From the loyalist blog It's Still Only Thursday the sixth interview for the Ordinary Voices Project.
As with all interviews for the Ordinary Voices project this interview was conducted via email.
Respondent is William, from Londonderry. William describes himself as “Self employed, married with 2 wee sons. Love my family, football and a few beers. More political now as I get a bit older”
Question 1: How would you describe yourself politically?
Respondent: I’m a Loyalist but I’m also a free thinker. I disagree with the main Unionist parties on most things and I would also be critical of the paramilitaries, I think they have failed the people terribly. But I’d still class myself as a Loyalist or maybe even an Ulster Nationalist, at least at times.
Question 2:. Do you think there is an inherent bias with regard to Legacy Issues?
Respondent: Certainly there is. It is blatant. Republicans have made everything about them. They cry “collusion” at every opportunity and demand inquiry upon inquiry. Where is the justice for the Loyalist community? Where’s our inquiries?
Why doesn’t somebody campaign for an inquiry into how republicans could force out thousands upon thousands of Protestants from the West Bank [of the Foyle]?
Question 3: Do you think that legacy issues are being handled well?
Respondent: No, not at all. You’d think that the only ones that suffered any loss were republicans. They cry and shout and make demands and the British government caves in, time and time again. I’m sick of it.
The best of it is, is that republicans will never be satisfied, never. The young ones out throwing petrol bombs at the police in the Creggan, they don’t give a damn about inquiries or “legacy issues”. At least not now. Maybe if one of them is killed or something, then that’ll be something else they’ll demand an inquiry into.
Question 4:. Do you think a so-called “hard border” will lead to violence?
Respondent: More violence? Yes. Probably. The dissidents [dissident republicans] will use any excuse. They’ve got a real grip in Derry at the minute and it’s only a matter of time before somebody else is murdered. I don’t know the situation in Belfast but up here in the North West the dissidents are getting stronger and stronger every day.
Question 5: Do you believe that reconciliation is possible between the two communities?
Respondent: No. Honestly I think things are really bad at the minute and I think they’ll only get worse. There’s more bitterness and hatred now than I ever remember. I’ve heard other older ones saying that the two sides are more divided now than even during the worst of the Troubles.
There’ll never be reconciliation in this country and there will only ever be peace when one side totally beats the other into the ground.
Question 6: Do you think that Loyalists will retaliate if republicans murder a police officer or a soldier in Londonderry?
Respondent: I’d say it’s very likely. The UVF aren’t very strong in Londonderry but the UFF still are. They would be on for hitting back, I’d nearly guarantee it.
I suppose it might depend on the circumstances. If they [dissident republicans] set off a bomb and kill 2 or 3 innocent folk then it could set everything off. I think too that the republicans know it and they’re being careful until they are a bit stronger.
Question 7:. Do you think that the Loyalist community has been unfairly stereotyped in a negative way?
Respondent: Yes. For sure. Republicans love to make up all this crap about the PUL people, they get really into it and think they are hilariously funny but it’s just pathetic. Most republicans have the same kind of sense of humour as a young child. They don’t seem to think that Protestants are actual human beings.
Question 8: What are your hopes and aspirations for Northern Ireland in the medium to long term?
Respondent: I hope to see a day when the whole thing is sorted out, once and for all. No wee hoods firing petrol bombs at the police, no republican terrorism, no bomb scares or any of that crap.
I want my kids to have a peaceful country to grow up in and if that means somebody taking on these republican groups then so be it. It’s time somebody grabbed the bull by the horns and put these vermin out of business.
I want to see them gone. I’d love to see the like of Sinn Fein gone too but I think maybe that’s wishful thinking.
Our thanks to William for participating in the Ordinary Voices project.
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