Tuesday, 21 July 2009

If the UDA cared about 'communities' it would go away.

Observers are wondering what exactly is happening within the UDA. Reports suggest that a split has developed between the paramilitary organisation’s north Antrim / County Londonderry members and those who belong to an ‘inner council’ based in Belfast. Last Thursday night, in the Waterside area of Derry, a ‘spontaneous’ march is said to have taken place organised by the ‘Ulster Political Research Group’ in the area.

The UPRG is considered either to be the ‘political wing’ of the UDA, or ‘closely connected’ to the terrorists, depending on the degree of Orwellian language that you are prepared to tolerate. Whichever description one favours, no political representatives have been elected under the group’s auspices.

It is widely supposed that the Belfast based UDA leadership is prepared to destroy its remaining illegally held weapons, whilst in north Antrim and County Londonderry, pivotal figures do not wish to disarm. Whether that disagreement has sprung from the implication, by some sources, that local UDA members were involved in the sectarian murder of Kevin McDaid or whether the scale of government bribery is not considered sufficient to justify renouncing crime, relevant UPRG branches have now withdrawn their support for power-sharing and for the PSNI.

Justifying the Londonderry march, spokesman David Malcolm (not, I presume, the Irish League referee), issued a statement sodden with self-pity.

‘Loyalism’ had been systematically ‘vilified’ and a ‘policing agenda’ is ‘set against’ loyalist communities’. “Loyalist communities have been disenfranchised, isolated and have received no benefits from the Good Friday Agreement”. ‘Mainstream unionism’ has failed to support ‘loyalist communities’ (yes it’s that phrase again). It’s almost enough to make one shed a tear.

I have no doubt that mainstream politicians charged with representing areas which are considered ‘loyalist’ are guilty by omission. One of the most serious omissions is failing to combat the cancerous affect of paramilitarism. Whatever influence these people have established in communities that they now presume to represent has been built up through fear, intimidation and crime.

When the UPRG / UDA talk about funding and initiatives they envisage projects which they are involved in and which they will benefit from. They see themselves as conduits between the so called ’community’ and the government. But communities cannot be nurtured by underpinning the authority of their worst criminal elements. Where else in the UK would government agencies turn to an area’s gangsters, murderers and thugs to oversee its regeneration?

If ‘loyalism’ has been vilified it is because ‘loyalism’ is assumed to be intimately connected with vicious sectarian groups like the UDA and UVF. If ’loyalism’ is assumed to be intimately connected with vicious sectarian groups like the UDA and UVF it is because those groups have acted as self-appointed arbiters of communities which are considered ‘loyalist’. If the ’policing agenda’ is ’set against’ ‘loyalist’ areas, it is because paramilitaries have rooted themselves in those areas so deeply that they have become synonymous with the groups.

Whichever way you care to balance the equation, the organisations are the core of the problem, not part of the solution.

If the UDA has any genuine concern for the communities which it claims to represent, it should immediately disarm, disband and disappear. It is not wanted, in any capacity, by any thinking person. It has held those communities back and it is often the reason that they are not flourishing.

Apologies for the number of inverted commas but they seem the appropriate response to the lexicon applicable to the topic.

6 comments:

No Surrender said...

Watch yer back ttvol

Gary said...

No Surrender, get a life you muppet. 23:44 - should you not be in bed now or are you off out for some recreational rioting? What is ttvol? Nothing worse that Nokia speak from an uneducated tool. As for "No Surrender" besides the abhorrent murders Loyalists have carried out in the name of a united Ireland/Free Ulster, and their wanton destruction of the "communities" they came from, there is nothing that rattles my cage more than the hijacking of the Union Flag, the Government of Northern Ireland Flag and the historical term "No Surrender" It also grates me the term "Loyal" and "Loyalist" are synonymous with the savagery of these people. These cretins are as filthy as their republican counterparts.

Interested said...

But without Loyalists and their guns how would unionism ensure repartition in the event of a border poll going wrong?

Anonymous said...

Interested or just uninteresting?? The latter I'd say.

The Oracle said...

Some points to clarify.

1. There is no split within the UDA or the UPRG and that has been clearly stated at all levels.

2. The UPRG is not a Political Party therefore does not contest elections.

3. The UPRG was formed to "Provide Political analysis to the Ulster Defence Association & Represent Grass Roots Communities where the UDA has historically drawn support" It has given analysis to the 2 Governments in the past and also other NI Political Parties when called on to do so.

4. All 5 Brigade areas (South East Antrim are no longer part of the mainstream)have decommisioned parts of their arsenal- Including North Antrim/Derry.

5. 4 of the 10 people in prison currently in relation to the Kevin McDaid case are affiliated to the UVF! The remainder are linked to the UDA because they belong to a Flute band in Coleraine who are supportive of the UDA.

6. The UPRG are the only group calling for a full public inquiry into Kevin McDaid's Death. Why would they be doing this if they had something to hide?

7. The UPRG in North Antrim/Derry have not asked for anything for themselves or the UDA, they have raised concerns that Loyalist grass roots communities have not seen the Peace dividend promised to all communities under the terms of the GFA - this is wrong and must be rectified if that community is to develop at the same rate as the rest of society.

8. David Malcolm of the UPRG is not the Premier League referee.
He has stood on the Interfaces night after night preventing trouble whilst people like you pour scorn on people like him. He has done more to help build confidence and capacity, has done more to build relationships with Nationalism, has done more to address contentious flags and parades than all the Politicians put together. He has managed to run a flags protocol in Derry that saw 671 flags removed from lamposts and intervened at the Diamond during every Loyal Parade in 2008 resulting in not a single incident or arrest.

9. in Derry over the past 7 years, 3 incidents were linked to Loyalists - all condemned by the UPRG, in the same time, 5 murders, 16 gun attacks and countless pipe bombs, hoax bombs, attacks on Police, intimidation, Bullets in post, massive drug seizures - all the work of Republicanism, mainstream and dissident. Not one gun attack or murder attributed to Loyalism in 7 years, yet they are the ones called terrorists?

10. Why should Loyalist disappear? are they not entitled to prosper in the new society that allows convicted terrorists to sit in Government? Do you belong to a Loyalist community? do you know that 95% of those living in grass Roots Loyalist Communities are fully supportive of these groups?

Disarm? Yes it will happen

Disband? Yes - thats is why Ulster Defence Union Flags are flying in Derry (See UDA Rememberence Day Statement of November 2007)

Disappear? NO! in an Equal society, All are welcome once they put the past behind them, Once the UVF and UDA do so then they and their communities should be treated exactly the same as Republican communities who supported the IRA were. The question should now be - is society willing to let these groups move on from the past!

Chekov said...

Thanks for the informed post Oracle. A few follow up points relating to your arguments.

2. The UPRG is not a Political Party therefore does not contest elections.

Like its sister organisation, the UDA, it does not have, nor does it even seek, a mandate to represent anyone.

4. All 5 Brigade areas (South East Antrim are no longer part of the mainstream)have decommisioned parts of their arsenal- Including North Antrim/Derry.

Ok. You'll have to forgive my ignorance here. Not part of the mainstream? What does that mean? Is it significantly different from a split?

5. 4 of the 10 people in prison currently in relation to the Kevin McDaid case are affiliated to the UVF! The remainder are linked to the UDA because they belong to a Flute band in Coleraine who are supportive of the UDA.

So 6/10 are linked in some respect to the UDA and 10/10 have links to loyalist paramilitaries. This, you'll find, is indicative of why most mainstream unionists want nothing to do with the organisations or their supporters.

they have raised concerns that Loyalist grass roots communities have not seen the Peace dividend promised to all communities under the terms of the GFA - this is wrong and must be rectified if that community is to develop at the same rate as the rest of society.

So who will decide if and when the peace dividend has been delivered? We are now in rather different financial times, but Northern Ireland has been lavished with money and has enjoyed tiny unemployment rates over the last number of years. Loyalists have not been precluded from enjoying those benefits.

Not one gun attack or murder attributed to Loyalism in 7 years, yet they are the ones called terrorists?

For that I'm sure we're all profoundly grateful but frankly, so what? Most of us aren't in illegal organisations and don't perpetrate any gun attacks or murders. Yes, Republicans violence is despicable too and is more prevalent. Loyalist groups hardly deserve congratulation for being less insidious than the other lot.

Why should Loyalist disappear?

Loyalist terror groups should disappear because of their blood stained past and paramilitary structures. It's really quite simple.

are they not entitled to prosper in the new society that allows convicted terrorists to sit in Government?

Nobody should be 'entitled' to prosper. Certainly nobody should be precluded from prosperity if they are prepared to play by society's rules.

Do you belong to a Loyalist community?

I live in one.

do you know that 95% of those living in grass Roots Loyalist Communities are fully supportive of these groups?

You've carried out a survey? I know that these groups presence is all-pervading in the areas and I know that it's not based on votes. It is disgraceful that many nationalists have given their votes to unrepentant murderers and it is equally disgraceful that anyone gives support to loyalist murderers / criminals.

Disband? Yes - thats is why Ulster Defence Union Flags are flying in Derry (See UDA Rememberence Day Statement of November 2007)

So from a bloody terrorist organisation to an organisation devoted to celebrating a bloody terrorist past? Not acceptable.

Once the UVF and UDA do so then they and their communities should be treated exactly the same as Republican communities who supported the IRA were. The question should now be - is society willing to let these groups move on from the past!

There is a difference between the organisations and the individuals / communities from which they drew. Obviously there is a bad precedent in terms of IRA / SF benefiting from their violence, but violent past should never be a passport to concessions in the future.