It’s not the Orange Order “coming down the street, shouting and yelling and waving rifles and pistols”

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So, I was going to let this one run til the PCC had its say, but for the record here’s Colin Freeman’s offending dispatch from Baghdad in the Telegraph last week…

“Ever since last week, not a day has gone past without them coming down the street, shouting and yelling and waving rifles and pistols,” said Imad Ahmed, a shopkeeper in the Sunni district of Adel in west Baghdad.

“They say they will crush the Isis terrorists and anyone who stands in the way of the Shia, but these guys are nowhere near the frontline. This is just designed to intimidate us.”

Rather like Belfast’s Orange parades, the militiamen have no compunction about driving through neighbourhoods already stained by past sectarian bloodshed.

Whoopsie. Sense of proportion in comparison failure. Or perhaps part of a long history of false comparisons between Belfast and Baghdad that have not served the British and their Allies particularly well in Iraq.

Baghdad now has Peace Walls courtesy of the Northern Ireland experience, on the principle of “security first and then we can normalise and build”.

The time limits on western patience with the ‘build’ stage ran out with the electoral term of George Bush, but the tendency to borrow over heavily from Belfast’s sticking plaster peace continues.

Roy Greenslade (possibly more with Belfast’s ongoing tribal war in mind than Baghdad’s) however wholeheartedly approves of the analogy and seems to consider the PCC has an easy task ahead of it.

There is a difference, and quite a substantial difference, between a ceremonial marching route, in some cases micro regulated by statute, and the terrific events currently underway in Iraq.

However we patiently await the PCC’s judgement, with interest.

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  • sergiogiorgio

    Or maybe Mick that’s how the Orange’fest is perceived outside our little side show locale. We are all so close to it we’ve lost any perspective. Don’t know the Colin Freeman dude so don’t know if he should know any better, but ask my English missus and her view of the annual Orange hate’fest is not dissimilar in general terms.

  • Mick Fealty

    In general terms, I do get the broad outline for the comparison. But in its particulars, it’s pretty misleading.

  • MYtwocents

    sergio, Freeman has form on the Ulster question, one sided form.

  • Sp12

    ohhh noooo, someone has accused the OO of increasing sectarian tensions, it’s cultural genocide/apartheid so it is!!

  • sergiogiorgio

    Just googled said Mr Freeman and see he writes for the Daily Telegraph – hardly a well known socialist, non unionist tome. Are we back to the Millwall/OO approach of “everybody hates us, but we don’t care….”. Maybe you’re just plain wrong?

  • Caoimhín

    Seems he’s not the only one to see the common thread with both processions:

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2014/jun/23/telegraphmediagroup-pcc

  • MYtwocents

    I would like to (if I may) rescind my remark, it reeks of man playing.

  • Mick Fealty

    Caoimhin,

    That piece is linked and referenced above…

  • Gopher

    Its why Irish History is so boring the events can never match the rhetoric and comment. Partiality amongst reporters is akin to that of the average football supporter which is quite damning.

    Battle of the Diamond 30 people dead, one suicide bomb in Kurdistan killed 500 which apparently equated to 5% of the surviving ethic Yazidi population in the region. A population that genocides (proper ones) had been waged against for centuries by all comers. I think in the last couple of weeks Iraq can trump our 3,000 dead in thirty years.

    Im sorry but Ardoyne shops and Twaddell should be reported as muppetry be any rational reporter. I’m surprised the editor of the Daily Telegraph did not exercise some perspective on the reporter as the subject is very serious. Caricatures of the Orange Order and it absurd beliefs I have no problem with comparisons with Iraq are just as absurdly bigoted.

  • TwilightoftheProds

    The reporter was just trying to make a point that its about mobilisation of communal sect , anxiety and making your presence felt – the closest domestic analogy he could come up with for his audience was the OO. Yup, its like re-enacting the siege of Sarajevo with sock puppets. We’d have given Freeman more to work with circa 1972-74.

  • Sp12

    “Caricatures of the Orange Order and it absurd beliefs I have no problem with comparisons with Iraq are just as absurdly bigoted.”

    He’s not drawing comparison regarding death tolls and levels of violence, the readers need no frame of reference to understand violence in Iraq, the author however felt they did need an (arguably overblown) comparison to explain the until now hidden sectarian tensions, one the readers understand and one (judging by the comments on both the telegraph and the guardian) some have witnessed first hand in Scotland.
    How many of the readers would be able to tell you the difference between Shia and Sunni? I’ve seen recent TV interviews with American congressmen fumbling over who is Shia and who is Sunni and what that means.

    The joke here is not his comparison, but the complaint to the PCC about the comparison being hyperbolic by people who use words like apartheid and cultural genocide. Or the current phrase du jour ‘Human Rights!!’.
    On the recommendation of a friend I watched a recent Nolan on iPlayer and watched an erstwhile Slugger contributor lead a DUP man down a signposted one way street with a question at the end about his belief that marching is a ‘human right’ that was being denied to the Orangemen. Then visibly laughing in his face as the DUP man tried to run back up the one way street to Tradition Avenue when confronted by the statement that ‘if it’s a human right would you support Republicans marching the same stretch of road’. After most of the audience laughed in his face at Nolan’s questions to his ‘please let them return home’ plea.

    Between words like ‘human rights’, ‘civil rights’, ‘apartheid’ and ‘genocide’ and slogans like ‘let them home’ being bandied about, the kindest thing I can say about this complaint is ‘God loves a trier’.

  • Mick Fealty

    With respect, you are simply adding stuff that’s not contained within the article to qualify the comparison. Not a hanging offence, but pretty stupid.

  • MYtwocents

    ISIS are a bloodthirsty lot, there behaviour reminds me of the behaviour of irish nats in ulster, any complaints?.

    up the Twelvers.

  • Sp12

    “With respect, you are simply adding stuff that’s not contained within the article to qualify the comparison. Not a hanging offence, but pretty stupid.”

    You’re a charmer.
    As I said, he’s not making comparisons about violence, he’s making comparisons about stoking up sectarian tensions. One that his readers (and posters here) understand.

    My further points are not ‘qualifying’ anything, I’m laughing at the idea of certain folk throwing fits about suitability of comparisons whilst continuously injecting phrases like apartheid, cultural genocide, and human rights into the mix.

  • Gopher

    Nope he is crowbarring his own partiality into a story about Iraq. Everyone here knows the difference between an obsolete sect playing infantile music on a scheduled parade, swigging buckfast passing Ardoyne shops in 5 minutes and Baghdad militiamen cruising Sunni enclaves.

    “Ever since last week, not a day has gone past without them coming down the street, shouting and yelling and waving rifles and pistols,”

    I know both sets of sock puppets would love Orange parades to be like that but like I said the reality in Ireland is pretty boring

  • Expat

    Boring – can the experience of living in a madhouse ever be considered to be boring?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “Rather like Belfast’s Orange parades, the militiamen have no compunction about driving through neighbourhoods already stained by past sectarian bloodshed.”

    Well, from an mass-press point of view, who else is there to compare to?

    He’s trying to give some depth to the subject matter and the OO is the best fit as far as the press is concerned.

    I mean, the OO is now (fairly or unfairly, either due to republican slyness or their own stupidity etc….) known as that group of angry Englishmen that walk through Irish areas creating havoc.
    Now sport….

    I even saw a French high school text book that had a small article on it

    So, whether it’s a fair comparison or not it just shows how the OO have cornered the market on sectarian marching (fair or no, it matters not, it’s how it is).

    “Mrytle love, did you see the news? The Shia’s in Iraq are marching provocatively through Sunni areas, it’s awful!”

    “I don’t follow dear…”

    “Ehm , a bit like those Orange chaps in Belfast”

    “Oh! I’m with you now, how awful. Tea?”

  • MYtwocents

    Is this as close as slugger is going to get to what is shaping up to be the biggest bloodbath since Rwanda.
    This mans comparison absolute nonsense, If/when the Shia Militas become convinced ISIS are going to attack Baghdad, ALL those folk in the Sunni “enclaves” are dead. a bit of perspective would not go amiss.

  • Gopher

    “Boring – can the experience of living in a madhouse ever be considered to be boring?”

    Much as the sock puppets would love to believe, their actions dont effect me*, so living here is not boring they are boring. You can be a member of a golf course for next to nothing compared to the rest of the world, plenty of Leisure centres for me to swim with parks and coastal paths to walk my dog. If I decide to go on the booze, well Belfast (the non boring parts) is still a pretty good drinking town. Two sets of sock puppets and the worlds media cant change the reality.

    *Except if you have to go to casualty over July then you might have a wait as it is full of sock puppets being stitched back to together at taxpayers expense. Maybe we should revoke NHS services in July you know just to make it more like Iraq

  • Morpheus

    I think you have it right AG – if the author is looking for a group who marches through the streets to show their perceived superiority, to increase sectarian tension and let everyone else know their place in society then who else in the world could he use for comparison? Pretty sure The Klan don’t get a public holiday for it.

    The whole concept of ‘my ancestors brought in a big boy to beat your ancestors a fight hundreds of years ago and we are gonna remind you of it for 3 months of every single year’ is pathetic.

    “ISIS are a bloodthirsty lot, there [sic] behaviour reminds me of the behaviour of irish nats in ulster”

    By the way, what’s the rule here – it’s not OK to ‘play the man’ but it’s perfectly OK to run on the field and boot every single player in the opposing team?

  • MYtwocents

    Just a comparison morpheus, if its ok for freeman to make them in a nation newspaper regardless of how inaccurate the comparison is then it should be ok for an ordinary joe like me to deliver mytwocents on Slugger.
    That said the only reason I can think of for you objecting to my above would be in your perception the O,O, are fair game, but others (to be defined my whom, you?) are not.

  • Morpheus

    The fact that your ‘two cents worth’ is to paint an entire community – filled with people you have never even met – , as ‘bloodthirsty’ says a lot about you and what your two cents are really worth. It is unacceptable for me or anyone else to come on here and brand the unionist community in such despicable terms just because of the actions of loyalist terrorists and the same should be applied to you. It’s basic common decency and it comes as a result of parenting – ever heard of it?

  • Neil

    Rather like Belfast’s Orange parades, the militiamen have no compunction about driving through neighbourhoods already stained by past sectarian bloodshed.

    Is no one going to tackle the one and only glaring, factual inaccuracy in this paragraph? Orangemen don’t drive through the neighbourhoods.

  • MYtwocents

    Indeed Neil, they tend to walk around them, and in the case of Ardoyne, via the least contentious route possible.

    Morp, is that you defining the boundaries again. others on here and elsewhere group the Orders and by default their supporters as sectarian bigots day in and day out, while other folk displaying their culture (gay pride for instance ) by parading are protected, should one attack these other folk one is the intolerant one.
    freeman in his spout is either being lazy, or more likely mischief making.

  • MYtwocents

    Ps Morp, you will have noticed “Flag as offensive”, fill yer boots.

  • Morpheus

    Of course I am defining boundaries. What is acceptable and what is not are boundaries. Right and wrong are boundaries. Defining a whole community – thousands upon thousands of people you don’t even know and have never met – as ‘bloodthirsty’ should be as offensive and unacceptable to you as it is to me. As I said, it would be unacceptable of me to come on here and tarnishing the unionist community because of the activities of the activities of the loyalist paramilitaries – I would be red carded in a second – so I have to ask, why it is acceptable to you to tarnish the nationalist community in that way?

    Great job Mr and Mrs Twocents, brought up a cracker there.

    The Orange Order are a grossly unrepresentative,anti-Catholic organisation which is dying on it’s ass – long may that trend continue – but I still wouldn’t come on here and describe them as bloodthirsty just because they had Shankill Butchers in their ranks

  • BifterGreenthumb

    “…while other folk displaying their culture (gay pride for instance ) by parading are protected, should one attack these other folk one is the intolerant one.” (MYtwocents)

    The difference between OO parades and gay pride parades is that the OO are an inherently sectarian organisation. They are anti catholic and anti republican. Members of the OO aren’t allowed to attend catholic ceremonies such as weddings and funerals etc. The bands that march with them carry paramilitary banners. Gay pride on the other hand isn’t anti anything other than homophobia. OO is a supremacist organisation. Gay pride is about a persecuted minority showing that it is not ashamed of itself.

    To suggest that criticising the OO but not gay pride is hypocritical is absolutely ridiculous. Its like saying you cant criticise an EDL march if you don’t also criticise a Boy Scout’s march.

  • sergiogiorgio

    Morpheus – these “loyalist terrorists” as you interestingly brand them are validated day in and day out by the largest Unionist political party in this wee parish. I’m not trying to lump in all Unionists with these head the balls, but SF are still being kept out of the tent with excuses around their “historical” (I know, I know) support for PIRA, and yet the DUP continues to push for the OO neatherthals.
    Interesting that no one above seems in support of the OO position – “we won, our roads, stuff everyone else…..”

  • MYtwocents

    Morp,
    The orders and their support are thousands strong, so the numbers argument can be discounted, I don’t and won’t except the anti catholic line either in as much as any group that is pro something can of course be described as anti what that something is not, at the risk of giving Bifter a turn the gay pride parades are a case in point, the parade is an expression of ones pride in being gay,( nothing wrong in that) the gay people on parade believe that to be gay is right, the Orders believe that to be protestant is right, others see this as them being anti RC and this is where it breaks down these others are happy to see the orders being attacked both figuratively and literally, I am not.

    ps, “Great job Mr and Mrs Twocents, brought up a cracker there.”, this is very personal, not nice to call into question someone parents.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    I had a good discussion on this thread regarding internal and external problems with regards to the Orange Order.

    I don’t think articles such as this help community relations in NI as it simply creates an element of mistrust of the Orange community.

    Are there bad apples in the Orange yes, are they in the vast minority YES.

    Poor leadership is the main problem.

  • Morpheus

    The numbers argument can be discounted eh? :)

    Less than 2% of the population are members of the OO. 34k members in 2006 compared to 90,000 just a few decades ago, you do the math.

    The OO, through decades of mismanagement has become more anti-Catholic than it ever was pro-Protestant. Only 5% of OO members would be happy for their children to marry a Catholic, 60% admitted that they think most Catholics are IRA sympathizers, over half agree the Orange Order is anti the Roman Catholic Church, 2 Ulster Unionists faced disciplinary proceedings by the Orange Order for going to the Catholic funeral of murdered policeman Ronan Kerr. The list goes on. They are not representative of the Protestant people, far from it. Do you think that any of that is representative of the Protestant people?

    It’s not nice to call into question someone’s parents but it’s perfectly OK to call into question thousand upon thousands of people you have never met or will meet – a group encompassing thousand of parents – writing them off as ‘bloodthirsty for no other reason than what? Their religion?

    Interesting ‘moral compass’ you have there…or don’t have as the case may be.

  • Morpheus

    You did Joe, that was with me and you put across your points very well

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Morpheus,

    In relation to the attendance at a funeral Mass by two members of the UUP (in actual fact it was three as most forget Ross Hussey), this was only the result of a complaint from one lodge out of 1200.

    The complaint was not upheld by the ruling council and it was not liked within the OO many of whoms members attend funeral masses on a regular basis.

  • MYtwocents

    “I don’t think articles such as this help community relations in NI as it simply creates an element of mistrust of the Orange community.” I agree with that Joe, may I add it also exacerbates the siege mentality that has built up within the greater loyal Order community, an understandable mentality considering the constant disapprobation that passes as fair comment.

  • Morpheus

    Exactly Joe, the members reject that particular rule so why not be seen to be progressive and adapting to modern day Northern Ireland by getting rid of it so a lodge can’t complain next time. I am sure you have plenty of Catholic friends, family and colleagues – imagine how they feel knowing that their religion (not who they are or what they have done) is a factor in the decision making process.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    There is work going on to modernise such rulings at the moment and we are looking at making the language more pro Protestant rather than anti Catholic. This specific rule is more concerned with attendance at none Reformed religious ceremonies rather than funeral masses or indeed wedding masses.

    One rule we do have which results in immediate expulsion is intolerance or uncharitable acts towards people of other religious persuasions and none.

  • Morpheus

    “One rule we do have which results in immediate expulsion is intolerance or uncharitable acts towards people of other religious persuasions and none.”

    Don’t get me started on that one Joe – I think we can all agree that the powers-that-be have been somewhat ‘relaxed’ shall we say in that regards in recent year

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    Joe_Hoggs

    I think your point about poor leadership is totally valid. As a “small n nationalist” and a Catholic, I’m obviously looking in from the outside.

    However, it seems to me that the so-called “leaders” of the OO are always drawn from the oldest/longest serving guys who invariably seem to think that repeating the same failing tactics over and over again will bring back the “golden days” of UU misrule.

    Someone should introduce them to Einstein’s definition of insanity.

    I would also observe that, in general, the lodges in Belfast seem to be far the most inflexible and short sighted in their approach.

    I think that the OO has a dreadful public image – stemming initially from Drumcree and that the behavior of the “leadership” just makes this worse.

    I am happy to accept that the majority of OO members are reasonable and capable of reaching a compromise.

    However, I think that unless there is a change in the way candidates for “leadership” of the OO are selected, you’ll keep getting guys who live in the past and have little connection with reality.

    This, IMO, can only lead to a worse and worse PR image (starting from a low base) and further declining membership numbers in the OO

  • Mc Slaggart

    Joe_Hoggs

    “One rule we do have which results in immediate expulsion is intolerance or uncharitable acts towards people of other religious persuasions and none.”

    It would be good if they could just act on people who make the Protestant faith look bad.

    For example:

    “You asked that bands in east Belfast be allowed to play hymn tunes passing St Matthew’s Catholic church and this was agreed at your request.

    Instead, a band played The Sash, claiming it was used in the 23rd Psalm. That made you look bad and the order untrustworthy.

    Last year, offensive sectarian lyrics were chanted to the tune of What a Friend We Have in Jesus as a march passed Ardoyne shops.”

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/liam-clarke/why-the-old-orange-order-has-to-change-28636300.html

  • Joe_Hoggs

    MonkDeWallyDeHonk,

    In Fermanangh much has been done to improve community relations namely:

    1. Large amounts of money raised for charities, there is rarely a week that goes by when there isn’t a lodge in the newspaper donating money to charity. It should also be noted that many of these lodges struggle financially which makes their contribution so much greater.

    2. Catholic groups are brought to the Twelfth and looked after the entire day and evening, this allows them to see the true flavour of Orangeism.

    3. The County Grand Master of Fermanagh is only 50 and seems to be fairly progressive. While I would not be a fan of him personally I feel he will be to the institution’s benefit.

    4. No Orange parades in Fermanagh are restricted or blocked.

    I should also note that the Orange Order has a fantastic education officer called David Scott who has went to many schools including Catholic to educate people on the Order and in 2011 he received an award from a Catholic school for his endeavours.

  • MYtwocents

    Morp,
    on numbers,thousands none the less, again you seem to be of the opinion that it is you that decides the level, I believe thousands or hundreds of thousands make no difference when to comes to whether or not a group of people should be open to such deliberate misrepresentation.
    Your next paragraph, more deliberate misrepresentation, did you know that in survey I have just conduced 100% of non Irish Nats don’t hate RCs ,
    on you next point, “personal” was a word I used that seems forgotten in your retort.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Mc Slaggart,

    This is I would have to say partially a policing matter – if bands fail to comply with rulings then they should not parade again. I hate to hark back to Fermanagh but lodges there stopped asking out unruly bands and in the end these bands became defunct.

  • MYtwocents

    MC,”Last year, offensive sectarian lyrics were chanted to the tune of What a Friend We Have in Jesus as a march passed Ardoyne shops.”12th day?, I was there and cannot remember that, did they sing it along to a single drum beat, there was a little back and forth concerning the return parade but thats all this man on the ground heard.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    MyTwoCents,

    Is Orangeism in Belfast out of control?

  • Morpheus

    Misrepresentation? You think I just made those stats up off the top of my head? Close but no cigar :)

    If you don’t like that there has been a drop from 90,000 to 34,000 how about percentages? 34,000 members in a population of 1.8m – as I said, less than 2% and falling. Cut that up whatever way you like but the people are falling away from the organisation in their droves and they are most assuredly NOT representative.

    Oh wait….do you think that because 10 million billion people – or whatever the stat is this year – line the streets every 12th they are therein support of the OO? Bless. Take away the bands and how many do you think will come out to support the old men in bowler hats, white gloves and ceremonial swords?

    As for the personal bit – in your book it’s OK to tarnish thousands upon thousands of parents for no other reason than their religion but not OK to have a go at 1 for bringing a person up to believe that it is OK to to tarnish thousands upon thousands of parents for no other reason than their religion ? Classy.

  • MYtwocents

    Just to be clear, I am not a member of the OO,

    Belfast’s NonIrishnats are as mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore, the IRA in Ardoyne have set community tensions back to the early 70s with their violence and threat of violence against those on parade (OO bands and support) this and the parades commisions acquiescence has made it impossible for the Belfast OO to be anything but responsive to the community around them.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Joe_Hoggs

    “This is I would have to say partially a policing matter”

    Yet a full Orange order matter.

    “Fermanagh but lodges there stopped asking out unruly bands and in the end these bands became defunct.”

    That is not how the OO is percieved by large section of the “Nationalist” community in Fermanagh. Their is real anger at the general stance of the Unionist marching community.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Mc Slaggart,

    Where is the evidence that there is real community difficulties between the Orange and Nationalists in Fermanagh?

    I would also ask you to name the offending band(s) and outline what they did wrong?

  • Morpheus

    “Is Orangeism in Belfast out of control?”

    Does this answer your question Joe?

    Go to 59 seconds, do you think this falls under “intolerance or uncharitable acts towards people of other religious persuasions and none.”

    As you say the OO is rural areas is a much different beast compared to those in Belfast so why were these guys not drafted in by the DUP to lead The Haass negotiations instead of the ‘Reverend’? Maybe we would have stood a chance of making progress.

  • between the bridges

    Re topic it’s lazy biased journalism, but sure is there any other kind…

  • MYtwocents

    morp, I appear not to be getting by points across to you, and yours are lost on me, over and out.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Morpheus ,

    I expected worse, I have a lot more respect for the flag as of late since I’ve got away from its misue by Republicans. Many in Unionist equate that flag with the IRA and this is the issue.

  • Neil

    Belfast’s NonIrishnats are as mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore, the IRA in Ardoyne have set community tensions back to the early 70s with their violence and threat of violence against those on parade (OO bands and support) this and the parades commisions acquiescence has made it impossible for the Belfast OO to be anything but responsive to the community around them.

    You say potato, I say potahto.

    Belfast’s non Irish nats may think they’re not going to take it any more, but they are because they have no choice. If in doubt take a look at caravan of love over on Twadell. They’ll take it because they have no choice but to obey the law of the country they pretend to be loyal to. They can try to break the law, but like Nationalists before them they’ll just end up nursing their cracked skulls in prison. Not much of a strategy.

    You can say that Nationalists are to blame, but that doesn’t help – they’ll just say Loyalists are to blame and then where are ye?

    “You started it!”
    “No you did!”

    Crackin strategy fella, as I always never say – if in doubt behave like a petulant two year old. That always never works.

    Orangeism can react how it wants to whom it wants, but that’s not going to help them much. Maybe one day someone might get the bright idea that the way to get their way is to make friends, obey the law and be respectful. Or maybe they’ll scream nonsense (again of the toddler variety) about second class citizens as they march past (did our ‘man on the ground’ happen to notice that btw?) thereby ensuring the continued resistance of Nationalists and the underlining of the notion that the OO are a pack of sectarian, offensive drunkards out to annoy people. That may help the PC some to a decision, just don’t be too surprised if it’s not the decision you’re hoping for.

    The greatest helpers of Nationalism in NI are Loyalists. Don’t ever change.

  • Morpheus

    You don’t have any points MTC, all you have done is shown everyone exactly what type of person you are. Well done.

    Joe
    All flags have been used and abused – both The Union Flag and The Tricolour have been hijacked and used by those on the extremes of our society as territorial markers, keep out signs and in more recent months used as a physical weapon, a cape and a disguise while rioting.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Let me make a proposal, could Nationalists not allow this parade at Dungiven to pass without protest and to allow hymns to be played?

    There has never been an ‘Orange threat’ here and any protest or ban us unnecessary.

    http://www.londonderrysentinel.co.uk/news/local-news/campbell-slams-dungiven-parade-protesters-1-6107351

  • Politico68

    I think the comparison os over the top. Sure, the OO should simply avoid parading by catholic Areas out of respect for their neighbours but I think their failure here is more to do with social immaturity. They are steeped in a tradition so ancient that adapting to a contemporary multi-racial and increasingly secular society is genuinely difficult. There are of course a few bigots etc. but the violence associated with the OO is due to extreme Unionists who prefer hate over debate. I don’t feel they are representative of the Order’s overwhelming majority. Moreover, most parades pass off peacefully with community consent. There really is only a tiny handful that are contentious, we need to keep sight of this fact and not allow ourselevs to get carried away. Finally, the PUL community is declining slowly but steadily; most notably in Belfast. The slow demise of any ethno religious group can trigger heightened anxiety and fear leading to confidence crises and kick back tendancies. Exaggerated comparisons don’t help.

  • Morpheus

    I think it’s a trust issue Joe, in light of recent activities at St Matthew’s and St Patricks it will take a while to regain the trust that was once there

  • MYtwocents

    Neil, what I think may be happening is that various groups within the non irish nats community are putting across the same message the various irish nats groups have seemingly been using to great affect, that message is that voices within the community who see a return to more troubled times as the best way to defend their position are getting stronger and that if in regards to parades things don’t go their way those voices will manifest in a downward spiral. time will tell if that threat will carry the weight the irish nat threat has carried.

  • Politico68

    My two,

    I am not completely sure what you mean there. Are you saying that Violence worked or Reublicans and even though many believed it was wrong, it is now OK for Unionism to take the same route in their dying days, In order to get their own way?

    Society descending into violence because of restrictions on flag flying and parading is hardly comparable to social unrest due to discrimination, gerymandering and single party political domination. Lets get some perspective eh?

  • MYtwocents

    Politico68, no you are not right, that’s if you are implying that what I am saying violence is OK. The violence and threat off that I contribute to irish nats in my comment is not related to,( as you describe it) the, “social unrest due to discrimination, gerymandering and single party political domination.” the violence is the violence we have all seen, attacks on parades by irish nats post the GFA, this violence has resulted in parades being banned and rerouted, irish nats have proudly boasted of this and ex PP members have admitted it played a road in their decisions, those of a similar mindset on the none irish nats side are pushing for the same.

    ps “dying days” and the rest, you will have to try harder than that if a rise is what your after.

  • MYtwocents

    roll

  • MYtwocents

    role, got there in the end.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Joe_Hoggs

    “Let me make a proposal, could Nationalists not allow this parade at Dungiven to pass without protest”

    They did for years and now the OO want to increase the numbers?

    What do you get for not objecting the likes of “The SHANKILL STAR FLUTE BAND” playing in Fermanagh. Which would not be so bad if OO supported the right of to nationalists to march rather than objecting to their parades.

  • Politico68

    My two, I am glad to hear you are not promoting violence and my ‘dying days’ comment regarding Unionism was not meant to rise. Just a reflection of demographics. Anyway, personally speaking I have no problem with orange parades as an expression of religious culture and identity. I, like many others believe that any group who wish to force a cultural march through or close to communities who do not want them should refrain from doing so, its pretty simple.

  • MYtwocents

    even if to get from a to c you have to pass b.

  • MYtwocents

    “march through or close to communities” define close.

  • MYtwocents

    explain how we ascertain what a community wants, what in fact constitutes a community.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Many unionists are also sick and tired of the OO. It’s really time for them to wise up. They claim to be a Christian organization, but do not follow the teachings of Christ. What sort of Christian organization allows the kind of insulting behaviour that has happened outside churches? It is shameful and embarrassing to all of us.

    Many of us are also fed up with are towns and streets plastered in flags. They have no respect for the flag of the UK.

    As a Presbyterian, I’m also embarrassed and ashamed that certain ministers of the church are allowed to be spokesmen for the OO.

    I know that their are decent people in the OO (I have close friends in it) and they would not go out of their road to offend anyone. Unfortunately the OO has been accepting any Tom, Dick any Harry into their ranks for decades and has lost the right to call itself a Christian organization. If it can’t change then it needs to be shunned by all decent people within the unionist family.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Not too sure about the legal machinations of this idea, but how about setting up some goalpoasts?

    For example, what if the parades commission gave the provisional thumbs up for the Ardoyne parade in 2016 (with certain conditions no doubt) under the strict provision that all parades in that district between now and then must pass off peacefully, respectfully and generally be tip-effing-top in every regard (sobriety, composure etc).

    Failure to do so will see this parade moved back one year. And so on for every year that they don’t play ball.

    And for the 2016 parade they’ll have to be extra super good as no doubt there’ll be a protest and everyone’s blood will be up due to the various centenaries that year.

    The beauty of the idea is that the OO don’t have to subscribe to it.

    It is simply there and they can grasp it if they so wish.

    If they don’t, well, back to the caravan it is then.

    Perhaps those who genuinely want to ‘go home’ will turn on the hangers-on who are there for the mayhem?

  • Sp12

    “Not too sure about the legal machinations of this idea, but how about setting up some goalpoasts?”

    Sounds dangerously like a code of conduct.
    Sorry, but the OO and bands and the DUP and the UUP have all rejected that suggestion already.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Sp12

    True, THEY did reject it, but the PC didn’t.

    There doesn’t need to be no code of conduct for them to obtain this ‘carrot’ (in theory, like I say, not sure of the legal bits).

  • Expat

    MTC 8.02PM

    I can tell you what they don’t want, and that is the regular intrusion into their neighbourhoods of half-drunken, drum-beating thugs, dressed in vulgar regalia and with the sole purpose of expressing antipathy towards the Catholic/nationalist residents. Many of the marches amount to the metaphorical and in some cases literal pissing on the residents and their communities. The justification derives from a sense of entitlement arising from historic triumphs, the belief in Catholic withholding of consent to the state and spurious biblical interpretations. This is the so-called Orange ‘culture’.

    The marches are an outmoded expression of the superior power set-up of the one-party Unionist state that gave such free rein to the Protestant bullyboys and the many corrupt and discriminatory practices of state institutions.

    The marches are meaningless in the absence of a Catholic/nationalist context. The right to ‘march in protest’ has been used to cloud the issue of, and provide cover for, the actual right being sought, which is the ‘right’ to challenge the essential nature of the nationalist community and to cause affront to that community in the process. There is no such right and many parades amount to gross wrongdoing and illegality.

    In its current alliances with various loyalist groups the OO wealds considerable power through its capacity to create widespread havock and disorder – and we have seen that Orange marches can be used to trigger the unleashing of violence. The OO and the marching culture therefore represent a permanent challenge to the civil authorities, such that marches, for example, although technically illegal as likely to cause breaches of the peace, may not be controlled or banned, only contained or constrained. Orange/loyalist power, through this threat, dictates so much law enforcement and prosecution practice, as well as, as we have seen, policy decisions of the DUP facilitating its continued operation.

  • MYtwocents

    expat, you lost half your audience with your first line “into their neighbourhoods” not sure where your an expat in, but can folk there claim neighbourhoods as theirs and decide whom is to be let in (or out), to be honest most of the rest of your comment is not something I recognise either, I dare say you have some sort of point so carry on.

  • Sp12

    “expat, you lost half your audience with your first line “into their neighbourhoods””

    Is it because he used their and not there?

  • Expat

    MTC

    I think NI is all about ‘them and us’ – it is a classic divided society – and I understand the construction of peace walls dividing communities has been on the increase in recent years. However, Orange marches, whether or not within Catholic/nationalist areas, have meaning only in the context of the societal divide. They are a massively destructive, their purpose being the display of an alternative power to that of the civil authority, the declaration of ‘no surrender’ based on the underlying threat of violence and a means of keeping the sectarian pot boiling.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Expat,

    You seem to put a lot in store in relation to an accordion band usually composed of girls under 20 accompanied by about 10 brethren usually quite senior in age. This doesn’t fit in with your image of a parade that uses and espouses the threat of violence.

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

    “They are a massively destructive, their purpose being the display of an alternative power to that of the civil authority, the declaration of ‘no surrender’ based on the underlying threat of violence and a means of keeping the sectarian pot boiling.”

    @Expat,

    I think that members of the OO and the other unionist fraternal organizations march for all sorts of reasons: those you’ve stated, because their fathers and grandfathers and uncles marched, because they enjoy the flute bands, etc. Just as in America there are many reasons why people, especially young white Southern men, display the battle flag of the Confederacy–not all are racists.

    “The Klan don’t get a public holiday for it.”

    The Klan hasn’t really engaged in large-scale daylight marching since the 1920s–about 90 years ago. Even their large noctural cross-burning ralllies were in the mid-1960s, about half a century ago. Although the various Communists that fatally clashed with the Klan back in North Carolina in the 1980s does remind me somewhat of the Drumcree standoff. Both sides were equally suspect.

  • MYtwocents

    1st of July at last, I can take this hat of at last, and expose my horns♠.

  • MYtwocents

    1st of July at last, I can take this hat of, and expose my horns♠.

  • MYtwocents

    This evening tens of thousands of Ulsters citizens will attend events organised to remember the Somme.
    420,000 British soldiers died or where injured at the battle of the Somme, parades will be held across ulster mainly organised by the Loyal Orders, they will remember old Sammy from the Shankill road, and they will remember young Mick from Coalisland.

  • Mc Slaggart

    MYtwocents

    “and they will remember young Mick from Coalisland”

    Then get about marching in places they are not wanted.