Kennaway: Resolving the Parading Conflict

Brian Kennaway served on the Parades Commission from 2011-13-an essay similar to this has also been published in the Newsletter

POLITICS

Politics in Northern Ireland does not reflect any real understanding of what it means to be a political representative in a democratic society.

When any politician is elected to represent a particular parliamentary constituency they are to represent the totality of that constituency, not a sectional interest within it and certainly not only those who may have voted for them.

If this principle of democracy were understood and acted upon there may well be some hope of resolving local issues in areas of conflict. This is particularly true of North Belfast where as yet, local politicians have been either unwilling or unable to resolve local issues.

The conflict over parading and protesting is fundamentally a societal issue and therefore one for politicians to resolve. It is not a matter solely for the Parades Commission or indeed the Police, both of whom are only holding the ground until such times as political representatives can reflect the desire of wider society in Northern Ireland, and come to an agreement on parading and protesting. The Parades Commission only exists because of the failure of politicians to address the situation.

It may well be of some help, in the meantime, for local Politicians to acquaint themselves with the rules under which the Parades Commission operate. During my term on the Commission I have been embarrassed by the total lack of understanding of the rules by political representatives and party spokespersons.

Following the violent conflict of 12 July 2013 the Northern Ireland Assembly tabled a motion for discussion in which they made reference to, “the application by the three Ligoniel Lodges”. Parading is a civil right and the prescribed Form is a notification not an application. You notify to exercise a civil right you do not apply.

The Commission operates from the basis of the fundamental right to parade and protest. However, the right to parade or protest is a presumptive right and not, an absolute right. This is acknowledged by the Grand Orange Lodge; “absolute freedom of assembly could lead to chaos and anarchy and there must be checks on it”. Senior Orange Grand Chaplin Canon Long affirmed: “The refusal to accept any restriction on Orange Order marches is not sustainable, . .” In 1998 the Presbyterian Church in Ireland passed a resolution; “The issue about parades and protests has to do with conflict between two groups of people holding to two sets of rights, neither one of which is absolute.”

Only a small percentage of the 3,000  parades in any given year associated with the “loyalist community”, have restrictions placed upon them. Most of these restrictions are music restrictions. The Parades Commission does not “ban” any parade as they have no legal right to do so.

If our politicians availed themselves of the opportunity to understand the work of the Parades Commission and did not use inflammatory language about its decisions, or seek to pander to their own sectional interest, there may be a real possibility of resolving these societal issues.

PRESS

One would find it difficult to disagree with Thomas Jefferson’s affirmation that “freedom of the press”, being one of the “principles [which] form the bright constellation which has gone before us”. In many respects a free press is a guardian of any democracy. This is particularly true in Northern Ireland. But a free press should also be a responsible press and should be careful about the language they use. This applies to the print media as well as any electronic or verbal means of communicating.

Over recent years I have observed that media reporting has developed the worst of the tabloid clichés. When it comes to reporting, particularly in the volatile parading situation, care should be taken about the language used. The language should be precise. It is amazing that there are some people who believe every word printed!

An unknown group calling themselves, “Loyal Peaceful Protestors”, lodged a late notification for a parade on 21 September 2013. Their stated purpose was:“Political Policing Also In Respect Of Legal Flag Protest And Familys [sic] Of Those In Prison And Under House Arrest”. This was followed by other notifications giving the purpose as: “Human Rights Political Policing PSNI Brutality”. Again, in respect of a parade on 11 January 2014, the purpose was: “PSNI Brutality, Loyalist Prisoners, The Flag, Civil Rights, Political Policing”. However throughout this period the media kept making reference to “Flag Protests”, when the emphasis was clearly “Anti-Police”.

On many occasions it is the headline writer who fails the test of precise language. In the Belfast Telegraph 16 July 2013 the headline was: “Lodges will face even more bans if they continue to flout rulings”. In the accompanying article Liam Clarke chooses his language more carefully by the use of the word “restrictions”.

Over the years the press have consistently used the word apply when making reference to a notification for a parade or protest. Not only does this convey the idea that the Parades Commission has much more power than it actually has, but it sends out the wrong message, ie., that you have to ask permission to exercise your civil right. This is an anathema to Orangemen.

The controversy over the Young Conway Volunteers behaviour outside St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church on 12 July 2012 is a prime example of bad communication by the media.

It was not just a matter of this band playing – but the fact that they sang the words of “The Famine Song”, a song ruled by the High Court of Scotland to be sectarian. The media also overlooked the fact that a public representative for North Belfast, Nigel Dodds, the D.U.P. M.P., whose lodge Ulster Volunteers LOL 1216 engaged this band, stood immediately behind the band watching this behaviour and did not intervene.

The wise and precise use of non-emotive language by all those who communicate to wider society would not only present a more holistic picture, but would make a significant contribution to the resolution of contentious parades.

POLICE

The flag protests which followed the removal of the Union Flag on Belfast City Hall in December 2012, created huge difficulties for the police but these were difficulties already experienced by the PSNI. The difficulty was, simply put, an operational decision whether or not to stop an illegal parade or let it proceed, gather evidence, and pursue those in breach of the law afterwards.

Exactly the same operational decision pertains when there is a breach in the determination of the Parades Commission. If, for example, a band is prohibited from walking, the police have the choice to either physically remove the Band from the parade or gather evidence for future prosecution.

The weekly protests, which appeared to take the form of a parade, from East Belfast to the City Hall were not notified to the Parades Commission, and were therefore illegal. The PSNI suggested that it was the responsibility of the Parades Commission to make a determination, when it was obvious to many that the Commission could only act on the basis of the Notification Form. It appeared to many that police intervention was being constrained by very senior officers.

The wider community clearly expected to see consequences for breaches of the law, but it was not until the end of February 2013 that Jamie Bryson and William Frazer were arrested for their involvement, and the protests at the City Hall were reduced to 150 who were ‘bussed-in’.

This failure of the police was recognised by Mr Justice Treacey when he noted: “police facilitated illegal and sometimes violent parades”, and “It is evident that ACC Kerr was labouring under a material misapprehension as to the proper scope of police powers and the legal context in which they were operating.” It is worthy of note that while the Chief Constable vowed to appeal, the Police Federation welcomed the decision.

The same principles which apply to illegal parades also apply to the determinations of the Parades Commission. In the light of this judgement, will the police uphold the Parades Commission determinations by either enforcing them on the day or vigorously pursuing the organisers afterwards? In spite of a multitude of breaches of the determinations, no organisers of parades were before the courts until recently, when five members of the Back Institution where found guilty and fined £150 each.

The relationship between the PSNI and the Parades Commission must be one of transparent honesty as different parading scenarios are examined.

The real test will come in the same area of East Belfast when the return Twelfth parade of Belfast No. 6 District consistently stops in Middlepath Street in breach of the Parades Commission determination.

Brian Rowan commented on Mr Justice Treacy’s ruling . . . “this was not the force’s finest hour”.

If the lessons of the past have been learned and the rule of law enforced, without partiality, we could yet see their ‘finest hour’.

PARADER

Parading has a long and noble tradition in Ireland; but it also has the ability to provoke a negative reaction, particularly in Belfast, where areas of conflict in the 1880’s, 1920’s and 1930’s are still areas of conflict today.

It was the failure of the Orange Order to deal with widespread conflict over Drumcree which lead to the establishment of the Parades Commission. To put it bluntly, it was the failure of the Orange Order which led to the creation the Parades Commission.

Many in the parading fraternity have not grasped the fundamental fact that the right to Parade is a presumptive right, and the Parades Commission will only intervene if there is a likelihood of civil disorder, a conflict of rights or a negative impact on community relations.Therefore, when notifying a parade organisers should consider a route and conditions which will prevent the Commission from intervening.

Those in the parading fraternity, particularly those belonging to an organisation which professes to be “Christ-centred, Bible-based, Church-grounded”, are morally required to do much more than would be expected of a non-religious body.

They must recognise that others have rights as well; the residents through or passed whose districts they parade, the traders whose businesses are affected, and not least the PSNI whose responsibility it is to maintain public order.

As a Christian Minister, I have at times been ashamed by the behaviour of some professedly Christian organisations. The Christian principle is established in Scripture – The interests of others come before the interests of self! “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2;3)

It is un-Christian to encourage the breaking of the law – the determinations of the Parades Commission have the force of law! “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority” (1 Peter 2:13) It is also un-Christian not to keep your word, “Do not break your oath, but fulfil to the Lord the vows you have made” (Matthew 5:33) The self imposed template issued on 11 June 2013 by the Orange and Black Institutions was swiftly broken.

Parading organisations must take responsibility for the parades which they notify, and ensure the good behaviour of all those who participate. It is behaviour in the public square which must be addressed. It is long past the time to stop playing the game of “whataboutery” and accept responsibility when things go wrong. If no offence is given no offence will be taken.

Those in the “loyalist” community should desist from making accusations which do not stand up to public scrutiny. When the Parades Commission intervenes, the cry is often – “This is an attack on our culture”. The facts reveal a different story. Over the last ten years there has been a 30% increase in parades from the “loyalist” community and a 3% increase in the twelve months up to March 2013.

The parading culture is thriving – but in what form and at what price?

PROTESTERS

Those who wish to protest, like those who parade, have a presumptive right to do so when they notify the Parades Commission. After due consideration, the Commission may place restrictions in terms of numbers or venue of the notified protest.

The recent history of protest is well known in Northern Ireland. Gerry Adams’s speech at a Sinn Féin conference in Athboy, County Meath, in November 1996, was confirmed in a letter to the Irish News on 30 April 2013.

In 1996 Sinn Fein covertly set up ‘Newry Coalition Against Sectarian Parades’ of which I was chairman. This was part of its overall strategy which was replicated throughout the six             counties to confront loyalist parades against the backdrop of the then Drumcree dispute.

It is against this backdrop that those in the Protestant/Unionist community judge all protests against “loyalist” parades. They fail to understand that the policy of Sinn Fein has changed in the light of their ‘equality agenda’ and that they have no control over many of the current Residents Groups.

The Law of physics operates in many areas of society not least in protests. An action produces a reaction and we have witnessed recently the growth of ‘loyalist’ protests. There has been a tendency over the years for people and groups in the unionist/loyalist community to ‘ape’ the ‘other side’. These reactions have not helped to resolve the inherent issues.

Those, from whichever section of the community, who genuinely object to a particular parade, should show some tolerance. We are all confronted in our multicultural society with events which we find uncomfortable. If you are not comfortable with motor bike racing and live on the route of the North West 200, you are required to show some tolerance for a week in favour of those whose passion it is.

Those protesting against parades should do so in a dignified way, and not inflame the situation by making wild allegations about the conduct of a particular parade. Sometimes it is the protesters who breach the determination.

They should also avoid the procreation of protests. When they do not get their own way by having protests at multiple venues, they give birth to another ‘group’ who then notify for the venues restricted by the Commission. This is an abuse of the system.

These principles apply to all who wish to exercise their right to protest. However, ‘loyalist’ protesters, who lay claim to be protesting in order to maintain the Union, should recognise that these displays, which often lead to violence against the Crown Forces, do nothing to enhance the Union in the minds of the general public of the United Kingdom. Neither do they cement the Union.

Unfortunately in our society the parade/protest controversy does nothing to enhance community relations, neither does it lead to a better understanding of a shared future.

The right to protest which we enjoy is a right won at great cost. It should not be taken for granted neither should it be abused.

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  • aquifer

    The press practicing their long division.

    Sectarianism as news for lazy folks.

  • Zeno

    “The Parades Commission does not “ban” any parade as they have no legal right to do so.”

    However, in its determination issued on Wednesday, the Parades Commission said
    “On the outward parade Ligoniel Combine and the accompanying bands and supporters shall not process that part of the notified route between the junction of Woodvale Parade and Woodvale Road and the junction of Hesketh Road and Crumlin Road.”

    Is that not in effect a ban? What would happen if they just notified that they were going to march………. between the junction of Woodvale Parade and Woodvale Road and the junction of Hesketh Road and Crumlin Road.?

  • DC

    In relation to Drumcree the right to parade down the traditional route is not a presumptive one (if presumptive is to mean probable that it could happen or probable that it wont?) due to the repeated banning or perhaps resorting to circumlocution, a repeated blocking of that particular parade at that particular point by the powers that be year in year out. I believe it is therefore fair to say that the right to parade is not presumptive but in effect prescriptive in that there is no right to parade along a certain point and in practice a ban is in place.

    Given that there hasn’t been a completed parade there in the last 17 years you tend to move away from the balance of probability in that no one in their right mind presumes it’s going to ahead this year no matter what any one says or does. If anything there is actually an absolute right in place, the right to be free from an orange parade in a certain part of Portadown and a Parades Commission de facto ban is in place.

    Is there really much point skirting around restrictions which in effect block the parade and therefore prevent/prohibit/ban it from going somewhere that the organisers would like it to go?

  • aquifer

    “The Commission operates from the basis of the fundamental right to parade and protest.”

    No mention of rights to intimidate and to promote sectarian conflict however.

    Militant Irish separatists of all colours must be frustrated.

  • Jagdip

    With respect to the criticism of the media, right on time, today, Chris Kilpatrick wades in with an ignorant, provocative, tabloid and inaccurate article in the BelTel.
    He says “Orange Order and unionist leaders reacted with fury” to the decision of the PC yesterday. In fact, the TUV expressed “disappointment” in its press release, or “extreme disappointment” on the part of OO, the DUP didn’t express any emotion whatsoever in the press release by Nigel Dodds . The sub-headline in the BelTel is about sparking “unionist anger”. Down the page it claims “the Orange Order and the DUP were furious at the move”
    If you’re a member of the loyalist community, looking to take a lead from your organisation and politicians, and told those leaders are “furious”, then how should you comport yourself in the parade or as a supporter? You should be “furious” too, right? And if you’re supposed to be “furious” then you’d really be letting the side down if you didn’t throw a few rocks and petrol bombs, right?
    The BelTel goes on to say “The parading watchdog rejected an application by three Lignoiel Lodges” – oh dear, perhaps Chris may benefit from reading the above and learning the difference between “application” and “notification”
    The headline itself refers to a “lock down” but that implies residents won’t be able to leave their homes, there’ll be a curfew in place etc. The facts suggest the police plan to deploy appropriate numbers to ensure the restriction by the PC on the parade, and any protests, don’t result in public disorder. There may be inconvenience to residents, but curfew? Locked in their own homes?
    The article concludes “The return leg of the Twelfth feeder parade along the Crumlin Road past Ardoyne has been blocked since last summer” In that sentence, the “blocking” is subordinate to the “return leg of the Twelfth feeder parade”, and the “blocking” is done primarily by the police, the police are acting under the lawful instruction of the PC, which the loyalist community, the nationalist community and even the employees of the BelTel have signed up to.
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/ardoyne-orange-parade-refused-well-lock-down-north-belfast-march-route-says-psni-30330623.html

  • Master McGrath

    I notice that Nigel Dodds is mentioned as being there when there was singing of the Famine Song and not just parading around to its tune. By his subsequent silence he is seemingly endorsing something which is offensive to not just Catholics but to many Protestants and non-Believers of various hues. This is playing to the lowest common denominator in his support and showing a total lack of leadership if not moral cowardice in the situation. Hardly something a public representative should be proud of.
    Otherwise the whole of the article bears further study as many of the points he makes are very important.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, MMcG. There wouldn’t be a parliamentary election coming up next year in North Belfast, would there? Of course such a thing would never affect the quality of Deputy Dawg’s leadership.

  • Turgon

    There is a fundamental dishonesty at the start of Kennaway’s article which should be challenged.

    He claims in his opening: “Politics in Northern Ireland does not reflect any real understanding of what it means to be a political representative in a democratic society.

    When any politician is elected to represent a particular parliamentary constituency they are to represent the totality of that constituency, not a sectional interest within it and certainly not only those who may have voted for them.”

    It is simply dishonest to claim that NI politicians do not help their constituents from al lsides. It is well documented that Ian Paisley helped the almost 100% Catholic population of Rathlin. It is well known that John Hume helped Protestants. In Fermanagh Tom Elliott has, I know, helped Catholic farmers and Michelle Gildernew has I believe helped Protestants.

    Clearly there are some issues on which a unionist politician may not help a nationalist / republican constituent as much as a unionist constituent (and vice versa) but those are over specific political issues. In mainland GB a Labour politican may be less inclined to help a constituent attempting a right of centre decision as opposed to a leftish one. An SNP MSP is most unlikely to help with a pro union issue and a Labour MSP unlikley to help over a pro independence issue.

    This unfair and dishonest attempt to tar our politicians as being tribal to such an extent that they do not help their constituents at all is fundamentally dishonest and Kennaway should be challenged on it. Kennaway goes on to make a series of religious comments mixed in with his political position so it is only fair to point out that one should not bear false witness and Judge not lest ye be judged.

    Most especially, however, Kennaway displays a contempt for elected politicians. That is a major point. I may loathe various politicians but the power they wield is because they are elected. Brian Kennaway is unelected yet wields considerable power. Tony Benn’s comments about power should be repeated back to kennaway:

    “What power have you got?

    “Where did you get it from?

    “In whose interests do you use it?

    “To whom are you accountable?

    “How do we get rid of you?”

  • Morpheus

    FINALLY, someone has looked into the influence of the OO on the DUP – an organisation that less than 2% of the population asmembers.

    “Overall, Free Presbyterians are more than 50 times more common in the DUP than they are in the population. Orangemen are 21 times more common in the party.”

    35% of DUP members are in the OO
    52% of DUP councillors are in the OO
    50% of DUP MLAs are members of the OO
    75% of DUP MPs are members of the OO

    Explains a lot when it comes to parades and the bizarre addition of the ‘Reverend’ at The Haass Talks.

  • Turgon

    Morpheus,
    “FINALLY, someone has looked into the influence of the OO on the DUP – an organisation that less than 2% of the population asmembers.”

    This is an occasion when whataboutery is entirely appropriate. Large numbers of members of Sinn Fein were in the IRA.

    Your comment on the bizarre addition of the ‘Reverend’ at The Haass Talks.
    is, however, maybe fair enough. Except that the “bizarre reverend” Kennaway semms to have a great deal of power with even less accountability.

  • Jagdip

    @Turgon,

    “Brian Kennaway is unelected yet wields considerable power. ”

    You might ask the same about Matt Baggott, Michael Maguire or Kathryn Stone.

    And if not the likes of Brian Kennaway, then who?
    Gerry Kelly? Nigel Dodds? Brendan McKenna, Merv Gibson?

  • http://WindowsIDHotmail danielsmoran

    David Crookes[12.07] Of course nothing affects the quality of Dodds er……leadership as this is non-existent thus even less leadership than his party leader, who has succeeded in sabotaging his entire career in seven days, as it’s this he’ll be remembered for by history.

  • RegisterForThisSite

    “This is an occasion when whataboutery is entirely appropriate. Large numbers of members of Sinn Fein were in the IRA.”

    Indeed, and large numbers of the DUP were in the UDR, judged by MI6 to be 10-20% UVF membership, plus a supplier of equipment and funds to the UVF

    plenty of links and here’s one

    http://www.thedetail.tv/issues/20/udr-girdwood-story/british-army-covered-up-udr-units-links-to-uvf

    Yet amazing, no member of the DUP ever saw nothing!! really, should surely have recognised them when they joined Ulster Resistance

    Anyhoos go figure, back to 2014 neither the UDR or IRA exist anymore so it’s a mute point.

    On the other hand the OO and the UVF very much exist so probably better idea to deal with those issues

  • Morpheus

    Turgon

    “This is an occasion when whataboutery is entirely appropriate. Large numbers of members of Sinn Fein were in the IRA.”

    We’ll stick a pin in the fact that the IRA ceased to exist about 2 decades ago and ask if you able to quantify your statement or is this another one of those occasions when you don’t care what the evidence says because you know better? Or is it ‘dogs in the street’ time? Accusing people of being members of a proscribed organisation is pretty serious as you know

    Speaking of whataboutery, I brought up the DUP/OO figures because they are topical and pertinent to the thread in regards to parades, what was your motivation behind your SF comment?

  • aquifer

    Thanks Jagdip.

    The pavlovian press celebrating unionists’ exclusive entitlement to ‘Anger’ once again. Now they no longer do management.

    Must be bad for their blood pressure.

    I am fed up with raggedy flags and neighbourly abuse.

    But I celebrate D-day and a great defeat of fascism and racism tomorrow.

    And next election I get even.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Turgon

    “There is a fundamental dishonesty at the start of Kennaway’s article which should be challenged”

    Apples and Oranges I’m afraid Turgon.

    “Politics in Northern Ireland does not reflect any real understanding of what it means to be a political representative in a democratic society.

    When any politician is elected to represent a particular parliamentary constituency they are to represent the totality of that constituency, not a sectional interest within it and certainly not only those who may have voted for them.”

    If he were to say, explicitly that “no politician in NI EVER EVER helps someone out with their fold, period” then your rebuttal would be entirely appropriate.

    However, he did not, he said that politicians are there ” to represent the totality of a constituency” and there is nothing wrong with this statement whatsoever.

    You said “It is simply dishonest to CLAIM that NI politicians do not help their constituents from all sides…”

    He did not CLAIM this to be the case.

    So he’s not being dishonest in the slightest in this regard, you have just seemingly taken a digital view of his comments.

    Has there ever been a post on slugger that you disagreed with where the poster wasn’t dishonest, a liar, obsessive or a racist or something equally unpalatable?

    Most folks I disagree with on here are just of a different opinion, seldom would I label them with anything so dark as what you usually come out with.

    Maybe people just have different ways of looking at things Turgon and aren’t necessarily liars/obsessives/racists?

  • ayeYerMa

    “whataboutery” is a term invented and favoured by Republicans because it allows them to detach their rhetoric and propaganda from the dynamic whereby Republicans have always been pro-active with regards to pushing the “struggle” inspired by the holy the cult of Pearse and all forms of subversive Marxism, whereas Loyalists have always had to be reactive to this to maintain the status quo. When you are a reactionary then the CONTEXT is key, and this allows Republicans to detach loyalist actions from the circumstance, while dissolve Republicans from their own responsibility in driving conflict.

    No Unionist should ever use the term “whataboutery” in argument for this reason (and neither should any academic, nor commentator pretending to be neutral, but since neither of these groups tend to have a clue what they are talking about, their waffle is irrelevant).

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    AYM

    Fascinating.

    I was under the impression that the term was coined by the late David Dunseath, hardly a fire brand ‘republican’ (though some people hold the definition of ‘republican’ to be anyone who disagrees with hard line unionism).

    Futhermore, whataboutery is a favoured technique of many unionists, barely was the digital ink dry on the various pastorgate posts when we had the ‘what about tolerating and voting for murderers?!’ pitch.

    So yes, I agree with you (!), no unionist should use whataboutery, but, I fear your sound advice will fall on deaf ears as it would rob manys a unionist of a tried and tested emergency button (to be pushed in the event of being logically disassembled in a debate).

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    “We’ll stick a pin in the fact that the IRA ceased to exist about 2 decades ago”

    @Morpheus,
    It was only seven years ago that Paul Quinn was beaten to death in Co. Monaghan. And he was not the only one to be killed under mysterious circumstances in the two decades that you claim the IRA has been gone for.

  • Jagdip

    @Aquifer,

    There is no monopoly on being furious, MMG said he was “personally furious” after GA’s recent arrest.

    My issue is with the BelTel using the word when the press release from TUV refers to “disappointment”
    http://tuv.org.uk/bunting-commission-bowed-to-the-threat-of-violence/

    Nigel Dodds’s press release doesn’t refer to any emotion, but you would hardly characterise it as “foaming at the mouth”, would you?
    http://www.mydup.com/news/article/parades-commission-caves-in-to-threat-of-violence

    The OO was “disappointed” according to UTV
    http://www.u.tv/News/Order-disappointed-by-ban-on-parade/3c891f8e-e4c9-4331-ba2e-977c1f9fd5e7

    My issue is with the BelTel blowing the reaction out of proportion. In my opinion, their reporting was inaccurate, ignorant and provocative, and media should aim to be more responsible.

    “fury” probably sells more newspapers that “disappointment”, though.

  • Turgon

    Am Ghobsmacht,
    “Most folks I disagree with on here are just of a different opinion, seldom would I label them with anything so dark as what you usually come out with.”

    Well that is simply not true. People you disagree with are routinely described in highly insulting and colourful terms. Your profile being simply the most obvious example.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Turgon

    1/ I notice no argument regarding the defence of your stance that Rev Kennaway is ‘dishonest’

    2/ My profile was made when I first started posting on slugger.
    It was/is quite clear that I have a dim view of MOPEry (be it from Irish nationalist or British nationalist quarters).

    3/ In all my time, despite being a bit flippant and despite all my clashes on here I don’t recall ever referring to people as dishonest, a liar or obsessive (at least not off the bat, I usually have to go through the rigmarole of evidence gathering first).
    I am perhaps a bit harsh on Tacapall but by gads he takes on the chin and never lies down, I just think his view of history is a bit one sided.

    Perhaps I am more insulting than I tend to be (as highlighted by McSlaggart) but there’s no accounting for the sensitivity of folks and lets be honest, it’s not as if you factor this in to your often high-handed retorts.

    For example , whenever a poster irks you, you will sometimes home in on what you perceive to be the Achilles’ heel of the argument, misinterpret it accordingly (accidently or purposefully I know not which) and dwell on that portion in an attempt to derail the various points within what could well be a reasonable and rounded post.

    You have done it on this post, recently with Brian Walker and prior to that with Gerry Lynch.

    If people are wrong or misleading then simply highlight facts.

    Facts are hard to overturn or refute.

    There is no need to say that someone ‘claims X’ why they might only be suggesting ‘Y’.

    As for my profile:

    “Found way down the food chain” – would you disagree?

    ” a ‘middle of the road’ creature that is attacked by creatures from either side of the political jungle”
    – Would you disagree here?
    I lock horns with unionists, republicans, nationalists and others on here.

    “from the bottom feeding ‘Republicanus hypocriticus’ better known as the ‘common shinner’ –
    – I’m not a fan of the SF cry of “it’s about equality stupid (‘sept when we want to name stuff after terrorists!)” and I’d be surprised if you were a fan.

    “to the chameleonic ‘Unionisus opportunitisticus’, better known as a ‘Dooper’. ” – I’m not alone in this regard

    “Known to feed on single celled organisms such as ‘Rangerophilus fanus’ and ‘neque Deditionem’ better known as ‘no surrenders'” – Years of working in, at and around Ibrox has forced this view upon me, I saw the dark side of the Old Firm and I hate it.

    “and occasionally surfacing during rutting season to lock horns with ‘MOPEus Eternus’, better known by their moniker ‘MOPEs’.” – I don’t like MOPEry.

    The most offensive thing about my profile is perhaps the awful attempt at latinising some words, but, I never studied Latin, so shoot me.

  • Outforawalk

    They should be allowed to walk the Crumlin Road. It does not pass Catholic houses. Has happened for many years and is only recently that SF/IRA have blown this into a huge issue. A band and lodge playing no music could be done.
    Despite some living way down the road were there are no marches who need plastic bags to cover their windows.

  • David Crookes

    Let’s get rid of some needless intellectual garbage.

    Here is the law in Northern Ireland. You may parade along a certain route at a certain time if the parades commission allows you to do so. If it doesn’t allow you to do so, you may not.

    We are helped not at all by claptrap distinctions between ‘application’ and ‘notification’, and we don’t need the pompous word ‘determination’. ‘Decision’ will do.

    The parades commission represents an ordinance of man. Christians are commanded by Scripture to submit themselves to every ordinance of man. The parades commission is part of the law of the country. A Christian who goes against its decisions is breaking the law, and disobeying the Bible in which he professes to believe.

    When ministers of our devolved government quarrel with decisions of the parades commission, they are militating against the rule of law, and siding with those who are prepared to break the law.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    David crookes

    Your to-the-point comments remind me of Leonard Cohen Lyrics:

    “Your servant here, he has been told
    to say it clear, to say it cold:
    It’s over, it ain’t going
    any further ”

    I think that’s what we need.

    The only way for this to get better is for it to get worse.

    A combination of what Jagdip said along with pushing the ‘loyalist backlash’ to breaking point.

    It was broken at Drumcree and is being broken at Twaddell, but we need proof that ‘the end’ has come.

    That throwing the toys out of the pram simply won’t work any more.

    The OO can either do this the easy way or the hard way but it has to have that choice, at the moment they’re taking the path of least resistance.

    Perhaps some ‘Humphry Appleby style’ mandarin should be dispatched to have a word in their ear.

    Also, Health and safety and insurance could be used to bring them to heel.

    Years ago (June 2007) I was back home at a friend’s house.

    All of us were bandsmen at some point and some were still in their uniforms (there was a parade that evening).

    We had come to the conclusion that health & safety, lawsuits and public liability insurance would spell the end for parading.

    I am surprised that this hasn’t come to be (though I am ignorant of such legal machinations, but I thought we are a very litigious society?).

    At present there is a thread on tourism and no matter what all the kings’ horses or all the kings’ men do, humpty will be pushed off the wall of tourism every year by marching season and fleggers.

    There are many smart and decent men in the loyal orders, I longingly wait for their ascension to leadership so that they might play the ‘smart’ game.

  • David Crookes

    “There are many smart and decent men in the loyal orders, I longingly wait for their ascension to leadership so that they might play the ‘smart’ game.”

    Bravo, AG. Let’s hope for that.

    By the way, is it possible that you and I were both at one time members of the North of Ireland Bands Association? In the days when I was registered as a tuba-player, no bitter oul Protestant ever complained about the ‘North of Ireland’ thing.

    Anyway! Roll on a peaceful Twelfth. First we take Aughafatten, then we take Magheralin, as Leonard Cohen nearly said.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “First we take Aughafatten, then we take Magheralin, as Leonard Cohen nearly said.”

    Laugh? I nearly cried.