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DISBANDING THE R.U.C -
THE TRAGEDY OF UNIONIST 'PROPAGANDA'
WHY DISBAND the R.U.C? It's a complex subject - complicated by the fact that many unionists signed up to this when they backed the Good Friday Agreement. One of the main reasons, however, is simply propaganda. Unionists are useless propagandists whilst pan-Irish national-chauvinists are excellent. Unionists wouldn't know a propaganda opportunity if it hit them in the face. They have no long-term strategy and are content to huff, puff and rattle their sabres! The Ulster Unionist Information Institute did not emerge until 1988 - almost two decades after the most recent conflict began! The DUP (formed in 1971) are little better. Pan-Irish national-chauvinists, on the other hand, have conducted a brilliant campaign to demonise the RUC. Their propaganda has been pitched at several levels and has been part of a very long-term strategy. But it has had its desired effect. Much of this propaganda campaign has been very base, simplistic and incorrect. A child - let alone a unionist - could have easily refuted many of these claims by pointing out the facts. For instance pan-Irish national-chauvinists claim that their co-religionists had absolutely 'no confidence' in the RUC. Does this mean then, that no Catholic has ever reported an assault, sexual offence, burglary or road traffic offence? Pan-Irish national-chauvinists also claim that Catholics didn't join the RUC because of its title and emblem. Again, that's absolute rubbish. The student population at Queen's University Belfast is overwhelmingly Catholic - yet there's no problem with its name or its emblem which includes a Crown and Harp. And what about the Royal Mail? Its symbol is the crown and many Catholics work here. Neither do Catholics boycott West Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital!
This simplistic approach has been complimented by much more sophisticated anti-RUC propaganda. Much of this has concerned 'human rights abuses'. Here, the RUC have really helped pan-Irish national chauvinists. For instance, does anyone really believe the RUC accidentally 'lost' audio tapes relating to the 1980s 'shoot to kill' allegations? Can they really justify their actions during the subsequent Stalker/Sampson inquiries? Talk about making a rod to beat yourself with! Pan-Irish national-chauvinists simply sat back and enjoyed the show!
Even here unionist 'propagandists' missed their cue. This is because unionism lacks any principled position. They don't mind if a few Catholics (Provos or civilians) get shot in disputed circumstances. But by not speaking out, unionists actually helped the Brits to get away with killing Protestants in a similar fashion - remember UVF volunteer, Brian Robinson? And what about excessively rough treatment at RUC holding stations? Those who doubt these allegations should ask anyone who has had the misfortune to sign a 'confession' at Castlereagh! Many unionists also believe that being lifted by the RUC was automatic 'proof' of guilt. Tell that to the UDR 4!
The failure of unionist 'propaganda' is astounding - they couldn't even use official figures to their advantage. For instance, pan-Irish national chauvinists have successfully claimed that the RUC was a 'murderous force'. Yet statistics show that the RUC were responsible for only 52 (out of 3,637) deaths in the latest troubles. Of these, fifteen were republican volunteers and twenty-six were Catholic civilians. In contrast, the Provos killed 273 members of the RUC. What about that for a 'shoot to kill' policy? Many of these RUC victims were killed whilst unarmed and off-duty - whatever happened to their 'human rights'?
It's too late to save the RUC now. They'll soon be disbanded and replaced by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Unionism lost the pro/anti-RUC propaganda war years ago. Pan-Irish national-chauvinists won that war hands down. Ulster nationalists, however, can learn many lessons from this.
Firstly, we must clear about our task. We must engage in a very long term struggle to build a strong enough organisation so that we can have a major influence on a number of policies which are important to the future of our people and nation. To exert this influence we need to build an alternative mass media of news and entertainment that can produce the right conditions for an Ulster nationalist movement to achieve power. We believe in a truly democratic, non-sectarian, independent Ulster. We're not going to achieve that overnight. But that's no reason to give up - remember it's taken pan-Irish national-chauvinists thirty years to get rid of the RUC.
Secondly, our propaganda must be aimed at many levels - but always based on our needs. We initially need to recruit those idealists who can help us build the infrastructure of our alternative mass media of news and entertainment. This is the reason for our educational propaganda. We educate the public and gain supporters from those who respond positively to our educational effort. These supporters help us build our infrastructure in order that we can enhance our educational effort and reach more people.
Thirdly, once we have built this infrastructure we need to produce more emotional and agitational propaganda. We recognise that whoever is able to control the images presented to the public can control the public's attitudes - and the way the public votes.
Will you help us with these tasks? Do you have any skills that might help us build the infrastructure of this mass media of news and entertainment? We need to transform ourselves from enthusiastic amateurs to full-time professional propagandists. We need to improve the frequency of Ulster Nation as we cannot win any propaganda war on a quarterly basis! We want to produce books and pamphlets on many varied subjects. We'd also like to improve our web site and move into the realm of CDs, internet radio and TV. We would like to do all of this - and much, much, more - but are hampered by a lack of personnel, time and money. Do you love your people and nation enough to join us?
* STATISTICS taken from the books, Lost Lives and Malcolm Sutton's Index of deaths in the troubles.Home Page
A THIRD WAY FOR ULSTER
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