Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Their Mother Must Be So Proud
"The UDA's ruling body, its 'inner council', issued a statement saying it had expelled a number of members in north Belfast, but did not name anyone.Meanwhile in the High Court Andre Shoukri has been refused bail on blackmail, intimidation and money laundering charges.
However, loyalist sources said those expelled include the two brothers."
I don't for a moment complain about the spotlight being firmly put over the nefarious activities of alleged "loyalist" terrorists. What I do object to is the celebrity status given to these hoods by certain sections of the local press. The UDA godfathers in Belfast have for too long been treated as if they are some sort of Al Capones in 1920's Chicago rather than profiteers of the back of a squalid little war. Highlighting "A" list lifestyles and using endearing aliases for the gang bosses (remember Dorris Day?) only creates an aura around these people that increases their allure.
Let's take a minute and update ourselves about the Ulster Defence Association.
The tenth report of the Independent Monitoring Commission at paragraph 2.27 makes interesting reading
"The picture of UDA paramilitary activity remains broadly the same in the three months from December. We believe that members of the UDA were responsible for the murder of Thomas Hollran on 18 February 2006 though we have no indication that the senior leadership of the organisation sanctioned his death. The UDA continues to act violently, undertaking both shootings and assaults. The organisation aspires to arm and equip itself. The UDA’s heavy involvement in crime, including drug dealing and blackmail, continues and in some parts of the organisation criminality can be described as endemic."The criminality of the type displayed by the UDA is turning Northern Ireland into a colder, wetter, badly dressed Sicily. Until such time that this threat is taken seriously by the entire commentariat no serious attempt will be make to remove it. And by serious attempt I don't mean golf with Mr Mary McAleese.