NIO kid-glove treatment of UDA loyalist terrorists disgraceful
"Those within loyalism who refuse to move away from criminality have absolutely nothing to offer their own community or anyone else. I would urge anyone with information on this deplorable incident to contact the police."
That's the sum total of the response from the British administration here to the events in Carrickfergus last Saturday night.
Now, do you not think that was to say the least a trifle muted considering a policeman had been shot in the back, 150 thugs had taken over a street in the town, converged on a particular house, then confronted a large number of police in riot gear?
Elsewhere, police stopped a carload of heavies carrying the accoutrements for doing a serious degree of grievous bodily harm.
Suppose that series of events had happened in Wythenshawe and Sale East, the English constituency of the man who is amusingly referred to on no constitutional grounds whatever, as 'security minister'?
Do you think the home secretary might have said something?
You might think that the events in Carrickfergus were serious enough for an appearance by our new proconsul but then he was jet-lagged from swanning around New York.
Maybe the 'security minister' was absent too in England and it was one of the thousands of NIO press officers who concocted the shamelessly inadequate boilerplate statement reeking of emptiness and cynicism. All the minister had to do was OK it. Look, no hands.
Whoever advised our 'security minister' that the off-hand sigh of official boredom he exhaled on Saturday night was all he needed to do betrayed absolutely accurately the NIO attitude to loyalism in general but to the UDA in particular.
The UDA is the NIO's favourite terrorist gang – not declared illegal until the dying days of the Troubles in 1992 after they'd killed about 370 people. It's now an accepted fact that the British administration developed and sustained the UDA as a classic counter-gang acting as the state's proxy killers so they couldn't crack down on them.
If they had done, they would have had to create another murder gang and it is always a case of the devil you know.
Still, you would think the relevant minister should by now at least have sounded as if he could take the murderous activities of the UDA seriously.
The snag is that the UDA got used to being treated with kid gloves and takes great offence at attempts to push it off the stage.
So, instead of trying to round its members up the NIO continues to treat them with kid gloves.
In one of the most scandalous uses of public money in the north, and that's saying something, successive proconsuls have been advised to try to bribe the UDA out of racketeering and extortion.
It's tantamount to saying, look lads, you don't have to batten on the local shops and building industry, we'll just give you the same amount of money out of public funds, but just stop shooting and thumping people.
As a result, we have the ludicrous attempt to manufacture a 'good' UDA with a front called the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG), which does no research and is a political joke.
But the deal is they have to wear suits and condemn violence to get the money.
Listen to this hogwash about Saturday night from their spokesman: "The UPRG would, on behalf of all people in our community, totally condemn the criminal acts last night by a minority of people who carried out intimidation against people in the Larne and Carrickfergus areas and shot a policeman in the back."
Sounds great, doesn't it?
Except the risible UPRG can't speak on behalf of anyone except the UDA and they don't mention it was their 'good' UDA who descended on Carrickfergus to defend their newly appointed 'brigadier' agin the bad UDA who were trying to oust him – and note the 'would' in the statement.
In fact the UPRG nonsense dovetails precisely with the 'security minister's' garbage.
In his statement he implies that if the UDA 'move away from', not give up, criminality, they have something to offer their community.
Disgraceful – the UDA should get rid of its weapons and disband but then the 'security minister' can't say, "we don't need you any more".
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