Scandalous endorsement that got the light touch

Journalists have a way of disappointing you. A political story comes up and, while they report it, they don’t return to it again and again, especially now when politicians are vulnerable in the run-up to a general election. In ways it’s hardly believable.

The example I have in mind is the fact that the Irish Republican Research Association (IRRA), which has close links with the IRA, came out about a week ago and endorsed the Sinn Féin candidates running in this election.   I don’t always agree with the Alliance Party and its former leader David Ford, but I’m with him in his most recent statement:

“It is bad enough to have paramilitaries backing a political party at any time, but it is especially troubling in this case, given that it comes in the same week as a murder which is believed to be part of a republican feud.. ..It is now 2017 – paramilitaries should not even exist, never mind be giving ringing endorsements of political candidates.”

OK – stop choking on your toast. The above was made up. Fictional. Well, in part it’s made up. As it happens, the story is exactly what is currently happening, except that it’s the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG), which is linked to the UDA, which has endorsed the DUP. And yes, a loyalist paramilitary has died in the past week in what is believed to be a loyalist paramilitary feud. And yes, this is 2017 and the UDA are not supposed to exist, let alone issue ringing endorsements of political parties.

But if it had been the IRA and not the UDA: wouldn’t the airwaves and the newspaper columns have been stuffed with commentary, condemnation, on-air grillings of Sinn Féin, a declaration that such a party should be ashamed of itself and that the PSNI should come down hard once and for all and remove the shadow of the gunman from life in the north?

But it wasn’t the IRA, you see, it was the UDA. And it wasn’t Sinn Féin, it was the DUP. And as the poet Robert Frost said in a different context, “That has made all the difference.”

, , ,

12 Responses to Scandalous endorsement that got the light touch

  1. bullykiller June 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

    In a nutshell Jude!

  2. moser June 5, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

    Isn’t that why your appreciated so much Jude ? Keeping an eye on them. You do a great job in that regard.

  3. moser June 5, 2017 at 1:33 pm #

    You are appreciated*

  4. Oriel27 June 5, 2017 at 1:53 pm #

    In line with the above Jude, i notice wee Jamie Byson (he doesn’t pronounce the ‘r’s) still hasn’t condemned or commented on the UDA killing in his own town.

    I know he is a kid, with little or no sense (but getting paid by someone to stir nonsense)

  5. Sherdy June 5, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    Part of the hypocrisy is DUP leader Arlene Foster condemning ISIS for their terrorist attacks in England, in the same week that she was canvassing in Belfast while accompanied/supported by UDA killer gang boss Jackie McDonald.
    DUP member Chris Stalford tweeted critically yesterday about Michelle O’Neill offering sympathy to the weekend’s London victims, while he and the UDA have office rental arrangements.
    Why is our reporting bulldog Stephen Nolan not hammering this DUP/UDA grouping for posing as a democratic party?
    As you say Jude, had it been Sinn Fein and the IRA, it would receive wall to wall coverage and condemnation!
    We have very selective journalism in N Ireland.

  6. Daniel Moran June 5, 2017 at 3:23 pm #

    The Bbc and utv/tuv always have since troubles began, sided with unionism and the bbc were called out on their bias during the 1974 uwc strike. They had to change the name of their radio station to radio ulster in 1975 because of it. Utv were biased since they were set up in 1959 so no change there either.

  7. Ernesider June 5, 2017 at 6:44 pm #

    Plus ca change ..

    Or as Willie McCrea said to Billy Wright

    It’s that old deja vu all over again ..!!!

  8. Stephen Kelly June 5, 2017 at 6:57 pm #

    Well done Jude you had me going there. But seriously how are Sinn Feinn who represent the majority of the catholic/nationalist/republican vote going to be able to deal with a bigoted Loyalist party like the DUP/UDA. I just cannot see them ever changing while the British government Storment and the EU give the UDA paramilitaries under different guises millions of pounds. And here i must hold Sinn Feinn to account they should not be voting money towards fronts for Dee Stitt and the likes. They should be on any program that will take them to show up the criminal paramilitary connection between the UDA and the DUP. It makes me a bit ashamed of them and wonder and hope there in no back scratching going on.

  9. Cal June 5, 2017 at 8:42 pm #

    Another example could be if a group giving politic direction to ISIS endorsed Labour in GB.

    Now imagine in such a scenerio the Labour Party refused to distance themselves from the endorsement.

  10. Emmet June 6, 2017 at 10:28 am #

    Unionist and hypocrisy, almost synonyms.

  11. Larry June 6, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

    Not a Unionist MP at that guy’s funeral yesterday. Shows where their allegiances lie.

    I think we now have DUP-UDA with the DUP being the political wing of the UDA and the UDA being the military wing of the DUP. But lets not go there. Ignore the UDA elephant in the DUP sitting-room. Hypocritical shower.

  12. Martin Bradley June 8, 2017 at 8:16 pm #

    UPRG will never change and like most racketeers they are the parasites of society. So why oh why does our Stormnot Executive insist in providing them sustenance through the Social Investment Fund?
    Of course UPRG will endorse the hand that feeds it and the DUP”s faux rejection does not extend far enough to stop this misdirection of tax payers money. A lot of back scratching going on here I believe.