BBC Spotlight on how the peace process continues to cover for the ‘bad’ UVF

Spotlight last night, if you missed it, is well worth a catch up.  Ostensibly about the resurgence of the UVF, particularly in east Belfast, in the process it also exposed some of those poisonous foundations of the Peace Process™ era.

Stephen Dempster claims he spoke to two dozen people all of whom were too afraid to talk on camera about the influence of the UVF in Belfast. Men with guns or access to guns tend to be uncompromising with their critics.

One glaring question for the Policing Board is how they have enabled the local policing partnership boards to become infiltrated by paramilitaries such that no ordinary person in their right mind would raise anything relating to the same.

Back in 2003 Trevor Ringland interviewed David Ervine on the subject of paramilitarism and other broader matters relating to unionism for Slugger:

I think the metamorphosis of paramilitaries has begun. In my experience so far it usually breaks into three distinct groups. There are those who have gone home because their services are no longer required. Then there are others who take a view that ‘if I was prepared to ‘die for my country’, then I am prepared to work for it’.

They are trying to become involved and to do development and are in the process of genuinely helping the community. Then there is the third group, who bring alive the old adage that ‘patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel’. They are a matter now for the policing service and a society to take on and deal with.

Ervine thought then that paramilitaries would disperse over time, and the police would deal with the miscreants. Much of his calculation was that the peace process would lead us all (magically, perhaps) into another era. The brute reality is that men with guns don’t feel they have to go along with a political process that increasingly putting itself beyond the scrutiny and care of ordinary people.

Focus on dissident republicans has been understandable, since they are the only ones actively on an externalised killing campaign. But the UVF had become virtually untouchable for more invidious reasons, by their claim to be on ceasefire, the protective rules of the peace process game mean they, as friends of the peace process, are not to be touched.

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  • sherdy

    And why, if the PSNI are aware of the activities of the UVF, are they not bringing any of them to court?
    Oh, sorry, I forgot that virtually all UVF members are paid agents of the PSNI and the state.

  • I dont think there was much that was new on Spotlight last night. About East or North Belfast.
    The only thing that was really different was that the programme was made in the first place.
    And it could just have easily featured South Armagh or West Tyrone.

    I will watch it a second time but am I right in saying that no names were mentioned?
    But two things stand out. Politicians who have been on protests etc, who are part of parties that have wound up the rhetoric against the Alliance Party in East Belfast want the criminals brought to Justice. It is claimed everybody knows what’s going on there.
    And a brave lady from North West Belfast claims the same.
    Names are named.
    And one name is on a local Policing Partnership.
    But PSNI say ” its the Policing Board who vet”. And the Policing Board is overseen by the Minister for Justice?
    Yet in less than two years, Naomi Long and Gareth Robinson are likely to face each other in East Belfast Westminster Election.
    It looks to me that their Party Leaders could help them out.

    But congrats to Spotlight for at least breaking the taboo. And not submitting to the new narrative. But nothing happens in isolation. A prominent news story yesterday was the visitor 100,000 at Crumlin Road Jail. And incredibly the Stormont Press Machine spun it as a “good news” story….with Peter Robinson and Jennifer McCann ( Martin McGuinness Deputy) meeting and greeting in front of the cameras.
    Being Norn Iron …both had spent some time there. Robinson told a mildly amusing anecdote but it was hardly Nelson Mandela on Robin Island.
    And Jenny mentioned she had been held there “during my trial”.
    A serious reporter might have asked “what were you on trial for?”
    But maybe the answer “I got 20 years for shooting a police officer” would have taken the gloss off the occasion.
    Now let me emphasise….rightly or wrongly….I dont have any real problem with the past of Sinn Fein politicians. After all I have voted for them.
    What I do have a problem with is it being airbrushed out of the narrative.
    Within a few hours last night, we had two different kinds of news…..News management from Stormont and genuine investigative reporting on Spotlight.

  • keano10

    Mick,

    Having watched the programme last night, I would argue that it’s main ‘revelation’ was the accusation that Winston “Winkie” Irvine is the current commander of The North Belfast UVF even though he is a serving member of The Policing Board. The clear implication was that Irvine’s unit of the UVF have been actively involved in organising protests and causing violence throughout the past year.

    The most damning testimony cam from the rather brave lady whose nephew had been murdered by the UVF. She claimed that local people within loyalist areas of North Belfast were afraid to contact the police about UVF intimidation because it’s local commander has been co-opted on to the Policing Board!

    Got a feeling that both the PSNI and Theresa Villiers are going to come under increasing pressure in relation to

  • Turgon

    FJH and keano10 make very valid points. In many ways I would argue this acceptance of loyalist (and republican) terrorists as long as they only terrorise their “own” side and commit “ordinary” crimes was the basic lie on which the so called peace prcoess was built.

    I have been going on about this sort of thing for years and frequenlty have been castigated by assorted people for it.

    Two points in addition to the above I would make:

    It was claimed that church ministers are close to terrorists. That is unacceptable and when we have various religious letsgetalongerists complaining that the terrorists do not get enough credit or that many religious people condemn terrorists it must be remembered that it seems some of those religious people are seen by the working class unionist community as in the back pocket of the terrorists.

    Next time we are told how Christians should reach out and recognise the hurt etc. of the ex priosners the above should be pointed out. It is clearly a Christain duty to reach out to all people but as people not as members of criminal terrorist organisations which continue to cause the most appaling suffering in their own communities.

    The second point is that the allegations demonstrate the utter hypocrisy of the PUP claiming by times not to be the political wing of the UVF. Specifically Dr John Kyle who continually denies he knows anything about the UVF should be called on his hypocrisy. If he knows so little about the UVF why does he not try asking his fellow senior PUP member Mr. Irvine. If there is even the slightest truth in the Spotlight allegations Kyle should have resigned long ago.

    Finally I spent many months noting the hypocrisy of the likes of Dawn Purvis when she was PUP leader denying any knowledge of the UVF, staying with the organisation for so many murders and finally resigning after the last one. I got vast grief for it on slugger at the time. I await any of my critics noting that I was right.

  • Son of Strongbow

    One of the many distasteful out workings of the GFA is the predominance amongst quangos and other publicly funded bodies ( the ubiquitous ‘community worker) of ‘ex-combatants.

    They are paid, quite literally, to keep the peace. I expect if the dissidents were given the opportunity to dip their mits in the dosh-pot they too would jump at it.

    I expect the baleful presence of these types do drive decent folks away from participating and certainly the police are no doubt told to defer to them.

    How often have we heard the police asking for ‘community activists’ to deal with issues in response to criminal incidents?

    We are where we are and as even the mildest actions by police against criminals is met with pickets and murmurings about ‘threats to the peace process’ we ain’t going anywhere else.

  • carl marks

    Turgon

    “I have been going on about this sort of thing for years and frequenlty have been castigated by assorted people for it.

    Two points in addition to the above I would make:

    It was claimed that church ministers are close to terrorists. That is unacceptable and when we have various religious letsgetalongerists complaining that the terrorists do not get enough credit or that many religious people condemn terrorists it must be remembered that it seems some of those religious people are seen by the working class unionist community as in the back pocket of the terrorists.
    I have asked you this before and got no answer, but here we go again;
    How do you square this belief and the obvious contempt you have for those who give terrorists the time with belonging to a party with a leader who goes along to protests organised and attended by terrorists and stands with the leadership of a gang of sectarian criminal’s as they break the law at an illegal protest.
    Seriously if you want us to accept what you say about your righteous attitude to lawbreakers and those who deal with them, Then you will have to explain this seeming contradiction or you will just be placed in the “Beam, Mote, eye” category.

  • Barney

    Turgon wrote

    “It is clearly a Christain duty to reach out to all people but as people not as members of criminal terrorist organisations which continue to cause the most appaling suffering in their own communities.”

    Is it a christian duty to tell people to “Go down South” when you disagree with them?

  • Barney

    Carl

    I think its an entire log that needs to be removed from that gentleman’s eye.

  • Turgon

    carl marks and Barney,
    Well you could try googling my name, slugger o’toole and loyalists and see the assorted articles I have written over the last 8 years about the loyalist terrorists.

  • carl marks

    Turgon (

    Yes,yes,yes no doubt you have, but you avoided answering my question!
    Now care to explain how you with such high principals can belong to a party that deals with loyalist terrorists while you condemn others for the same thing.

  • cynic2

    When there’s votes to be mined the DUP will fight for theirsuns even if they are robbers, drug dealers and scum bags who oppress their own communities and shoot down young women in faction fights.

    They will of course appear on TV (taking out onion) to deplore this terrible or that ‘terrible incident’ while quietly channeling money to ‘community groups’ and front organisations just as SF do.for theirsuns.

  • Turgon

    carl marks,
    I am a member of no political party.

  • SK

    “I have asked you this before and got no answer, but here we go again;
    How do you square this belief and the obvious contempt you have for those who give terrorists the time with belonging to a party with a leader who goes along to protests organised and attended by terrorists and stands with the leadership of a gang of sectarian criminal’s as they break the law at an illegal protest.”

    ____

    A question I asked of him on another thread only to be met with silence.

  • carl marks

    Turgon

    I’m sorry my bad,

    Then you will have no trouble condemning Jim Alistair for standing beside loyalist terrorists and supporting them in an illegal parade, I’m sure the hypocrisy and lack of morality disturbs you.
    Only I have never read any post from you doing this but have read many condemning Do-gooder’s etc., and I’m sure you will want to set the record right.
    Now let me check, nope don’t think I left any wriggle room there, seems quite simple!

  • Turgon

    carl marks,
    I am not here for you to demand whatever answers you want to third parties actions. I utterly oppose the UVF and UDA. I did not attend the UVF commemeration and was appaled that the current UVF seem to have been in charge of the event. I do not know what role Jim Allister or any of the other politicians present had nor what they supported or did not support. Why not ask them.

  • Broad agreement here.
    David Ervine…and I wasn’t and am not a fan….only expresses an old truth about paramilitaries.
    Was it really that different in Kansas and Missouri in 1865 when some of Quantrills men went back to their farms and some went along with the new order and some went on to be (allegedly) social bandits holding up trains.
    Jesse James as a drug dealer in East Belfast.
    Or UVF as train robbers in the Wild West.
    Sinn Fein have done well out of the Troubles. There is a good little pension scheme going for the Boys and Girls of the Old Brigade from Special Advisors to inter-changeable council seats, advice centres and a lot of “community workers”.
    Of course some of the old-timers quietly retire and want nothing to do with it except grumble that a few people who did nothing are driving big cars.
    and some…the dissidents have opted out of it all.
    But State players like RUC and the like have also a nice little pension fund going. From my perspective they were bought off at too high a price.
    Of course some widows and others will see it differently.
    It was all for….nothing.
    Yet nobody from the IRA Army Council or Special Branch (and while I see it as balance and others wont) will face prosecution for anything that happened before. Thats a simple fact.
    The Election results legitimise SF-IRA….you may not like it but its a fact.
    And State legitimises the security forces….whether I like it or not.

    UVF are “different”. They are on their own. No Patron. And the ambivalence of some unionist politicians irritates non-unionists, some unionists and maybe even UVF themselves.
    But they need not worry.
    They are as untouchable as the IRA and Security Forces.
    But no historic legitimacy or retrospective legitimacy….rightly or wrongly …can be claimed.
    It is a shambles and a farce.
    Three months ago I sat thru a lecture …part of An Feile….where a parade of ex-combatants….in a Catholic Church Hall in West Belfast went thru a “poor me ritual”,
    As a close relative of a Catholic chaplain at the Maze/Long Kesh…who in earlier days had been instrumental in setting up the new parish in which these ex combatants were spoofing….I found it all very offensive.
    I was shocked that at least two Catholic priests in the audience did not speak up. Not least because the church is dedicated to St Oliver Plunkett (look him up if you dont know).
    Yet the theme of the Lecture….Conflict Resolution…..was that these spoofers should be listened to.
    As the SDLP found in the 1970s….there is no gratitude.
    As the chaplains found….no gratitude.
    As the letsgetalongerist churchy Presbyterian ministers will find….no gratitude.
    As the Conflict Resolutionists feeling the “pain and trauma” will find…No gratitude.
    The definining characteristic of the organised ex combatants is Entitlement/Ingratitude.
    We have surely already gone too far in placating the Past to effectively deal with it…..or to deal with the threat posed to the Peace Process in North Belfast or criminal activity in East Belfast.

    There are no more options.

  • SK

    Weasel words, Turgon, and they put your previous sanctimony firmly into perspective.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    The issue is this if the psni go into west or north Belfast and start making sweeping arrest’s of uvf or others, then the question is going to be asked why are they not going into deepest darkest south Armagh to do the same thing with the organized gangs of republican criminals???

    And be under no illusion there is a cabal of loyalists who are in cahoots with main stream republicans in both north and west Belfast who are carving up and at times running joint scams to line their own pockets.

    But to arrest these people will be detrimental the peace process, well that is what we will be told.

  • carl marks

    Turgon (profile)

    30 October 2013 at 1:34 pm

    “carl marks,
    I am not here for you to demand whatever answers you want to third parties actions. I utterly oppose the UVF and UDA. I did not attend the UVF commemeration and was appaled that the current UVF seem to have been in charge of the event. I do not know what role Jim Allister or any of the other politicians present had nor what they supported or did not support. Why not ask them.”

    So you cannot find it in yourself to condemn the leader of the TUV having links with terrorists saying I should ask him to explain his actions, that not being you concern , however you have no problem condemning others (seemingly they concern you) I’m afraid it’s the Beam, Mote, Eye box for you .
    I am sorry but your failure to apply your high moral indignity evenly, means it can be dismissed as the words of someone more interested in scoring cheap political points than they are in actual morality.
    I left no wriggle room I meant it.

  • carl marks

    Oh and by the way i was talking mainly about Jims appearance at Twaddle beside Billy Hutchinson, but thanks for reminding me about the many UVF parades he has been silent about.

  • Alias

    “So you cannot find it in yourself to condemn the leader of the TUV having links with terrorists…” – carl marks

    You’re being reckless in making serious allegations of that sort against a prominent legal eagle.

    Also, if you had of asked Turgon politely, rather than in a bullying and accusatory manner, you’d probably have had your answer by now.

  • carl marks

    ArdoyneUnionist

    Maybe I have got it wrong, but do you not support “these People” do you not support Camp Twat, Have you not expressed support for the Fleg protests organised by “these people”.

  • carl marks

    Alias (profile)

    30 October 2013 at 2:32 pm

    “So you cannot find it in yourself to condemn the leader of the TUV having links with terrorists…” – carl marks

    You’re being reckless in making serious allegations of that sort against a prominent legal eagle.

    Also, if you had of asked Turgon politely, rather than in a bullying and accusatory manner, you’d probably have had your answer by now.
    Very Good, Jim wasn’t in a photo with Billy at Camp twat, and turgon is not cornered and I’m just being rude.
    FYI turgon has been asked many times this question by politer people than me and still refused to answer.

  • Carrickmoreman

    “Yet nobody from the IRA Army Council or Special Branch (and while I see it as balance and others wont) will face prosecution for anything that happened before. Thats a simple fact.”

    I think you’re really speaking about a couple of the really high up PIRA dogs, but there was someone recently brought up on membership charges who would fit that bill.

  • ThomasMourne

    To return to the original issue – surely the local residents of loyalist ghettos must either fully support their paramilitary ‘masters’ or they must get together to remove their influence.

    In a supposedly civilised western country, how can anyone concur with the glorification of violence as exemplified by the flags, murals, memorials, plaques, etc on the Lower Newtownards Road.

    These things are an affront to ordinary decency, never mind Christian values.

  • @fjh,

    The James-Younger Gang only robbed two trains; most of their criminal career was spent robbing banks. The James Gang does have something in common with dissident republicans and loyalists, but I believe they have more in common with republicans. The James Gang had an number of sympathetic newspapermen, both editors and ordinary journalists, reporting and spinning for them from 1869 to 1876 all in the name of the glorious lost cause. Sound familiar? Read reviews of the new Kelly book in republican newspapers and see if they aren’t similar to the sort of coverage that the James brothers and Younger brothers got.

  • carl marks

    ThomasMourne

    Surely the blind eye to the actions of “Respectable” politician’s in sharing platforms and ignoring the actions of the UVF while managing to be most vocal about say Church ministers or politician’s they disapprove off, is what this thread is about.
    It is not only the PSANI and the governments who give the UVF a free hand it is also unionist politicians and many commenters on this site seem to be of the opinion that this is acceptable, they certainly don’t believe it to be worth their indignation, does this attitude which is common among unionism not maybe be something to do with why it is so hard to get rid of these thugs.
    I’m afraid you cannot put all the work on the people who live under the thumb of the UVF the rest of unionism has a responsibility to act as well. That means not standing beside them when hey break the law and condemning those who stand with them when they break the law.

  • Sp12

    “Also, if you had of asked Turgon politely, rather than in a bullying and accusatory manner, you’d probably have had your answer by now.”

    No he wouldn’t have.

  • carl marks

    Yellow card Mick,
    care ot explain.
    I asked a reasonable question and got no answer and i am not the only one who has asked this question and not been answered!

  • between the bridges

    Just wondering how anyone can call for unionists to stop engaging with paramilitary’s and still expect them to engage with SF/IRA…

  • Morpheus

    For goodness sake BtB, grow up and change the record. SF have a mandate and have been voted into power in elections. Deal with it.

  • carl marks

    BTB
    Unionists would not engage with SF while the IRA was active, they protest about a republican parade in Castlederg but say nothing about UVF parades, and if SF was involved in the activity’s(flegs, camp twat, etc) that the PUP are then unionists would have walked out long ago.
    And need I point out its loyalist areas that are suffering most from the criminal activities of the UVF, so if unionist politician give a dam about the loyalist people they would be facing these gansters down not standing beside them!

  • babyface finlayson

    ThomasMourne
    “surely the local residents of loyalist ghettos must either fully support their paramilitary ‘masters’ or they must get together to remove their influence.”
    Sadly that only happens in old westerns, where the townsfolk finally unite to drive out the villain.
    I can’t remember any occassion when that has happened here.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Intimidation and attacks (and murder) are a matter for the police.

    The complication here, which makes things especially shocking, is that the people who are allegedly organizing the intimidation and attacks are sitting on the bodies holding the police to account. The PCSPs hold private sessions which are not open to the public, and it stands to reason that during these sessions sensitive information relating to policing strategy or tactics could be made available to these people.

    Whataboutery doesn’t quite apply here. Dissident republicans boycott the PCSPs and the police. Dissident loyalists apparently do not.

  • Comrade Stalin

    btb

    Just wondering how anyone can call for unionists to stop engaging with paramilitary’s and still expect them to engage with SF/IRA…

    Sinn Féin has a mandate and is (as far as anyone can reasonably tell) committed to exclusively peaceful and democratic means. There are problems about the past, but they’re not murdering or intimidating in the present.

    The UVF has no mandate, is not committed to exclusively peaceful and democratic means, and is active in criminality and intimidation. Nigel Dodds stands shoulder to shoulder with the people who are murdering his constituents, and apparently this isn’t a problem.

  • Morpheus

    Don’t forgot The Full Nelson and the rest of the Belfast OO’s top brass standing shoulder to shoulder with the UVF Commander of B company on Spotlight. What a telling image.

  • between the bridges

    Ah right i get it now ,so for the UVF to be ‘acceptable paramilitary’s’ PUL need to do what CNR do and vote for them… as for me growing up will that make me realise that suddenly the PIRA stopped all criminal activities?!! lmfao.
    Imho there is no differnce (well apart from the slick PR machine) between the UVF/UDA and SF/IRA…

  • Comrade Stalin

    btb,

    Stop being a dick. The UVF would be acceptable if they gave up violence for good. That’s all.

    And yes, the UVF have been rejected by the electorate. Which begs the question as to why they spend so much time in the company of the local MLAs, MP and the Orange Order.

  • between the bridges

    CS i gave my opinion if you don’t like it tough titty, anyway there are plenty of non elected IRA members cosying up to MLA’s, MP’s and GAA. I would much prefer all elected representatives would have nothing to do with any paramilitaries but that would mean and end to SF…

  • Charles_Gould

    There isn’t any such thing as an acceptable private army.

  • between the bridges

    an*

  • between the bridges

    Charles all the alphabet groups of thugs would love to be referred to as an army rather than the criminals they actually are…

  • Morpheus

    BtB, one of the telling differences is that SF have absolutely no problems slamming these dissidents for being the knuckle-draggers they are. They are hated in dissident circles and our DFM has recently received death threats from them because SF have quite rightly put a lot of distance between themselves and the extremists at every turn.

    Now, let’s take a look at the fleggers, UVF activity and the deafening silence from political unionism. You see any distance being put between them and the extremists?

  • carl marks

    BTB
    Here’s an Idea if the UVF/PUP where to give up violence, drug dealing, prostitution, protection etc. then maybe people might vote for them. Obviously the people who live in loyalist areas are taking the only protest that is safe, the Ballot Box.
    Can’t blame them since it takes a lot of guts to tell a gang member he’s not wanted if you live in an area controlled by his gang

  • Charles_Gould

    “Fleggers” as they are called are surely noncomparable to dissidents? One is protesting about a flag the other is killing people.

  • Comrade Stalin

    CS i gave my opinion if you don’t like it tough titty

    Your opinion is the usual recycled whataboutery. You are trying to make excuses for the UVF by drawing parallels that don’t exist.

    anyway there are plenty of non elected IRA members cosying up to MLA’s, MP’s and GAA.

    Can’t you read ? I don’t care whether they are elected or not provided they’ve given up violence. What’s the problem with that ? We rightly expect the IRA to have given up violence – why can the same expectation not apply to the UVF ?

    I would much prefer all elected representatives would have nothing to do with any paramilitaries but that would mean and end to SF…

    Then how about we simply agree that elected representatives should have nothing to do with active paramilitaries who are actively shooting and murdering people ?

  • Morpheus

    ““Fleggers” as they are called are surely noncomparable to dissidents? One is protesting about a flag the other is killing people.”

    Tell that to our elected officials who got death threats and bullets in the post or the police officer who was nearly burned alive.

  • carl marks

    Charles_Gould

    Well they(the fleg protesters) have tried to kill people, and the thread is about the UVF, organising flag protest’s is only a part of the things they get up to, murder(including an attempted murder of a young girl a few weeks ago) is something they have a reputation for, along with a wide range of criminal ventures.

  • DC

    do you think the PUP breaking all uvf links would help on the violence, drug dealing and criminality front etc?

  • Charles_Gould

    “Well they (the fleg protesters) have tried to kill people”

    Who did they attempt to murder, out of interest?

  • Charles_Gould

    Comrade Stalin

    Do you think Hume was wrong to engage in Hume-Adams? (Just out of curiosity – as it violates your dictum above).

  • between the bridges

    CM do you really think the IRA gave up all it’s criminal activity?

    CS ”trying to make excuses for the UVF by drawing parallels that don’t exist.” really so comparing terrorists with terrorists is not allowed, gee thanks for that info…

  • carl marks

    they tried to burn a police officer to death as she sat in her car outside Niomi Longs office on guard duty,and i think throwing petrol bombs and big lumps of metal and stone at police counts as well.

  • Charles_Gould

    Thanks Carl Marks, I had forgotten about that. You have a valid point. The people who tried to kill that police officer are no better than the dissidents.

  • carl marks

    between the bridges (profile)

    30 October 2013 at 10:28 pm

    CM do you really think the IRA gave up all it’s criminal activity?

    No i think members of the now disbanded grouping called the IRA are still involved in crime, if you of course have any evidence(evidence has to be more than “a man in the pub told me”) that the IRA still exists and is involved in organised crime then you must bring it to the police.
    Now enough of the whataboutry, we are talking about a active terror/criminal group making many people (mainly loyalist) lives miserable and you care so little about “your people” that you try to divert attention from them by shouting themmuns.

  • DC

    David Ford is currently ‘conflict transformationing’ in his role as justice minister working to a former terrorist, the former terrorist wont let him extend the powers of the national crime agency into northern ireland which could cost lives too.

    but, that’s conflict transformation for you!

  • Morpheus

    Extending the powers of the NCA is simple DC – make them accountable to the Policing Board so they are accountable. In a week when we have had ‘earth-shattering revelations’ of collusion I don’t think an unaccountable ‘secret’ security service (which sounds like Special Branch and army intelligence rolled into one) is advisable, do you?

  • carl marks

    DC
    Very interesting, got anything to say about the UVF/PUP criminal strngle hold on loyalist areas, perhaps your lost and that post was meant for another thread dealing with ford of the DFM this one is about Loyalists.

  • DC

    Yeah i do have advice.

    give winston £25 million and he will make the uvf go away.

  • DC

    or sorry was it £26.5 million?

  • carl marks

    Charles_Gould (profile)

    30 October 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Comrade Stalin

    Do you think Hume was wrong to engage in Hume-Adams? (Just out of curiosity – as it violates your dictum above).

    Charles I think the difference is that Hume was engaging with Adams to get the Shinners to give up the violence. Unionist politicians are standing beside and giving support to the UVF/PUP as they continue to break the law.

  • Charles_Gould

    CM: do you think it ok for a politician to talk to terrorists if and only if they are trying to stop the violence?

  • Charles_Gould

    David Ford needs to apply more pressure in the Executive on integrated education and housing.

  • carl marks

    DC
    Yeah i do have advice.

    “give winston £25 million and he will make the uvf go away.”
    Brilliant, irrelevant whataboutry mixed with a request for money (not to mention the admission that someone on the policing board has control over a terror group) I would imagine that would be about right for a UVF( sorry Loyalist community worker)grant application.
    I find it quite amazing that so called loyalists have so little concern for their own people that they would prefer to bring up completely irrelevant points about the other side than face something that is doing so much damage to their community

  • carl marks

    Charles_Gould (profile)

    30 October 2013 at 11:38 pm

    David Ford needs to apply more pressure in the Executive on integrated education and housing.

    I am in full agreement, but this is about the loyalists and dont let them devert it.

  • DC

    well carl don’t ask for my views then if you find them to be ‘whataboutery’. i was trying to be helpful. and you throw it back in my face.

    you’re lucky this isn’t a saturday night!

  • carl marks

    Charles_Gould (profile)

    30 October 2013 at 11:36 pm

    CM: do you think it ok for a politician to talk to terrorists if and only if they are trying to stop the violence?

    Yes I most certainly do, I supported Hume and I would support anyone talking to loyalists or dissidents to stop violence, but I have not seem unionist politicians do this with the loyalists, in the main they either pretend they don’t exist or support them by appearing beside during illegal protests and being apologists for them when they riot in the streets.
    Hume done neither.

  • Charles_Gould

    I think it is good if the BBC is exposing the UVF.

    Turgon makes a good point as to why politicians in PUP don’t research as to whether there are links with UVF rather than saying they don’t know about such.

  • carl marks

    DC
    less of the mopery,you chose to ignore loyalist violence and have chosen to be flippant, by the way this is a debate you will find that word in the same section of the dictionary as democracy look it up. as a matter of fact look both up!

  • Charles_Gould

    That said, I have found the actual statements made by PUP to be progressive in their politics. So it then proves to be frustrating to be told the PUP still has actual links with terrorist organisations.

  • Gopher

    As usual the problem involves first the “adversary and second the means to destroy him”. Unfortunately there is no collective political or community will “to accept all the consequences”

    To take out organisations effectively without causing widespread strife to the wider community new and sweeping powers would need to be introduced which would make that National crime agency just the tip of the iceberg and drugs would probably need to be legalized. We know there is absolutely no consensus for any effective measures. So basically this thread is pointless. Shock horror criminals get away with murder in Northern Ireland. I wonder whose fault that is.

  • carl marks

    p

  • carl marks

    ant seem to find 30 odd posts on this thread, anybody know if slugger down?

  • Salvo

    The time is long overdue for the police service to tackle all forms of criminality. Credibility is hard to acquire but very easy to loose and the police service is putting itself needlessly under the microscope by not being seen taking the uvf on. One of those speaking on spotlight whos identity was witheld sounded remarkably like Jim Wilson, not just the actors voice but the vocabulary used.

  • carl marks

    Gopher
    Do we not already have laws to deal with organised crime, why do we need more?
    What we need is the police to do the job they are paid for, for unionist politicians to stop sharing platforms with these people and stopping attending protests organised by them of course that would leadership from unionists the lack of which is one of the root causes of the problem.
    Only when the political will inside unionism exists to tackle this blight will it be tackled but the “leadership “of unionism would rather follow the mob than lead the people!
    When the issue comes up we get equal doses self-righteous hypocrisy (condemning those they don’t approve of for talking to loyalists and ignoring those they approve of standing beside the same loyalists) and whataboutry with a little mopery thrown in, until this changes many many working class unionists will continue to have their lives run by gangsters.

  • megatron

    I live in south armagh and any idea that there is some continuing omerta / threatening behaviour by people is simply not true (well no more than it would be in dublin for example).

    You always put your life on the line if you testify against organised criminality and south armagh is no different. I think a big difference is there is none of the gangs representatives on the policing partnerships.

    I know this comment will be seen by some as crazy but that is truth from where I sit.

  • BarneyT

    Spotlight just about confirmed in my mind that its unlikely we will return to the past however the loyalist communities do not stand a chance of experiencing normalisation. If they are not being pulled provoked and goaded by the larger unionist parties they are being directly victimised by intracommunity terrorist activity. I worry for nationalist communities in Derry with respect to the justice being met out by the dissidents but I fear more for those in the loyalist communities as a result of the spotlight revelations ( to some). Why the uvf recruitment drive? Are they swelling the numbers for civil war or are we talking about a drug based pyramidesque sales model? Broaden the base and amass wealth and power at the apex. That will only entrench the uvf and their impact on their community. I predict serious in-fighting within loyalism either to capture territory or less likely fight back. Sad state and yes unionist politicians and I fear the police are complicit in my view. Fear is widespread. Bad times

  • BarneyT

    Complicit through lack of direct action

  • IJP

    FJH

    Some of the most thought-provoking stuff I’ve read on here for a while.

    We can’t deal with the past because we’ve spent too long placating those we would need to deal with?

    I’d love to be able to refute that…

  • IJP,
    Yes I said there were no options. We are all creatures of the Peace Process. And we were sold Creative Ambiguity.
    It seems that the Alliance Party are under very real threat, especially in East Belfast, up to and including their lives.
    We are told that in North Belfast, a man with current paramilitary connexions is on the Policing Partnership for the area.
    Is the Minister for Justice (Mr Ford) going to do anything?
    Indeed…CAN he do anything?

    Or is he a bigger creature of the Peace Process…effectively be holding to the DUP and SF than the rest of us.
    I said there were no options and that the whole of the Peace Process, Stormont institutions are a farce, especially in the pre-Conflict zone we now are.
    But nobody…and I include UUP and SDLP…will do anything.
    But in this instance…Ford….was he even interviewed on Spotlight….seems best placed to do something.
    1…either ask questions (no doubt he is doing so privately) publicly and directly about East Belfast and the North Belfast individual.
    Or.
    2….resign.

    With the likelihood of voting at next Assembly around 50% and a seeming apathy about getting on new register, ANY party advocating boycott….or group of parties standing on an abstention its ticket, would certainly find an audience.
    Yes certainly SF and DUP would be biggest parties but their vote would be at a level where legitimacy was in doubt and we would not have the sickening situation of journalists parroting the good news narrative.
    No Govt with a vote of 20%-30% could claim legitimacy.

    Seamus Mallon famously declared that the Good Friday Agreement was Sunningdale for Slow Learners.
    Wee might need a quarter of a century before another batch of politicians come up with the “Good Friday Agreement for even slower Learners”
    We might well congratulate the people who negotiated and signed the Agreement but after 1998, we can only hold the politicians in contempt.
    They implemented some, parked some and undermined some…the key Stage 2.
    The Conflict Resolutionists cant be allowed to make up a Stage 3 of social engineering while too much of the original Agreement is in tatters.

    We cant have it both ways.

  • Morpheus

    Barney: “…the loyalist communities do not stand a chance of experiencing normalisation.”

    I think that this is a vital point Barney. The days of a Protestant state for a Protestant people are gone, never to return and realistically the future of Northern Ireland is one where Catholics are the largest group or, however likely or unlikely it may be, a united Ireland. From speaking to a staunch NI Loyalist recently it would appear that both scenarios are equally abhorrent so what is loyalism to do?

  • cynic2

    “The days of a Protestant state for a Protestant people are gone”

    Were they ever a reality. It was always a Protestant State for the benefit of a few at Stormont and in the UUP

    (Doffs cap in respect)

  • Charles_Gould

    The Catholic state needs to be whittled now so it is gone (education north and south).

  • RegisterForThisSite

    “The Catholic state needs to be whittled now so it is gone (education north and south).”

    Indeed Charles, now read the comment posted above your one and tell us exactly what needs to be whittled away, sounds like you Cynic and Nesbitt actually mean that’s high time nationalists (Catholics) began learning the unionist version of history, stop playing Gaelic games and stop learning their leprechaun language.

  • Morpheus

    What is the problem with a Catholic education Charles? I know that rumor has it that it turns the recipients into mass-going, Irish-speaking, GAA-playing, SF-voting, Celtic-supporting automatons but, as a graduate of a Catholic education, I am a Liverpool-supporting, Alliance-voting individual who doesn’t know a word of Irish, hasn’t been to mass in years and has never voted SF in his life. By the by, I am happily married to a beautiful British lady who graced me with children who have a full appreciation of their British and Irish roots. Go figure eh?

  • Charles_Gould

    Morph – the problem is it separates people from others. Divisive.

  • Charles_Gould

    RegisterForThisSite

    I am talking about the south.

  • Charles_Gould

    The Catholic church still controls what 92% of schools…..education is the duty of the state……the model has to change.

  • Seamuscamp

    “..education is the duty of the state…the model has to change”

    You reject the British model then?

  • RegisterForThisSite

    “education is the duty of the state”

    Well Charles there is every possibility that Sinn Fein will be in Government in IReland sometime over the next decade or two and also be the largest party in Stormont during the same time.

    Can you just confirm that you are happy for them to name every school after an IRA volunteer, only have Gaelic games and teach through the medium of Irish, possibly start the day with a chorus of the “Broad Black Brimmer”

    With everyone North and South been educated in that manner there would be no division then.

    Personally, I’m a fan of faith schools, church schools, free schools etc all with an amount of freedom in teaching as long as they reach the end result of churning out well educated, well adjusted young adults.

    PS
    If you think my little fantasy vignette for a Sinn Fein ‘State’ education is far-fetched what do you think people like Nesbit and Robinson have in mind for nationalist kids when they talk about integrated education, me, I’m fairly sure it doesn’t involve calling historical Irish people anything but terrorists and criminals for opposing mother England, doesn’t include the Irish language or gaelic games.

  • Charles_Gould

    So you’re *happy* to have 92% of schools being Catholic-run?

    Its the duty of the state to run a system that does not exclude – or divide.

  • tacapall

    What is there for you to worry about Charles concerning who runs the schools in the future, in fact, does this preposed legislation, which will be passed, not also answer the worries of those with a British identity in a future unified Ireland. Although certain religious groups are going to have to change their ways or they are going to be put out of buisness.

    The future –

    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/libe/dv/11_revframework_statute_/11_revframework_statute_en.pdf