Thursday, 15 April 2021

How Red Their Hands?

There will never be agreement as to its precise nature, but there is no doubt about the historical fact of collusion between Loyalist paramilitary organisations and the British security forces. The former would have been nothing without the latter.

They need to keep that in mind as, on any given night, the war could start again, with boys on either side breaching peace lines in order to be gunned down by the other side's decidedly non-teenage operatives who were waiting for them. The night that that happened, then all else would follow.

How many votes would Ian Paisley ever have won in England? But it was the other lot that made its greatest ever strategic error and decided to bomb England, thereby antagonising an English population that had previously been either indifferent or downright unsympathetic towards Ulster Unionism. Without that, then there would have been a United Ireland by the middle of the 1970s, entirely regardless of what anyone in Northern Ireland had thought.

Still run very largely by the same individuals as it was at least by the 1980s, the IRA is never going to make that kind of mistake again. And without that, then Britain would not fight another war for the IRA's enemies. Indeed, it could not now do so. Fight such a war with what? Fight such a war with whom? After all, and although the situation rapidly changed, the first deployment of British troops was against the Loyalists, not in support of them. They really do need to think on.

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