After the threat of implementing water charges in order to drive the electorate to the polls, the British Government has today announced it will throw £1 million at the Ulster Defence Association, clearly in an attempt to secure unionist support of a new assembly at Stormont.
I'll not bother complaining about how this expenditure is to be delivered to an armed and active paramilitary group, while many small charities are forced to downsize or close due to a lack of government funding. I've done this already: here and here.
Frankie Gallagher of the Ulster Political Research Group, a thinly veiled front for the UDA, appeared on BBC Radio Ulster this morning and tried vainly to justify the merits of this latest funding package. He noted that the loyalist community and the loyalist paramilitaries are one and the same and explained ongoing loyalist violence and racketeering as resulting from the actions of criminals using the good name of the UDA.
Amid the squall of bleats and excuses that ensued, came this wonderful gem of clarity from Mr Gallagher: "We're on the long march, like Ho Chi Minh and all the other Chinese philosophers who did that."
Such is the intellectual capacity of the UPRG and all who sail within it.
Rather than complain any further, I suggest that Mr Gallagher invests his glittering prize in the establishment of an education centre as a matter of grave urgency.