Orange Order severs links with UUP

The Orange Order has voted to sever links with the UUP.

Orange Order Grand Master Robert Saulters said the arrangements made 100 years ago were no longer relevant in the political scene today.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: “The loyal Orange Institution will continue to lobby for the unionist cause as events require.

“We will seek to establish good relationships with all those engaged in the political interests of the unionist people.”

Not a very cultural statement but, more importantly, I hope that doesn’t mean they have no interest in establishing relationships with non-unionists.

  • jimmyquickswipe

    So does this now mean we have two Independant Orange Orders, or do we now still have one Independant Orange Order and an Offical Orange Order? Do you think the Independant and the now non-Ulster Unionist linked will merge as one?


    “We will seek to establish good relationships with all those engaged in the political interests of the unionist people.” …..I hope that doesn’t mean they have no interest in establishing relationships with non-unionists.

    Don’t be silly, selective statements are a mere slip of the tongue, sure ask Mary McAleese.

  • ShayPaul

    Well the turtle has finally got rid of the Dupe trojan horse.

  • aquifer

    Jim Rodgers: “Speaking to Orange brethren, they have said they have felt most uncomfortable for some considerable time within our party.

    “It seemed to be like a cold house to them.”

    BBCNI

    You could not make it up.

  • jimmyquickswipe

    UUP – A cold house for Unionists

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    aquifier, only Jim Rodgers could make it up. He’ll say whatever it takes to get himself quoted.

  • Moderate Unionist

    Paisley the man who splits everything
    He split the church, he split the Orange order, he split the Unionist party. A divided house cannot stand. We live in interesting times.

  • GavBelfast

    Better late than never.

    But while this is the removal of a barrier for more Catholics to vote for and join the parter, people do tend to be more atracted to winners, whatever their religion, and the UUP has the whiff of losers about it right now.

  • fair_deal

    Breaking the link – Good and by the appropriate organisation to break the link too.

    Jim Rodgers – I was always convinced that if anyone had ever taken out Jim Rodgers he’d be the first politician to manage to issue a press statement condeming his own murder.

    Moderate Unionist
    “he [Paisley] split the Orange order”
    When and how did he do this?

  • beano

    The UUP should have broken this link a long time ago. Now they’ve waited and the OO have dumped them instead! Embarrassing coming up to an election.

    Why do I feel I’m getting used to Unionists being embarrassed by their own inaction?

  • vespasian

    Alas it seems to be too late for the UUP they should have broken the link with the OO many years ago and stopped using their facilities.

    They had the opportunity to take over the middle ground of ‘golf/rugby club’ unionism which exists across the divide. They failed to make themselves relevant by pursuing normal poiltical policies and are now declining as more and more unionists sip their drinks in the comfort of the club bar comfortable in the knowledge that direct rule will continue. These unionists believe that the internicine warfare on both sides of the political divide will have little or no effect on them and their daily lives regardless of which party in in control of Downing St.

    The door has been opened for the Conservatives in Northern Ireland to take up this middle ground on both sides of the divide, as the SDLP also flounder despite a temporary reprieve, but given their past performance it is not very likely that they will take the opportunity.

  • Moderate Unionist

    fair deal
    How did Paisley split the Orange, by getting the DUP to join it in numbers.

    The numbers of active members has fallen sharpley, the organisation has polarised and as a number of contributers have indicated, many people think that separation a good thing.

    vespasian
    A long road awaits you. If the Conservatives can’t get rid of Blair, they needn’t think about sorting out Northern Ireland. The last thing the small middle ground needs is another party.

    beano
    Have to say I agree with you, but the alternative of a polarised society, a patchwork quilt of sectarin interest groups doesn’t fill me with much hope either. Maybe it has to get worse before it gets better?

  • fair_deal

    Moderate Unionist

    Sorry that is not what happened within the Orange at all. The DUP is not a sufficiently big party that even if it joined en masse it couldn’t have the effect you argue for.

    The vote at Grand Lodge would indicate no significant split on the issue. As regards what you say is happening in the Orange this is not an accurate description of what has happened in my own lodge, district or County over the last 10 years. If you are a member of the Institution maybe the experience in your area is different I dont know.

    The change in the Orange is simply reflective of the significant changes in the voting patterns of the Unionist community the result of UUP failure notany ‘Trotskyite’ enterism by the DUP.

  • Michael Shilliday

    The door has been opened for the Conservatives in Northern Ireland to take up this middle ground on both sides of the divide,

    So the Conservatives are going to take votes off the Social Democratic and Labour Party? Well done.

  • Peter Brown

    No-one within the UUP either publically or on this thread appears to be attempting to portray this as a good thing but everyone appears to be minimising the potential impact. Another nail in the coffin the only debatable point is its potential significance…

  • davidbrew

    “The numbers of active members has fallen sharpley, the organisation has polarised and as a number of contributers have indicated, many people think that separation a good thing”

    sorry to disaapoint, but the Order has a membership comparable to 1905, so it’s not on the way out yet. it peaked in the 1960s, nd declined until the early 1980s, but
    has been holding its own since then. Significantly, the age profile of membership is much better than for any of the Unionist political parties . Wwe have diversified into credit unions, culture, and all sorts of areas directly relevant to ordinary people. That will result in more people joining the order. This was a necessary sloughing offf of old baggage.

    And as for splitting Unionism- whatever Paisley did in the 1960s has been surpsed by Trimble in the past 7 years.

  • Hardy Handshake

    What difference does it make, Trimble hasn’t the vision, or bottle, or stomach, to create a genuinely secular brand of Unionism which could, if sincere and sustained, win over middle-class catholics to the notion of union in a way which would make it electorally digestible for catholics to consider voting OUP anyway.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    No statement from Jeffrey Donaldson on this yet? Disappointing.

  • Bob Wilson

    Vespian

    “The door has been opened for the Conservatives in Northern Ireland to take up this middle ground on both sides of the divide, as the SDLP also flounder despite a temporary reprieve, but given their past performance it is not very likely that they will take the opportunity.”
    Rome wasn’t built in a day and things are made difficult by the presence of 6 county ‘unionist’ parties like the UUP

    Moderate Unionist

    ‘The last thing the small middle ground needs is another party.’
    You aren’t telling me you think the Prod Lite UUP with its Catholic repellant leaflet ‘Its not fair’ and slogans like ‘Simply British’ is a moderate party?

    Michael

    ‘So the Conservatives are going to take votes off the Social Democratic and Labour Party? Well done’
    The Conservatives have Catholic members and take votes from all parts of the divide. Given the hardline ‘abolish grammar school’ line taken by SDLP (and Alliance) it is not inconceivable that they will continue to do so. They will get them long before UUP does – with or without the Orange link.

  • vespasian

    Moderate Unionist / Bob Wilson / Michael Shilladay

    What is possible and what is likely are not the same thing – Sectarian politics holds no interest for me – who can be the most Orange or Green does not fix the problems of NI.

    Education, Health, Taxes, Managed Immigration these are examples of what really matters here, just as any where else in the world.

    Being for or against the GFA or excusing terrorists of whatever hue does not progess this country one jot.

    How many more people posting in Slugger want away from this sectarian morass in to ‘normal’ politics or do the majority of people here and in the country really want continued conflict?

    If we could have fully organised Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democratic parties in Northern Ireland it would at least give a base for non sectarian politics and break up the big 4 a little!

    Will the big 4 want to see that not on your life these cannot exist outside sectarian politics!