Will the UVF listen to the voice of Gusty Spence?

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The moderator of the Presbyterian Church Norman Hamilton is a prudent man. It is always wise to listen to him because he is rare in being at such a senior level in his chosen way of life and yet remains so close to his grassroots. He listened carefully to Gusty Spence’s call on the UVF to disband now. Mr. Hamilton responded ” I am not sure this is a defining moment.” Brian Ervine the current leader of the PUP wants
to know ” where do the men go? How do they go?” Norman Hamilton says of the Shankill area ” the roots to bring light and hope are not yet there.” That is an understatement. Raymond Mc Cord who lost his son is re- energised in pursuit of justice for his family on this the thirteenth anniversary of the killing of his son. He wants the killers to be brought to justice. The key question is: Is the UVF sufficiently homogeneous to go under in a unified manner. How does the leadership make sure of this? The IRA took a long time to bring it’s campaign to a close as it sought to ensure the optimum of the movement was on board. Despite a historical general togetherness in that organisation we still have physical force Republicans. If the UVF leadership listens to Gusty Spence will we still have a residual physical force loyalist element?


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I am a regular contributor to discussion programmes on TV and radio both at home and abroad. An experienced political editor and author specialising in Politics, Security and 20th Century Art.

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