All’s far in love and war. Sammy Wilson’s intemperate allusion on UTV last night to his own Justice Minister being carried around in a police landrover might have landed more squarely if there wasn’t a series of ‘flying riots’ going on around the place. Today there’s talk of more disruption, yet to be confirmed, in Glengormley.
In the meantime, it seems the only paramilitary organisation yet identified by the PSNI are the UVF, whose own political party the PUP at first backed the designated days for flying the Union and then performed a late swerve. Henry McDonald in the Guardian notes:
The Guardian has learned that members of the Ulster Volunteer Force from east Belfast and North Down have played a key role in many of the violent protests over the last three days. The UVF is not only officially on ceasefire but also is supposedly disbanding its militaristic structure.
An aggressive and sustained Loyalist campaign that has left both the DUP and UUP somewhat clawing for air.
Update: Mark Devenport comments:
…the violence this week shows how easy it is to stoke latent tensions, and this time the Stormont politicians can’t entirely blame a small unrepresentative minority. In contrast to the activities of dissident republicans, this is a dispute in which, one way or another, the main Stormont parties are deeply embroiled.
Update 2: Alisdair McDonnell has been to visit Alliance’s Carrick office this pm.. Peter Robinson has made this long and detailed statement statement, http://goo.gl/WkEmw
A number of months ago commentators were surprised when I put down a clear marker with Alliance’s David Ford that he was not to remove Royal symbols from the Prison Service. Perhaps now they will understand that the DUP realised where meddling with identity would lead.
Let no one be in any doubt, whether it is the Parades Commission, Alliance or Sinn Fein, the DUP believes in and wants to achieve a shared future for Northern Ireland, a shared future within the Union but that does not require and will not involve any diminution of our Britishness.
Britishness will not be progressed by acts of violence. Anyone engaging in wanton violence or intimidation does not defend our national flag but disgraces it.”
According to Mark Devenport on Twitter, recall is likely for Monday with Sinn Fein rolling in behind Alliance’s call:
Alliance sources say it’s now looking likely recall of Assembly will be at 10.30am on Monday – an hour and a half before regular sitting
— Mark Devenport (@markdevenport) December 6, 2012
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty