Letters to the Editor

PSNI abdication over UVF flags adds further pain to families

Loyalist flags erected in the Global Crestent and Canterell Close a 'shared neighbourhood housing scheme area of east Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann

ONCE again thuggish, intimidating loyalist elements strut around large parts of the north erecting paramilitary flags in mixed areas and sensitive interfaces to deliberately create an extremely intimidating, fearful, antagonistic atmosphere and cause as much division and offence as they possibly can. 

As the PSNI whistles Dixie, looks the other way and ignores this poisonous campaign of terror, constitutional unionism prevaricates, deflects and ultimately provides political cover for them. 

While UVF flags flutter on every lamp post their politicians say: ‘We see no demand to remove these... and don’t know what the fuss is.’ 

Maybe if these same unionist figures had been in a Belfast court room last Friday and listened as public prosecutors read out more than 200 charges against the Mount Vernon UVF commander Gary Haggarty they may have realised just what ‘the fuss was all about’ regarding these flags. Maybe if they had looked into the grieving eyes of the families of the victims as they had to listen how their loved ones suffered at the blood-dripped hands of these UVF monsters ‘constitutional’ unionism may have grasped just ‘what the fuss was all about’. 

If the Chief Constable had been there and listened to how members of a so-called police allegedly not only shielded Mount Vernon loyalists but briefed and ‘advised’ them too, he may just have got the message as to how the current shameful abdication of his force regarding UVF flags merely adds further pain and hurt to the families and wider community. Then again should nationalists and republicans really be surprised at the behaviour of constitutional unionism and the ‘police service’. Since the foundation of the northern statelet the RUC always acted as the enforcers and facilitators for the annual loyalist/unionist/Orange madness while the PSNI has followed suit as they also deliberately place obstacles in the way of historical Troubles investigations. 

Meanwhile, political unionism, as we have recently witnessed, has always colluded with and moved in the same dark corners as violent loyalism. History has shown that a unionist/ Tory axis is always bad for the north of Ireland. A toxic combination is once again bringing dark clouds to this land. There is no legitimacy in, nor can there be any future whatsoever for, any devolved political institution here while sinister elements collude, consort and conspire in private. Under no circumstances can the DUP and Tories hold the Sword of Damocles over the rest of us. 

The SDLP, but particularly Sinn Féin, should be warned and take this into account before they are bought off into any new Stormont regime. Recent elections have shown that the nationalist community will show their dissatisfaction at the ballot box at any failure of their politicians to listen to and represent us properly. Fool us once shame on you. Fool us twice shame on us. 

S BURNS 
Belfast BT15

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Letters to the Editor