Behind Orange Lines

Just a very brief entry to notify folks that there is a documentary on BBC 1 NI tonight entitled “Behind Orange Lines“. It takes an up close and personal look at Portdown LOL No 1, the lodge responsible for the Drumcree church parade. The documentary follows the lodge members as they go to church every Sunday at Drumcree church and protest to the police every Sunday as well as giving a rare insight inside the lodge. Tonight at 10.45. Available throughout Europe via Sky Digital channel 943.

  • looking in

    having read the bel tel feature on the program this evening – i’m a bit surprised about this piece of PR. Did the producer (Webster) get any production funds from OO to help with this?

    how amusing first scene is about an illegal erection …. tools the lot of them!

  • looking in

    ..and I though arches were ramshakles affairs – FFS it looks like the DRD Roads Service have facilitaed the construction of a special sunken mounting for the arch…..

    where do I apply for such a fixing to hoist a series of celebratory gaelic (scots and irish) celtic banners arcoss my road in lisburn, which is a city for everyone afterall

    it just says to me as an outsider how ingrained and covert the support for this section of the community there is

  • looking in

    aawwww no …. i’ve seen it now….

    it is just a wee club for poor wee semi-literate jobsworths and their wee rule books, getting the ladies (description used advisidly)to make the tea and cakes….

    maybe it is good that they have their wee club otherwise society would be screwed…

    looking back it seems that these wee old men and their forebearers joined the lodge in the hope and expectation that they would rub shoulders with the protestant professional and political classes and thereby obtain social and economic advantage, a la masons etc, it is just that in the late 20th and 21st century the professional prods have moved on and catholics by dint of their educational efforts and fair leagal legislation have rightly moved up to occupy a fair share of the posts that would have been sorted handedout in these dingy wee back rooms that is the exclusive domain of the orangeman.

    that is the source of the frustration – society has left these people behind

  • Appalled

    Just seen it – if it wasn’t so serious it would have been hilarious. These people are biggoted, bitter, hideous bumpkins. The sooner they die out the better. To think that these scum and their armed wing have brought Belfast to near paralysis in recent days is simply staggering.

  • beano

    I only saw the last 2 minutes with the protest at Drumcree to the police man and the celebrations in the field the next day.

    Those two scenes would have actually given a reasonable impression of the OO (I’ll not quite say positive, because I’m not sure how it would be viewed by someone who doesn’t already have an opinion).

    I say WOULD HAVE – as in, they would have was it not for the rioting going on at the moment. Oops.

  • Alan2

    “FFS it looks like the DRD Roads Service have facilitaed the construction of a special sunken mounting for the arch…”

    Most arches are like that. It is called health and safety and most have the sinks have been there for quite some time….before even a proper road was there in some cases. You just cannot put up a steel arch willy-nilly. FFS it costs a grand to ensure the things for two weeks.

  • Lurganist

    I worked with your man Nigel and i can tell you now he is one slippy snake, quite alot of them work in the civic center and during Drumcree would walk past with a stupid grin and have silly meetings behind the stage.

    Understanding the reactionary origins of the Orange Order is central is understanding why the claims that the marches represent ‘Protestant culture’ is about on a par with claiming a Ku Klux Klan march represents ‘white culture’. Indeed the very promotion of a separate ‘Protestant’ culture can only be seen as deeply reactionary in the context of the 6 counties. The term ‘Protestant’ culture is never used to include the Protestant republicans of 1798 or 1934, for instance. As such it’s real meaning can only be ‘anti-Catholic’.

    Says it all really.

  • looking in

    You just cannot put up a steel arch willy-nilly

    No, you just need the help of the now hated cops….mmmm how things change – early summer and the cops summarily close roads for brethern to erect these tacky arches displaying the art work of a five year-old with no artistic talent

    Still my point hasn’t been addressed – it seems as thought it is a certain culture that ensures if these arches can be erected – when do I get the right to ascert my culture and have them maintained by subsequent roadworkings and resurfacing…..

  • thompson twin

    Are wee hitler mustaches compulsary in Portadown district 1.

  • Alan2

    “The term ‘Protestant’ culture is never used to include the Protestant republicans of 1798”

    Of course it is. The 1798 rebellion is an important part of the history. The founder of the News Letter (the Unionist newspaper), Francis Joy was related to Henry Joy McCracken of the United Irishmen.

  • bessy

    Why were the film makers playing ‘the star of the County Down’during the programme.

    I thought Portadown was in Armagh ?

  • GurnyGub

    Welll, have to say Nigel Dawson was articulate and impressive, unlike the others. His presence, sangfroid, delivery, and bearing had the knack of making the senior policemen look as if they were standing in the wrong place,not him. Don’t know what he does for a living, but looking at the other bein’s people have voted for and were spluttering this week, a future in politics is on the cards. Oh, and thompson twin, about wee hitler moustaches, remember Newt apologised to the people of Germany about that unfair link to Portadown

  • Alan2

    ‘the star of the County Down’

    All the tunes playing in the background are played by the bands.

  • Seamus the poet

    Government spending currently accounts for 70% of the Northern Ireland economy, way above the norm for the UK. Presumably the UK government will withhold funds which go to schools, hospitals etc from those communities responsible for the damage, to pay for the damage caused. Yesterday I told my 8 year old daughter she couldn’t ride her bike on the pavement. Strangely enough she didn’t come back from her bike ride and throw stones through my window and torch the car. When are you lot going to grow up? Is this what you call culture?

  • Appalled

    “Are wee hitler mustaches(sic) compulsary(sic) in Portadown district 1.”

    For women – yes.

  • G-man

    I caught the last 10 minutes or so of the programme.

    Pretty depressing stuff particularly the frequent references to protestants and protestant “culture” whatever that is.

    I am sure all moderate liberally minded people (protestant and catholic) would be delighted if the OO disappeared from NI life.

    However, whilst it is very easy for educated middle-class types to mock and sneer at the OO, how do we create a society in NI whereby people do not wish to be part of the OO ?

    I am sure there are lots of reasons why people join or remain in the OO. In the long term I can’t help but feel that education combined with increased prosperity will be the answer. However this will take generations.

    In the shorter term, a major difficulty is that the established unionist parties offer absolutley nothing to moderates and are inextricably linked to the OO. We need a new type of “British” politician (I don’t like the term Unionist given its associations) unconnected to the OO who can articulate an alternative and positive 21st century vision of what it means to be a resident of NI who wishes to maintain the British link.

  • DaithiO

    Very flattering in light of the pictures shown of OO members attacking the police. Come next July, no doubt, the BBC will give the OO the soft focus treatment, showing the parades live and telling us all what a family friendly and temperate bunch they are !!

  • philip

    It makes one want to weep when TV pictures show a member of the Orange Order waving a ceremonial sword with menace at members of the PSNI, who have sworn to uphold the British rule of law, regardless of any aggravated motive. I have long since believed that since the genesis of Drumcree the membership of the Orange Order’s status quo of loyalist to unionist Protestants has shifted towards the former, and it is increasingly and unfortunately so becoming more militant. Its no satisfaction in stating that Gerry Adams is
    right when he suggests that it is not the lack of leadership that is worrying; rather it is the way they are leading. The grand master must now
    come out and condemn without qualification any member of his organisation that aids, abets, counsels or procures violence against the state.

  • Fraggle

    Philip, what is your difference between loyalist and unionist?

    “The grand master must now
    come out and condemn without qualification any member of his organisation that aids, abets, counsels or procures violence against the state.”

    only against the state?

  • Appalled

    Following on from DaithiO’s post – surely the BBC and UTV can now finally bring to an end their shameful legitimising coverage of these bozos and their ‘festival’ of ‘celebration’ every ‘twalfth’?

  • Philip

    Fraggle there was no intention to limited the condemnation to the state alone – note the omission of the adjective. My only thinking was to give focus to the old man and what he (sic) allegedly stands for.
    But in my first draft the verb ‘condone’ was used instead of its antonym. Just think of the trouble that would have caused, or was it a Freudian slip .. Mmmmmmmm

  • Philip

    Fraggle there was no intention to limit the condemnation to the state alone – note the omission of the adjective ‘only’. My only thinking was to give focus to the old man and what he (sic) allegedly stands for.
    But in my first draft the verb ‘condone’ was used instead of its antonym. Just think of the trouble that would have caused, or was it a Freudian slip .. Mmmmmmmm

  • 9countyprovience

    If you noticed at the end of the programme it stated that the head of the lodge (can’t remember his name now) had resigned after the programme had been made as head for ‘personal reasons’ I googled his name right after the programme. It turned out that these ‘personal reasons’ were adultery with a nurse. Shows what a hypocrite he was with that grand list that he showed at the start of the programme about the qualities required (which he could barely read) to be an orangeman.

  • woodkerne

    Was the programme supposed to show the OO in a sympathetic light? All I could see was a bunch of separatist bigots glorifying in their warped anachronistic way of life. It has been many generations since British=protestent and it is about time that people stop sullying the union flag by identifying it with a small group of funda’mentalists’.

    For a documentary that was supposed to show people ‘inside’ the OO the TV camera had the door closed on it often enough. Are the brethren too embarrased to let people see the various silly Masonic rituals or is it something more sinister. I think we must be told.

  • DaithiO

    “All I could see was a bunch of separatist bigots glorifying in their warped anachronistic way of life.”

    Funny that, sure isn’t that all that the rest of the world see ?

  • DaithiO

    “All I could see was a bunch of separatist bigots glorifying in their warped anachronistic way of life.”

    Funny that, sure isn’t that all that the rest of the world see ?

  • Denny Boy

    I didn’t see the programme but caught a reference to it on Talkback today. (BTW I wonder why TB hasn’t interviewed any nationalist politicos about the rioting.)

    Anyway the chap who filmed the docu spoke of the lodge’s bafflement as to why they’re hated so much. His antidote to the hatred? Why, adopt the same sort of media spin employed by republicans.

    Yes, you read it correctly. Not “Let us take our lead from other Christian organizations and practise neighbourly love and tolerance.” No, let’s conceal our bigotry behind fancy words and PR, and somehow make it more palatable.

    And they wonder why they’re not wanted?

  • pacart

    I read somewhere that membership figures for the OO were in freefall in the years immediately before “Concerned Residents” groups started work. Since their arrival on the scene membership figures have went skyhigh, is there any truth in this?
    I was interested to see the “Ulster-Scots Folk Orchestra” performing after the parade. Small stirrings I know but maybe a more positive sense of Ulster Prod identity can evolve away from Orangeism, which appears to be a cultural deadend to me.
    Alan2, wasn’t the Orange Order originally set up as an antidote to Republican sentiments within the Protestant/Dissenter population after the 1798 Rebellion? Orange commentators have always tried to deny that strain in the Protestant culture.

  • Brian Boru

    I watched a little of it. I still think it is a bigoted sectarian organisation. It’s raison-d’etre is to rake up the past every year by reminding Catholics that “we beat you in 1690”. I think the Catholics know this by now! This is just raking up the past and preventing people moving on.

  • darthrumsfeld

    “Orange commentators have always tried to deny that strain in the Protestant culture.” -pacart

    That’ll come as a bit of a shock to the Grand Orange Lodge Executive Director, who has written a book on the Presbyterian turnout and organised numerous commemorations in Ballycarry of the Turnout there. Also the Antrim District Lodge which organised a pageant and reenactment of the Battle of Antrim on its Bicentenary. And numerous other examples such as the descendant of Henry Joy Mccracken who is a senior Orangeman.

    No the Orange wasn’t set up to crush the flowering of liberal presbyterianism.Nor to rub people’s noses into the result at the Boyne. It was a response to economic hooliganism between groups of different religious beliefs. If you controlled the market on hiring fair day you controlled the jobs, and so groups attempted to exclude themmuns.There were attacks too on those such as the teacher in Forkhill who tried to proselytise Anglicanism at the same time as he educated. It actually diminished sectarian disputes between Presbyterians and Protestants.

    It was even the case that some Presbyterians were Orangemen at the same time as being United Irishmen- because they were opposed to the discrimination against their religion and also wanted the protection from a group such as the Defenders.And Orangeismn was an offshoot of masonry, though many would argue that the philosophy of the United irishmen was cribbed from masonic thought. Many UI leaders were Masons, and there were faction fights between Masons ( mostly Catholics) and orangemen in County Tyrone- yet they enjoyed a susbtantially similar structure and a founder of orangeism-Sloan- was a Mason while Dan Winters went to his masonic Lodge for help from the marauding Defenders, and was rebuffed, so he looked elsewhere.

    The Presbyterians involved in the UI politics were largely liberal in theology, though some saw it as a millenarian crusade. That type of Presbyterianism was not and never has been mainstream. Incidentally it was just as hostile to Roman catholicism as the Calvinism of most presbyterians. A pact with the Defenders was a case of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” and not an ecumenical love in.

    As for all you other begrudgers, a wee thought. We Orangemen understand you don’t like us. You’ll never like us. Your sneers of course aren’t really from any misplaced sense of superiority but seem to originate from some collective primal folk memory of fear and loathing. As such it’s both irrational and illogical. And redundant for this reason.

    We are now ordered to accept that the simian pdychotic bigots like Sean Kelly have an automatic right to positions in Government, to release from prison and virtual immunity for crimes which have some kind of sacrosanct status as being for a “cause”. There is no alternative, we are told. OK, the corollory of that is that you out there , having jettisoned moral relativism, have no choice in this matter either. You don’t like us, so you’ll have to lump us. Cos we’re not going away, and we’re still the glue that holds Protestants in NI together- and that’s the real reason for the bile on this thread. I’d love to see the response if a Unionist posted that GAA weemin were ugly, the menfolk stupid, and the organisation stank of racism. Red cards would surely follow.

  • Denny Boy

    DR

    “We Orangemen understand you don’t like us. You’ll never like us. Your sneers of course aren’t really from any misplaced sense of superiority but seem to originate from some collective primal folk memory of fear and loathing. As such it’s both irrational and illogical. And redundant for this reason.”

    Er, not quite. We simply see you as irrelevant to 21st century society. Our rational and logical position is that you stoke up fires of hatred we could well do without. And that’s not just me talking. It’s the whole bloody world.

  • Betty Boo

    DR,

    Disliking the OO is not a problem of ‘some collective primal folk memory of fear and loathing.’ I’ve just never seen them involved in something constructive. My opinion of them is very low and I’m not even Irish.

  • susan

    “The Presbyterians involved in the UI politics were largely liberal in theology, though some saw it as a millenarian crusade. That type of Presbyterianism was not and never has been mainstream…..we’re still the glue that holds Protestants in NI together” darth rumsfield

    Generally I find your posts thoughtful and interesting. This one is as well but there is an element of defiance prehaps due to the hositility of some of the criticism.

    But I disagree with you about the irrelevance of liberal presbyterianism. There is still a strong strand of liberal theology among the Presbyterian church for example John Dunlop who wrote ‘A precarious belonging’ One of the most thoughtful analysis of protestants and identity in Ireland. I would also like to mention John Ross an ex moderator, (for those who don’t know the Presbyterian church the elected leader of the church), who stood up against bigotry in his Holywood and in the church. He also conducted the christening on my nephew with careful regard for the catholic sensibilities of his father’s family. The service was conducted in the family home.
    Some ministers refuse to hold OO services in their church. It would be fairer to say that the Presbyterian church is split into liberal and more hard line evangelical wings with moderators sometimes being elected from the liberal wing 1 year and evangelical the next.

    Therefore it is not accurate to say you represent protestant churches or that the OO the glue that holds us together. Some churches and some ministers don’t want to have anything to do with the OO.

  • Denny Boy

    Susan

    “Some churches and some ministers don’t want to have anything to do with the OO.”

    The Anglican ministers I know here in England regard the OO as a “blasphemy and an abomination”.

    Excuse the antique language but these are guys raised on the KJV :0)

  • lib2016

    I understood (quite possibly wrongly!)that Presbyterians didn’t become Protestants until around 1834 when they were needed to make up the numbers in the face of Catholic Emancipation.

    Maybe some of the experts could explain the status of Presbyterians and the other Non-Conformists in the early days of the Order.

  • pacart

    Darthrumsfeld, thank you for that considered reply. The closer you look at these things the more complicated they become, probably why most people prefer sloganeering and name calling, it saves them having to think. However,I can’t see how you can get away from the OO’s role in perpetuating, and sometimes facilitating, sectarianism in N.I. Their early history, as you describe it, i.e. protecting Protestant access to hiring fairs is interesting in this respect. They gained the top hand militarily quite quickly I think, did they use to allow free access for everyone to the hiring fairs? Somehow I doubt it.

  • darthrumsfeld

    Well of course they didn’t, but then nor did the Defenders.The loyalist ballad ” The Battle of Garvagh” is all about a fair day faction fight in 1813.

    “Perpetuating sectarianism”- well only in so far as we reflect society, and we’re certainly not alone, nor are we even the main culprit- perhaps those who persist in wanting to control the education of their children are most to blame there. We obviously don’t bother going to fairdays mobhanded because society has changed and it’s neither necessary or relevant to people’s needs. We are no longer overly exercised about the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland, as many orange leaders were in the 1860s. We have changed our view about dissolving the Irish Parliament in 1801 ( 18 out of 28 Orangemen in the Irish HoC voted against the Union)

    We obviously do still perceive our role as protecting Protestants-who encapsulate a wider definition than perhaps at the start of the Institution, and as the threat to Protestants has changed so has the response. The current threat is in an entirely new form, in that most Protestants will tell you that the Government now has a strategic interest in placating the Shinners, and none in sustaining our community. At it’s lowest level-the stupid, criminal, unthinking riots of the weekend- the Protestant response won’t work. But it’s precisely the adaptability of Orangeism that makes it so powerful. it finds its own level.
    Thus in 1795 we were a small group of rural labourers, and within a decade we had a presence in almost every military regiment, and within thirty years of our formation the king’s son was the Grand master, and pillars of the tory establishment wore the sash.
    membership levels have remained astonishingly constant throughout the past 150 years- despite what you read – and the Order will not suffer any long term damage from the bad week it has had, because it will evolve and adapt in pursuit of ots core values. We predated the IRA, and we’ll outlive them, and their aims.

    Oh, and susan, whatever else John Ross did, he didn’t christen anyone- Anglicans “christen” ; Presbyterians “baptise”- hence no godparents

  • susan

    Darth
    Ok baptise – I haven’t seen the inside of a church in 20 years!!!

  • lib2016

    Darth

    “membership levels have remained astonishingly constant”

    Despite the increasing number of ever smaller parades and the women and children drafted in to make up the numbers this seems hard to believe.

    You can of course prove me wrong simply by revealing those ‘membership levels’. Just the ones for NI would do – I’ll take your word for it on the foreign princes.

  • pacart

    Darth, “Of course they didn’t,(allow free access to everyone to hiring opps) but then nor did the Defenders.” That makes it OK then?
    Weird how little changes in 200 years. It seems that few people in the country actually really want fair play, they are only interested in Win/Lose situations, i.e. I win so you lose, if you’re doing OK it must mean I’m missing out.The weekend rioters were clear about this point.
    Any chance of us ever moving away from this pointless Orange/Defender standoff?

  • darthrumsfeld

    Oh pacart you’ll have to do better than that.

    200 years ago people thought that travelling in a steam train at 10 miles an hour was potentially fatal. No-one seriously suggests that a 21st century Orangeman has the same worldview as an 18th century one. 200 years ago Orangemen weren’t raising thousands of pounds for Cancer research NI either.
    You might as well blame the modern Tory Party for promoting slavery because some of them endorsed it 200 years ago.

    lib2016-
    I don’t have to prove anything to you. I know thew figures and you don’t. And the numbers who parade are not remotely the total membership. Many brethren never walk, yet are active Lodge members. Keep dreaming if it makes you happier.

    On your more sensible query, Presbyterians have been O O members since the outset, but probably few reached positions of seniority until the 20th century. We were Protestant Dissenters until the diestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1868(or thereabouts?).

    People like John Hume misquote Wolfe Tone’s “Protestant, catholic and Dissenter” remark in a half hearted attempt to invite us to reject pan-Protestantism. We don’t intend to, because we understand the events of the 1790s quite well enough thankyou.

    Often their Liberal politics brought tensions within the Tory -inclined leadership. But Orangeism was -within the Reformed churches alone of course- a force for ecumenism. Funnily enough, until recently one of the churches not to have official recognition by Grand Lodge was… the Free Presbyterians

    Denny boy
    in the unlikely event that many of the current C of E ministers adhere to KJV standards, they will find themselves quite at home with the tenets of the Orange order. Like J C Ryle, the great Bishop of Liverpool, they will approve of our standards and principles. If they are part time druids like ther Archbishop of Canterbury, of course they wonn’t like us.

  • lib2016

    darth,

    Here’s an alternative view of Orange history. He seems to disagree with your views. Maybe you could supply your references and tell us where this guy is wrong?

    http://larkspirit.com/general/orangehist.hmtl

  • lib2016
  • Denny Boy

    Darth

    My Anglican minister friends are God-fearing Christians. They regard the OO as a despicable bunch of bigots who give Protestantism a bad name.

    The Archbish of Canterbury is brilliant man who’d eat any little OO zealot for breakfast.

    That good enough for you?

  • pacart

    Darth, I wasn’t making a point about the OO specifically, but that this society still seems hung up on dividing resources and opportunities on sectarian lines. People still have the outdated view that the cake has a fixed size and if “themmuns” are getting some, it must mean “we” are getting less. From that comes organisations like the OO, dedicated to making sure their “bretheren” get more than their fair share. The logical conclusion of this warped view is what we saw at the weekend, people using violence to “make sure we get ours”. In functioning societies the state ensures reasonable access to resouces and opportunities for all, or at least tries to. There’s actually plenty to go around and the more people come to the party the bigger the cake gets, no need to be fighting over it. Surely the root of N.I.’s failure was that the state aborrgated that responsibility.The OO was part and parcel of that state, showing a mindset that had changed little in 200 years.

  • robby

    My favourite comment was from the ‘adulterer’
    saying ‘he loved a bit of tart’ in the tea hut.

    Excellent stuff.