On that cold house for loyalism……

The rationale behind the loyalist attacks in East Belfast- now into their second night– would appear rather perplexing at surface level, but as Moochin and others have been pointing out (often in the face of unwarranted jibes on Slugger), there’s been rumblings regarding loyalist activity in the East for quite some time now.

 The proliferation of loyalist flags across East Belfast and the painting of aggressive murals amidst sabre-rattling articulating loyalist anger at the rerouting of parades have all indicated loyalism cranking up for a return to more active paramilitarism.

There are also reports of anger in loyalist circles at HET enquiries into loyalist attacks and the seizure of a bar by the Serious Organised Crime Agency in April has, apparently, also contributed to loyalist ‘alienation.’

It is also being suggested that there is a leadership contest of sorts between loyalists in the East Belfast area, and therefore organising an assault on the nearest available catholics is likely to be considered a popular coup by those responsible, with many young turks blooded into the ranks of paramilitary loyalism in the process.

In a revealing media interview, the PUP’s Jim Wilson, an East Belfast loyalist, played the alienated loyalist card on a UTV Live interview earlier tonight:

Jim Wilson: “Loyalism at the minute feel unrepresented, they need representation. They need people to listen to them and if they don’t listen and I’m not saying that I know everything and that I’m Mister Smart but if they don’t listen to the concern from within those communities things like what happened there last night are going to continue to happen. Loyalism feels outside the process and do you know why? Because we’ve been pushed outside the process. Nobody is trying to bring us in out of the cold. We were part and parcel of what’s happening up at Stormont. But you know something? It’s like still a cold house for loyalism. No one seems to want to help the communities that I come from and this to me is a result of it.”

This is weak stuff by any measure and, to be fair, the inarticulacy of Wilson did not help his cause. Yet the  excuse that loyalism was basically reacting to the perceived marginalisation of the loyalist working classes is worth examining if only to highlight the glaring contradiction in the activities of the UVF last night.

For, what has been transparently obvious in the post-ceasefire era is that nationalists- not least Sinn Fein and former republican prisoners- have done more than anybody else to try to establish contacts and forge relationships with working class loyalists, often to the disgust of unionist politicians and their supporters (not least on Slugger.)

After all, who more than the Irish President and her husband has done more to legitimise loyalist paramilitary voices in recent years, as so clearly evidenced by the guest list in Dublin during Queen Elizabeth II’s recent visit?

Ironically, the one political party consistently batting on behalf of schools based in working-class loyalist areas has been Sinn Fein, who share an anti-academic selection position with the educationalists running many of these schools. Alex Maskey and other Sinn Fein representatives have established a reputation for working on behalf of loyalist constituents, many of whom complain about the failure of their ‘own’ politicians to take up their cause (just look at the source on that last link.)

Yet, even if we were to take Jim Wilson’s words at face value, what was missing in the loyalist’s analysis is the whataboutery mantra being employed by other unionist representatives in an increasingly vain effort to contextualise the loyalist attacks and help them evade having to make a stand against what the PSNI have indicated were clearly orchestrated and unprovoked sectarian attacks.

Finally, and most ominously, the clear inference from Jim Wilson’s reasoning is that loyalists being marginalised by mainstream unionist politicians will precipitate more unprovoked and orchestrated attacks on vulnerable catholic communities.

What a depressing thought.

  • AntrimObserver

    Stuff what Wilson rambled incoherently about.

    Loyalism’s just doing what loyalism has always done when it ain’t happy – violence.

    No grand theories needed. Just a bunch of ignorant, vicious bigots who revert to type when their tiny, underdeveloped brains can’t handle any change in their tiny little world.

    Wilson needs to shut up and get offside.

  • keano10

    The reason why loyalists are out of the loop at Stormont is because nobody voted for them. If Wilson is the best they’ve got then it’s no wonder…

  • qwerty12345

    Great piece Chris. Shameful events going on. Shameful also the inability of many unionists on slugger to respond properly.

    I feel genuinely sorry for urban working class protestants. Lets hope the brave efforts of Republicans to reach out to them will be doubled.

  • nightrider

    Was it loyalists that threw the blast bomb at police in Kennedy Way this afternoon? This means they have moved MO to attack Crown Forces in Republican Areas.
    Getting serious

  • Not represented? As I pointed out just after the election, it’s shameful that working class “loyalists” are not allowed to vote.

  • summerhill

    Jim Wilson, Loyalist, is essentially espousing an anti democratic approach.

  • perseus

    if only they had the balls to go gather outside stormont
    and make their protest, rather than abuse their inocent neighbours.
    — scream at the unionists politicians which is the real source of their anger..
    rather than this cowardly decoy rage.
    chris its bad when unionist politicians are prepared to sit back
    and let the short strand residents take the hit for their hypocrisy.
    SF is loyalists best friend here , will they take it?

  • perseus

    the comical irony in all of this is;
    one lousy march up the road to stormont,
    with a few placards would yield amazing results;
    but no the only marches they’re allowed to do i
    s sectarian hate marches.
    That’s they way they’ve been reared,
    from time immemorial , esp paisleys era.

    UUP/DUP have done a good job on em, as have RUC, FRU etc
    getting them to do the dirty work.
    I have some sympathy, loyalists have been lied to again and again,
    esp about the IRA freedom fighters that they’ve been taught to hate as “terrorists”,
    to make the unionist politicians l
    ook and feel all grand high and mighty.

    you want truth, you can’t handle the truth ..
    there is only one narrative re Ulster and this is it.
    fiiercly opposed by unionists, who can’t take the shame.

  • Hard hat

    Can anyone enlighten us as to why a Republican gunman from Short Strand decided to fire a volley of shots from behind Vulcan Court into a group of journalists standing on Newtownards Road, injuring a PA photographer? In front of our very eyes, five or six shots, fired in rapid succession from the top of a fence, that could have hit any of a dozen journalists gathered on Newtownards Road. All scattered, leaving tripods and cameras in the middle of the road. A few minutes later police treated the wounded photographer and directed all others to leave. It would be handy to know if journalists are now legitimate targets.

  • Icarus

    Right enough though, where are the guns coming from on the republican side? is a sticky question that needs to be asked

    We don’t need to ask the same question of the UVF as they just didn’t feel like giving up their guns bless ’em.

    But I was of the impression their were no ‘dissidents’ in the Short Strand..
    Maybe the UVF are purposely attempting to create the case for re-armament in the republican community – thus rendering the UVF are relevant again? And everyone in the UVF gets to keep their jobs and there’s no redundancies? Horah?

  • qwerty12345

    This is all insane. Depressing depressing stuff.

  • ayeYerMa

    Any so-called analysis by Slugger’s resident Republican propagandist extraordinaire, Chris Donnelly, should be taken with a pinch of salt. I see that this time he has managed to slip in some more laughable party-political propaganda about how somehow Sinn Fein terrorists are the ones that stand up for working class Protestant areas.

    The solution is NOT for Protestants to vote for terrorists. These recent attacks are WRONG, terrorism is WRONG and those who chose to resort to terrorism (instead of using many of the other peaceful and democratic methods that the silent majority use) are WRONG and were WRONG.

    Voting for terrorists is WRONG, yet a large proportion of the Catholic community continue to suppress their guilt and pretend that it’s OK. Showing support for terrorists sends out the message that the terrorism of the Troubles was OK, still is OK, and gets rewarded. On top of that we have the continual gloating, insensitive behaviour, outright lies, and propaganda from Republican terrorists that gets instantly and repeatedly broadcast by a highly obedient media attempting to be “politically correct”, but by doing so repeatedly break “Okrent’s Law”. The media portray Sinn Fein as merely the direct opposite to the DUP on the “overton window”, when in reality Sinn Fein are a party of extremist terrorists and have no equals in power. Any violence from Republican paramilitaries is described as “dissident” by the PSNI merely in order to keep Sinn Fein in power for the sake of the “peace process”. Then we have the obedient media lap-dogs regurgitating this “dissident” nonsense when talking about Republican violence, and describing any Unionist wishing to criticise the terrorists in power as “hard line”. What do the media describe Sinn Fein as: terrorists? nope; hard-line? nope; extremists? nope; Just “Sinn Fein”.

    The reason so many Sinn Fein supporters on Slugger here are getting so worked up about “marginalised Loyalists” is because they want widespread voting for terrorists to become mainstream all around in order for themselves to feel a bit less guilty. The message Sinn Fein voters seem to want to send out in order to cover their own tracks is that “terrorism was OK and should be rewarded”. Unfortunately, these Loyalist terrorist SCUMBAGS are also hearing this message loud and clear and wanting the same slice of the pie that Sinn Fein terrorists repeatedly have their snouts in and have understandably snapped at how much their fellow Republican SCUM are allowed away with.

    Rather than letting this scummy Loyalist outburst win, we need to neuter this problem at its true SOURCE. The only morally responsible solution to this situation is not to listen to either Wilson nor Donnelly – it is for all terrorists to be repeatedly condemned and ALL violence like this to be condemned and dealt with by the full force of the law. This requires an onus of responsibility of the PSNI and media to recognise that this era of the “peace process” is OVER and it is time to stand up for the ordinary silent majority in Northern Ireland and be more unashamedly critical of terrorism, our terrorist politician SCUM, their supporters and their sympathisers.

  • And in the spirit of those “unwarrented jibes” (some folks don’t like the truth) perhaps the lack of condemnation or comment from some, tells us that they were up to their oxsters with all the rioting.
    Or maybe they feel foolish

  • Nunoftheabove

    Their only crime is loyalty. Well, loyalty and drug-peddling. And smuggling. And prostitution. And tax avoidance. And benefit fraud. And sectarian violence. And intimidation. And extortion. But mainly just the loyalty. Moved to tears by the immense self-sacrifice of the warriers, aren’t you ?

    Noteworthy that the means of soothing this loyalist self pity would be to attack working class catholic civilians. Manipulation through the evocation of pity is, unsusprisingly of course, characteristic of sociopathy and psycopathy. The poor pets.

    “feast your eyes and view the prize, won by the Orange Lily O”

  • Brian

    ayeYerMa

    It’s a democracy. People can vote for whomever they like. A large percentage of Catholics happen to identify with SF’s narrative, or more accurately believe they will further their aims well.

    Just because no one has any sympathy with these loyalist, drug addled scumbags and the murder gangs they glorify on public property doesn’t give them the right to blame their violence on their lack of “representation”. They have no representation because no one votes for them. Because in the end, they were just a bunch of murdering scumbags with no redeeming qualities and those inside, as well as outside, recognize that.

  • Cynic2

    “Shameful also the inability of many unionists on slugger to respond properly.”

    Croppy lie down!! That’s the answer

    I assume by this you mean not to acknowledge that there are two sides to this – both of them wrong.

    You seem to forget that on the first night two Prods were shot. Who by? The Fairies? Word on the street is it was PIRA….if true that has serious and interesting consequences.

    There is an allegation above that the Photographer last night was shot by Republicans. Was he? Why?

  • Cynic2

    ” the one political party consistently batting on behalf of schools based in working-class loyalist areas has been Sinn Fein,”

    Catatonia’s sole contribution was to try to level everything down to the lowest denominator. She was widely recognised as a disaster as a Minister, incapable of negotiation who wrecked Education Reform and put the education system back 10 years

    Oh yes and

    1 Educationalists may be in favour of abolishing selection but form the consultation that was done and then ignored parents aren’t

    2 That’s irrelevant to most of these kids many of whom leave school barely able to read and write

  • slappymcgroundout

    “word on the street is it was PIRA….”

    Funny that, as the media report the PSNI as saying something else (courtesy of the BBC):

    “The PSNI said there was nothing to suggest that members of the Provisional IRA (PIRA) had fired shots…”

    Next:

    “I assume by this you mean not to acknowledge that there are two sides to this”

    Do you say that about this as well:

    http://digitaljournalist.org/issue0309/lm18.html

    The BBC here reports:

    Chief Supt McCrum said the trouble started after a group of young men came out of the loyalist Mount and Castlereagh Street areas, and made their way into the Catholic enclave of Short Strand.

    “That precipitated a response from the community in the Short Strand, and then we were left with two communities, who for the next four hours were seeking to involve themselves in conflict across what was, and continues to be a very challenging interface in the city.”

    The Telegraph reports:

    UVF members were blamed for starting the violence by attacking homes in the Roman Catholic enclave.

    The Telegraph further reports:

    Two bullet marks found on a police vehicle were blamed on the UVF and are being treated as an attempt to murder officers.

    Otherwise goes back a long time (from the Bel Tel):

    The location of the riot is an inner city area, not far from the centre of Belfast, and has been a long-standing flashpoint.

    How long is a long time? Courtesy of The Independent:

    Disturbances centred on the east Belfast Catholic pocket of Short Strand are, alas, nothing new. In the 1920s Irish nationalist leader Michael Collins complained of attacks on its residents by armed loyalist mobs.

    That’s how long.

  • Jimmy

    It’s like still a cold house for loyalism. No one seems to want to help the communities that I come from and this to me is a result of it.” (Quoted by Jim Wilson)

    So what he is essentially saying is that any Social deprivation, Unemployment and alienation by the Protestant working class is not a matter for Stormont or Westminster and any Grievance should be taken out on the Nearest available Catholics?

    If Working class Loyalism want their issues to be heard then they should be at the steps of Stormont or the Gates of Westminster, they were never taught to question their loyalty or indeed their allegiances, The Unionist establishment used them for their own ends in that respect.

    As an old Tigers Bay man once told me that in the Thirties the local UU representatives came round and shouted. ‘Even if you’re hungry and living without hope, isn’t it a great thing that we saved you from the pope’.

    You see Working class loyalism is living with decades of Historical and Political manipulation, afraid or unwilling to challenge the system and its effects due to ingrained loyalty, political and economic hegemony, coupled with an ingrained hatred of the Traditional enemy, The Fenians. They simply can’t change.

    So if social deprivation and alienation is good enough for British people in Manchester, Tyneside, Liverpool or anywhere else then there is therefore no special dispensation for East Belfast Loyalists. They wanted the defeat of Republicanism, the Union secured, they got both and more and have found out that they are nothing special and the Working class issues that involved the rest of us in the real world applies to them now. Hell slap it into them.

  • HeinzGuderian

    I have no doubt Mooch will have a photograph of the injured photographer last night.
    Shot down,cold bloodedly. His crime ? Recording scenes of republican gunmen,on the lose,once again.

    I am a Unionist . I have no hesitation in condemning *loyalist* violence unequivocally !!
    Indeed,I have yet to find anyone on Slugger who has attempted to condone any *loyalist* violence,over the last few days,or the last Forty Years !!

    On the other hand,our nat/rep chums queue up to try and justify pira atrocities,as a quick glance on Turgens ” Kingsmills” thread will testify.

    Rank hypocrisy chums,and quite frankly,laughable !!!

  • Little James

    Slappy – The Provisionals were in Short Strand.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “On the other hand,our nat/rep chums queue up to try and justify pira atrocities,as a quick glance on Turgens ” Kingsmills” thread will testify.”

    Give it a rest. As I wrote so long ago I am neither Irish nor an Irish nationalist. I have no horse in your race. And my recommendation way back when was, if you can make yourselves economically viable, then got it alone, as your one single vote will mean more given your smaller population with respect to both the larger UK and the ROI.

    Would otherwise help if you didn’t take as your nom de guerre the name of the Nazi general who claimed that although he was area army commanding general and so responsible for everything the area army was up to, that he had no idea that some of his German kith and kin were executing Jews, etc., by the side of a ditch and then later disposing of them by use of mobile gas vans. He claims it was all some big secret. I read his book. And, sorry, but you can’t keep the murder of hundreds of thousands a secret. The most unconvincing attempt to avoid blame that I have ever had the displeasure to read. And he knew, since as area army commanding general, he traveled all over the area that his army was in.

    “I am a Unionist . I have no hesitation in condemning *loyalist* violence unequivocally !!
    Indeed,I have yet to find anyone on Slugger who has attempted to condone any *loyalist* violence,over the last few days,or the last Forty Years !!”

    But yet you haven’t offered any such condemnation on this thread. You instead condemned the other lot, to include our photoman.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “Slappy – The Provisionals were in Short Strand.”

    Then attack the PIRA and not the old age pensioners.

  • HeinzGuderian

    No,but you are an apologist for pira atrocities,are you not ??

    What,pray tell,has my Slugger nickname got to do with anything,other than to take away your unbridled lust for pira murder gangs ?

    Let me make it quite clear,so even you can understand chum………ALL *loyalist* violence,now,yesterday,or over the past Forty years,I condemn without hesitation. They are scum sir,a blight on their community,who should never have been released in the first place !!!

    Unlike your good self,I do not get an erection trying to justify murder gangs. Got it ?

    I take no lectures from pira cheerleaders,creaming their panties over past atrocities.

  • Sorry to disappoint Herr General, but i deemed it too unsafe for me to take any photographs. I took a walk about 10.30pm to see for myself what was going on.
    Living where i do i would have had to walk back through the loyalist crowd and frankly it’s just not worth it. My experience over the years is that the defensive Loyalists mindset means that they are a lot less understanding of the press. In an already volatile situation i certainly don’t need an unpredictable thug with his blood up having a go at me. Oh and the fella would have all his mates around increasing his odds.
    I leave those sort of photos to the wanna be’s and the seasoned togs

  • andnowwhat

    I’d recommend people to check out the thread on the topic of the Strand on P.ie. There’s a guy who is relaying comments from IR.net by dissidents. They are giving off because SF seriously clamped down

  • qwerty12345

    ayeyerma wrote: “The reason so many Sinn Fein supporters on Slugger here are getting so worked up about “marginalised Loyalists” is because they want widespread voting for terrorists to become mainstream all around in order for themselves to feel a bit less guilty”

    Oh god dry your eyes. Maybe some of us wouldnt mind working class prods actually having ( a few more) capable people to help them with some of their real problems. Why dont you go to a Sinn Fein constituency office and actually see what goes on there. I double dare you.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I have been commenting on P.ie and have linked to this thread.

  • SK

    “Croppy lie down!! That’s the answer

    I assume by this you mean not to acknowledge that there are two sides to this – both of them wrong.”

    _

    Cynic,

    The point is, that were this a case of, say, the RIRA instigating a major attack on a small unionist enclave, neither you nor any other unionist would have any interest in emphasising that “there are two sides to this”. If the nationalist community were to extend the same benefit of the doubt to terrorists which unionists have offered the UVF the past two days, you would all be indignant.

    And therein lies the hypocrisy.

  • andnowwhat

    Provos were a disgrace in the Strand last night, they basically prevented people from protecting the area and left it to the PSNI…..The hardman lines accross the road act and [NAME] ‘stare you out’ tactics were also appalling in the extreme.

    ….some senior Provos acted as ‘Peelers’ by their intimidating and bullying tactics. Not to mention some serious threats against RNU Activists in the Short Strand! The behaviour and attitude of some even defies logic, debate and discussion.

    Posted on P.ie and extracted from IR.net. Apparently this is was posted by one of the senior guys

  • qwerty12345

    Heinz Beans wrote: “On the other hand,our nat/rep chums queue up to try and justify pira atrocities,as a quick glance on Turgens ” Kingsmills” thread will testify.

    Rank hypocrisy chums,and quite frankly,laughable !!! ”

    Go to the thread, my comment is about third down.

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/06/16/het-report-on-kingsmills/comment-page-1/#comments

    Apology please 🙂

  • Brian

    Cynic-“You seem to forget that on the first night two Prods were shot. Who by? The Fairies? Word on the street is it was PIRA….if true that has serious and interesting consequences. ”

    You are clearly unaware as to what went on. Provos (or former Provos, whatever you want to call themetc) were the ones policing the nationalist side and doing their best to stop retaliation. If it wasn’t for them it may have been worse than it was in terms of dissident scum replying with fire.

    The dissidents are totally pissed at the Provos “acting like peelers” and ruining their chances to pop off at their protestant counterparts.

    I am of the opinion that sooner or later a dissident will attack a former Provo hardman…and to see what happens after that will be interesting

  • Pelican22

    Good article. I am so bored of hearing PUP and Loyalists bemoaning the fact they have no voice. Has the penny not dropped that the electorate rejected what they had on offer? Can they not accept the democratic process?

    They may feel they have no voice but this is no excuse taking to the streets and destroyed the community they live in. PUP and Loyalists and UVF (if they truely want a ceasefire) would be better placed coming up with a strategic plan to move their politcal agenda forward. To be honest their 2011 Assembly and Council manifesto was a joke.

  • AntrimObserver

    Totally lame and unchallenging interview with a young loyalist from the Newtownards Road just now on the BBC. This follows Jim Wilson being allowed to spout on ad nauseum on both Nolan and Talkback today.

    Seamus McKee, as usual, adopts his usual attitude to SF – only to be put firmly in his place by Maskey:

    McKee: “Is SF’s influence waning in Short Strand?”

    Maskey: “That area returned the current Mayor, so you can forget that idea”

    Ouch. Try harder, Seamus.

  • AntrimObserver

    Pelican wrote,

    “Good article. I am so bored of hearing PUP and Loyalists bemoaning the fact they have no voice. Has the penny not dropped that the electorate rejected what they had on offer? Can they not accept the democratic process?”

    That about sums it up, Pelican.

    I didn’t read any loyalist ‘election literature’ but I imagine it went something like this:

    “See, if you vote for us them themmuns won’t be getting everything, cos themmuns are getting everything and we’ve gat naffin, ye know like. See, this peace process is gettin themmuns everything – and they’re throwing stones at our weemun, ye know like!”

    (Obviously, there wouldn’t be such strict adherence to punctuation in the actual version – except perhaps for a random sprinkling of inverted commas and speech marks!)

  • HeinzGuderian

    queerty…………..show me one poster on Slugger who tries to apologise for *loyalist* scumbags ?
    No ?

    I can point you in the direction of at least Ten,who try to justiy republican,scumbag,terrorists……….you follow ?? 😉

  • HeinzGuderian

    A repulsive, pointless sectarian act……..queerty.

    Yeah boy,don’t hold back with the condemnation now. You let em have both barrels ??

    Laughable.

  • april showers

    Actually heinz its you

  • Joe Bloggs

    Pelican22 22 June 2011 at 5:11 pm

    “PUP and Loyalists and UVF (if they truely want a ceasefire) would be better placed coming up with a strategic plan to move their politcal agenda forward. To be honest their 2011 Assembly and Council manifesto was a joke.”

    A joke? How so?

    If I remember correctly any journalists who covered the PUP manifesto described it as impressive for such a small party.

    Tele’s Liam Clarke and Slugger’s Alan in Belfast both made favourable comments about it’s content.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Joe Bloggs

    Why and/or in what way/s would the size of any party influence the impressiveness or otherwise of its manifesto ?

  • Joe Bloggs

    A party like Sinn Fein or the DUP can dedicate 5 or 6 full time, paid party workers for months to write a manifesto.

    The PUP had no such luxury yet it’s manifesto was comparable to those of larger parties.

    Read up on some of the reviews.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Joe Bloggs,

    I read the manifesto, I don’t have to reply on easy-touch journalists for my information on this one. It’s pretty mediocre as it happens. I think you’re exaggerating the extent of the challenge of writing one. Anyone of average intelligece could have pulled that together in their spare time over the course of a few evenings without much assistance.

  • Joe Bloggs

    Ha Ha brilliant!

    I guess you’ve never been involved with an election campaign for a political party? Most big parties dedicate a team of full time, PAID staffers to write an election manifesto. It would usually take a minimum of three months.

    Of course it needs to be checked and OKed by party leader, deputy, ruling executive/council, policy spokespeople, proof read by ten or twelve people and then put together by a graphic designer ready for print. With multiple edits and changes at every step of the process.

    A few evenings???

    Really???

  • Nunoftheabove

    Bloggs

    I don’t doubt that some of them do take that long. That says a very great deal about the quality of the people writing them and the extent of their singularity of purpose. And their energy levels. In a small party, they can be written by one person from a limited range of templates, round the houses for a few tracked change comments from a small number of others, final proofing, final tidying, sign off and away to the printers. Some of them – not all, but some – have even progressed to the point where they’re spell-checked – imagine that ! Without exaggeration I could have written that PUP one in an afternoon and done much better than they have. Shows you just how easily impressed lazy journalists are. You’re fairly clearly the easily impressible type yourself if I may say so.

  • Joe Bloggs

    Well why don’t you produce a 20-30 page document containing new ideas and proposals for each individual policy area and deliver it here at 6pm tomorrow?

    I shall be waiting…..