The PUL Community and the Peace Process: An Audit

The third session of the all day PSA/Fellowship of Messines workshop – Has the Protestant Working Class lost out in the Peace Process? – looked at the peace process through the eyes of two loyalist leaders and an academic.

Strong views on the Social Investment Fund, how paramilitary actions gave unionists confidence in the peace process, loyalism being equated with criminality, loyalists’ sacrifices for peace, the tsunami of hate and bigotry that came out of the flag protests, and the need for a change in loyalist tactics.

Billy Hutchinson is leader of the PUP; the party “provides political advice to the UVF” when asked. Jackie McDonald was wearing his Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG) hat but would still be recognised by many as the most senior leader of the UDA. Lastly, academic and organiser of the workshop Dr Aaron Edwards has a background in researching loyalism and facilitating dialogue between community leaders and an interest in learning from conflicts around the world.

PSA working class loyalism  workshop

This post includes recordings of the individual speeches that started the session, not not of the follow-up discussion. I have removed two short sections from Billy Hutchinson’s remarks to prevent any accidental defamation or contempt of court. Also note that the workshop concluded a couple of hours before news broke about two local journalists being targeted by loyalists, – so there wasn’t an opportunity for this issue wasn’t discussed.

Billy Hutchinson spoke about loyalist participation in ceasefire discussions with diplomats, the IRA and others which had been under-reported and until recently absent from academic discussion. [listen/MP3]

From my point of view the problem isn’t with the peace process or with the Good Friday Agreement. The problem is with those people who are in government and have decided that they’re not interested in the peace process. What they’re interested in doing is not having a shared future but sharing it out.

If anybody wants proof of that, look at the [Social] Investment Fund, the baby of both Peter and Martin. It’s an utter disgrace. And what they would have been better doing is sending £10 out to everyone who voted for them because there would be more benefit doing that rather than trying to put money into communities for all the wrong reasons.

I also think that this relationship – or whatever it is – between Martin and Peter doesn’t actually work in the positive. It works in the negative a lot of the time. It’s about sharing it out but it’s also about blocking so that people can’t move and what you end up with is a stalemate. Then what we get is deals around education which is affecting Protestants because the DUP are a middle class party and so are the Ulster Unionists. They refuse to recognise that inner city loyalists who go to primary schools are not getting the proper education … because the Ulster Unionists threw us all out in under the [Morgan?] Plan in the Sixties. They sent us to Craigavon, Lisburn, Carrick and everywhere else. And then those companies they sent us out to work for all folded and you ended up with people stuck out there and they can’t get back. They moved 50,000 out of the Shankill alone and left behind an aging population and a population with no skills. And then they refused to take any responsibility for it.

In terms of the education they have supported this notion of selection at the age of eleven when they know it doesn’t work. They won’t even listen or won’t actually go and examine the guy [Burke?] who introduced the Eleven Plus. He introduced it at eleven not on any scientific notion, he just picked eleven. Now we all know that when children go to school, selection happens at the age of 14 because that’s when they’re asked to pick their subjects that they’re going to do for to get a job. Still, they ignore all of this.

The other thing about the peace process was that we’ve had a number of attempts by people who describe themselves as constitutional unionists and constitutional parties to try and bring about a political process that never happened. And the reason why it never happened was that they never had any confidence in working together. It only came about after the Combined Loyalism Military Command called a ceasefire. And they started getting confident and they started to talk. And that was the reason why we have a political process. Now some people might not like to hear that, but it’s a fact …

The reason why we didn’t have an administration in 1974 was because paramilitaries side with the politicians to block it. In 1978 when Paisley asked for another workers’ strike it didn’t happen. Why? Because the paramilitaries didn’t support it. And I can recall whenever we were announcing to people that we were going to call a ceasefire they said don’t be doing that, you need to keep killing people. And these were from some constitutional politicians who didn’t want to see ceasefires. And the reason they didn’t want to see them was because loyalist paramilitaries became the bogeymen. Anytime they wanted to talk to the British Government they said well if you don’t deal with us the bogey men will come out. And that’s the reality.

We talk about the flag protest and everything else. The difficulty with that is once you teach your children to be afraid of the dark they remain afraid of the dark until somebody shows them that there’s nothing there. And that’s what we’re living in this society. We’re living in this society where people have used and abused people in terms of saying that you can’t move forward because of X or you can’t move forward because of Y. While people are sitting in government with Sinn Fein, and Sinn Fein are sitting in government with them, Sinn Fein can then do political agitation on the streets right across Northern Ireland, then they expect people to respect them. We can respect people who make the right decisions in government, or we can respect people who respects peace process, but whenever they start to attack others and become part of the criminalisation policy, that’s when this gets dangerous and difficult.

In terms of loyalists, from my point of view I recall having a major row with the British Labour Party whenever Tony Blair told people – told the world – that he was going to look after the republicans and Sinn Fein and the Chief Constable would be looking after loyalists. What sort of statement is that about a set of people? Because we don’t even know what the term loyalist means. I know what it means for the BBC and UTV. It means it’s a derogatory term, that everybody’s a criminal.

Billy Hutchinson described newspaper headlines that associated criminal activity with loyalists rather than DUP members who would normally be described as unionists.

I came back in 2011 to take leadership of this party because for four years previous to that I was treated like a second class citizen and criminal. I think I’ve had two parking tickets and three speeding fines since I was released as a life sentence prisoner in 1990. If people want to say that that’s criminal go ahead.

But I haven’t been involved in any other criminal activity. The Sunday World accused me of being involved in criminal activity and I took them to court and won the case. Unfortunately not many people know that and why do they not know it? Because on the same day George Best’s sister took an English paper to court because they said she was an alcoholic when she wasn’t. And her case overshadowed mine. Which I was quite glad about as a lot of people would have tapped me if they’d known I’d got money. (laughs in the room)

[After the session, I asked Billy Hutchinson about some of the issues he had raised.]

Jackie McDonald spoke next. [listen/MP3]

I’m glad to hear Billy defending loyalist paramilitaries because we’ve been demonised for a long, long time. I’ve never once said all the good guys are orange and all the bad guys are green. There have been villains and rogues within loyalism and Billy and I have both suffered and our respective colleagues have suffered at the hands of these people and they’ve got us all a bad name. But we’ve weathered the storm and got ourselves through it.

I imagine that most people reading this post with no paramilitary sympathy or involvement would protest that paramilitaries all got themselves a bad name because of their unlawful action and the distress, harm, injury and murder they afflicted on society.

Jackie McDonald said that “there wouldn’t have been a peace process without the intellect and the thoughts” of people like John McMichael, Andy Tyrie, Gusty Spence and David Ervine.

It took those who made war to make peace.

People has to remember that. Some people think the peace process came up the Lagan in a bubble. They don’t realise the effort that it took from the people who used to kill each other, individually to talk to their own membership, and then collectively to sit down together to move the whole process on …

John McMichael says in Common Sense that allegedly he was the leader of the Ulster Freedom Fighters, the killing machine or killing apparatus of the Ulster Defence Association. At the same time he knew that could not go on, that there had to be an end to the violence, an end to the killing and we had to learn to live together.

We’ve learned to die together. It’s time now to learn to live together.

Jackie McDonald outlined part of the journey towards UDA ceasefire. For thirty years the DUP wouldn’t speak to the UDA, before starting to communicate “on the QT where nobody really knew about it and we certainly didn’t tell anybody”. Whenever talk turned to decommissioning the DUP started to talk to them in public to show “they have some kind of influence”.

Loyalists have made one hell of a sacrifice because they gave up all the strengths they had. They moved away from the strong bases they had. There was no murder. No killings. No punishment shootings. No people getting beaten with baseball bats. People getting put out of the country. All that stopped.

And people like Billy and the PUP, and other people like ourselves in the UPRG had spent years convincing people that this was the way to move forward. We had to talk to people. We had to sit down and respect there won’t be a united Ireland but there can’t be a Protestant Ulster. We’re going to have to learn to live together. And the prisoners were the ones that were saying that to me in early days.

Jackie McDonald spoke of community fears about safety in the wake of both republican and loyalist paramilitary decommissioning: “we’ll be killed in our beds”.

He offered his analysis of the flag protests.

We’ve sort of taken a back seat because we’ve been trying to share space, we’ve been sharing ideas, we’ve been listening to people. We’ve been appreciating each other’s points of view. We feel totally let down. When the flag came down we were totally disgusted with Sinn Fein as I’ve already said. Things are moving along all right.

Shared space can’t just mean a muster point whenever the alarm bell goes.

We were getting there. People were [beginning?] to accept we were working together. Republicans were coming into Sandy Row and the Shankill, East Belfast. We were going up the Falls Road, different places. That changed, turned it all around.

I don’t blame the protesters for the anger and the tsunami of hate and bigotry that came out of it. Because they were totally shocked. The DUP and the UUP sent apparently 40,000 leaflets around East Belfast. [Ed – the leaflets were distributed right across Belfast, at least in the East and North.] We knew nothing about it in South Belfast. Certainly the rural areas Dromore, Banbridge, Ballynahinch around that area had no idea that this was going to happen. It was a culture shock when it happened. And that turned the whole dynamic upside down. The politicians went and hid. Instead of loyalism uniting, it imploded. And as a result this last six months we were at odds with each other. There’s many different ways of getting to the same destination.

I’ve said to some of the protesters: I’ll protest with you all day long but not violently, that’s not the way to do it. But if you don’t want to do it their way then there is no other way. Some of them, the genuine ones … there’s other people there who are in no way genuine protesters. They’ve created a wee identity for themselves or they’ve been undesirable with one organisation or another until this happened. They’ve created a whole new identity. I blame Sinn Fein on that.

I went to see Peter Robinson, myself and a couple of other fellows and said: you thing you’re going to hide here till this all blows over, it’s not going to blow over, you’re going to have to do something about it, you’re going to have to go out and listen to the people. That’s how the Unionist Forum came about. And I agree with Billy that it has potential, it certainly has not delivered. It’s been frustrating to say the least. It has not delivered to its true potential. Some of the subcommittees and some of the stuff that’s happened is okay, but not enough.

On the Cardiff discussions:

Everybody needs to do more. We’re going to Cardiff tomorrow for a few days. We’re not there representing all of loyalism. But we’ll be saying basically some of the stuff I’m saying here. And [I] hope everybody can come together and some sort of resolution or some sort of determination and accept that everybody is going to have to do more.

Jackie McDonald said that loyalism needed “tactics different from the tactics we have used”.

People were saying to me before the flag came down, people were saying to me: see if there’s benefit cuts we’re going to block the roads, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that. The answer to everything for loyalists is block the roads, burn your neighbours car and throw stones at the police. We have to have different strategies. But they’re that angry and that frustrated that they don’t want to hear it. The best way to demonstrate they think is by blocking roads with a Union flag around them. They are better than that. But they’re that angry they’re not even prepared to hear that.

There should be young people here listening to what we’re saying. There should be some of those protesters here listening to what we’re saying. Because there is great value in this. I’ve heard a lot of great stuff here today. We’re just preaching to the converted. We need to get that people that need to hear what we’re saying in a room. Not three or four of us going somewhere to explain it. That doesn’t work.

Dr Aaron Edwards finished the speeches in this session and referred to Billy Mitchell’s Academic article Nationalist Euphoria – Unionist Despondency in The Blanket (now defunct) which he felt was still relevant today. [listen/MP3]

“Personally speaking, I believe that Sinn Fein’s preoccupation with flags and emblems has more to do with wanting to remove any visible sign of their failure to break the link with Britain than it has to do with republican ideals. Having lost the constitutional battle they have resorted to agitating for the removal of the symbols that remind them of their failure.”

He also noted Brendan Hughes’ reflection on republicans’ triumphalist celebration of the ceasefire: “all I saw was defeat” [from Ed Moloney’s Voices from the Grave].

Aaron Edwards went on to talk about “the stereotyping of loyalism”.

There are academics in this room who have railed against that: Graham Spencer notably, Jim McAuley and others. But loyalists emerge as caricatures. They emerge as figures of fun. They emerge as feckless. They emerge as undesirables. They are constantly dehumanised. Some of the names … used in the red tops in the main: The Beast, The Mexican, Doris Day, and of course this is encapsulated by that great symbol of the dog wearing a T-shirt.

Now portraying working class as bigoted, sectarian, tracksuit-wearing scum has political repercussions. I don’t think that’s particularly accurate. But judging by the reaction to the Stephen Nolan Show a while back [the one during the height of the flag protest that unsurprisingly had a less than balanced audience given the flag protest immediately outside the Great Victoria Street entrance]. If you’re on Twitter you’ll know what people thought of some of the working class people who turned up on the audience of that. The comments were nothing short of a disgrace.

The caricatures, they have been demonised. These things have been written about in the past by Billy Mitchell so it’s not new. But what I think we need to do is to challenge those stereotypes. Not to see things in caricature, but to actually add a little bit more complexity to it and to tease it out a little bit more.

The other stereotype that comes up is not in relation to paramilitaries necessarily – or those who may be seen to come from those areas where paramilitaries roam free – is the privileged Prod stereotype. Comes out time and time and time again. It’s been challenged by academics. it’s been challenged by commentators on the left. But it’s a stereotype that’s out there. It’s a perception, it’s not reality for the reasons Billy outlined earlier.

So I think there’s an obligation there for people like me, for academics, to look at this thing a little more dispassionately, to challenge it, to keep challenging it, to remind people that there is much more to it than that. I hope that’s one of the things that today will begin to do, is just to try to break away those caricatures and to really see the reality of things. To see that Protestants can be progressive. And dare I say it – I may get shouted down by a few people in the audience here – they can be socialist too. Not only do we have to bring in the east west dimension that Gareth [Mulvenna] mentioned this morning and see them as part of the British working class. I know you’ll not agree with [all] me but that’s the way we need to look at it.

Nearing the end of his remarks, Aaron Edwards listed three things that academics can do, citing work by Christopher Hitchens on the role of public intellectuals:

  • to survey the present through the optic of a historian – to add complexity and detail, you don’t go in for the stereotypes, you bust myths – Malachi O’Doherty was given as an example of a local myth-buster;
  • to survey the past with the perspective of the living – “if you’re perpetuating the myth that all Protestants are privileged … they have real consequences because people believe that even though it’s a perception”
  • to survey the culture and language of others with the equipment of an internationalist – rather than parochial, narrow-mindedness that pervades a lot of commentary in this country, a lot of punditocracy, a lot of blogosphere comments.

I wrote a piece not too long ago that dared to suggest that the Progressive Unionist Party was a broad church because I’ve interviewed people who say I’m a socialist, I’m agnostic, I’m working class. There are a number of identities there. People lambasted me for that and said how could that possibly be, they’re all fascists. Now the person saying that has no idea what fascism is. Fascism sends people to their deaths on an industrial scale. Fascism is something that you should equate with Hitler’s Germany. But those terms are used and abused.

He finished with a quote from George Orwell’s 1946 essay on the Politics of the English Language:

“The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’.”

Similarly he complained that the term ‘democracy’ was being abused as were other terms. There’s no universally accepted definition of ‘democracy’. The same could be said for that other word, the big T, ‘terrorism’. We disagree over these issues. We add complexity, certainly academics do. We try to assess these things, keep our analysis balanced as far as possible. But the phraseology that’s used – I think – needs to be clarified. And we don’t have an understanding of what a loyalist is, though I started off today saying that to me it’s something pejorative and it’s used to pigeon hole people so you stop them from realising their potential, their ambition in life. You narrow their horizons. How are they ever going to equip themselves with the tools of an internationalist to look at what’s going on here without those blinkers that we’ve talking about …

Some delegates commented afterwards of their surprise at the warmth of the exchanges between Billy Hutchinson and Jackie McDonald. While Jackie McDonald has a history of speaking from a different hymnsheet to other loyalists, the pair seemed genuinely to have much in common that afternoon. While the UVF and UDA are not exactly on a course towards loyalist unity talks, it should be viewed as positive that leaders within those communities are showing some respect for the role each played in the peace process.

Wednesday’s workshop didn’t uncover new issues facing loyalist working class areas, or bring to light fresh revelations about loyalist involvement in the conflict, the ceasefires or the peace process. Yet the very act of continuing to meet and talk (a bit like the outcome of the Cardiff discussions) cements the stability of a once unstable and still fractured community that perceives – most likely correctly – that the two largest parties in the Executive do not prioritise policies and actions that will address the issues faced in working class communities.

The final post in this series will tomorrow examine The Place of the PUL Community in a “Shared Future”.

, , , , , , , , , ,

  • son of sam

    Alan
    You mention that there were strong views on the Social Investment Fund.I haven’t had time to listen to any of the Audio-Boos but what in essence were those “strong views”?

  • Search the post for ‘fund’ and you’ll find that part transcribed! Billy did refer to it as the “*Strategic* Investment Fund” but it seemed clear he was referring to “*Social* Investment Fund”

  • Brian Walker

    There is nothing wrong – it may even be valuable – to keep going over this territory. It will be interesting to see if Alan or the conference itself comes up with action points.

    But it seems that this conference has once again aired the same old complaints with the same old protestations of good faith. No mea culpa among those present, just pin it all on the other guys who aren’t attending. There’s little or no recognition of any improvements and no one takes any responsibility for what goes wrong.

    Isn’t it striking how poor communication is in such a wee place? A great fuss was made about John Hume connecting up with the Provos and the good services of Brendan Duddy although they all lived literally a half a mile apart.

    Communication between loyalism and the DUP broke down decades ago over Paisley playing the Grand Old Duke of York, as loyalists saw it, or as others believe, his own chronic indiscipline and playing to the gallery. It’s high time those contacts were rebuilt and if the unionist forum can help, so be it. Hutchinson may lament once again that his vicious paramilitaries were used by the mainstream unionist parties and that they were never as politically important as the IRA but he’s right, there’s no point in demonising or dismissing them; they still possess some negative power and perhaps even some representative value -not that the conference seems to have explored that theme.

    The role of the public intellectual? To question the orthodoxies of the crowd, to come up with new ideas, to widen the debate. What was discussed about the future? New ideas for participation in economic development ? Building links and early warning systems across the divide? Did any of them say, this is what I can do to help?

    Reading this, am I the only one to think this meeting could have taken place in 1993, give or take the odd topical reference? Or have I missed something?

  • Morpheus

    “We had to sit down and respect there won’t be a united Ireland but there can’t be a Protestant Ulster.”

    Strong words from Jackie McDonald but then again I think he is closing his mind to a very stark realty – although there can’t be a Protestant Northern Ireland (note I didn’t use the word Ulster in this context) there just might be a united Ireland. It’s dangerous for him and unionism/loyalism to bury their heads in the sand and ignore that possibility.

    The legitimate aspiration of a united Ireland is there for all to see in the GFA – nationalists won’t suddenly stop chasing it, which is their right. But if handled correctly by everyone concerned the likelyhood of the electorate choosing that option when the referendum comes could be greatly reduced.

    Stopping projects like the A5 and the Narrow Water Bridge to get one over SF as well as refusing to talk to residents groups in flash point areas are not ways of going about reducing the likelihood of the electorate choosing a united Ireland in a referendum.

  • Morpheus

    And another thing while I am on my high horse…

    Far too much is being made of the whole flags at Belfast City Hall fiasco. It should have been nothing more than a simple housekeeping exercise but it has been totally blown out of all proportion by the DUP/UUP who attempted to use the situation (which has been brewing for many, many years) to win seats/salaries/pensions. They didn’t even have the stones to put their party logos on the flyers and first denied that they were theirs but changed their minds when caught red handed. Hopefully that will come back to haunt them at the next elections.
    http://allianceparty.org/article/2013/006959/alliance-response-to-unionist-flag-leaflet

    The demographics of Belfast have changed and Belfast City Hall should change to reflect those demographics and the people of the City.

    Inside City hall, all the relics and artefacts should reflect the long history of the city dating back to The Bronze Age, not the last 100 years of Unionism.

    Outside City Hall, SF and the SDLP tried to bring equality but despite what the GFA agreement says that was never a feasible option, NI is not ready for it yet. In the absence of equality they went for neutrality – what’s the problem with that?

    Belfast is, however, still a capital city within the United Kingdom and deserves special treatment – the designated days policy fought for by The Alliance Party is that special treatment. The people who do not recognize the Union Flag as their flag are still not represented so who should have more of an axe to grind?

    In my opinion all public and shared spaces should be either equal or neutral (including the play parks) and if that means we live in a country free of flags until we learn to get along then so be it.

  • ‘….but if handled correctly by everyone….’ Therein lie a multitude of sins [of omission]. The past 40 years demostrate the odds against that happening are long but not winding. What McDonald says about there not being a Protestant Ulster, would never be heard from unionist politicians as they still hark after the pre 1968 status quo.
    but privately realise the truth opf what McDonald said. But then he and his fellows who made the speeches are preaching to the converted which is futile. The one deterrent to catholics not voting for a UI eventually wasn’t mentioned, that is the Orange summer marches which the unionist parties insist should be able to flaunt their sectarian hatred while expecting no risk of a UI YES vote. They persist in the old ‘croppies lie down ‘ mindset, assuming catholics will vote for the union for their own selfish reasons so no toning down of the hate parades is needed.

  • Brian – while there was a plea for action and next steps during the discussion after some of the sessions, it really boiled down to a commitment to keep talking (perhaps with a wider audience) and to try and recover the ground and progress that had slipped due to the flag protests.

    But you’re right about the deja vu feeling that the conversation didn’t have to be grounded in May 2013. I doubt a meeting of the Loyalist Commission back in those days would have been so civil and cordial.

  • Delphin

    BW -I would agree with what you have been saying – loyalism needs to move on, if only for the sake of the children. But I can’t see how they would fit in with the DUP. Middle class born agains don’t do the rough and tumble of street politics any more, they are now more interested in land deals and salvation.
    Seriously though, how would you see meaningful engagement between the above working?

  • Blue Hammer

    DanielSMoran

    In any future UI, do you think OO parades will be more or less contentious? Do you think a PUL community railroaded into a UI against their will would be more or less sectarian in attitude and mindset?

    Or might it be a case of “Our turn now – Orangies lie down”?

  • keano10

    Alan,

    With all due respect it is truly mind-boggling that you are eulogising Jackie MacDonald for declaring that there “cannot be a Protestant Ulster”. This is 2013 for heaven’s sake…

    Where have Loyalists been for the past 20 years if this statement is being presented as a visionary declaration???

    It just seems that Loyalism is simply never to blame. Always the victims, even if that is not the case. Always the most disadvantaged even if the statistics tell a very different story. I am not sure how much optimism or forward thinking that I sense at the end of this conference. Please correct me if I am wrong about that…

  • Scáth Shéamais

    Dr Aaron Edwards has a background in researching loyalism

    Is there any chance that Aaron Edwards is the PRO of the PUP?

  • Brian Walker

    Thanks are due to Alan for all his sterling work in covering the conference and other events. It may have been overshadowed by the closed meetings in Cardiff but it deserved more attention than it received by the jaded mainstream media. I for one rely on this relatively uncut material such as this to update my by ancient knowledge and keep in touch by my fingernails. My comments are often based on guesswork and it’s depressing in a way to see how often I still manage to hit the mark.

  • Brian – Unlike party conferences which tend to be spin over substance, the workshop was a low key conversation that we’ve got the opportunity to overhear parts of. Glad you’re enjoying them – one more session to go.

  • Aaron Edwards

    Thanks to everyone who has discussed the workshop held in Belfast last week. Alan has done a superb job in bringing the papers to a wider audience for discussion.

    Scáth Shéamais – If you had actually read my article on Eamonn Mallie http://eamonnmallie.com/2013/04/pup-membership-back-to-gfa-levels-by-dr-aaron-edwards/ you would see that I disagree with the direction the PUP has been moving in lately because it risks feeding a populist agenda. For the reasons outlined by Dr Tony Novosel at our workshop, this may mean that more right-wing loyalists than Protestant working class socialists flock to its cause. I personally do not think the PUP is that kind of party – but then I could be wrong. Perhaps we could ‘play the ball not the man’ on this issue?

    Indeed, just to come back to you directly on your slur – I have never been a member (or ‘PRO’ as you put it) or anything else for the PUP. As an academic researcher I’m trying to offer critically-balanced insights (based on hard evidence) into a party that claims to be left-wing voice in an ethnically-divided society. In my opinion your comment risks feeding the kinds of stereotyping I also tried to challenge last week at the workshop.

    Everyone – please keep all your comments on the event coming – we will endeavour to feed all of these thoughts into subsequent events.

  • Blue Hammer[4.11] I don’t think that an attitude of ‘Orangies lie down’ by nationalists would be any more legitimate than the croppies version from the PUL side and neither do I believe the PULs would be railroaded into a UI as CNRs know that would be counterproductive to their own interest, which would be a stable UI. I expect there will continue to be Orange marches in such a UI and whether they will include contentious ones will depend on the attitude and approach of the OO since the CNRs will no longer have anything to protest about in that scenario.