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No tactics, no strategy, so what’s the point? April 8, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

An excellent article in the Newsletter from Alex Kane which really cuts to the heart of things as regards the events we’ve seen in recent nights. Discussing the rioting he notes that none of it will have any impact on the protocol or the fate of the Chief Constable of the PSNI.

And he asks:

Or was it something more deep-rooted than that: a growing sense across and within the loyalist communities (loyalism has always been heterogeneous, by the way, which may explain why it has so many kinds of paramilitary groups) that they had been left behind, with precious little to show in the way of tangible socio/economic/educational/employment et al benefits?

If that is true, then where should the finger of blame be pointed? Is it the fault of Sinn Fein and the SDLP that the rates of educational underachievement are higher in loyalist areas than elsewhere? Is it the fault of republicanism that unemployment rates are often higher in loyalist areas than elsewhere? Is it the fault of the Irish government that loyalist paramilitary groups are recruiting, while also knee deep in criminal activity?

He asks is it the fault of the GFA/BA that unionists are now a minority in the Assembly, or that ‘a significant number of voters who once voted for unionist parties have now shifted to Alliance?’

He points to loyalism being failed by mainstream unionism – rolled out to play a certain part, and then quickly sidelined when it becomes inconvenient or unnecessary – this has happened time and time and time again. And he states flatly that “It will be left behind again once some sort of resolution is reached on the protocol (which will happen).”

His proposition? That loyalism does two key things. Firstly see more representatives of loyalism elected – secondly, break the link between paramilitarism and political loyalism. Few of us would disagree “that the voices and interests of tens of thousands of ordinary working class loyalists need to be heard”. Is it likely to happen as long as those working class loyalists allow the DUP to be their proxy? One has to think not. But if this is genuinely a time where matters are being reshaped, where even if unity isn’t a prospect immediately or for some time, it is clear that dynamics are in play and not merely on this island that will see future dispensations perhaps radically different from the present. Many would see it as vital that loyalists do contribute to ensuring that their voice is heard in those processes. 


1. deiseach - April 8, 2021

How did that get past Ben Lowry? Thanks for sharing, WbS, A really enlightening piece.

Liked by 1 person

2. yourcousin - April 8, 2021

As I’ve said before, the Newsletter is my favorite NI paper to read, even if I disagree with much of the content. Hands down Sam McBride, and Alex Kane are two of the best voices there. I would encourage folks to always make time for their work.

Liked by 1 person

Bagatelle's Unslaked Trysts - April 8, 2021

It has been interesting to observe Kane’s career and then to see how becoming a father has altered that trajectory.

The warmth and empathy evident in his article above is a stark contrast to the stony UUP party man he was during the 90s negotiations.


3. Bagatelle's Undifferentiated Thyroid - April 8, 2021

There’s the marching season and a centenary to celebrate. If the violence isn’t tamped down soon the conditions are ripe for it to fester and breakout the rest of the summer. In which case, only a matter of time until injuries and deaths ensue. The breach of the peace gate in Belfast last night does tend to presage that outcome. But remember, 3 years of murder and bombs by Loyalists did not get a reaction, it was the RUC murder of Sammy Devenney.

This forks the PSNI. They are going to have to act against the Loyalists rioting or forfeit credibility. The soft approach is grand if it’s followed up by early morning arrests of offenders. At some point though, consequence free rioting does make a total mockery of the police. I think how this plays out over the next week or two will be very revealing about Northern Ireland.

Liked by 1 person

Bagatelle's Undimished Tarsals - April 9, 2021

Water cannon deployed for the first time in 6 years. And dogs. Against the Nationalist side.

Today the PSNI is a href=”https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2021/04/09/news/psni-rules-out-loyalist-paramilitary-involvement-in-orchestrating-riots-2283547/’>contradicting MLA statements that Loyalist paramilitaries are orchestrating the riots. Not a stone’s throw from the strategies and tactics of the RUC in the bad old days.


Bagatelle's Until Then - April 9, 2021




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