“which is altered by some Scottish loyalists to refer to Irish immigration into Scotland…”

From his foxhole cul-de-sac, DUP Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland, has made a stab at explaining away the sectarian antics of loyalist marchers who stopped in front of St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Donegall Street to play loyalist tunes during the 12th July parade in Belfast this year (before also assaulting a man who filmed the incident.)

It makes for a fascinating read- though I’m not sure how it fits in with the DUP’s apparent pitch for catholic votes.
 
And, yes you’ve guessed it, the media and Sinn Fein are to blame for the matter…..
 
Nelson decides to avoid commenting on the verbal and physical attacks dished out by the loyalist bandsmen and Orange Order members to the individual who took the video, a former SF election candidate and local community worker, preferring to shoot the messenger in a vain attempt to deflect attention from the substantive matter at hand.
 
He also skates past the hardly coincidental yet clearly controversial choice of music by the loyalists as they circled outside the church, concluding that the bandsmen were perhaps ‘naive’ to be playing The Famine Song, a song which trivialises the death of one million Irish people in the Famine, mocks the issue of pedophilia and denigrates the Irish community in Scotland (a song labelled ‘racist’ by Scottish judges.)
 
Indeed, here’s what the Minister had to say on that song:
 
The band played for fifteen minutes and of all the tunes that were played during that time only one has been criticised, named the old Beach Boys tune, Sloop John B, which is altered by some Scottish loyalists to refer to Irish immigration into Scotland after the 19th century Famine. (my italics)
 
Let’s examine the lyrics of *that* song sung by local- as well as Scottish loyalists- which apparently “refers to Irish immigration”:
 
I often wonder where they would have been
If we hadn’t have taken them in
Fed them and washed them
Thousands in Glasgow alone
From Ireland they came
Brought us nothing but trouble and shame
Well the famine is over
Why don’t they go home?
 
Now they raped and fondled their kids
That’s what those perverts from the darkside did
And they swept it under the carpet
and Large John he hid
Their evils seeds have been sown
Cause they’re not of our own
Well the famine is over
Why don’t you go home?
 
And to think Nelson labels the cameraman who captured the footage a ‘propagandist!’
 
Perhaps Nelson would take a stab at explaining this dainty wee number played and sung heartily by the Pride of Ardoyne FB and followers as they approached police lines on the Woodvale Road on the 12th July. Maybe it’s merely the articulation of an ecumenical desire for Christian unity, removing the need for a separate Catholic Church…
 
As an apologia, Nelson’s article reads very poorly to anyone not desperately seeking an excuse to avoid seeing the large elephant in whose shadow Nelson penned this not so glorious piece.
 
But it is a timely reminder as to the reasons why unionist efforts to focus attention on the machinations of dissident republican factions as the primary obstacle to resolving disputes around the marching season are disingenuous and doomed to failure.
 
That’s not to say that dissident republican factions haven’t identified the communal tensions surrounding the 12th July each year as ideal conditions to cultivate support for their own political agenda.
 
Clearly, the violence orchestrated in a small number of nationalist communities in Belfast, Derry and Lurgan/Portadown this year and in past years  illustrates how the various dissident republican groupings are continuing to seek to gain traction in this manner.
 
But when one considers that unionist politicians were amongst the two dozen or so loyalists chosen to be bussed across the city just so they could walk the contentious stretch of the proposed  Crumlin Road route- before being bussed back to take part in parading where they were actually welcome-it is evident that the antagonistic mindset of the Loyal Orders is being perpetuated by a unionist political leadership unwilling to provide the Loyal Orders with the guiding influence to lead them away from confrontation and from the supremacist tendencies and practices long associated with aspects of the Marching Season.
 
How ironic, then, that the rather enlightened observations of UDA Leader, Jackie McDonald, regarding Orange parades have failed to find support within a unionist political elite who have preferred to remain more closely aligned with the loyalist paramilitary leaders who’ve condemned McDonald’s sentiments and who appear to be calling time on his leadership as a result of this stance.