Men in east Belfast have erected UVF flags along key arterial routes. It's presumably to 'celebrate' the UVF's centenary however an Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has said: 'residents who object to this behaviour were not consulted, the organisations concerned are regarded as paramilitary'. He is right, the last major attack it carried out was the 1994 Loughinisland massacre, in which its members shot dead six catholic civilians in a pub. It carried out hundreds of other murders. The same men presumably were involved in the painting of the below UVF mural in east Belfast last year, it doesn't take Sherlock to work out this isn't the 'good old UVF' of old.
LATEST: Alliance concern at UVF flag display - Headlines - Belfast Newsletter
Although it apparently officially ended its armed campaign in May 2007, it has been involved in feuds, drug-dealing and punishment shootings. Bizarrely in its recent history during The Troubles, it killed twice as many loyalists than it did republicans, indeed it murdered over 400 civilians, the overwhelming majority of them were killed because of their religion. It did however manage to murder 21 republican activists.
Accused won't be bailed until loyalist feud ends - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
The main issue here is representation and voice. Who are these people and who do they represent? The closest political party to the UVF is the PUP. Currently the PUP has a massive 2 members involved in local government out of a possible 582 seats. It has no MPs, no MLAs but its comrades can proverbially 'piss up a lamppost' and erect, not national flags, but flags of a sectarian murder machine that most right minded people in NI find abhorrent. The PUP should use whatever influence they have to take these flags down and talk some sense into the knuckledraggers who put them up. Here is an article to their latest infamy in the news:
BBC News - Mark Haddock UVF supergrass trial cost taxpayers £11.5m
Flags in NI are a pathetic subject in my opinion, the last few months has been truly embarrassing. Regardless of the street and road, area or city, the erection of national flags on lampposts should be banned. It's disrespectful to a national flag and is akin to a dog pissing up the side of public property, not to mention the intimidation factors involved.