Questions over PUP decision: Campbell [Community Telegraph]

In his letter to you (June 2), in reference to loyalist paramilitaries, Councillor Michael McGimpsey claims that “loyalism is in transition”.

The hint that this “transition”, under pressure from the UUP, might show tangible evidence of a move away from criminality is regrettably not supported by the evidence.

In its most recent report the IMC describes the UVF as “active, violent and ruthless” and that “it continues to display behaviour indicating that it intends to remain in paramilitary business”.

The murder attempt on Mark Haddock in Newtownabbey bears the hallmarks of a UVF involvement.

With no decommissioning on offer where is the evidence of “transition”?

In September last year the Government said that it no recognised the UVF ceasefire.

Only weeks after the controversial linkage between the UUP and the PUP comes this attempted murder. If this reflects the “transition” referred to then more rather than less violence can be expected.

It is dishonest to imply achievements where they do not exist.

What has not been explained either is what was on offer to the PUP to encourage it to join the UUP at Stormont. Why can this not be spelled out?

In this respect, it is interesting to note at the claim in October 2005 by PUP leader David Ervine that he “detested” the concept of unionist unity.

In that “Inside Politics” interview, he said: “Too often it resulted unionists “huddling around” the lowest common denominator.”

Your correspondent seeks to excuse the UUP/PUP arrangement by claiming that “it makes unionism’s position stronger on the executive” but what is in it for the PUP?

Why have they so recently changed their declared opposition towards unionist unity?

Councilor Tom Campbell, Alliance, Newtownabbey Borough Council, Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey.

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