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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Moral Duty

Controverial political journalist and Revolutionary Unionist Dr John Coulter maintains Ulster Unionism has a moral duty to become the new voice of the Loyalist working class as it ponders its future without its icon David Ervine.


Dr John Coulter • 15 January 2007

Ulster Unionist boss Red Reg Empey must formally merge his party with the late Davy Ervine's Progressive Unionists if the Loyalist working class are to have a future political voice in the North.

Ervine's memory could be best honoured by all Loyalist terror gangs decommissioning and disbanding – not just the UVF and Red Hand Commando he represented in the PUP.

Ironically, this year marks the 30th anniversary of another fringe Unionist party chief dying suddenly.

Brian Faulkner, the former Northern Premier and chief of the pro-Sunningdale Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, was killed in a hunting accident near his Co Down home in March 1977. The party formally folded in 1981.

The harsh reality of Northern Unionist politics is that without a dynamic leader, fringe parties will eventually fade away.

And if mainstream Unionism wants to commemorate the work Ervine accomplished in bringing militant Loyalism to the ceasefire Press conference, then the UUP has a moral duty to officially bring on board the PUP as well as the pro-UDA/UFF Ulster Political Research Group.

But surely the DUP is the largest Unionist party at Stormont and at Westminster? The controlling Prod fundamentalist clique in the DUP has ridden to power on the backs of the Loyalist working class.

When Ervine tried to formally join the UUP Assembly team – a move which could have given Unionism an extra ministerial seat in the power-sharing Executive at the expense of the Shinners – it was challenged by the Paisley camp.

The DUP's political Pharisees seemed to have conveniently overlooked their own roots with Loyalist paramilitary groups such as the Ulster Protestant Volunteers, Third Force, and Ulster Resistance.

Other terrorists who would have at one time counted themselves as Paisley supporters were the late John McKeague, one of the founders of the notorious Red Hand Commando, and the late William McGrath, founder of Tara, the vehemently anti-Catholic doomsday movement.

Both McKeague and McGrath were also known homosexuals, the latter dubbed the Beast of Kincora after his convictions for abusing boys in his care in the former east Belfast home.

Not surprisingly, the snobbish Fur Coat Brigade within the UUP also kicked up its high heels in a frenzy at the thought of Ervine teaming up with the middle class dominated Assembly team.

Since the start of the Northern state, Unionism's Fur Coat Brigade has been prepared to sit with the Loyalist working class in Orange halls.

But when it comes to sharing power with ordinary Prods, Unionism's Fur Coat Brigade has a simple motto – the working class can kiss my ass!

The DUP may have promoted itself as the voice of the Protestant working class, but it was Unionist middle class votes which clinched the Paisleyites' election victories over the UUP in November 2003 and June 2005.

Like it or not, a sizeable chunk of the North's one million Prods come from the working class. Without a relevant, mainstream political voice such as the UUP, Loyalism will descend even further into the quagmire of criminality and bloody internal turf wars.

Then again, was the opposition within the UUP to Red Reg trying to form an Assembly pact with Ervine more about the party's liberal wing creating another leadership coup?

Red Reg has tried to distance himself policy-wise from the party's disastrous Trimble era by introducing a socialist bread and butter agenda.

Unfortunately, to Unionism's ruling fundamentalist elite, any mention of socialism sinks of atheistic communism, the KGB, the Cold War and those nasty Russian Soviets.

It is not the future of the PUP which is at stake with Ervine's demise – it is the very identity and direction of the Loyalist working class.

Dublin has already pledged to pump tens of millions of pounds into the North. But Unionism's – and especially the DUP's – fundamentalist middle class ignores the Loyalist working class at its peril.

These Loyalist workers may not have the stomach for another armed conflict against republicanism, and the thought of asking Shinners to help them get their brew forms completed sticks in their throats.

But what happens if Fianna Fail decides to organise in Loyalist working class districts under the banner: If Unionists won't get you your benefits, we will!

Unionism should remember that as the political cancer known as apathy slowly reduces the Protestant middle class vote, the Unionist parties need to rely on the Loyalist working class to get elected in supposedly safe seats.

Red Reg should grow bigger political balls, face down the Fur Coat Brigade liberals and revamp the UUP's Unionist Labour Movement. That would be a genuinely lasting memorial to Ervine instead of pious words and empty rhetoric.

Meanwhile, on the topic of icons - Mel Gibson is surely one of the great iconic film directors of the new millennium, and his latest masterpiece, Apocalypto, is worthy of several Oscars for sheer entertaining value for money.

It is a graphic portrayal of the fight for existence of an ancient Mayan civilisation in Mexico and is Gibson's best work since The Passion of the Christ about the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.

With Apocalypto and Passion under his belt, Gibson should make an ultimate flick – his interpretation of the Biblical Book of Revelation.

This should come complete with the real global apocalypse, the final battle of Armageddon, and the Second Coming of Christ.

Given Gibson's devout religious faith, a film on Revelation would make fundamentalist furore over the Passion look like a Sunday School outing. I wonder who Gibson would portray as the Anti Christ?

If the Passion is taken as a benchmark, it should have the fundamentalists up in arms about any film on Revelation being another Popish Plot to undermine Protestantism.

Did it ever occur to these Hell fire fundamentalists that what is really undermining the true Biblical doctrine of Salvation are some of the crazy antics of these fundamentalists themselves?

Unfortunately, rather than looking to the true words of Jesus Christ as written in the Biblical New Testament text of St John Chpt 3, verse 16, they are judging Salvation based on the utterances and behaviour of so-called Christians and reaching the terrible conclusion - if that's whats going to be in heaven, Hell ain't a bad place to be!


















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Index: Current Articles

22 January 2007

Other Articles From This Issue:

Only A Fool
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Wake Up & Smell the Coffee
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Killing the Messenger
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Turning Tide
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Derry Debate
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The Issues That Need Debated
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The Rule of Whose Law?
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GFA Gestapo
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When in a Hole...
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Don't Be Afraid, Do Not Be Fooled
Dolours Price

Provie Peelers
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No Other Law
32 County Sovereignty Movement

Whither Late Sinn Fein?
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The Final Step
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Moral Duty
Dr John Coulter

Repatriated Prisoner's Thanks
Aiden Hulme

McDowell Blocks 'Last' Repatriation
Fionnbarra O'Dochartaigh

Óglaigh na hÉireann New Years Message 2007
Óglaigh na hÉireann

A "Must Read" For Those With a Serious Interest
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George Faludy’s Happy Days in Hell
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Reflections on the Late David Ervine
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In Memoriam David Ervine
Marcel M. Baumann

Michael Ferguson
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"Bloody Sunday" Commemoration Event
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2 January 2007

The Final Step
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Of Animal Farm and Similar Stories
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'Securocrats', 'JAPPS' and other 'enemies of the peace process'
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John Kennedy

Dilseacht (Loyalty)
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Joe & Roy Johnston: 'Water Running Uphill'?
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Concerned Republicans
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Telling Moment at Toome
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Toome Debate
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Wrap It Up
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KKK Taking Root?
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British Army Step Up Recruitment Attempts
Republican Socialist Youth Movement

Is This Anti-Americanism, Or What?
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Finding Christmas in Uganda
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That Which Cannot Be Denied
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Has Regime Change Boomeranged?
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Chile: The Ghosts of Torture
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Biblical Basics
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John Kennedy

Across A Table
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