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Gee, Squinter, this IRA thing is kinda confusing, ain’t it?

Big Geordie has been giving his thoughts on the state of the nation Big Geordie has been giving his thoughts on the state of the nation
By Squinter

THAT bloke from the Harvard School of Politics has been back on the phone…

– So, the Ulster Unionist Party has drawn a line in the sand and walked out of the Executive because it refuses to do business with active paramilitaries or parties linked to them, is that right, Mr Squinter?

– Not quite.

– Explain.

– Well, for one thing, it’s quite happy to do business with the PUP and the UPRG which are the political wings, respectively, of the UVF and the UDA.

– Yeah, I heard that. They got their pictures taken with them at Camp Twaddell.

– Actually they did a bit more than that.

– They did?

– They most certainly did.

– How much more?

– Well, they entered into a formal political grouping with them.

– Yeah, the United Ulster Unionist Council, I heard about that. But come on, that was 40 years ago.

– No, actually, it was the Unionist Forum and that was a year and a half ago.

– But they’re inactive, aren’t they?

– Not according to the police.

– Drug-related stuff, I suppose.

– Well, yeah. There’s that. And attacking immigrants.

– Gee.

– And killing people.

– Wow.

– And extortion.

– Okay, I get the point. What about the DUP? Do they reckon the IRA’s still active too?

– They do, they most certainly do.

– So they’re walking out of the Executive too, right?

– Wrong.

– They’re staying?

– Well, for now, anyway. But they say it can’t be business as usual with Sinn Féin.

– Okay. So they’ll probably stop saying hello in the corridor, refuse to get into lifts with them, that kind of thing.

– Hardly. They already do that.

– So what are they going to do?

– Your guess is as good as mine.

– That was a big surprise about the IRA, wasn’t it?

– Which bit?

– The bit the police said about them still running around killing people.

– That’s not strictly accurate.

– It’s not?

– In fact it’s not accurate at all.

– So put me right.

– The police said IRA men were involved, they didn’t say it was the IRA.

– Same thing, isn’t it?

– Not really, no.

– Explain.

– Big Geordie said the IRA didn’t order it and that they’re not involved in terrorism.

– Really? That’s not what we’ve been hearing over here.

– You do surprise me.

– If all this is true, then why did the UUP decide to leave the Stormont Executive?

– Take a wild guess.

– Philanthropy?

– Unlikely.

– Lycanthropy?

– Possibly.

– Party politics?

– You’re getting warm.

– Unionist party politics?

– Very warm.

– Next year’s Assembly elections?

– You’re roastin’.

– Is that why the DUP’s spending more time attacking the UUP than attacking Sinn Féin?

– You’re getting good at this.

– How come nobody in loyal Ulster knew up until now the IRA still existed?

– Oh, they did. They most certainly did.

– Who did?

– The International Monitoring Commission said it in a report in 2008.

– Top secret report, eh? ‘Prime Minister’s Eyes Only’-type deal.

– No, no. All the parties got it.

– And the unionists went crazy, right?

– That would be stretching the truth.

– What did they do?

– Nothing.

– Strange. Hey, I seem to remember they also knew about the on-the-runs years back too and didn’t lift a finger about it. Am I right?

– You’re not wrong.

– Can these guys not read?

– Oh, they can read just fine.

– When they want to.

– Couldn’t have put it better myself.

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