“Simply because if you fill in a form you could get charged with an offence”

So, Mervyn Gibson rocked the boat on The View last night, when he noted the Orange may, after taking legal advice, choose not to notify the Parades Commission… Why? because one of the outcomes of the recent flag protest is a new ‘understanding’ that if you don’t notify the Parades Commission, there is nothing they can do.

In other words, everything returns to the status quo ante; minus any form of prior notification being required by police or parades commission. The latter have, potentially, been sidelined. It is in theory, however, still illegal do so.

So why are the cops unlikely to act? Matt Baggott explained here in detail why not. Because as the Chief Constable “we will enforce the law at the time if we can, and if not then later”.

This is where it gets interesting. If there is no notification in the summer when thousands of Orangemen take to the streets, the court system may be hard pressed (if they continue in the same non confrontational vein) process the likely numbers.

As Brian Feeney correctly notes two convictions for illegal parading sends a message out you can do what you like. A message which is now being clearly heard and understood by the Orange Order.

As noted here on Slugger by Better Together it is a matter of both morals and incentives. And the incentives to follow the legal routes laid down in statute are rapidly disappearing.

With the legal safety net rapidly disappearing, those criticising the chief constable most loudly also seem a tad short on what the actual alternatives might be (other than maybe cracking a few Orange heads open). [Hold on. Haven't we been here before? - Ed]

What time’s that #fleg protest at police headquarters again? Noooo, not that one.

, , ,

  • Dec

    Here’s an idea: deliver the bill for security costs for eachunnotified parades direct to the relevant District Master’s door the following morning.

  • Obelisk

    I forget who said it during the height of the peace process, but someone said, and I’m paraphrasing ‘let’s all go on a journey together and forget about the destination’.

    Well we’ve been on a journey alright and it’s beginning to look like we’ve been going in circles and the abyss is coming right up.It seems we’ve created a perfect storm over clashing cultures.

    Leadership now please, as in right now. This is about to get very very nasty otherwise.

  • Mick Fealty

    Sequestration? Channeling an early Thatcher very effectively there Dec! Is there a law against it? ;-)

  • tacapall

    Who even cares anymore whether protests, parades, marches or whatever is legal or illegal, if people impede or stop other people going about their normal business then they are a problem. This smart alec approach by the Orange Order will as always simply create division and confrontation, I would go one step further than Dec and send the bill for policing any public parade or protest to the organisers just like football clubs have to pay.

  • BarneyT

    Its pure madness. The Parades commision has an obvious role to play with respect to the loyalist and unionist parades….and of course from any other source. They came into being as a consequence of the parades and how they were used to antagonise and intimidate. The orders would not resolve this therefore the commision had to be established.

    The response from Rev Mervyn Gibson is laced with threats as well as poor logic. He refers to “attacks” on their culture and in doing so effectively states that all hell will break loose if they do not get their way and they do not get to shape and determine the law as they see fit.

    Indeed Baggot cannot steam in and make arrests on the very day, however I hope the cameras are in operation and evidence is gathered and a retrospective process is invoked and rigously applied. The PSNI cannot afford to run from this one as they have a point to make i.e. they enforce the law, not the Orange Order

  • Ulster Press Centre

    I believe it’s the one-sided implementation of the laws and regulations which are infuriating Unionists the most.

    Elderly men walking to church on a Sunday morning are attacked and threatened by IRA gangs and yet they are the ones who suffer by having their routes changed or blocked altogether.

    Meanwhile, in Nationalist communities parades take place constantly without PC approval – some even have Sinn Fein government ministers in attendance. Others purposely stop to play sectarian songs outside protestant churches – designed solely to cause offense. Sinn Fein hold illegal rodablocks on main roads in protestant areas (with the Shankill Butcher in the crowd). Other Nationalist parades even involve the parade participants hurling sectarian abuse, stones, bottles filled with urine and golf balls at protestant homes and religious buildings.

    http://youtu.be/S9530VSRTi0?t=4m50s

    Some balanced, fair and non-biased use of the legislation might help in future.

  • http://sammymorse.livejournal.com Gerry Lynch

    This was, pretty obviously, going to be a problem once Matt Baggott had decided on a ‘non-confrontational’ approach to the flags protests. I raised this problem a month ago. The entire edifice of parades related legislation has been gutted, if the Orange Order insist on pursuing this course of action, we return the status quo ante of the police being who decides whether or not parades are allowed to be permitted, with major implications for the acceptability of the police in the future (cast your mind back to Drumcree 1997). Baggott seemed entirely unaware of this prospect in December and January.

    If the Order goes down this avenue, the police are probably going to have a to make a decision on which set of skulls to crack. The implications are frightening.

    What has happened here over the past three months would not be tolerated in any other British city.

  • http://WindowsIDHotmail danielsmoran

    tapacall Typically the DUP/uup are so cowardly they wouldn’t even go on Talkback as Wendy tried to interview them over the OO’s latest scam. I’m not we can blame Robinson though, as he seems to have sold his backbone for a fiver some time last November. The Baggott justification for doing nothing about flag protesters illegal blocking of roads [at the time] so as not to rile the loyalists, tells us we’re in Keystone Kops territory here.

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Gerry Lynch: What has happened here over the past three months would not be tolerated in any other British city.

    I doubt they would put up with religious serial killers in their government or council chambers, kiddies playparks being named after sectarian monsters, government funds used to build terrorist memorials, the gross insult aimed at their country’s flag, criminals being released from jail early, other criminals being protected from justice because of threats to peace or political parties carrying out punishment shootings against people in their communities.

    This isn’t Margate – so stop trying to pretend it is.

  • BarneyT

    UPC – sounds like you are running away with yourself. Clearly anyone who impedes or attacks elderly folks on their way to church (or anywhere else for that matter) need to be dealt with…skull cracking comes to mind. When you say IRA gang, Do you mean groups of lads that are probably from catholic stock?

    You also suggest that nationalists parade within nationalist communities. Therein is the difference surely. Antagonism and marching is generally associated with unionist parades. That is well established. The unionist parades will and have sought out trouble and they will and have happily moved into “foreign” territory to make a point and to remind the lowly nationalists that they are in charge and will march where and when they please.

    I can take a fair stance on many aspects of NI politics, but if you are suggesting there is an equivalence between nationalist and loyalist marching events, that is simply not true.

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Watch the video I provided Barney.

  • tacapall

    Great camera work UPC thats one you can show the boys round the clubs of the Winkie versus Meeky Trueman Show.

  • Ulster Press Centre

    tacapall: Great camera work UPC thats one you can show the boys round the clubs of the Winkie versus Meeky Trueman Show.

    I presume you are supportive of Nationalist parade particiants hurling bricks, golf balls, bottles filled with urine, sectarian taunts, insults and vulgar gestures at a group of peaceful protestant observers standing at the window of a religious building on the route?

    Revealing.

  • Dec

    Actually I’m chanelling Bianca Jagger, Mick.

    To paraphrase: ‘Kick them where it hurts…in the money!’

  • Obelisk

    “I presume you are supportive of Nationalist parade particiants hurling bricks, golf balls, bottles filled with urine, sectarian taunts, insults and vulgar gestures at a group of peaceful protestant observers standing at the window of a religious building on the route?

    Revealing.”

    Oh for God’s sake UPC I’ll say it. It’s completely unacceptable and shouldn’t have happened and the people responsible should hang their heads in shame.

    Hopefully that will sort this particular instance of whataboutery and we can get back to the small looming matter of the Orange Order, an organizaton obssessed with the past at the best of times, deciding a re-run of the late 1990s is what is needed right now.

    Here’s another fact. When it came to the Orange right to walk against the residents rights not to be walked over, invariably the residents more or less came out the winners.

    If the Orange Order REALLY wants to re-run these dispute could someone explain to me how they plan to get a better result than the last time around. especially given how the inevitable economic disruption is going to be leaving an awful lot of people seething at them and not in a giving mood.

  • tacapall

    Ffs UPC are you a header or what, I couldn’t give a fk about spit spats between rival gangs or your turf battles, you people are stuck in some time bubble while the rest of society are just trying to do whats right and best for everyone in a peaceful political manner. I dont care where you walk or what flag your carrying as long as its not done in a fashion that offends.

  • Ulster Press Centre

    tacapall: Ffs UPC are you a header or what, I couldn’t give a fk about spit spats between rival gangs or your turf battles, you people are stuck in some time bubble while the rest of society are just trying to do whats right and best for everyone in a peaceful political manner. I dont care where you walk or what flag your carrying as long as its not done in a fashion that offends.

    Still no condemnation I see…

    Here it is again in case you missed it (skip to 4:50):

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Obelisk: Here’s another fact. When it came to the Orange right to walk against the residents rights not to be walked over, invariably the residents more or less came out the winners.

    If the Orange Order REALLY wants to re-run these dispute could someone explain to me how they plan to get a better result than the last time around. especially given how the inevitable economic disruption is going to be leaving an awful lot of people seething at them and not in a giving mood.

    Perhaps some in the Unionist community have finally realised that violence (or the threat of it) actually gets you what you want in NI.

    A dangerous assumption but probably accurate seeing what’s went on in this country since the mid-1990s.

    When you let violence win it only encourages more of it…

  • babyface finlayson

    If it is correct that only 2 arrests have been made over the illegal parades that is indeed worrying.
    We have to hope there will be a hell of a lot more to come to demonstrate the law does actually have a long arm.
    Otherwise it will be a long summer.

  • grandimarkey

    @Obelisk

    “If the Orange Order REALLY wants to re-run these dispute could someone explain to me how they plan to get a better result than the last time around.”

    Spot on.

    There’s no way the end result is going to be the OO allowed to walk wherever/whenever they want, all that will happen is a depressing few months consisting of riots; economic ruination for small businesses near the riots; reducing the amount of tourists in NI significantly for years afterwards; poor leadership being shown by politicians (particularly from DUP/UUP); potentially some kind of crisis talks where eventually London and Dublin tell everyone to wise up.

    And for what? Feck all. Community relations will be set back in those communities that are inclined to have them set back and we will STILL have a parades commission, or some other parade-regulating body.

    Lets hope this doesn’t come to pass.

  • tacapall

    “Still no condemnation I see”

    Condemnation of what UPC, the Trueman show directed by the UVF via the Orange Order headquarters, some of the scenes were monkey see monkey do but overall it was a poor representation of the real truth that happened that day.

  • Ulster Press Centre

    tacapall: Condemnation of what UPC, the Trueman show directed by the UVF via the Orange Order headquarters, some of the scenes were monkey see monkey do but overall it was a poor representation of the real truth that happened that day.

    It’s video evidence. Do you think it’s fake?

    Do you think anti-protestant supremacists from the New Lodge are above throwing bottles of piss at a religious building and making sectarian gestures and threats??

  • Canny See It Sur

    Realistically I think we should start, one by one, doing what happened at Drumcree.

    An outright ban on any parade which is objected to by residents.

    If the Orange Order are not prepared to talk then they shouldn’t be allowed to walk.

    This is all in stark contrast to what happens in Derry where the parade by the Apprentice Boys is somewhat facilitated by the majority nationalist community.

  • tacapall

    “It’s video evidence. Do you think it’s fake”

    I told you UPC its too Im a celebrity get me out of here, it only shows what the UVF want you to see. The video is not fake but the truth is distorted.

  • Canny See It Sur

    What’s a sectarian gesture?

  • Paulk

    Well the difference (please correct me if i’m wrong here) between the flag protests and the OO is they have headquarters, easily identified leaders and halls with which the police and parades commission can engage and if necessary issue fines and or arrest warrants (if trouble really occurs).
    Make no mistake about it this summer could really turn very nasty and lives could be lost in the potent brew of OO parades, loyalist paramilitary backed flag protests, dissident republican violence, nationalist road blocks of the OO parades (particularly Ardoyne).
    The lack of a police response to whats been happening with these protests so far will come back to haunt them if they beat nationalists off roads in the summer regardless of the illegality of the (nationalist) protests as nationalists will see this as political policing.
    Lastly the lack of proper and responsible leadership from unionism really is astonishing are they REALLY that terrified of losing that seat in Stormont that they don’t have the backbone to condemn violence and illegality?

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Canny See It Sur:Realistically I think we should start, one by one, doing what happened at Drumcree.

    An outright ban on any parade which is objected to by residents.

    If the Orange Order are not prepared to talk then they shouldn’t be allowed to walk.

    And you’ll be willing to accept the inevitable unionist retaliation campaigning against sectarian sports, sectarian languages, Irish culture on TV, etc??

    This is all in stark contrast to what happens in Derry where the parade by the Apprentice Boys is somewhat facilitated by the majority nationalist community.

    It’s amazing how ‘facilitating’ you can be after a campaign of ethnic cleansing which forced almost all 15,000 protestants out of the city…

    tacapall: it only shows what the UVF want you to see. The video is not fake but the truth is distorted.

    How is it distorted? There is no commentary or editing. It’s just clear-as-day footage of sectarian catholic supremacists attacking a protestant religious building with bricks, golf balls and bottles of piss on a Sunday afternoon.

    And you still can’t condemn it…

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Paulk: Make no mistake about it this summer could really turn very nasty and lives could be lost in the potent brew of OO parades, loyalist paramilitary backed flag protests, dissident republican violence, nationalist road blocks of the OO parades (particularly Ardoyne).

    Lastly the lack of proper and responsible leadership from unionism really is astonishing…

    What’s more ‘astonishing’ is people like you failing to point the blame finger in the direction of Sinn Fein – the party who whipped up the nonsense surrounding the Beach Boys band at Donegall St church – and then decided to damage community relations even further by ripping down the flag of this country from it’s main civic building in the capital.

    Do you not think Sinn Fein (and their SDLP lackies) are more to blame than the OO and dissident nationalists for where we find ourselves at present???

  • BarneyT

    UPC – I have not seen the video but I will go along with Obelisk on that one, and if true, it must and should be condemned.

    The eye for an eye mentality or, the goose-ganderism is not going to help. We have a situation in this park of the UK where one side of the community is allowed to conduct events that in the present day are interpreted as celebrating a Protestant victory over the Catholics. The loyalist parades need to be examined for their relevance and appropriateness as should any converse event.

    There will surely come a time when the marching season will be restricted or outlawed. The only way to prevent this is to manage the events, ensure they become a true expression of culture\identity and represent a great day out event and festival for those that follow and participate. Perhaps one day it might have a pan Irish appeal if it can calm te **** down.

    For now these are hate marches and nothing less. They are sectarian marches and are viewed as triumphant and nothing less. They are now about to morph into another animal altogether – a threatening disloyal animal that cannot be controlled – which will further internally erode and tarnish unionism to its detriment.

    Unionism and Loyalism is now once again up for question and more and more you will find these questions coming from Britain, the part of the world unionism wants to remain united with.
    In Britian at all levels they will be asking, “Who are these people?”, “Why do they think they represent us?” and the more enlightened with recall that once before Northern Ireland unionism was prepared to rise and take up the gun against the British establishment on “the mainland” to meet their will.

    There is no climate and appetite for that in Britain.

  • Canny See It Sur

    Oh have we moved this debate on to the so-called ‘exodus’ from the west bank of Derry? Well lets take that up now, its a little bit off topic but i’ll play ball.

    Can you tell me the reason that of all the people that moved from the West Bank of the Foyle why only 2% listed intimidation as a reason for their move? The vast majority of people moved for reasons of better and larger newly built houses built in new communities on the East Bank.

  • BarneyT

    I think UPC is just here to wind up. Thats about it.

    Lets examine this threat and it is nothing less

    “And you’ll be willing to accept the inevitable unionist retaliation campaigning against sectarian sports, sectarian languages, Irish culture on TV, etc??”

    Sectarian sports – Presumably you mean the GAA. Ok, it does not have a glorious past on all matters cultural, however I believe it was the RUC that was excluded. This is not the same as excluding a religious sect.

    Sectarian language: Presumably you mean Irish or Gaelic. By extension you have to include Gallic in this distorted generalisation. These languages predate religion as we know it today. Bear in mind that one of the greatest enemies of the Irish language was the Catholic Church in the pursuance of Latin. Combine with the English effect (akin to the Welsh knot) and the language suffered. It gives us names like Ballymena, Donaghcloney, Dromore, Belfast…Whilst the language was weaponised by some and used wrongly to alienate “protestants” or those that were known not to have an understanding of the language, it is the perpetrators that are sectarian, not the language.

    Irish culture: Thanks. I appreciate the recognition. How do you plan to attack this? Are you going after East Belfast protestants who have recently discovered that their ancestors were Irish protestants who spoke the divils gaelic?

    If you are on here to provoke, you will get some bites. If you are expressing an opinion, it is yours to do so. If you represent a body or a community, then there is a lot of work to do.

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    In fairness, Mervyn Gibson had a twinkle in his eye and tongue in cheek when he said it.
    It seems like an attack on the Parades Commission…maybe to get some assurances about its future …rather than a serious sabre rattling about illegal parades.
    Whatever about the REAL courts…there is a court of public opinion. The maximum number of the population that the Orange Order can seek to appeal is 48%….hard to see how illegal parades maximises that support.
    And it would drive the proverbial coach and horses thru the whole Orange Fest narrative.
    This is the dilemma at the heart of Orangeism.
    Is it an expression of religious/historic culture or just naked sectarianism?
    It’s a genuine debate within Orange Order and hard to see how some moderate members could accept it.
    Indeed could UTV, BBC treat an illegal parade as a something benign?

  • Morpheus

    The thousands who attend the 12th do not go to watch the men in bowler hats and sashs parade down the roads to remind the other side of their place in society. I refuse to believe that the ordinary Protestant people of Northern Ireland feel the need to remind their Catholic family, friends and colleagues that they are second class citizens.

    The masses comes out for the REAL cultural elements of the 12th – the music, the craic, the friendships, the spectacle, the comraderie – so why not facilitate all this at a safe, secure, accessible location? I am talking a massive Orange-fest with bands, food, dancing, art etc. the real culture. .

    Parading to remind people that they lost a war hundreds of years ago is not culture and it is not British. If it was why don’t the British parade in Germany every year? Why don’t the American’s parade in Britain every year?

    @UPC – can you articulate what the OO brings to the table when it comes to culture?

  • brian2013

    No surprise that the Orange Order will flout the law – they’ve always been very keen on upholding the rule of law, but only when it suits them.

    Matt Baggott has missed the blindingly obvious – if you play softly softly with law breakers you undermine the rule of law. That is a very serious thing to do, especially in this part of the world, and may have serious consequences in the months ahead. I appreciate the difficulties, but at some point the nettle has to be grasped.

    Incidentally, I don’t think the police will round up hundreds of Orangemen just for taking part in a peaceful parade as the rank and file can quite reasonably state that the notification of the parade was not their responsibility.

  • BarneyT

    Morpheus…I hope you are right…and yes, it has to transform genuinely in a festival…with a few less trappings…

  • Paulk

    Sinn Fein involved in removal of Union Flag shocker….. UPC, there is no doubt Sinn Fein are pushing their own agenda (again shocking!!) but the problem here is that unionists knew they were going to lose the vote, like they also knew they endorsed designated days in other councils, but the difference in BCC was they decided to make it into an issue to get Alliance out of that East Belfast Westminister seat the problem was they couldn’t put the genie back into the bottle when loyalism decided to use it for their own ends. Apparently this protest is more than just the flag it covers deprivation of PUL communities etc…
    Ask yourself this who is to blame for the lack of PUL job opportunities? SF? or the people PUL communities elect to help attract those jobs? who is to blame for the lack of PUL affordable housing? SF? or the people PUL communities elect to help attract people in to build them? i could go on but i suspect you see my point, unionism has a tendency to blame themuns when something changes or something happens they don’t like. They don’t engage their own communities and don’t paint them a true picture of the realities. In short who is to blame for leading the PUL community to have unrealistic, distorted or downright wrong viewpoints on whats going on in Northern Ireland? – the people they elected! because its always easier to blame someone else than face up to the fact that unionism is failing unionists. Remember when all else fails play the sectarian card.

  • babyface finlayson

    UPC
    Do you think discussion between the communities directly affected by parades legal or otherwise is useful or a waste of time?
    I ask because on the discussion about Cliftonville v Crusaders you seemed to be saying it was of no use as it was “fake” on the part of Cliftonville.
    By the way I should have said ‘2 convictions’ not ‘2 arrests’ in my post at 1.59. The point remains that after 3 months this is too little and too slow.

  • tacapall

    “How is it distorted? There is no commentary or editing. It’s just clear-as-day footage of sectarian catholic supremacists attacking a protestant religious building with bricks, golf balls and bottles of piss on a Sunday afternoon.”

    Well because it did not tell the whole truth, the UVF cameraman was cute enough not to direct it to his left, just a short distance up the road where we would have seen a large crowd of young loyalist teenagers and children being directed by the UVF in attacking police officers and destroying public and private property, all over some clampet from the Shankill and his private war with his republican counterpart in a turf war over bragging rights. We get the point though – Join Winkies warriors, and yeah I will condemn the film its crap propaganda.

  • GEF

    Me thinks its a wind up by the Rev Mervyn Gibson. After all most lodges (about 99%) are approved to parade every year as they do not march through areas like Ardoyne. So why should they create trouble between themselves the PC & PSNI when there was none to begin with? Furthermore the Rev Mervyn Gibson would be supported in the media by the Grand Lodge or Ireland, all districts & all lodges throughout Northern Ireland if his wish to rock the PC & PSNI’s boat.
    Last but not least most Orangemen I seen on parade last year were OAP in their latter years. Unlike the recent loyalists in the flag protests most are in their teens & early 20s and enjoy recreational rioting these OAP Orangemen could hardly pick up a brick never mind throw it at the PSNI.

  • http://www.thedissenter.co.uk thedissenter

    Technically, no-one notifies the Parades Commission. The 11/1 is a police form, which is referred to the Commission. If the police (note) have reason to believe the parade is contentious then it marks that on the form. Otherwise, the PC would have to have reason to believe the parade was contentious to move to determination, but only with reference to parades which have been notified on the respective forms etc. The PC was placed there so neither the police or NIO would be seen to have a role in making decisions on parades. The PC is a buffer.

  • http://www.thedissenter.co.uk thedissenter

    And there is an 11/3 (?) for protest in respect of a notified parade. So if there is not one, there cannot be the other.

    And so on…

  • Ulster Press Centre

    tacapall: Well because it did not tell the whole truth, the UVF cameraman was cute enough not to direct it to his left, just a short distance up the road where we would have seen a large crowd of young loyalist teenagers and children being directed by the UVF in attacking police officers and destroying public and private property, all over some clampet from the Shankill and his private war with his republican counterpart in a turf war over bragging rights. We get the point though – Join Winkies warriors, and yeah I will condemn the film its crap propaganda.

    Do you not get embarrassed getting caught telling lies so often??

    The UVF had nothing to do with any rioting near Carlisle Circus – as confirmed by the PSNI.

    Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr said:

    “…It is not being orchestrated directly by the UVF. We have no evidence that the UVF or any other Loyalist paramilitary group is officially or actively orchestrating this violence…”

    “…We saw some people with connections to Loyalist paramilitaries who were working very hard to quell this…”

    http://eamonnmallie.com/2012/09/assistant-chief-constable-will-kerr/

    Grow up and end the bigotry.

  • tacapall

    UPC why would I be embarrassed. I know as well as everyone else who knows the crack, knows who was directing the kids at Carlisle Circus, regardless of what some person with a hat says.

  • between the bridges

    it’s truly laughable the coverage a ‘maybe’ answer to a loaded question has got. Maria did the rev up like a kipper she got her sound bite and away we go headlines galore. Put quite simply this is an non story it isn’t going to happen and everyone can calm down and go back to being preoffended…

  • Ulster Press Centre

    tacapall: UPC why would I be embarrassed. I know as well as everyone else who knows the crack, knows who was directing the kids at Carlisle Circus, regardless of what some person with a hat says.

    How could you know more than the police who were on the front line?

  • Comrade Stalin

    UPC:

    Perhaps some in the Unionist community have finally realised that violence (or the threat of it) actually gets you what you want in NI.

    Finally realized ? Northern Ireland exists because unionists threatened violence. The current political situation exists because unionists used threats of violence, as well as actual violence and intimidation, to get what they want, 1974/UWC being the most obvious example.

  • Comrade Stalin

    How could you know more than the police who were on the front line?

    As opposed to you knowing more than the police who released Sean Kelly last week.

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Comrade Stalin:As opposed to you knowing more than the police who released Sean Kelly last week.

    Yes, the same police who said they were only releasing him because eye-witnesses refused to give statements. Sounds like they know who was responsible alright.

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2013/02/15/after-some-people-made-it-clear-they-were-not-prepared-to-make-witness-statements-to-investigating-officers/

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Sometimes I find it hard to decide who is worse – a troll or someone who feeds the troll. The troll cannot survive long without food.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Anyway, to the point.

    Firstly as others have pointed out, the offences in summary are :

    1. being part of a parade, or a protest, for which permission has not been sought (an illegal parade)
    2. organizing a parade for which permission has not been sought
    3. breaching a determination of the Parades Commission in respect of a notified parade
    4. encouraging other people to breach Parades Commission determinations (although note there does not appear to be an offence of encouraging other people to participate in illegal parades).

    The loyalist flag parades fall under category (1).

    (3) tends to be broken from time to time by bands, especially outside St Patrick’s Church last year. Determinations typically restrict the route or the playing of music.

    (4) would be broken if someone suggested to others that PC determinations should be ignored. Grand Master William Mawhinney of the RBP almost certainly committed this offence when he publicly tore up the PC determination in Belfast last summer.

    Mervyn Gibson’s suggestion is rather bizarre. Basically he is saying that instead of running the risk of falling foul of the law under (3), he and his friends are instead considering committing offences under (1) and (2) having observed others doing so. That might make sense if one was a lesser offence than the other; but under the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 all four of the above are equally serious offences – you can do six months in the clink or receive a £5000 fine.

    Despite these threats I suspect the OO will continue to obey the law. Basically what will happen is Peter Robinson will call the various orders in for a meeting and explain to them that if they go around breaking the law he won’t be able to defend them and that public opinion will be against them; and that they run the risk of the British government via the Secretary of State (upon whom pressure will fall to use her powers to outright ban any parades) coming down against them. Peter knows that if the orders make a show of disobeying the law, any riots or disorder which occur will – rightly or wrongly – be reported beneath newspaper headlines which finger them for boycotting the legal process which is designed to keep the peace. As FJH pointed out above, all of this plays into the hands of those nationalists who have no desire to think about coming up with ways to accommodate the Orange aspects of our culture here. Every time the OO break the law or get mixed up with violence or disruption, they always end up losing another little chunk of their privileges.

    I’m rather more concerned about the threat posed by the illegal paramilitary groups organizing protests and parades of their own. They don’t care about public opinion, they are more interested in the gains they can make through discrediting the police and the entire legal system by daring the same authorities who permit loyalist flag parade disruption and roadblocks (which are still going on BTW – Sandy Row was blocked on Monday just past) to arrest them for blocking roads on the routes of various Orange parades. The consequences of the 12th of July being essentially cancelled in Belfast, and the attendant threat of a violent loyalist response to this are what are at stake here and I really hope our politicians and the police are taking this threat seriously.

  • UserAinm

    In the name of sanity I’m willing to risk a card if it comes for this. Was there not an unspoken agreement to ignore UPC when he was here as Don’t Drink Bleach and pretty much shut debate down here for a few days.
    Now he’s back with a promotion and a flashy new name but the rhetoric is the same myopic cognitive dissonance from last time.
    You will never get this guy to give an inch. It’s a massive waste of time. I suggest ignoring him, don’t feed the troll. Otherwise it’s going to be a longer, drearier summer than it’s already shaping up to be.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Yes, you and Joe are right. I’ll stop feeding the troll.

  • Rory Carr

    “… a massive Orange-fest with bands, food, dancing, art etc. the real culture. .”

    Well wicked, Orpheus.

    Orange dancing, heigh ? Now that’s something I’d pay a lot of money to see. Bet the old Morris dancers will be getting a bit antsy if they get a whiff of the possibility of such rivalry.

    Orange dancin’…heh, heh. Whodathunkit ?

    Maybe old UPC has a video stashed away somewhere. Any chance of a look-see, UPC ?

  • http://WindowsIDHotmail danielsmoran

    Comrade Stalin[12.12]Gibson’s appearance has given nationalists all they need. He has blown up the pretence of Orangism that they are only celebrating their culture. It’s all about putting fenians in their place. If loyalists wanted ‘their wee country’ to thrive to a state of normalcy, they’ve ensured n the last three months it will remain nothing but a political slum for it’s remaining span of existence which is a strictly finite period of time. The rest of the UK is here for the future in it’s own right. NI is here ONLY until further notice.

  • Morpheus

    @Rory Carr

    I see what you did there, you deleted the M from Morpheus to make Orpheus. Genious.

    The point of the post was to separate the OO from the cultural aspects of the 12th. The OO bring nothing but distinctly un-British sectarianism and triumphalism to what potentially be a good family holiday. If the event was to be held in a massive, stewarted field in the middle of summer with music, food etc. the organisers could charge admission and divvy up the pot with the bands for new instruments. That way the bands can show what they can do rather the than being whipped into a sectarian frenzy by the OO and then castigated at the first sign of trouble.

    The added benefit is that people of NI get a choice if they would like to attend or not rather than imposing it on everyone. The country doesn’t come to a standstill

  • Ulster Press Centre

    It seems bullying and multiple personal attacks on a single poster is allowed on this site – provided the victim is a Loyalist…

  • http://WindowsIDHotmail danielsmoran

    CannySeeitSur.[3.07] The predictable outcry from G. Campbell et al about the exodus tells you all you need to know about the disapearance of Protestants. If Unionist politicians were still in control at the close of the 70s you’d expect them to try to persuade their potential voters to stay and the reason they didn’t is obvious. Their loss in 1973 of the Guildhall meant they had nothing to lose and encouraged the unionists who left to do s and they coulkd then blame the whole catholic community for the exodus.

  • Ulster Press Centre

    danielsmoran: The predictable outcry from G. Campbell et al about the exodus tells you all you need to know about the disapearance of Protestants. If Unionist politicians were still in control at the close of the 70s you’d expect them to try to persuade their potential voters to stay and the reason they didn’t is obvious. Their loss in 1973 of the Guildhall meant they had nothing to lose and encouraged the unionists who left to do s and they coulkd then blame the whole catholic community for the exodus.

    15,000 protestants left their homes and uprooted their families from communities they lived in for generations simply because Unionists politicians encouraged them to?

    Are you on drugs?

  • DC

    Yes, you and Joe are right. I’ll stop feeding the troll.

    The Alliance party has had some part to play in the deterioration of community relations due to its role in regulating the union flag and people getting upset over that.

    OK the flag had been an issue for 10 years running or something within BCH but sure NI has been contested since its inception.

  • http://WindowsIDHotmail danielsmoran

    UPC I didn’t say the encouragement given by the politicians accounted for the entire number of those leaving but it was quite a large propoertion of the whole Others simply left for the same reason the Carson era unionists didn’t want Home Rule in what was still going to be a British entity, [not rome rule]. ie they didn’t want to live in the same country as too many catholics lived in, for their liking. As has been pointed out, only 2 or 3% told pollsters they were intimidated out. They just didn’t like being in a minority in a city with a catholic majority.

  • aquifer

    Have the minimum fine tariff as the cost of policing this Orange Anarchist nonsense, that should sicken them.