The Rank Hypocrisy Of The DUP Must Be Challenged

The stench of hypocrisy coming from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has been overpowering. In the last few weeks, we’ve been treated to Peter Robinson flouncing out of Stormont on the grounds that “the IRA continues to be active”, while Nigel Dodds, the DUP’s leader at Westminster rose to his feet during Prime Minister’s Question Time on Wednesday to accuse John McDonnell of being in league with the IRA. Yesterday, Dodds appeared on The Daily Politics to repeat his smear. Andrew Neil, who had earlier interrupted economist, Richard J Murphy, sat there passively while Dodds came out with smear after smear. Not once did Neil mention Dodds’s appearance at the funeral of John Bingham, a Loyalist thug. Not once did Neil mention Dodds’s leader’s involvement with Ulster Resistance, a Loyalist outfit with links to the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Red Hand Commando (RHC). Not once did Neil challenge the DUP’s credibility. It was as if none of this mattered. This told The Cat that the BBC and the rest of the mainstream media continues to have a blind spot when it comes to links between the DUP and Loyalist paramilitaries. Some of those paramilitary groups, the UVF especially, acted as death squads for the British state.

Since Jeremy Corbyn entered the Labour leadership election, the mainstream media has constantly sought to discredit him. Once he became leader, those efforts have intensified.  Now it’s guilt by association. The recent accusation that Corbyn and McDonnell have accommodated ‘terrorists’ is predicated on two things: first, that talking to the IRA is in itself an indication of support for terrorism and second, the Thatcher government never made any contact with the IRA. Both of these things are untrue. The Thatcher government maintained contacts with the IRA throughout the 1980s. This has been continually overlooked by the likes of Andrew Neil and others.

In 1986, Nigel Dodds attended the funeral of UVF commander, John Bingham. Dodds was quite happy to do this, yet no one at the BBC seems to have spotted it nor brought up the matter in any interviews with him. You can read more about Bingham here (Hat tip to Michael Rosen for the link).

Nigel Dodds was recently pictured with Winston ‘Winkie’ Irvine, a UVF commander and member of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP). Irvine also claims to be a “community leader”. Here’s an expose of him produced by BBC Northern Ireland.

Here’s Dodds with Irvine (left) pictured outside the PSNI Headquarters in Belfast in 2013. Hypocrisy much, Nige?

The DUP’s Peter Robinson on parade with Ulster Resistance. Cat got your tongue, Nige?

Here’s Robinson denying the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) are terrorists. Instead he describes them as “counter terrorists”.

Last year, the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson, a former member of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) appeared to speak on behalf of Loyalist paramilitaries. This BBC article says that Donaldson claimed that Loyalists “will take a peaceful approach” when protesting about planned parade restrictions.

Then there are the links between Loyalist paramilitaries and far-right parties like the British National Party and National Front. Britain First was not only inspired by Ulster Loyalism, it is an outgrowth of it.  Founded by Jim Dowson, a Christian fundamentalist and Loyalist who ran the BNP’s call centre in Dundonald, Britain First has adopted the motifs of Ulster Loyalism right down to its use of military style uniforms and its logo.

If the IRA is still operational as the DUP claims, then so too are the various Loyalist outfits. There’s an old saying where I come from. “People in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones”. Nigel Dodds, Peter Robinson and Jeffrey Donaldson would do well to learn and remember that.


Filed under Northern Ireland

40 responses to “The Rank Hypocrisy Of The DUP Must Be Challenged

  1. BBC Complaints Dept:-

    Dear Sirs,

    Over the past days in particular, but also the past weeks the BBC has aired a significant number of interviews with members or representatives of the DUP in which they assert their outrage at (particularly) Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonell’s historical interaction with Sinn Fein and the IRA.
    Please explain why your interviewers do not draw to the audiences attention the activities of the accusers? To not do so is bias by omission.

    Please take note of the attached link which identifies some of the issues quite well:-

    Please confirm that we will see proper balance on issues such as this in the future

    • I’d noticed that after tweeting my concerns about the DUP on Thursday, Andrew Neil put the question to Dodds in an interview yesterday. Dodds responded by raising his voice and claiming “it wasn’t the same thing” or words to that effect. This is the problem with unionists and Loyalists: like Zionists, they believe they have divine sanction to occupy positions of power. They believe that only they should be allowed to form governments. Loyalist gangs aren’t “terrorists” they’re “counter terrorists”.

      Loyalist paramilitaries were never in the business of “protecting Protestants from the IRA”. Their business was shoring up and defending unionist hegemony through violence and intimidation.

      • I avoided going into the BBC with the “I expect it will be Zionism & anti-semitism next” because it doesn’t yet constitute a complaint….

        It will.

        Dodds is a ****.

  2. craig

    I shared this excellent piece on fb with a suitable comment about not letting inconvenient facts get in the way of journalistic hatchet jobs. It drew one reaction by a friend who I suspect didn’t read it and who got the wrong end of the point I was trying to make. Anyway, a lengthy discussion ensued. He failed to appreciate that it wasn’t about the facts (which he claimed could not be believed any more than the other side’s supposed facts and wanted to know why he should believe one source over another) but rather how information is deployed in an imbalanced way to benefit power and vested interests through the distortion of public perception. Would you say that’s a fair appraisal?

  3. “Since Jeremy Corbyn entered the Labour leadership election, the mainstream media has constantly sought to discredit him. Once he became leader, those efforts have intensified. Now it’s guilt by association.”

    Cobyn employed a man who gave £45 to an fraudster claiming to be an IRA man. So it wasn’t Corbyn himself. Still doesn’t say much for the company he kept. When asked 5 times by BBC radio to condemn IRA violence he refused and actually hung up on them. At the least he’s a provo sympathiser at worst he was a supporter. Furthermore Corbyn says that he believes in a united Ireland which is hardly a neutral position of letting the people make up their own minds.

    McDonnell has a long history with the IRA dating back his days at the GLC. No one asked the GLC to talk to the IRA as far as I know unless it was a very complicated backdoor IRA channel for MI5. They did it off their own bat – I think because they admired the IRA for nearly blowing up Thatcher. Perhaps that is cynical but then when McDonnell says he wants to go back in time to kill Thatcher you have to wonder. McDonnell still hasn’t explained his comments about Bobby Sands to the satisfaction of well anybody who can draw a simple timeline.

    Then there’s Owen Jones pro-IRA comments that he made when he was 16 *(old enough to join the army and legally and adult). He says they were just stupid ideas he grew out of … but then you think …well, yes, but … isn’t it odd that you’ve got these pro-IRA views and you used to work for McDonnell.

    Guilt by association maybe … but on the other hand … to paraphrase Sam Spade “Maybe some of these things are unimportant – I won’t argue about that – but look at the number of them”.

      • Too much truth for you is it? Well, I found this explanation of Livingstone’s interesting position from a BBC interview in 1998 …

        The IRA

        Dear Mr Livingstone,

        Please would you clarify your view of the IRA: sympathetic or against? I refer to your hospitality of Gerry Adams during your tenure of the GLC in the 1980s.

        From James Fletcher, London

        Dear James,

        My view has never been to support IRA violence. However, I have always been of the opinion that there was no military solution to the problem in Ireland and that therefore a political solution would have to be found. The GLC’s decision to invite Gerry Adams over to London was based on that assessment, which has now become a mainstream view. In the long term there is clearly no future for a continued British partition of Ireland.

        Yours sincerely, Ken Livingstone

        …whatever the truth of the 1980s GLC relations in the IRA which I suppose we have to take on trust were well meaning …one thing is certain. They weren’t exactly big fans of the Unionists.

        PS Corbyn’s register of members interests is interesting
        Seems to spend a whole lot of time going out to Iran (when he’s not in Gaza) …I think he sees himself as a one man peace envoy ..
        “4 nights hotel accommodation in Tehran at an estimated cost of £392.84, plus meals and transport for 4 days at estimated cost of £300” etc etc

      • “Too much truth”? Hilarious.

    • JCW

      “legally an adult”? Nobody can take seriously what you’re saying when you come out with nonsense like that. He was 16. Nobody can be held accountable for what they say when they’re 16, which is why we as a society don’t allow 16 year olds to vote, or even buy alcohol. Christ, you’re not even able to go to the cinema and watch every film.

  4. I mean Livingstone spent most of the 1980s (when of course there was no loony left) saying stuff like the British government’s fight against the IRA was not “some sort of campaign against terrorism” but was “the last colonial war” and inviting them to protest outside County Hall. McDonnell was his right hand man during this period. So something was going on. My guess is that because Mrs Thatcher wouldn’t talk to the IRA at all they thought they’d try their luck with local government. I remember seeing an interview with Major a long time ago where he said something along the lines of the Government although it had no official channels knew people who knew people … that is they knew back bench MPs like Corbyn had links to Sinn Fein and used them. So it’s all very blurry but you have to admit there clearly was something going on. If you ask me Corbyn, McDonnell and Livingstone were sort of terrorism tourists or something …

    • Poor troll. Tell me, are you and Louise Mensch working as a tag team on Twitter now?

      • Mr Hell, I am afraid not I just have a bit of a grudge against the IRA for blowing up both the Caterham Arms and my dad’s office and the 1996 Manchester bombing got on my nerves a bit. But obviously we all deserved it for “propping up a gerrymandered semi-state” or whatever it is that you call it.

        I mean I was brought up a Catholic and they always used to go on about being Catholic and there they all seemed to be trying to blow us all up all the time. Isn’t that just a little bit mental? At least it’s not a great way to win friends.

        I mean I’m not entirely sure what we persoanlly were supposed to do to resolve the Northern Ireland conflict but I guess my dad just wasn’t doing his paperwork properly. Not that Ian Paisley and the Unionists weren’t equally revolting – why they think they’re “British” and we “support” them I have absolutely no idea. I mean we signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement and they still didn’t get the hint they’re perhaps not in the right country. But say that and they go all paranoid and state it’s a plot to get rid of them. Why do people want to stay in a country that clearly wants them to leave? It always made me laugh how Gerry Adams voice had to be dubbed by an actor but the Rev “the Pope is the antiChrist” Paisley’s grating tones were left undiluted.

        My brother goes out there a bit these days. It’s fascinating … there now seems to be a mini-tourism industry in “the Troubles” museums. Yesterday’s civil war is tomorrow’s tourist attraction…

        Did Livingstone, McDonnell and Corbyn help or hinder the peace process? Who knows? I imagine they thought they were helping but in fact they were simply about as much help as a chocolate teapot. Also just because the government talked to terrorists doesn’t mean everyone else should. As the civil authority it is their job … I’m not quite convinced that we need so many freelancers helping out.

        I mean come on …it’s at least interesting, isn’t it?

      • So, Loyalists are good and everyone else is bad? Am I getting warm? Did you approve of Loyalist death squads carrying out orders from the British state? How about Loyalist connections with the extreme right. Are you comfortable with those? You know what? You haven’t actually engaged with anything in my blog. Furthermore, if I sympathise with the Irish republican cause and support the concept of a united Ireland that doesn’t make me an IRA sympathiser.

        You need to read up on Irish history. Just a thought.

      • “So, Loyalists are good and everyone else is bad?”
        Put words in someone else’s mouth. I didn’t say that.
        “Am I getting warm?”
        No you are simply making up statements of your own and attributing them to me
        “Did you approve of Loyalist death squads carrying out orders from the British state? ”
        No and asking loaded questions wont airbrush away the strange relationship between Corbyn, McDonnell, the GLC and the IRA. What were they up to? and why does Corbyn say that he believes Ireland should be united when the south its self long ago gave up on insisting that the north belonged to them and said instead it should be up to the people of NI which is the UK’s position too … and presumably that of the NI assembly since they signed up to the Good Friday Agreement.?
        And if Livingstone wanted to simply be a peace broker why didn’t Livingstone also invite the Loyalist paramilitaries to the GLC? The answer is clear : because he clearly thought one side was right and the other wrong. Actually he was wrong.
        Under international law the loyalists are the majority so we cannot just give Norther Ireland back. Why Unionists wanted to stay in the UK when successive governments kept trying to give the north back to the south I don’t know except that they wanted to preserve their social advantages. But we on the mainland didn’t – how were we supposed to get them to leave? Answers on a postcard please.
        Churchill was trying as early as the 1950s although it only came out in the 70s. So what were they trying to blow us on the mainland up for? Still Corybn rabbits on about a united Ireland like it’s 1981… why? Does someone have a hold over him or something or is he just stupid? Even if he did no harm in his dealings with the IRA he’s clearly partisan which is against the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement and it’s reasonable for Newspapers to point this out.
        “You haven’t actually engaged with anything in my blog.”
        It seems to have its argument based firmly in the two wrongs make a right view of logic. Nigel Dodds may well be in league with the UVF to some extent or another or he may have just known UVF members but that doesn’t answer the questions about Corbyn and McDonnell and Livingstone and the IRA. Moveover at least Nigel Dodds was living in a sectarian society where there was civil war so he has the excuse these people were part of the fabric of his society. He has some excuses for knowing people in terrorist organisation. What are Corbyn and McDonnell and Livingstone’s excuses? It was none of their business as far as I can see so why did they stick their noses in? Maybe they should have … maybe they shouldn’t have but it’s a reasonable question…

      • No you are simply making up statements of your own and attributing them to me

        Physician, heal thyself.

        No and asking loaded questions wont airbrush away the strange relationship between Corbyn, McDonnell, the GLC and the IRA. What were they up to?

        You’re away with the fairies, mate. Turn it in.

      • Not at all from 1981 McDonnell was GLC Chair of Finance, responsible for the GLC

        “I was a fairly hard-nosed administrator. We set in train policies for which we were attacked from all sides but are now accepted as mainstream: large-scale investment in public services; raising the issue of Ireland and arguing for a dialogue for peace; equal opportunities; police accountability. We set up a women’s committee, an ethnic minorities committee”

        The GLC had a policy when it came to Northern Ireland and the IRA. What was it? And why was it? And was it a good idea? And should terrorism negotiations be down to local government?!

        The fact is Corbyn is partisan – he thinks there should be a United Ireland. Which is not actually that stupid many people do. But it isn’t the convention and should he become Prime Minister that could create political issues… Of course the man from the DUP is biased – he lives there. But what’s it to do with the Labour Party to decide if NI should be in or out of Ireland if it doesn’t stand any candidates there?

      • I mean there’s plenty of evidence that Corbyn is an IRA sympathiser
        “He was criticised for observing a minute’s silence for eight IRA members killed by the SAS in 1987 and once employed Irish Republican Ronan Bennett as a member of staff at Westminster”. This is what the man honestly believes in his heart of hearts so I don’t think he should be ashamed of it but it certainly “reframes the debate”.

        In strategic cynical Westminster political terms such relationships make sense. Gerry Adams can’t stand up in the House of Commons and speak because he’s told all his supporters he will never sit in Westminster and even if he did Mrs Thatcher would see to it his words weren’t reported. So it makes sense to use people like Corbyn as a back door conduits for his opinions.

        A united Ireland policy also made strategic Westminster sense for many in the 1980s Labour Party … the Unionist parties tend to be on the right (they propped up John Major) so if you can get Ireland and Northern Ireland to unite you make it much harder for the Conservatives to form governments and pass votes.

      • I mean there’s plenty of evidence that Corbyn is an IRA sympathiser

        Evidence, my arse and the BBC too. Risible.

      • This incident where Corbyn observed 2 minutes silence for the IRA terrorists killed in Gibraltar by Mrs Thatcher is a fact. Historically recorded by multiple media outlets. Are you saying that it didn’t happen?

      • You just Google any old shit and present it as ‘evidence’, don’t you? Either that, or you deliberately read things into it that aren’t there. It’s funny how you don’t mention the fact that the Thatcher government maintained contact with Republican groups throughout the 80s. Perhaps, in your eyes, it’s better to refuse to negotiate and let the deaths continue indefinitely?

        You see the Northern Ireland in the same simplistic and reductionistic terms as the British press. That is to say, it was Catholic versus Protestant. It wasn’t. There were also Catholic Unionists and Protestant Republicans. Don’t believe me? Maybe you should Google it.

      • Not really the point. The point is Corbyn was heavily involved with the IRA. Doubtless he thought he was doing the right thing … helping out people on hunger strike in the Maze Prison etc … but it’s perfectly acceptable to ask questions about this. You seem not even to want to admit that these events even took place and the Corbyn was involved and simply think it is acceptable to gaslight me into thinking that they didn’t. But they did. I was there. I remember. I remember reading all about Ken and the IRA at the time and it is not a complete mystery that when you google such events they seem to have happened. Whereas you insist that the BBC are somehow leading us all up the garden path … it is not so. For better or worse Corbyn, McDonnell and Ken were involved and there is a mountain of evidence to support this. They even write about it themselves… actually I did mention that contact was kept during the 1980s. I seem to remember saying something about having heard that these people were backdoor communication channels …

  5. mraemiller – you’re just a bigot. You *are* the problem.
    When your intellect has grown sufficiently to analyse both sides of the coin, do come back – until then, you’re just purveying idiotic cant that should (rightfully) be sidelined.

    • Yes, I’m a bigot. Me. Not idiots who say that Corbyn is not a Republican/IRA supporter despite the fact he says it himself. Not people who think McDonnell had no links with the IRA despite the fact he openly and proudly boasts along with Livingstone of giving them a platform in the 1980s. I’m the deluded one because I point out Corbyn observed 2 minutes silence for the IRA terrorists killed in Gibraltar. Or is it you who when the facts don’t fit your opinions cry troll, bigot and biased? Hum…

      • Not idiots who say that Corbyn is not a Republican/IRA supporter despite the fact he says it himself.

        That’s a lazy conflation or, as it’s also known, “the guilt by association fallacy”. You’ve taken your views directly from the right-wing press. Bravo.

      • “You’ve taken your views directly from the right-wing press”

        Sometimes they’re right. The truth is I don’t know to what extent Corbyn was just a Republican or was an IRA supporter and neither do you because during the 1980s there was not a black and white distinction between these two things. Hence the phrase “Sinn Fein is the political wing of the IRA”

      • mraemiller
        So by corollary the DUP is the political wing of:
        Ulster Volunteer Force
        Red Hand Commando
        Young Citizen Volunteers (youth wing) UVF
        YCV 1966–present
        1972–present Officially on ceasefire since 1994
        Officially ended campaign in 2007
        Ulster Defence Association
        Ulster Freedom Fighters
        Ulster Young Militants (youth wing) UDA
        UYM 1971–present
        1974–present Officially on ceasefire since 1994
        Officially ended campaign in 2007
        Ulster Resistance UR 1986–? Disbanded
        Loyalist Volunteer Force LVF 1997–present Officially on ceasefire since 1998
        Officially ended campaign in 2005
        Orange Volunteers OV 1998–present Uncertain since 2009[29]
        Red Hand Defenders RHD 1998–present Active[30]
        Real Ulster Freedom Fighters Real UFF 2007–present Active[31]

        Now just fuck off, bigot.

      • Sometimes they’re right.

        Really? Name an instance in which the right-wing press has been correct.

        The truth is I don’t know to what extent Corbyn was just a Republican or was an IRA supporter and neither do you because during the 1980s there was not a black and white distinction between these two things. Hence the phrase “Sinn Fein is the political wing of the IRA”

        This is fallacious reasoning.

        Please familiarise yourself with logical fallacies. This is the one you’ve been relying on.

  6. “So by corollary the DUP is the political wing of…”
    Indeed so. I am not denying similar links between the DUP and loyalist terrorist organisations. However, this is really simply an attempt to say that because this thing over here is wrong …that thing over there is also wrong. Which indeed it is … but I’m not sure that makes things any better.
    The bottom line is Corbyn had the IRA (not Sinn Fien) round parliament off his own bat and against the wishes of his party leader. At the very least that makes him a bit silly, doesn’t it? Or does it?

    • You’re still relying on the guilt by association fallacy to advance what is, for all intents and purposes, a really weak argument.

      Even though you deny it, you’ve said nothing about the DUP’s continued links to Loyalist paramilitaries, which all have close ties to the far right.

      • Well here is the man refusing 5 times to condemn IRA violence
        before hanging up. How much evidence do you need that he supports the activities of the IRA?
        All he had to say was “I think they’re wrong but I thought someone should talk to them”. Even McDonnell could manage to say that… but it seems beyond Corbyn.

      • More drivel. You’re either trolling me or you really are desperately ignorant. Which is it? Here’s a warning: if you post any more drivel, I’ll remove it.

  7. “More drivel. You’re either trolling me or you really are desperately ignorant. Which is it? Here’s a warning: if you post any more drivel, I’ll remove it.”

    Yes, when the facts tell against you fall back on censorship. It really isn’t drivel it’s a straight question. If he doesn’t condone IRA violence in the past why couldn’t he say so when asked such a direct question. Repeatedly? Or is there a misunderstanding here that’s too subtle for me to get…?

    • “Facts”? Is that the new word of power? All you’ve done is post cherry-picked links that suit your opinions. You have a right to your opinions but not the facts. You can take your complaint of ‘censorship’ and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. Goodbye.

      Worse still, you haven’t engaged with a single point in my blog. You’re trolling.

  8. mickmiller

    I have absolutely no truck with the bigots and sectarian hate mongers of the DUP but I find buddyhell’s account of Dodd’s ‘links’ to terrorism almost as unconvincing as mreamiller’s efforts to assert Corbyn/McDonnell were ‘heavily involved with the IRA’. Attending the funeral of a UVF man in the 1980s is an obvious case of guilt by association. Labour, Fianna Fail, and even Fine Gael TDs attended the funeral of Seamus Costello. Ditto the funeral of Cathal Goulding – there was even a judge there. Attending funerals is a national pastime in Ireland. You can’t infer that the attendees support the views or actions of the deceased. As for appearing in a more recent photograph with a UVF man and PUP activist: the UVF are in a similar position now to the IRA – officially disarmed and inactive. And the PUP are political rivals of the DUP, not allies. If you want to establish solid links between Dodds and terrorism I think you’ll have to discover something that isn’t in the public domain. The DUP’s modus operandi was to whip up sectarian hatred and then denounce the loyalist terrorists who reacted by going out and killing Catholics. Thus they reaped the political rewards of increased sectarian division while keeping their hands relatively clean. What is missing is a direct statement from a DUP figure unambiguously urging or praising acts of loyalist violence. Do such exist?

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