Today the government announced a grant of £1.2 million to the Loyalist murder squad, the “Ulster Defence Association” or UDA. This is on top of £135000 given to them by the government six months ago.
As the BBC says: “The thorny issue of weapons was not mentioned in the government's announcement. … Loyalist sources say decommissioning is not yet on the agenda”
Let us remind ourselves of the sort of activities the UDA have been involved with. According to the University of Ulster’s CAIN project, the UDA carried out 112 sectarian murders under their own name, and a further 147 using the name Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF). Just to quote one period, the university says: “During the Stevens inquiry it became apparent that the UDA had access to a large number of security files on Republicans and suspected members of Republican paramilitary groups. During the 1990s the UFF stepped up its attacks on Catholics and Republicans. It also attacked SDLP politicians and councillors. There were a number of multiple killings including: five Catholics on 5 February 1992 in Belfast; three Catholics on 14 November 1992; six Catholics during 48 hours in March 1993; and six Catholics and one Protestant on 30 October 1993.”
Get that – the UDA had “security files” – how did they get them? The answer is they got them directly from the British state. In 1989 the UDA assassinated Sinn Féin Councillor John Davey on behalf of the British state, having only two days earlier murdered the respected human rights lawyer, Pat Finucane.
The UDA are literally a terror organisation designed to intimidate the six counties’ Catholic minority into submission.
Let us look at another example. In 1993 three UDA members walked into the Rising Star bar in Greysteel where a totally innocent Halloween party was in progress, they produced machine pistols and simply indiscriminately opened fire, one of them shouting “trick or treat” – eight people were killed. The UDA announced that the murders were for no other reason than because Greysteel had a “nationalist electorate"!
Last week Ian Paisley, a man who can pretty fairly be described as a fascist, became leader of the largest party in Stormont, and will be First Minister, and his party will be exercising a bigoted veto on all the activities of ministers, from whichever party.
The police service is so confident in its sectarianism, that senior officers can refuse to cooperate with a government inquiry into police collusion in murder without any disciplinary action. And waiting in the wings are the loyalist death squads, that have not been disbanded, not been "stood down", not been disarmed. But have been given £1 million of New Labour’s money.
Could the colonial nature of the six counties be made any clearer?