PARAMILITARY PEACE PROMISE ALL HOT AIR
THE absurdity of Monday’s announcement that loyalist paramilitaries are now fully supportive of the rule of law will not be lost on those who know the nature of the beasts.
Simply being a member of the UDA, Red Hand Commando or UVF is enough to put you behind bars for up to 10 years – not that anyone in authority seems to care. If we are to take ageing terror chiefs Jackie McDonald and Jim Wilson at face value you can expect to see the membership of these organisations dramtically decrease, because, according to Jackie, those involved in criminality are “masquerading as loyalists” and will be expelled. He’s said it before, yet the organisation he heads continues to be deeply involved in the drugs trade, extortion – of which Jackie is a bit of an expert – punishment attacks and putting people out of their homes.
There was an air of desperation about Monday’s announcement. The flow of cash from the public purse has continued, against the better judgement of many people who are rightly concerned at the over-indulgence of illegal organisations who have been too slow to move with the times. But there is now a real threat to the liberty of many of the men under McDonald’s command.
The paramilitary Crime Task Force has been slowly turning the screw, targeting the UDA’s criminal endeavours on the Shankill and more recently in North Down. Arrests are being made and charges pressed.
Stringent conditions governing the release of grants threaten to slow the cash flow, and we all know there’s nothing like putting liberty at stake and cutting the cash to focus the mind of a loyalist paramilitary. It would be wonderful to think there is a genuine desire to move away from criminality and there is no question there are many, many veteran paramilitaries who have turned their backs on their organisation, appalled at their involvement in drugs.
Equally there are many paramilitary leaders who continue to grow fat on the proceeds of organised crime – don’t expect that to change. Monday wasn’t a red letter day. No one doubts the sincerity of the church leaders and community activists who helped ‘broker’ this week’s announcement, but away from the hallowed walls of the Linen Hall Library it was business as usual.
A death threat issued against a journalist, a man lucky to be alive when shots were fired as he walked the streets of north Belfast, a show of strength in Bangor and a hoax pipe bomb thrown through a window of a family home in Ballymoney. It will take more than the pious words of Jackie McDonald and Jim Wilson to convince anyone that after all these years they are finally going stright.
With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Richard Sullivan for the origional story.l
MY old buddy Willie Frazer has taken exception to a two-part feature I did recently on the loyalist murder machine known as the Glenanne Gang.
He is particularly upset about things I wrote about his father Bertie, a part-time soldier in the UDR who was callously gunned down by the IRA in the 1970s.
And now Willie has challenged me to a public debate about what really happened in South Armagh. I’ll tell you what really took place in South Armagh, Wullie – there was no law and order because too many members of the security forces were in cahoots with loyalist paramilitaries.
My two-part feature was compiled after extensive research and lengthy discussions with government investigators and police and army sources. Local people from right across the religious divide were also consulted, including Willie Frazer himself. Willie (pictured above) appears incapable of acknowledging the fact that in South Armagh, there were close contacts with between British Military Intelligence, the local RUC and UDR, and the Mid-Ulster UVF.
When the Provos blew up the UDR base in Glenanne, killing several soldiers, the British point-blank refused to provide money to rebuild it. It is the only UDR base in the North of Ireland which was never rebuilt.
We have to ask ourselves why? I’ll tell you why. It was because the UDR regiment based there had been heavily infiltrated by loyalist paramilitaries. There is ample evidence to back this up.
As my friend, the author and journalist Martin Dillon said this week, perhaps Willie and I would be better off debating whether he needs a hairstyle makeover!
With many thanks to the: Sunday World and JORDAN Email: email@example.com
To find out more follow these links: https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/ira-men-apologise-for-frazer-father-s-murder-1-3965445
Boris Johnson has likened the challenge of avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland to the boundaries between different boroughs of London.
The foreign secretary said it was a “very relevant comparison” because money was “invisibly” taken from people travelling between Camden and Westminster when he was London mayor.
London’s congestion zone charge does not involve manual checks.
Labour said his comments were “typically facile and tactless”.
Coveney ‘of one mind’ with EU negotiators
The future of the Irish border after Brexit has been a key sticking point in talks so far.
The UK plans to leave the EU’s customs union but wants to avoid border posts and physical checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Mr Johnson, a former London mayor, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme there were “all sorts of things you can do” to achieve this.
“We think that we can have very efficient facilitation systems to make sure that there’s no need for a hard border, excessive checks at the frontier between Northern Ireland and the Republic,” he said.
“There’s no border between Islington or Camden and Westminster… but when I was mayor of London we anaesthetically and invisibly took hundreds of millions of pounds from the accounts of people travelling between those two boroughs without any need for border checks whatever.”
Boris Johnson said the London congestion zone was “very relevant” to the Brexit debate about Northern Ireland
He added: “It’s a very relevant comparison because there’s all sorts of scope for pre-booking, electronic checks, all sorts of things that you can do to obviate the need for a hard border to allow us to come out of the customs union, take back control of our trade policy and do trade deals.”
But Labour’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary Owen Smith dismissed the comments as “ludicrous”.
And he accused Mr Johnson of “glibly dismissing the concerns of thousand of families and businesses who live and work along the border”, adding that his remark “insults the intelligence of all who are worrying about how to resolve the border question after Brexit”.
The first draft of a legally-binding agreement between the UK and the EU, due to be published on Wednesday, is expected to address the issue of Northern Ireland.
The Dublin government says the option of Northern Ireland staying in full regulatory alignment with the European Union after Brexit should be included as a “backstop” – but this is opposed by some Conservative MPs and the Democratic Unionist Party.
Meanwhile former World Trade Organisation chief Pascal Lamy argued that whatever Brexit option was chosen “will necessitate a border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic, because checks will have to be carried out on goods and people.
Instead he suggested to the Commons Brexit committee a “Macau option” for Northern Ireland.
“You should think about giving to Northern Ireland the same autonomous trade capacity that China has given to Macau, which doesn’t mean that Macau doesn’t belong to China,” he said.
With many thanks to: BBC England for the origional story.
Check out @AntrimLens’s Tweet:
Follow this link: https://twitter.com/AntrimLens/status/931518602439811072?s=09
Pope Francis has a new Lamborghini. A bespoke, one-off, striped Lamborghini Huracán LP580-2, to be precise. That’s right. The head of the Roman-Catholic faith, on speed dial to the all-seeing one upstairs, has a purist’s rear-drive Lambo. Hallelujah.
However, the Pope didn’t spend £155,400 on a white wedge of V10-poowered loveliness. In fact, in was donated to him (Him?) free of charge, by Lamborghini. Is Sant’Agata hoping divine intervention will make the new Urus SUV the best super-4×4 ever?
Unlikely. Actually, it’s a donation for charitable causes, much like when Ferrari donated the Pope the final Enzo ever made, to be auctioned for funds to help survivors of the 2003 tsunami. This Huracán, as signed by his Holiness, will be auctioned by RM Sotheby’s on 12 May 2018.
The funds generated will be allocated by the Pope himself to causes including rebuilding homes and Christian places of worship in Iraq, helping victims of human trafficking, and two Italian-based African aid charities. The winning bidder, meanwhile, gets a Huracán RWD wearing a Vatican flag-inspired paint job, and the best excuse ever to waive any speeding tickets…
With many thanks to: Top Gear for the origional story.
But real republicans know Sinn Féin signed away our rights to a United Ireland in 1998.
Gerry Adams has dismissed speculation that Sinn Fein had lost interest in Stormont as his newly-elected MPs headed to London.
The Sinn Fein president argued that devolution provided “a strategic route” towards a united Ireland.
On the first day of a two-day visit, the seven republican MPs had a series of meetings, but continued the tradition of staying away from the House of Commons chamber.
There was speculation the group might meet Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, although there was no confirmation yesterday.
With the MPs in the UK capital, Mr Adams was in Dublin, where he urged incoming Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to get more directly involved in the negotiations aimed at restoring devolution.
Mr Adams also firmly denied that his party’s focus had shifted as a result of the Brexit vote.
What has Stormont got to do with a United Ireland Gerry?
“The focus has to be on plan A, which is to get the institutions in place, that is our focus and we would like to think it will be the focus of the incoming Taoiseach,” he said.
“We want into the institutions, because that is what the people desire, that is what the people voted for.
“But also because we think, strategically, that is the way to a united Ireland.
“The way forward is not to be in a vacuum, to have stagnation, the way forward is to have that forum working on the basis on which it should have been established.”
Meanwhile, the smaller parties have complained that the Stormont talks to restore devolution are failing to gain momentum. The first round-table session involving all five parties and the British and Irish Governments is not expected until tomorrow.
That leaves just a fortnight until Secretary of State James Brokenshire’s “immovable” deadline of June 29, after which a decision must be taken on the return of direct rule.
Inter-party meetings, mostly involving officials, continued yesterday but the focus of interest had shifted to the talks in London between the Conservatives and the DUP.
Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan is also expected to be absent today because of events surrounding the incoming Taoiseach in Dublin.
Back in Belfast, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said there was “deep suspicion and concern that a public deal between Theresa May and Arlene Foster might be accompanied with a private, grubby back room deal which none of us will get sight of for years to come”.
“It is in the interests of all our people that we are given full transparency. It is also the only way to address the public’s suspicion and concern,” he insisted.
Alliance deputy leader Stephen Farry said the lack of an all-party round-table until Thursday at the earliest “doesn’t inspire confidence”.
Most of the parties have met Mr Flanagan and Mr Brokenshire since Monday, but Mr Farry said: “There remains no impetus. We need people to step up to the plate, and do so without delay.
“The consequences of not doing so are too severe.”
Meanwhile, UUP leader Robin Swann said seeking an independent chairperson for the talks was “futile”.
Nationalists have complained that Mr Brokenshire cannot be an “honest broker” because his party is seeking a deal with the DUP at Westminster.
Mr Swann said: “We have a few short weeks to restore devolution. Let’s not waste any more time dancing around on the head of a pin.”
With many thanks to: BBC for the original story.