical class warfare politics which few outside the barmier fringes of the hard left would still adhere to. The PUP, supported by some in the media, however, seem to have propagated this idiotic and condescending notion.

The idea that working class unionists were wrong or duped if they voted for any other unionist party was also a major part of the PUP’s thesis: again this was a condescending and foolish notion, treating the electorate as little better than children. Working class unionists always have and will continue (like everyone else) to vote as they feel appropriate: they are, like the rest of us, quite able to decide for themselves whether or not to vote and for whom depending on their own views and values which as noted above are not all the same.

The next problem was the PUP’s definition of the unionist working class. As noted recently many people who would traditionally have self defined as working class now define themselves as middle class. As such the PUP were cutting themselves off from vast swathes of potential support by their insistence on using the tired rhetoric of at least a generation ago. Furthermore they seemed only to identify with working class unionists in Belfast, caring little enough for those in large unionist towns and not acknowledging the existence of working class unionists in the rural parts of Northern Ireland.

The quality of representation the PUP provided to their constituents was also far from clear: they may have talked a good game, but there often seemed little enough evidence of any actual practical help for real working class unionists.

There was, however, a group whom the PUP seemed much more interested in helping: the lumpenproletariat of the UVF. Brian Ervine when elected the PUP leader was keen to emphasise the link with the UVF as a “bridge”; he promptly went on to demonstrate his support for the UVF with an extremely ill-conceived picket of police headquarters to complain about the police arresting loyalist terrorists.

The reality has always been that amongst the greatest oppressors of the unionist working class have been the UVF and the rest of the alphabet soup of loyalist criminals. During the Troubles loyalist terrorists murdered over 200 Protestants, most of whom were working class. Since the ceasefires the UVF have murdered two dozen or more people: practically all of them working class unionists. In addition the UVF have (along with the UDA) continued to oppress working class unionist communities with their organised crime, drug dealing, prostitution and protection rackets.

The loss of jobs in traditional industries has been a huge problem especially for the unionist working class – there have been similar problems throughout the UK. In Northern Ireland and especially Belfast, however, the loyalist paramilitaries have added to this dynamic of social decay and helped create sink estates left by all who can and those remaining practically held captive by loyalist terrorists. Throughout all of this the PUP have argued that the solution is to help the paramilitaries: to provide more Danegeld, to look away when they spoil and even take lives; to pretend that loyalist terrorists are something other than a cancer on society.

The PUP seemed to have convinced some of the chattering classes, some of the more naïve well intentioned voluntary sector, some academics, even parts of the NIO (and most famously Mary McAleese’s husband) that they had cared for the interests of someone other than the loyalist terrorists. However, they conspicuously failed to convince the working class unionist population of their bone fides: this is hardly surprising as the working class unionists were the major sufferers from the PUP’s other halves in the UVF. On every occasion they were given the opportunity they voted for mainstream unionist parties in vastly greater numbers.

It is also completely unfair to claim that the DUP and UUP had no working class members. There is no doubt the UUP had fewer than it should have, though its deputy leader Harold McCusker was proudly working class based. The DUP were once very working class based: it is true that they have gentrified over the years but there are still significant numbers of working class based DUP members and also MLAs. In East Belfast this time Sammy Douglas was a new face from a working class base; in East Londonderry Arian McQuillan is clearly a working class based politician. The PUP would probably fail to recognise that someone from a village like Garvagh could be working class: however, contrary to the PUP’s world view not everyone in the likes of Garvagh is related to George Canning.

The defeat of Brian Ervine seemed inevitable to most involved in politics: however, the PUP’s former leader turned independent Dawn Purvis was touted as a possible winner.

Even before Purvis had left the PUP she was lauded by many in the media and others outside working class (or other mainstream) unionism. Purvis seemed the darling of some of the chattering classes: she was described as the authentic voice of working class unionism: her feminism and support for children’s issues was lauded; her left wing credentials praised. One commentator on slugger (I think Fitjameshorse) described her treatment as that of a sort of latter day Eliza Doolittle. Many of what FJH calls the liberal dissidents saw in Purvis a sort of champion of liberal working class unionism untainted by the awful mainstream unionists. The fact that Purvis was the mouthpiece in chief for loyalist paramilitaries for years was ignored. Her joining of the PUP as the UVF were murdering one of the oldest (and I think working class nationalist) victims of the Troubles – Barney Greene (87) at Loughinisland- was brushed under the carpet. As an aside I believe Purvis once claimed she did not know who the UVF were when she joined the PUP: if it is correct that she claimed that – the mind boggles. Purvis of course stuck with the PUP for years as they continued murdering their way through Northern Ireland (latterly predominantly murdering working class unionists). She demonstrated her commitment to children’s rights by supporting a child murderer and fellow PUP member Billy Hutchinson when he was arrested over withholding information regarding the murder of a Catholic child: Thomas Devlin. She demonstrated her commitment to women’s issues by not making any comment when apparently a UVF member along with one form the LVF murdered and disappeared Lisa Dorian.

Eventually, however, after the UVF murdered ex prisoner Bobby Moffett, Purvis left. It might have seemed to some odd that Purvis stayed with the PUP until that murder and how it was in some way the final straw when other murders seemed irrelevant to her. At the time Mark Devenport suggested that she might have been in danger of losing some of her Stormont allowances had she stayed with the PUP. My suggestion was that she thought she would lose her seat standing under the PUP banner and would try to dump the association with terrorism and stand as an independent liberal unionist: “a chance for her might be to leave behind the taint of loyalist terrorism and try to become another Naomi Long: a working class soft unionist albeit with a bit more unionism.”

Whatever the motivations Purvis was again lionised for her “courage”, “vision” and lots of other “good things” by large segments of the press and many of the chattering classes and the liberal dissidents. All the time, however, her grasp on the issues faced by working class unionists seemed to be reducing (to the extent that it had ever existed). She seemed to have one eye on the exit from Stormont: much of her time was spent trying to help her media profile for the chattering classes. The report on educational underachievement amongst working class unionist children was not particularity revolutionary, poorly proof read and proffered more platitudes and obvious truisms than anything approaching a suggested way forward. Predictably, however, the chattering classes and media loved it: interestingly it made little mention of the corrosive effect of loyalist paramilitarism on educational underachievement.

At the end of the day, however, despite the adulation of the chattering classes and despite becoming more transfer friendly Dawn Purvis was thrown out by the electorate: they always seemed less keen on her than their “elders and betters” told them they should have been.

Exactly what will happen to the PUP now seems unclear: they may pick up a council seat or two. It is to be hoped that even if they do their derisory level of support (remember vastly lower on a NI wide basis than the TUV’s) will result in the mainstream parties and the NIO ignoring them. However, many in the establishment have a track record of treating the PUP with far more respect than their level of electoral support deserves.

Purvis may be trying to set herself up for the likes of a Quango job: there has been a long tradition of failed politicians of whom the great and the good approve being given such opportunities to keep their snouts in the trough. If Purvis does get a job anywhere near anything to do with any commissions for children, human rights or anything remotely similar, it will be simply a further insult to the victims of those for whom she cheerled for so many years: at least the electorate seem to have seen through her self reinvention.

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  • joeCanuck

    It has been a great credit to the “working class” unionists that they refused, in general, to support/elect politicians associated with murder gangs.

  • orly

    Indeed Joe.

    Now if only those of the nationalist persuasion could do the same, they might appear more trustworthy to those of us with a moral compass.

  • Tweedybird

    So on the other hand JoeCanck “it has been a great credit for “working class” Nationalists ” in general to support/elect politicians asscociated with murder gangs” ?

  • Manfarang

    As the International Socialists used to say the working class in Ulster is the most reactionary in Europe.

  • joeCanuck

    You may not know my view of those SF members who played a double game but Turgon does. On the other hand, the majority of those who vote SF only started doing so once SF abandoned violence as a legitimate (to the leaders) method of political expression. Their votes are valid as are those who voted for Dawn Purvis or Brian Ervine. I’m a democrat and have never supported violence in countries, including the Northern Ireland entity, where free political expression is allowed, indeed encouraged. I am not a SF supporter.

  • Tweedybird

    Your first comment smacks slightly of contradiction compared to your above response.

  • joeCanuck

    Tweedybird ,

    Contradiction? As Turgon has noted, since the UVF supposedly eschewed violence as a method of political expression, they have murdered at least two dozen people, most or all of whom can be described as “working class” Protestants.
    My position on “political” murder has always been clear.

  • Rab

    It must come as a massive relief to you that someone is doing worse than the TUV and you write with extraordinary bitterness about the attempts of some to break the mould of Northern Irish politics.

    Well, if the status quo suits you you’re welcome to it.

    Also, for someone so dismissive of ‘class warfare’ you do a pretty good job of waging it against something called the ‘chattering classes’ and even manage a reference to ‘the lumpenproletariat of the UVF’.

  • Turgon

    Yes indeed I do dislike loyalist terrorists: I have seen first hand the results of their actions.

    I am unclear which mould breaking you mean: maybe the mould breaking Dawn Purvis took part in when she protested against the arrest of a child murderer in connection with the murder of a child.

    Or maybe the mould breaking of Brian Ervine protesting that UVF terrorists were being arrested: not mainly over crimes from the troubles but for crimes predominantly against working class unionists.

    Dawn Purvis seems to have done little enough for the people whom she claimed to be helping: she seemed much more interested in raising her own profile, keeping assorted media luvvies happy and generally ensuring her own position whether she won the seat or not.

    It seems that the working class unionist population who vote feel the DUP (and to a lesser extent others) successfully represent their concerns. I happen to feel that none of the parties, nor the churches nor anyone else does half enough in working class unionist areas and that what they do is far too top down – “for the people” in those areas and not from those communities themselves.

    Those ongoing problems are for another day. It remains clear, however, that the corrosive, parasitic effect of the loyalist paramilitaries is an enormously negative one in these areas. The fact that the party which cheerleads for the oppressors of the working class unionist community and its prodigal former leader have both been rejected by the working class unionist community – against the advice of their supposed “elders and betters” is something to be celebrated with unalloyed joy.

  • separatesix

    Joe canuck surely Sinn Fein have an extra advantage over other parties in that if we don’t keep giving them smarties they could go back to their old ways.

  • separatesix

    Turgon bet you didn’t have any problem with Loyalists when they were defending you from republicans.

  • separatesix

    What’s your obsession with quangos?, I’m sure Dawn Purvis still has plenty to say politically she’s not going to just disappear.

  • iluvni

    Hear, hear Turgon.

  • Turgon

    I refer you to a blog from long ago on my overall views on loyalist paramilitaries. They defended me from nothing. I never asked them to defend me from anything and reject any “defence” whatsoever from them.

    Where were the loyalists when my father in law’s friend Douglas Deering the last Protestant shop keeper in Rosslea was murdered? I will tell you: they were murdering Catholic shop keepers and the like in Belfast for being Catholics.

    Where were they when the IRA blew up Enniskillen war memorial killing my wife’s former classmate and mother’s best friends daughter Marie Wilson? Murdering random Catholics in Belfast.

    Loyalist terrorists were are and will remain a cancer on our society. The only thing they defended was their own desire for power and money and their own murderous bloodlust.

  • Reader

    Rab: Also, for someone so dismissive of ‘class warfare’ you do a pretty good job of waging it against something called the ‘chattering classes’ and even manage a reference to ‘the lumpenproletariat of the UVF’.
    Then at least he isn’t taking sides.

  • Framer

    Here is the result of the 2011 Assembly election compared to 2007:

    [The highly paid BBC web reporters cannot bring you any useful results while they deny you all the transfer details. The UTV website is vastly better even if they show their prejudgement by having SDLP in front of UUP (despite fewer seats, then and now), and colour Upper Bann as if a Sinn Fein majority.]

    Unionism +1 seat
    Nationalism -1 seat

    DUP 36 +4 -2 = 38 (+2)
    Sinn Fein 28 +2 -1 = 29 (+1)
    UUP 18 +2 – 4 = 16 (-2)
    SDLP 16 +1 -3 = 14 (-2)
    Alliance 7 +1 = 8 (+1)
    TUV 0 +1 = 1 (+1)
    Green 1 = still 1
    PUP -1 = nil (-1)
    Other – Deeny + McClarty = still 1


    Strangford – UUP takes DUP seat (Iris Robinson)
    West Tyrone – UUP takes DUP seat (Bresland)
    East Belfast -Alliance takes PUP seat (Dawn Purvis)
    Lagan Valley – DUP takes SF seat (Paul Butler stood down)
    North Antrim – TUV takes SDLP seat (Declan O’Loan)
    South Antrim – DUP takes SDLP seat (Thomas Burns)
    East Antrim – SF takes UUP seat (McCune fails)
    Fermanagh & ST- SF takes SDLP seat (Tommy Gallagher)
    Mid-Ulster – SDLP takes back seat from Dr Deeney
    North Belfast – DUP takes UUP seat (Fred Cobain)
    North Down – DUP takes UUP seat (Alan McFarland)
    East Londonderry – McClarty takes his own former UUP seat

    Turnout 54.5% (in 2007 it was 62.3%)

    Ethnic voting patterns remain unchanged.

  • “Ethnic voting patterns remain unchanged” [Framer @ 10:49 am].

    Says it all, really.

    Good to know the Hottentot vote is stable.

  • separatesix

    Sorry Turgon if I’ve offended you.

  • Rab

    Loyalist paramilitaries are a nefarious influence. I wouldn’t dispute that but it’s stupid to ignore that on occasions some of the most articulate and intelligent representatives of loyalism have come from paramilitary backgrounds or been their associates.

    I can live with the often compromising and contradictory nature of politics. I can forgive incidents of political folly and stomach occasional actions which I can’t support, as long as I’m convinced that in the broad scheme of things people are committed to progressive causes.

    I’d love to live in a world of ideological purity and moral certitude but I don’t. And life is too short to spend it on the politics of what-aboutery.

    I want to vote for politicians who speak to the key issues of today – education, health, welfare. For me these are not ‘ongoing problems for another day’. Someone needs to address them now. For all her faults (and nobody is without them) Dawn Purvis did that better than many of that Mafi of the Mediocre we returned to Stormont on Thursday.

  • Turgon

    No you have not offended me at all. I know some fail to understand my position but in all honesty the people I loathe most in NI politics are the loyalist terrorists and their cheerleaders. I do not have to feel that republican terrorists claim to have murdered on my behalf. Loyalists, however, claim to have done so.

    You have not offended me at all. Indeed it is nice to have a new unionist about the place.

  • separatesix

    Thanks Turgon I’m a big fan I’ve read your posts for months! have you any thoughts on Jim Allister, concerned he’ll find it hard to be reelected once his four year assembly term has finished.

  • Turgon

    I agree that there are huge problems in the assembly. I think it is partly lack of talent from our politicians and excessive parochialism but more the nature of the governmental system combined with the excessive small c conservatism of the civil service (those are the main problems with my main area of interest health policy).

    In my view Purvis achieved nothing and suggested very little except for herself. Her contribution on the water crisis was moderate not brilliant and the educational achievement stuff was vitally important but poorly done and offered no constructive ways forward: an opportunity lost.

    The idea that the most progressive representatives of loyalism come from a paramilitary background is specious. Most working class unionists are not loyalists in the sense that the media uses the term (ie supporters of paramilitarism). There have been considerable numbers of working class unionist politicians considerably more talented than David Ervine who talked a bit of a good game but achieved next to nothing except supporting criminals for years.

    As to incidents of political folly: yes many commit those Tom Elliott did yesterday. On the other hand both Ervines and Purvis consistently and repeatedly supported and cheerled for paramilitary criminals who murder and blight the lives of working class unionists (and previously murdered Catholics). Purvis and the Ervines’ support for these criminals was not one off nor the odd problematic outburst: it was their raison d’etre far more than any care they may have claimed for working class unionists.

    In addition Purvis and Ervine before her stayed with the PUP despite decades of murder by the UVF. As I mentioned before Purvis joined the PUP in 1994 and only decided murdering people was so unacceptable she had to leave in 2010.

  • turgon

    Another interesting piece, sadly my Internet connection is very erratic and I lost one reply when the electricity was cut, but I hope to return to this subject when i return to what passes for civilisation.

  • Joe Bloggs

    If the PUP cease to exist it’s highly likely the UVF will not continue along it’s ‘civilianisation’ process in the same manner. The next time the dissidents kill someone we could be looking at a breakaway loyalist group retaliating. Possibly dangerous times ahead.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Joe Bloggs

    ‘Civilianisation process’ in this context is simply inoffensive language for shaking down the public purse for every halfpenny they can con under the auspices of unnecessary and often entirely fictitious ‘community activist’ roles, organizations and projects. If most of these boss-eyed bozos spent their jailtime lying around taking drugs, drinking bacardi, playing their flutes and needling vulgar tattoos into each others arms rather than getting themselves an education and some political awareness, wrong choice chaps. Get a helmet, you ain’t owed shit.

  • Joe Bloggs

    I don’t recall anyone asking for any money in relation to the civilianisation of the UVF…

    You’re also forgetting it was the UVF and OIRA who set up the Open University project in Long Kesh. Scores of Loyalist prisoners left prison with degrees and many work in important positions within the civil service, charity sector and teach at universities across the UK. Don’t let your ignorance of the subject affect your posts though.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Joe Bloggs

    I shan’t thanks. If you’re such an authority put a percentage value on the number who graduated.

    If you don’t think this is about money then what else is it about ? What the hell else would civilianisation need to involve other than chucking your guns in the Lagan, accepting the rule of law and getting off your behinds to go out and find work and giving the rest of the community a deserved break from vigilante rule. It would take 10 minutes to achieve if all they wanted to do was disband their structures and put it all behind them. Get real and stop deferring to the bonehead bigots and corneyboy gorillas, the poor pet ‘left behinds’ as they would have us regard them. If they want to get involved in legitimate political activism then fair play. Do it with their own money and play by the same rules as everyone else.

  • scrabopower

    Joe Bloggs

    the UVF can’t complain about the demise of the PUP as it was them who sabotaged the working class seat in East Belfast with the Shankill business last year…and the PUP thought the link with the UVF was more important than keeping a very talented MLA in Dawn Purvis.

    As the new paramilitary murals going up on the Nards road (behind the PUP billboard!) show…they will just do their own thing anyway…sabotaging the very community they claim to “defend”

  • Joe Bloggs

    “If you’re such an authority put a percentage value on the number who graduated.”

    If you’re looking for exact figures ‘Plum’ Smith might have them.

    “If you don’t think this is about money then what else is it about ?”

    When has anyone asked for any money??? NEVER!

  • Joe Bloggs

    “If you’re such an authority put a percentage value on the number who graduated.”

    If you’re looking for exact figures ‘Plum’ Smith might have them.

    “If you don’t think this is about money then what else is it about ?”

    When has anyone asked for any money???

    “the UVF can’t complain about the demise of the PUP as it was them who sabotaged the working class seat in East Belfast with the Shankill business last year…and the PUP thought the link with the UVF was more important than keeping a very talented MLA in Dawn Purvis.”

    Where are the UVF complaining about the demise of the PUP? As for Dawn Purvis – when you tally her votes with the PUP’s it’s clear there was still a PUP seat in East Belfast had she stayed in the party and continued working to help the UVF ‘leave the stage’.

    She must be sick as a parrot this morning…..

  • scrabopower


    The fact she polled above Brian as an independent showed she was much more electable. Sick as a parrot? She saw the writing on the wall. This is the end of the road for the PUP and they have themselves to blame.

    if there are “dangerous times” ahead do you honestly think the PUP could have influenced things?

  • andnowwhat

    Turgon bet you didn’t have any problem with Loyalists when they were defending you from republicans.


    Is there a possibility that an IRA or INLA active service unit was about to do whatever and thought to themselves, “better not lads, the UVF might get us”?

    Killing girls in chippy vans or innocent taxi drivers was more the measure of the UVF

  • Nunoftheabove

    Joe Bloggs

    I wasn’t asking Plum Smith, I was asking you as you inferred you had some knowledge of the matter denied to me. Not so, plainly.

    As for “continued working to help the UVF ‘leave the stage’.” what further ‘help’ is required please ? Leaving the stage takes ten minutes. Unless of course you’re still onstage or unless you’re so up to your neck in criminality that you’re beyond the point where you can or want to be helped. What possible help could the PUP be in getting them to dump their arms, quit the rackets and get their idle arses down to the job centre ?

    Don’t even start it with the money bit – they want the pay off just the same as the UDA did and largely got. If they don’t, what the hell else are they waiting for to conclude this apparently never-ending ‘civilianisation process’ ?

  • Joe Bloggs

    “The fact she polled above Brian as an independent showed she was much more electable. Sick as a parrot? She saw the writing on the wall. This is the end of the road for the PUP and they have themselves to blame.”

    Are you now telling us that Dawn Purvis left the PUP just to try and save her seat???


  • Joe Bloggs

    “Don’t even start it with the money bit – they want the pay off just the same as the UDA did and largely got. If they don’t, what the hell else are they waiting for to conclude this apparently never-ending ‘civilianisation process’ ?”

    I’ll ask AGAIN, when or where has anyone asked for money towards the civilianisation of the UVF??

  • separatesix

    I see andnowwhat is an apologist for paramillitarism

  • separatesix

    andnowhat I’m sure events like Castlerock and Loughanisland must have had some effect on the IRA leadership coming to the negociating table.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Joe Bloggs

    It’s quite clear that they’re awaiting the sort of go-away dollars that the UDA/UFF received to ‘transition’ them into the post conflict situation. Well, that and very probably several ‘understandings’ about the cold-trailing of certain murder and other enquiries etc, bye-balls on assets seizures and who knows what else may be on the table.

    If, as you insist, it is not about money – directly or indirectly – you tell me what the delay and process and the need for help and persuasion is all about. I repeat, ten minutes to civilianize.

  • Joe Bloggs

    So you’ll agree no-one has asked for a single penny of government money??

  • Nunoftheabove

    I don’t recall saying that, can you recall me saying that ?

    You’re adamant it hasn’t happened and I’ll admit that I’d be impressed if you could provide evidence of that never having been discussed, agreed or demanded in any respect whatsoever in relation to this agonizingly prolonged process of civilianisation. If you can’t do that, reasonable evidence of the very idea of it having been authoritatively repudiated by someone I’d half-believe might do. If you can’t do either, have the manners to concede that (i) you don’t know; and (ii) the chances are that my explanation is much the more plausible of the two.

    Ten mins. That’s all. Splash, scram, job centre. Process of civilianisation concluded. Quick as a flash and as cheap as chips. Don’t delay, civilianize today.

  • andnowwhat

    andnowhat I’m sure events like Castlerock and Loughanisland must have had some effect on the IRA leadership coming to the negociating table.


    How did you work that one out?

  • Alias

    CAIN gives a figure of 30 loyalists murdered by PIRA out of a total of 1,824 murders committed by that organisation. The figures for loyalists are likewise inconsequencial. In other words, for every 60 murders, only one was a loyalist. That should destroy the myth that there was a ‘war’ between these murder gangs and that they targetted each other. Clearly, neither of them was defending their community from the other community’s murder gangs.

    In the case of PIRA, it deliberately committed actrocites against protestant civilians with the express purpose of provoking the loyalist murder gangs into retaliating against catholic civilians, thereby creating the belief among catholics that they needed the Provos to defend them from the loyalist murder gangs. These attacks also fostered the impression among the protestants that they needed the loyalist murder gangs to defend them from the Provos. That was mutually beneficial to both sets of murder gangs. The fact that neither of the muder gangs was actually attacking those who carried out the attacks was not something that either community appeared to have noticed.

    In the few instances where either of the murder gangs broke their policy of not killing each other, it appeared to be beneficial to the attacked party in that it was someone they or their handlers wanted rid of. When attacks were planned against someone protected by the security services, such as the UDA’s attack against Gerry Adams, these attacks where compromised by British agents within the murder gangs (such as Brian Nelson).

    It is a Christian fallacy that all sinners are capable of redemption. Therefore, all the sinner need do is repent and be forgiven. In reality, psychopaths are devoid of conscience and devoid of the capacity for empathy and devoid of the ability to place the interests of others before their own interests, so these people cannot be ‘redeemed’ and nor can they be trained to place the interests of citizens before their own interests. They are damaged goods, and it is patently a stupid policy to place the dysfunctional into a position where they can have any control over others. However, as the process is based on exactly that fallacy, it is best ignored.

  • separatesix

    Well then andnowwhat what did bring PSF to the negociating table? was it perhaps a quicker route to so-called Irish Unity. SF are’nt interested in peace they’re just using the peace process to achieve their ultimate objectives, misguided unionists entered for more genuine reasons.

  • scrabopower

    “Are you now telling us that Dawn Purvis left the PUP just to try and save her seat???


    Yep…it was the best way to save A seat for working class east Belfast – she carried on with PUP principles….unlike the party themselves who moved closer to the UVF.

  • Joe Bloggs

    One egotistical person’s decision to do what was best for her and her bank balance has robbed working class Unionists in East Belfast of a voice in Stormont.

    The fact she spat the dummy out and stormed out of the count centre when she realised she wouldn’t be elected just shows how much she cared for the 1700 people who voted for her.

    Hopefully Dawn and her ego realise she is entirely to blame for her current unemployment…

  • Nunoftheabove

    Joe Bloggs

    That doesn’t seem a particularly objective analysis. More like the comment of a PUP and/or UVF supporter who’d wished she’d stayed and/or didn’t like/trust/rate her to beginf with. Given the dearth of talent within the PUP it’s unlikely you didn’t rate her. She must have known that the risk was she’d gain some new supporters, take some with her but leave a (perhaps good) few behind. Either way, leaving was surely more of a gamble and not the ‘safe’ option for her. So what if she is ambitious ? You’d honestly give her more credit for staying on to swim around in the sewer with the preposterous ‘civilianisation process’ mob and in a situation in which the discredited not-going-away-any-time-soon paramilitary tail was wagging the political party dog ?

  • scrabopower

    Joe..the PUP project is over as a credible force..there are bigger egos within the party than Dawn’s – looking back rather than forwards

    A party that has strengthened links with the UVF accusing someone else of robbing working-class unionists! catch yourself on!!

  • Joe Bloggs

    How exactly was the link ‘strengthened’?

  • joeCanuck

    Dawn Purvis is reported (BBC) as saying that she is worried working class areas will not be properly represented.
    I must have missed the bit in the election rules that forbade working class areas or people from voting.

  • scrabopower

    After a public execution on the Shankill the party voted to maintain the link with the that’s hardly a weakening of the relationship

  • Nunoftheabove

    Yes those silly irresponsible working class voters will be sorry,; imagine going and voting for someone who won’t represent them properly. D’oh !

  • Wasted Ballot

    Lets face Dawn Purvis for what she is – a failed political operator.

    I may be a but negative towards politicians at the best of time, but it was for everyone to see, that when she left the PUP following the UVF murder it was purely in the hope that it would seal her re-election. It didn’t.

    She canvassed with Long last year, effectivly loaning her a few votes thinking people would see her as a big thinker and more interested in the good of East Belfast and hopefully not realise Alliance would do a better job than her. They didn’t.

    She took to twitter, facebook, and all the high brow political events in the hope of being seen as a modern political operative and attracting the, more often than not, niave, banner waving internet vote. She didn’t.

    She thought all this would gloss over the fact that she had no real influence in East Belfast and that the working class vote had given up on her long before her departure from the PUP.

    Good riddance and lets all move on to the next darling… plus, like has been previously said, she’ll be given some over paid public sector role that will bleed us all dry just that little bit quicker..

  • joeCanuck

    She obviously is a sore loser. (The people have spoken – the bastards).

  • Stephen Blacker

    This is another brilliant hate filled thread by Turgon and thankfully massive amounts of Northern Irelands society completely disagree with his views on Dawn Purvis. A number of times over the last year Turgon has posted this thread time and time again with very few changes. Turgon has never met, talked to or listened to Dawn Purvis but in his own mind he is an expert on everything to do with Dawn, of course nothing positive.

    A Call to Action report about Educational Underachievement in Working Class Protestant Boys has been slammed in this thread, most of the information in it has been known for 20+ years and it is shameful that this issue has been allowed to fester and grow. Proof reading has been second to none and shows Turgon’s thread as being spitful.

    I suspect that Turgon has been reading posts in the political web site “” where it was mutted that Dawn did not know who the UVF were. This never was said at any time, here is the post, good reliable research. this will show (on paragraph 11) what Dawn has always said just before she joined the PUP & it tells in her own words why she left the PUP.

    The PUP were always a multi-issue party dealing with every aspect of political life and one of their main functions was to encourage people within their community to move away from paramilitary involvement. The murders carried out after Dawn joined were motivation to increase efforts to end these actions, actions that were mostly done by people who were paid informers of Special Branch & MI5 which was proved after the campaign by Mr. R. McCord and the report of the Police Ombudsman.

    Dawn Purvis has been a brilliant politician with honesty & passion running right through her principles. Dawn’s main aim has been to give a hand to the vunerable in society and she did this with deserved praise from every community and group. People who take time to hear what Dawn says and does have an admiration for her ideas and deeds, even countries as far away as America and Iraq have had very positive encounters with Dawn.

    Time will tell what direction Dawn Purvis will take in the future but countless people, including myself, hope she continues to spread her exciting type of left of centre politics.

    It would be super if there was a thread from Turgon that was based on truth and not his stereotyping ideas of people and an overview not just a snap-shot of a persons life. Sound-bites do not tell the whole story. 😉

  • William Markfelt

    Now that the dust has settled can I just say that, on a personal level, I’m pleased to see any worthless member of the worthless PAC made unemployed. What goes around comes around.

  • andnowwhat

    No sooner are they defeated than they put their stamp on the community

    That’ll help with the PUL children’s education no doubt.

  • Nunoftheabove

    “one local, who declined an interview and did not wish to be named, described the paintings as “great”. He believed they were a response to the dissident republican threat”.

    Can anyone get hold of Nelson McCausland for an endorsement of the legitimate cultural worth of this ‘project’ please ?

  • andnowwhat


    On this morning’s Nolan, Jim Rogers was happy to accept their excuse that this was commemorating the 1912 UVF.

    Did they wear wooley masks and carry arms that weren’t tobe invented for another 70 years?

    Barney Rowan was also on the show and said that the UVF have been throwing their weight around very recently

  • Nunoftheabove

    I wouldn’t expect anything different from Jim Rodgers, he’s just yet another sore tired old UUP has-been (or never-was, perhaps more accurately) incapable of saying anything that’s not expected of him.

    Whether there’s anaything more sinsiter to this ridiculous UVF can-kicking ‘civlilianisation process’ at the moment is hard to say. I believe it’s ultimately about money and probably sordid immunity deals and touts but we shall see.

  • andnowwhat

    Could it not be a reaction to the rejection the people gave them last week?

    Re Jim Rogers, I thought his first love was the Glens who’s mural they painted over. Didn’t seem to bother him though.

  • Joe Bloggs

    Strangely not a peep about the new ‘sinister’ IRA mural at the top of the Whiterock Road which also depicts balaclava-clad gunmen and was only opened last week by Pat Sheehan MLA………

    Double standards anyone?

  • Nunoftheabove

    Joe Bloggs

    I can think of at least one significant difference. What I feel increasingly comfortable describing as ‘your lot’ haven’t yet ‘civilianized’ after all this time; you continue to tell me that it’s not about money. I shall continue not to believe you until such times as you can persuade me otherwise. I don’t necessarily even need hard evidence; even a plausible reason might suffice.

    I repeat, it takes ten minutes to civilianize if you want to do it. Just ten.

  • Mike the First

    Stephen Blacker

    “This is another brilliant hate filled thread by Turgon and thankfully massive amounts of Northern Irelands society completely disagree with his views on Dawn Purvis”

    Hmm. She’s just lost her Assembly seat…

  • hannibal

    Wow, an excellent and well-reason article. Very impressed – I didn’t really know what to think of Dawn Purvis given her “liberal” credentials and her leadership of the UVF/PUP. Looks like there is only one Naomi Long in East Belfast!

    By the way – stephen blacker aka Dawn Purvis (or minion of same)

  • andnowwhat

    web site “” where it was mutted that Dawn did not know who the UVF were.

    Stephen Blacker

    Actually, it was me who posted that on I remember very well watching the piece. It was a filmed profile of her on either Hearts and Minds or the Politics show. She was talking about when she was asked to join the PUP. I remember it well as I remember my astonishment that she would expect anyone to believe that (that someone in NI could not be aware of the UVF).

  • View from the Ditch


    Quite right. Its patently clear that the PUP bid for the Loyalist working class vote is exactly the sort of turf the TUV want to walk on, as the latter wiould love a return to the mid-70s days of Protestant militancy.

    I have always taken the “don’t like the PUP because I object to violence in principle” line as utter hypocrisy and a smokescreen for not liking who Catholics vote for and excluding those spokespeople from government.

  • Stephen Blacker


    I am more than happy to be a minion to the political teachings of Gusty Spence, the late David Ervine or Dawn Purvis – you never ment it but I am taking your comment as a compliment.


    Dont know what you heard but what you report was never said – the consistent history from Ms.Purvis is what she said in the article I linked to in my last post. I am under no illusion that that article will convince you to think anything different to what you already think but that is not a problem with me.

    View from the Ditch,

    PUP thinking based on the teachings of Gusty Spence is to remove the paramilitaries from the areas they were once beliveved to be needed. The speech below (in my opinion) was ground breaking but was not widely talked about outside prision. The full text of this speech is held in the Political section of the Linenhall Library Belfast;

    Long Kesh 12th July 1977.

    We never tire of celebrating the advent in history when William of Orange achieved for us in 1690 Civil and Religious freedom. We, the Protestants of Ireland, were the persecuted in those days and now things are somewhat reversed. But is persecution necessary for the establishment of the inherent freedoms of mankind? Has persecution ever changed a person’s views? Do we really want freedom and the pursuit of happiness at the expense of some other unfortunate soul?…I submit that it is fear which makes one people oppress another…We are living in the most socially and legalistically oppressive society in the Western Hemisphere…Polarisation complete with one section of the community cut off from the other except for some middle-class contacts which appear to be more concerned about their class than community…WE are a police state with the accompanying allegations of torture and degrading treatment to suspects undergoing interrogation…Even yet we still have men nonsensically counselling that victory is just around the corner. Victory over whom – the IRA? Or do they mean victory over the Roman Catholic community?…The fears of Roman Catholics will not go away because bigoted Unionist politicians say so.

    We in Northern Ireland are plagued with super-loyalists…If one does not agree with their bigoted and fascist views then one is a ‘taig-lover’, or a ‘communist’…Unfortunately, we have too many of these people in our own ranks. No fascist or bigot can expect sympathy or understanding in the UVF compounds…The sooner we realise that our trust has been abused, and the so-called political leadership we followed was simply a figment the sooner we will attempt to fend for ourselves politically and to commence articulation in that direction…ours was a sick society long before the fighting men came on the scene. Life in Ulster before the troubles was artificial…We want employment and decent homes like all human beings, and Loyalists will no longer suffer their deprivation stoically lest their outcries be interpreted as disloyalty…The politicians seemingly cannot or will not give us the peace we so earnestly desire, so I therefore call upon all the paramilitaries to call a universal ceasefire. To open up dialogue with each other in order to pursue ways and means of making such a ceasefire permanent. Eventually Loyalist and Republican must sit down together for the good of our country. Dialogue will have to come about sometime, so why not now? There is no victory in Ulster, not for the IRA, or the UVF, the police or the army. There is only victory for humanity and common sense.

    Gusty Spence

    As you can read the idea of a forced victory here was long seen as a none runner and the British army told politicians this long before the cease-fires in 1994. It is also a matter of fact that the main unionist parties used the loyalist groups as muscle over the years and the DUP & UUP tried to persuade loyalists not to call their cease-fire in 1994.

    The PUP & UPRG/UDP politicians helped to get the numbers for a unionist block so the Good Friday Agreement could be developed and agreed. Few people can argue that the GFA is perfect but it is like night & day compared what the violence was like, now it is over to the power of verbal arguments.