And Now we are as bad as Terrorist and Serial Killers!
The standard of writing in Press is plumbing new depths all the time but trust The Observer to take a quantum leap downwards.

Taking inspiration from a prize prat of Martin Amis, Henry McDonald seeks to draw an analogy between Loyalist Terrorist and Millwall Hooligans. Why pick on Millwall along with Chelsea, rather than Chelsea alone or even Rangers whose thugs do indeed cultivate links with Loyalist sympathisers.

The answer of course is the old chestnut of the writer not being intelligent enough to understand the meaning of the chant "No one likes us, we don't care" Its a chant that does not contain any threats, swear words or racist language. It is not an expression of hatred of others, rather that we recognise that outsiders have little love for us and take every opportunity to sneer at us and have a pop, however we have grown a thick skin and adpoted a siege mentality to cope with this barrage and shrug off the more ignorant slanders.

Perhaps Henry is ignorant of the number of Postmen or Catholics who follow Millwall who will find the following article highly offensive.

Hannibal the loyalist

Why serial killers, football hooligans and UDA thugs are all alike

Henry McDonald Sunday January 20, 2002 The Observer
Martin Amis detects something in common between the serial killer and the football thug. In his collection of essays and reviews, The War Against Cliché , Amis notes the strikingly similar qualities between the mass murderer and the English hooligan. He contends that the two share 'sociopathy, delirium, motivelessness, and an utter dedication to the ugly'. Any if not all of these words could equally apply today to those at the hard edge extremes of Ulster loyalism. Take for a start 'sociopathy'. The disdain which elements of the UDA demonstrate towards the outside world, their paranoid attitude to the mass media, their nihilistic indifference to their image-problem all resemble the loathing the thug and the serial killer have for humanity.

Those behind the recent threats to public service workers and the murder of Daniel McColgan exhibit a 'Millwall' attitude to the rest of us - no one likes them and they don't care. Their hatred for the 'other' out there, their eternal hunt for enemies in every corner supersedes any concern about the PR disasters such activities (leaving aside for one moment the base immorality of their actions) inflict upon the wide unionist/Protestant community.

As for 'delirium' the rejectionist loyalists are gripped by two dangerous delusions: firstly, that the Agreement is a conspiratorial piece-by-piece process (devised in the Vatican, the White House and Iveagh House) leading to a United Ireland; secondly, that a return to past tactics such as ethnic cleansing, general strikes and the mass terrorisation of the Catholic population will somehow bring about the restoration of Protestant supremacy.

In terms of motive (or the lack of it) trying to rationalise what propelled someone to threaten teachers, postal workers or firemen, or to work out how Daniel McColgan's murder could in any way advance the unionist cause seems utterly pointless. Linking the hooligan with the serial killer, Amis quotes Bill Buford's book on the former, Among The Thugs.

'He (Buford) began the book because he "wanted to know why young males in England were rioting every Saturday". Answer: because they like it.'

Strip away all those Red Hands, crowns, Cuchalains, maps of Northern Ireland, flags, guns and balaclavas and you are left with a baseless motive: 'We hate them (Taigs) because we enjoy it. We know no more.'

And finally there is the sheer ugliness, the repulsive coarseness of the imagery associated with hard-line loyalism. In the early to mid 1990s loyalism tried to nurture a radically different public persona. 

There was the articulate, well-turned-out, moderate-sounding David Ervine armed with his pipe and Lech Walesa moustache who embodied what was then fashionably known as 'new unionism'. Loyalists back then 'cared' about what the rest of the world thought of them.

Since then, in terms of global perception, they have been supplanted by the shaven heads, the earrings, the baseball hats, the rippling muscles, the Alsatian dog with the T-shirt wrapped around its body - the icons of unthinking menace. Both Amis and Buford would recognise this face of self-destructive nihilism, noting that it could easily be found at Millwall's Den or Chelsea's Shed.

It would of course be deeply unfair to pour the entire unionist community into this moronic mould, to stereotype the entire alienated loyalist working class. Many loyalists were disgusted and dismayed over the actions of the bigoted boneheads who smashed up teachers car's in Ballysillan, issued death threats to Royal Mail staff and finally slaughtered Daniel McColgan.

Moreover, thousands of Protestant workers joined their Catholic colleagues at Friday's protest allies against sectarian intimidation. These men and women - particularly the courageous postal workers who were the vanguard of the mass demonstrations - represent the decent core of Northern society, the broad centre that acts as a buffer against those forces seeking to drag us back to incipient civil war.

None the less the entire unionist community has a problem on its hands which its political leaders until now have either ignored or in the case of certain anti-Agreement elements have sought to exploit. A sub-culture of criminality coupled with a new ferocious band of sectarianism has paralysed working-class Protestant communities. It has bred an underclass of educational under achievers, drug dealers and pipe bombers that were still in nappies when the terrorist campaigns were grinding inexorably to a halt in the early 1990s.

Governments can only do a certain amount to cure this malaise; throwing money at areas is not enough. Until the decent core within the Protestant community, especially its workers, stand up against the 'sociopathy, delirium, motivelessness, and the utter dedication to the ugly,' then this self-destructive retreat into extremism will continue.

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