#SluggerReport – Can Loyalism come in from the cold, and what’s a Republican worth the name?

Had to decamp to the back garden for this one, and had a few disruptions, so it takes a wee while to get going…

Also this clip from last night’s The View in which Peter Sheridan and Sophie Long discuss how Loyalist paramilitarism can be made to go away…

Is there a subtle admission there that heretofore the authorities have been turning a blind eye to Loyalist criminality (no comments on that point unless you watch the whole thing please?)…

And finally Billy Hutchinson’s interview by Seamus McKee on Evening Extra last night:

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  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    The obvious question that hasn’t been asked let alone explored is: what is Loyalism, except for the Frankenstein’s monster created by big house unionism and led to its volatile apogee in Paisley’s heyday? Those that are still at the top of the hill that the Grand Old Duke of York marched them up seem to be waiting for some ‘rapture’ moment to extricate them from their self imposed dead end.

    Sophie’s message doesn’t address what the “routes out” & “opportunities” are, except for the inevitable extinction of the essence of Loyalism. After all working class unionism (Is there a difference?) is discreetly finding its own ‘routes out’. My feeling is the ‘identity’, which is felt and not fully articulated (except what they’re opposed to), is sufficiently class based that the obvious ‘route out’ into the aspirational bourgeoisie is one that will be mistrusted, but hey it IS very British.

    Now that we know that the SF is inextricably linked to paramilitarism and organised crime, criminal & non peaceful loyalism shares much common cause and interest. A smart move might be for self identified loyalists to apply en masse for membership of SF (like MI5’s infiltration of the RA), promote themselves to the Ard Chomhairle (if there are enough of them), wreck the bits of SF that they find distasteful and then they can rely on SF’s expertise in dealing with charges from state agencies about organised crime hiding behind a political front. Fantasy political football league stuff but I’m still struggling to envision what other alternatives are available.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you Ben, an interesting solution to a dead end situation which I’d have been proud to have posted. Bravo!

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    But it’s not a solution Seaan: not a realistic one anyway. But you may have guessed I was having fun again.

  • Robin Keogh

    I think he sussed that

  • chrisjones2

    “Can Loyalism come in from the cold?”

    For all Peter Sheridan, Billy Hutchinson’s and the whole of Quangoland’s efforts the simple answer is, no it cannot. Why? Well there are a few reasons.

    First is money. Loyalist organisations make their living living from crime. They extort, deal drugs, run prostitutes, rob and steal. Nothing in the real lawful world can deliver anything like the same living and most of Loyalisms leaders have little by way of education or transferable skills

    Second is leadership. Internally they are bereft of it. Being a good gang boss is not the best education for a life in legitimate business especially when your rivals will move in, kill you and take over at the first sign of weakness

    Third is leadership. Externally the DUP – who are closest to the UVF and what’s left of the UDA, are incapable of demonstrating community leadership. Many of them are regarded with contempt by loyalists as they waddle around in nice suits mouthing the platitudes of those whose natural working environments are the committee rooms of City Hall or the Hallowed Halls of Stormont.

    These creatures speak a different language. Sure they will help out with a DLA claim – or rather they have staff who will do that lest they stain their well manicured fingers with ink. And they will help slide through a wee grant application for the Lodge or some cack handed community project paying staff the minimum wage. But beyond that they have other fatter fish to fry.

    Above all most of them ave no inspiring vision of a brighter future and no real personal or political interest in moving their community on to a point when it might begin to develop – and begin to ask awkward questions that cant be answered by waving a flag and shouting “Look out …its themuns”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh Robin, and there was me thinking it was presaging a return to the glorious 1790s, where the United Boys were able to find someone representing every possible opinion (and were informed on and wrecked by their “broad” membership)……..