Now this is the sort of action that will drive away undesirable elements from any neighborhood where they're not wanted.
By "undesirable elements" I do mean criminals, including drug dealers.
Last Sunday, on a street in the Taughmonagh section of Belfast, a drug dealer was tied to a lamppost by two men in balaclavas, had hot tar and feathers dumped over his head and then had a cardboard sign hung around his neck announcing "IM [sic] A DRUG DEALING SCUMBAG." The men who carried out the attack are suspected to be memebers of the UDA (Ulster Defense Association, a loyalist paramilitary organization).
Although I do not in any way condone either republican or loyalist violence during Belfast's Troubles, I fail to see how this will revive them. This is simply a holdover from the days when the Troubles were active, when both groups routinely used tar and feathering as punishment. The fact is, a drug dealer was active on the Taughmonagh estate. People complained to the police about him. But of course, as anyone living in this country who isn't a brainless celebrity or soulless vivisectionist knows, the police and the laws they enforce are good for nothing. Needless to say, that's exactly what the police did about the drug dealer — nothing. The UDA orginally told residents of Taughmonagh to contact the police. In the words of the Ulster Political Research Group's Frankie Gallagher, "The UDA told the local community to go to the police about this. The community responded in the way it did because it had no confidence in the police."
So the people of Taughmonagh looked after themselves, as so many other people throughout Britain are often forced to do. Two pissed-off residents of the area captured the man, tied him up and administered the tar-and-feathering while a crowd, inclduing women and children, watched. Justice served.
The UDA, however, denies it masterminded or carried out the attack. They describe it as a "community reaction."
Of course, the fallout from the attack has been only too predictable. A Belfast police report moaned that there's "no place in civilised society for people taking the law into their own hands resulting in such a brutal and barbaric attack." You can just hear the unwritten/unspoken codicil to the police statement here: "Especially when we do bugger all, as always." Alliance Party leader David Ford whined, "[M]ost people will find it very hard to believe that the UDA was not involved in this despicable act." Other Northern Ireland politicians also decried the "thuggery" behind the attack.
Callers to a local radio show in Belfast, however, supported the tar-and-feathering attack by a majority of six to one. That certainly speaks volumes about how far removed politicians, judges and the police are from the people they claim to serve.
You can whine all you like about the drug dealer's alleged human rights — and since when could a drug dealer be considered human? There will always be people who will actually tell you with a straight face that British justice is "good" justice. You could say that vigilantes are far worse than the criminals they go after. But as far as I'm concerned, my sympathies lie entirely with the average person in Belfast: This attack was justified. Whoever was responsible for it, I salute them as heroes.
And until the political correctness that cripples our judges, politicians and police forces is dismantled and done away with, I hope we will have a lot more of this type of community reaction.Powered by Sidelines