Thursday, April 18, 2013

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Unionists wrong to take on Maggie

Regular columnist Dr John Coulter with a piece on Margaret Thatcher that initially featured in the Irish Daily Star on 15 April 201. 

How many innocent people could Unionists have saved if they had embraced the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement which Maggie Thatcher signed with then Taioseach Garret FitzGerald?

Instead, Unionists chose to tramp Northern streets in the cold and rain during the winter of '85 and '86 in the doomed 'Ulster Says No' campaign.

That peaked with the so-called Day of Action in March 1986, which descended into riots and political Unionism again lost control of  loyalists on the streets.

When Thatcher's earthly remains are cremated in two days' time following a stately funeral packed with British pomp and pageantry, Maggie's spirit will be burning with rage at how Unionists were too thick to understand what she had achieved for them.

Already a hate figure among republicans for letting Bobby Sands and his colleagues die in the Maze, Maggie also had Unionists eating out of her hands after she survived the Provos' Brighton bomb.

Fanatically pro-Union, Maggie then delivered for Unionists the perfect chance to end the conflict when she signed the Dublin Accord at her Hillsborough bolthole.

Unionists then demonstrated their political immaturity by focusing solely on the Maryfield Secretariat established for Dublin civil servants just outside Belfast.

That Secretariat meant that Dublin, not the Shinners or the Stoops, became the main spokesman for Northern nationalists.

Unionists misinterpreted this move as the Dáil having its first formal say in the running of Northern affairs since partition in the 1920s.

Unionists should have reacted to Maryfield by setting up their own Unionist embassy in Leinster House to demand a full say in the running of the Republic.

Such a Unionist embassy, with Maggie's muscle to support it, could have put pressure on the Dáil to implement a tough cross-border security campaign against republican terrorists.

The IRA could have been forced to declare its ceasefire in 1986 instead of in 1994. Think of the hundreds of lives that could have been saved or prevented from being maimed or scarred?

Instead of backing Maggie's visionary plan, Unionists did a typical Sunningdale and rejected, condemning the North to years of undiluted bloodshed and political instability.
The 'Ulster Says No' campaign saw a mobilisation among loyalists not witnessed since the Ulster Workers' Council strike of May 1974 which collapsed Sunningdale.

However, just as Thatcher had faced down republicans over the hunger strikers' demands, so too, she was equally determined to face down loyalist demands to ditch the 1985 Agreement.

Not only did moderate Unionists mobilise by joining the mainstream Unionist parties, but Thatcher's determination to keep the Agreement saw a huge boost in membership of loyalist death squads such as the UDA and UVF.

Rather than building a peace process, unionism sparked the creation of numerous new hardline groups as loyalists frantically searched for means to topple the Agreement.

Working class Prods set up the Ulster Clubs movement, a mirror image of the Unionist Clubs network formed in the early 1900s to combat Home Rule for Ireland.

The most notorious of the groups was the red-bereted Ulster Resistance, once openly supported by former and current DUP leaders Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson.

Army agent the late Brian Nelson arranged for a huge consignment of South African weapons to be smuggled into the North for Ulster Resistance, the UVF and UDA, a move which resulted in the murders of dozens of nationalists.

The extremist Movement for Self-Determination (MSD) was also set up  to campaign for an independent Ulster, with the racist National Front also arriving in the North to try and take advantage of loyalist unrest.


marty said...

Thatcher made no move to outlaw the uda which by that stage,ie., the signing of the Anglo-Irish agreement had murdered hundreds of nationalists yet remained a legal organisation,the unionist population was at that stage being manipulated by Paisley and led by the nose by this megalomaniac,who was never going to stop agitating until the reins of power were handed to him,with age and infirmity on the horizon,this two faced treacherous bible thumper ditched his principles and people for the chance to be the ring master of the circus that Stormont really is.and in true british fashion he and his equally bigoted wife have been honored by titles and to the eternal shame of the Irish government this friend of the Glenanne gang who with assistance from british agents murdered people in Dublin and Monaghan,has been feted like a statesman,which he certainly is John if the brits ever really wanted peace here they should have taken that arch bigot out of the equation at a very early stage.and for fuck sake John dont say that HM government wouldnt do such things..

AM said...

Thatcher said all the Irish were Gerry Adams clones

AM said...

This just gets dirtier and dirtier. I am considering the possibility that the Brits had too many touts and were engaged in a culling exercise

Simon said...

AM- I suppose more and more of these stories will emerge. It doesn't matter if Stakeknife never led people who were wrongly accused of being informers to their deaths: It was a non-state actor's version of justice and justice not only has to be done but it has to be seen to be done.

Nobody can be sure if an individual slipped through the net or not. The truism that there can't be justice without injustice rings truer now than ever.

itsjustmacker said...


I read that today, makes you wonder though, after all this time they still want to protect the agents, Must be someone very high up the ladder who is still operating.

The problem with the touts was, and imo still is, one security section doesn't know what the other security sections touts are doing, or , who they are. psni v MI5 v nca v BA, a big game to see who can get the best info, I think they have left the culling a bit late, but, I wish they would start it now, that would be fun.

itsjustmacker said...

Dr Coulter:

This has me mystified ;

"Unionists should have reacted to Maryfield by setting up their own Unionist embassy in Leinster House to demand a full say in the running of the Republic.".

Unionist are British subjects and a British Embassy is in Dublin, only recognised Countries can have an Embassy in a foreign Country, Unionist are not a Country, they are a Political Party therefor do not have any right to set up an Embassy, Not alone in Dublin, but in any other country in the world.

" Maggie's spirit will be burning with rage at how Unionists were too thick to understand what she had achieved for them."

I agree with you, she is well burning and the stupid unionist are still thick, not knowing what they have really got, SF serving in a British Parliament at Stormont , accepting British Rule , administering British Law accepting British Policing. They have no idea how well of SF have made them. Yet they still want the wee flag back up on the City Hall, they have to accept reality, that is done and dusted, and , they should go on there hands and knees to SF and thank them for STILL BEING BRITISH.

AM said...


it seems pretty clear they are still covering for their agents. And it is not Scap they are covering for.


It doesn't matter if Stakeknife never led people who were wrongly accused of being informers to their deaths: It was a non-state actor's version of justice

I don't know what you mean.

This whole case stinks from top to bottom. It looks to me that there were multiple agencies involved and multiple touts. Agents were entrapping agents, intelligence services were playing a game of inter rivalry.

I suppose we could joke that word went out that there was a tout's convention being held and the Brits dived in to stop anymore converging on the scene! They were being bussed in from everywhere and the venue wasn't big enough to hold them all. From what we now know it would take something like the Waterfront Hall to hold them!

larry hughes said...


Sometimes it seems the Waterfront Hall would be too wee, the entire island of Ireland it seems fits the bill more aptly.

Simon said...

AM- What I mean is on the IRA's terms justice has to be seen to be done. We don't know if anybody was killed whilst innocent of the charge of informing. It's possible. So since nobody knows otherwise we can't assume Stakeknife only killed informers. Whether he did or not is important on a case by case basis but generally justice can't, on Republican terms, be seen to be done.

I suppose Republicans would be happier if he killed less important informers to save himself than if he killed other non-compromised Republicans to get them out of the way. But we may never know.

Apologies for the lack of coherence- I had a long day yesterday. No excuse for today's comment though so I hope it makes sense.

AM said...


I understand.

I think given that Stakeknife worked for the Brits it would not be logic inverting to presume that the Brits gave the go ahead for totally innocent volunteers and civilians to be killed. But what power did Stakeknife have? The power to extract a confession no doubt but the power to put on the black cap and pronounce sentence? The approval had to come from somebody on the A/C. The person who fits the bill here has to be the person who considered the evidence and gave the thumbs up or thumbs down. I would say that therein we shall find the answer to this sordid affair. That in my view is the most likely reason why the judge has access to a secret paper.

larry hughes said...


reading your last post now in 2013 is terrifying.

just headwrecking.

AM said...


one reason why I would not now accept the judgements given against anybody they alleged to have been a tout. People have to be given the benefit of the doubt. The Sandy House has drawn attention to a sordid affair, the end of which we have not heard yet. I would say multiple agencies and mutliple touts involved there. Touts entrapping touts, and touts killing touts while the security agencies fought out their own dirty little turf war and oneupmanship.

AM said...

It’s official: Willie McCrea to face charges of sending a lethal device to Margaret Thatcher.

marty said...

He sent two copies to Adams a cara and by the look of it they worked.