Orange (finally) realise it’s good to talk

The Orange Order, fresh from the hammer blow delivered by former leading light Rev. Brian Kennaway, have announced that they recently held meetings with the Irish Government. Further meetings with the SDLP are on the way- though not with Sinn Fein, apparently because of their attitude to violence…..
Whilst the Order are selling the talks as part of their strategy to remove the Parades Commission, the Order may be just beginning to realise how far they will have to travel to gain the trust and confidence of nationalists which will be vital to any future parading resolution across the north of Ireland.

  • Joe

    The marching should stop.
    The only reason for the marching is to “lord it over your neighbours”.
    Have a celebration if they must; just do it peacefully in a “field”.

  • realist

    joe next time you watch the news compare the orange members respectable behaviour and dress code to the dirty residents. judging by their attire, bling and tracksuit garb, they are absolute filth, living off state hand-outs, rent a mob, the same scum that appeared on the streets of dublin for the love ulster parade. these illegitimate monkeys need re-educating, and this is where nationalist political and community leaders are clearly failing.

  • Conor Gillespie

    realist,
    “joe next time you watch the news compare the orange members respectable behaviour and dress code to the dirty residents. judging by their attire, bling and tracksuit garb, they are absolute filth, living off state hand-outs, rent a mob, the same scum that appeared on the streets of dublin for the love ulster parade. these illegitimate monkeys need re-educating, and this is where nationalist political and community leaders are clearly failing.”

    My, my, my, when moral justification falls short, its nice to know that you can always fall back on good old-fashioned Orange elitism! If I understand you correctly, the residents of catholic districts deserve to be subjected to the activities of the OO because they are:
    A) Dirty “they are absolute filth”
    B) Unemployed “living off state hand-outs”
    C) Poorly Educated “monkeys need re-educating”

    I believe this school of thought was also very prevalent during the famine.

  • realistb

    next time you watch the news compare the orange members respectable behaviour and dress code to the dirty hangers-on. judging by their attire, bling and tracksuit garb, they are absolute filth, living off state hand-outs, rent a mob, the same scum that appeared on the streets of every town/village for the Loyal Order parades. these illegitimate monkeys need re-educating, and this is where Unionist political and community leaders are clearly failing.

  • realist

    conor you miss my point, the protestors hardly earn £40k pa drive a nice bmw and live in a nice detached house in the suburb do they, most counter protests eminate from the poorer nationalist slum areas in belfast and portadown etc. The reason for this is that for decades they have been brainwashed by anti-orange propaganda that they are being discriminated against and downtrodden by the orangies. surely an obvious failure by leaders in the natinalist community. and to back this up can you name me an area where middle class nationalists are out attacking the orange with petrol bombs etc…no i didnt think so. btw im not in the oo.

  • Harry

    What makes unionists think they should march through areas – residential areas – where they’re not wanted?

  • Joe

    Love thy neighbour say the christians:
    By calling them “dirty”, “absolute filth”, “scum”???

    Praise the lord.

  • trev

    realist

    whats a ‘natinalist’

    Are you related to Dawson Baillie ?

  • paddyjoe

    i think realist has just shown the mentality for qualifying for the oo. i think they would welcome him with open arms. btw, i just took the last shovel of coal out of the bath. bet he was taught that on his grannies knee.

  • realist

    joe “Love thy neighbour say the christians:
    By calling them “dirty”, “absolute filth”, “scum”???” yes thats what i call rioters who thow bricks bottles petrol bombs etc at police and a legal orange parade, as allowed by the parades commission. what do you call them ????

    trev im sorry – ill give u a clue its a typographical error, and to help you more the letter o is missing. now close your eyes and think of all those sesame street episodes you watched, im sure it will come.

    the point im making is that nationalits think it is right to riot at orange parades, i remember the dublin riot blogs and alot of nationalist posters on this site said rhe rioters were dolites scum etc etc ????? but when i say it…….

  • trev

    “the point im making is that nationalits think it is right to riot at orange parades”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/09/12/nuls12.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/09/12/ixnewstop.html

    ???

  • paddyjoe

    were the rioting orangemen on the springfield rd scum. i wonder?

  • Joe

    So Realist’
    What do you call Orangemen in their regalia who riot and assualt the police.
    Or do you have a selective memory?

  • realist

    trevor that link you posted shows loyalist terrorists and dolites rioting, and yes they also are scum. while one or two remote incidents occur with orange members rioting these idiots will hopefully be ejected from the institution. i have made my position clear all rioting is wrong and unjustified but so far no agreement in this point from nationalists, who have engaged in fingerpointing.

  • Joe
  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,
    It made me laugh abit about the statement the orange order …has a long way to travel and have to win the trust of nationalist to resolve the parades issue…AS IF the orangemen care about wining the trust of nationalist. All the orange order wants is to march Garvahy road…and they’re doing a little pr stunt but they are gaining confidence even without the nationalist ‘trust’…they will march down garvahy road…. sorta like…these boots are made for walking….

  • realist

    hi joe thanks for the link, as ive already stated im not a member of the oo, but am from the unionist community. Firstly let me state my position clearly all rioting is WRONG period. whether it is an orangeman or a resident that throws a brick it is wrong = scum in my book. I would like the nationalist posters to agree with me on this point. As for members of the UVF being in the orange order, unfortunately these people are members of the unionist community and have been released under the gfa, so i think it would be anti-agreement to allow them not to join. My personal view is that i wouldnt have any of them in it but thats not for me to decide. Its pretty much the same way that the garvagy road residents spokesman was convicted of trying to blow up portadowns british legion club. Unfortunately these jokers on both sides are part of their respective community and it would be against the gfa to bar them from social/employment or whatever other activity they wish to persue as they have served their time and repaid their eyes to society (in the eyes of the gfa)

  • paddyjoe

    one or two remote incidents occur. dont go overboard will you.you have definitely got your orange tinted glasses on

  • realist

    lol last bit should read repaid their debt to society

    lol a senior moment

  • Conor Gillespie

    “The reason for this is that for decades they have been brainwashed by anti-orange propaganda that they are being discriminated against and downtrodden by the orangies.”

    Ah, now I see! THEY were clearly brainwashed by “anti-orange propoganda” untill they were crazy enough to start thinking that “they were being discriminated against.” Good thing you yourself can view the past objectively eh? No indoctrination for you right?

  • Joe

    Well thank you for that Realist.
    But I still think you should not use such derogatory terms when describing people with whom you disagee.
    It detracts from your argument. You can disagree without being insulting.
    Stick to the argument; civilized debate is useful; insults demean the insulter, more than the insulted.

  • trev

    The orange order have arrived.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Northern_Ireland/Story/0,2763,996867,00.html

    P.S its ‘Garvaghy’ Road not ‘garvagy’ road.

  • realist

    trev i think you have run out of arguments if all you can do is analyze the semantics and syntax of my posts. I thought you might like this trev

    http://www.residentgroups.fsnet.co.uk/attack.htm

    conor and trev neither or you have condemned the residents groups rioting at parades allowed by the pc????? do you support such violence

  • Joe

    Realist

    I do not condone violence in any form.
    I adhere to ghandi’s and martin Luther king’s philosophy whereby civil disobedience can be a powerful tool in forcing change.
    It might seem , however, that those orangemen who took their children to a situation where violence, alas, was likely, were being a little bit irresponsible.

  • walter

    “judging by their attire, bling and tracksuit garb, they are absolute filth, living off state hand-outs, rent a mob”

    Sounds more like the Shankill, Mount Vernon or Sandy Row crew, only thing missing is the drugs.

  • Nationalist

    Realist

    “…most counter protests eminate from the poorer nationalist slum areas in belfast and portadown etc..”

    What you conveniently forget to mention is that those are the exact same areas that bore the brunt of the campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing carried out by loyalists.

    Unionists are certainly entitled to despise and hate the people of those areas, it’s a free country, but keep it to yourselves.

    We no longer live in a protestant country for a protestant people, though you desperately seem to want to cling on to one.

    Nationalists, if they see fit, are perfectly entitled to withold their consent from letting you parade through their areas.

    According to the article Drew Nelson says:

    “This is probably the first time in our history that we’ve been talking to the nationalist community….We met civil servants from the Irish government, from the Department of Foreign Affairs,”.

    How stupid is that? Possibly a Tony Blair historical moment. I have a bit of advice for Drew, Dublin civil servants are not the nationalist community. If unionists want to march through nationalist areas they have to talk to the nationalists who live in them.

    If realist is representative of unionism then there doesn’t appear to be much hope because it would appear unionist attitudes haven’t moved on from the plantations.

  • realist

    this is my last post, i really do dispair, i have condemned all violence, but the cloest any nationalist has come to that is some jibberish about civil disorder waffle. it really seems that ghetto nationalist mentality is alive and kicking. i thank the lord i dont generally have to go anywhere near these losers in their dirty council housing estates.

  • mark

    I think “Realist’s” comments are a perfect counter-balance to Kennaway’s.

    While Kennaway highlights the Orange Order neglecting faith based Protestant values for politics, antagonism and confrontation (some may argue that was always the purpose of the Loyal Orders) Realist counters with its the Catholics fault.

    I’m not sure this Orange Order lark will convince me of the truth behind biblical Protestantism, unless its a message of surrender or die (you dirty, filthy, scumbag, fenian. Wait. Did he manage not to say fenian?)

    Anyhoo, praise the Lord, I’m convinced, I’m sure these marches are a clear exhibition of the truth of Christ in my life and a celebration of the possibility of a personal relationship with him without priestly intercession.

    The Orange Order committed as they are to New Testament values are surely acting as ‘fishers of men’ by their evangelical excursions into religiously hostile areas.

    You are the true evangelists?

    (one of my best experience was the Baptists doing a summer club on the field in front of the mainly catholic estate I lived in but telling us we are dirty scum, may work too)

  • trev

    Dr Realist

    By ‘cloest’ i presume you mean ‘closest’

  • Brian Boru

    These talks are welcome. Perhaps now they are finally waking up to the fact that the South will have influence in the North.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”Perhaps now they are finally waking up to the fact that the South will have influence in the North.”

    Yes Brian in a paradoxical way you’re right. Thanks to SFs rather clever agenda of constant agitation over OO parades, which could conceivably run for ever (when the currently ‘contentious’ parades are finally settled, slight population shifts magically create new ones), the OO actually acknowledge that there is another part of this island, albeit a foreign one.
    Conversely of course, the SF political agenda is ensuring that the black north is intruding on the south in a manner most southerners must find extremely irritating. Just when the republic gets a long-overdue dose of economic prosperity and starts to move into the 21st century, up pop the shinners with their in-your-face lefty electoral tactics, delightful O’Connell street parade and (doubtless tenuous) links to criminality. As if that isn’t enough, those ghastly Unionists create mayhem in Dublin by getting off a bus.
    North-South co-operation is in full swing Brian and you boys in the south had best get used to a dose of the type of northern culture we’ve all had to endure here for decades.

  • ulster scot

    Realist – is leading you all into a wind up thread – ignore!

    The real issue is wither OO/residents engagement will lead anywhere.It won’t,the Parades Commission legislative framework is carefully crafted anti Protestant/British culture Penal laws designed to “empower” the residents to foot trag and ultimately refuse “permission” to the loyal orders.Engagement is only one of many smoke screens,if one reads the PC determinations “detremental effect on community relations” is only noted to effect host community(actually more adjacent community than host as that implies the OO want to walk through the middle of Ardoyne up the Falls Rd -not true).The PC unfortunately see no detrimental effect whatsoever on Protestant communities when restrictions ar imposed – community relations in this case don,t seem to matter nor do the PC see a detrimental effect – thats because the law empowers the adjacent residents to say NO.

    The PC legal environment is very unfair and acts as no encouragement at all for loyal orders whatsoever to engage in potracted discussions with people who fundamentally deny their right to exist or be visible in the Ireland of their dreams.

    The united Ireland dream is tested to destruction when nationalist posters reveal their OO hatred.As a unionist I see simply a future in a united ireland sceanario where Protestant/Unionist visability is ghettoised and kept invisible less it disturbs the false dream that the island is one harmonious single entity.Posters of a Irish or nationalist disposition simply can’t live with the visible expression of difference – for them it has to be kept away from their eyes – hence the only OO parade in the Republic is on a beach in Donegal.

    This reality tells me that any move towards a UI for the unonist/british population in NI will be the beginning of an “extinction level” event for that cullture.

    Lets discuss something sensible – and NO nationalist protestors are not dirty etc

  • Nevin

    Do the OO leaders realise they were shafted by Dick Spring and his colleagues in the Department of Foreign Affairs?

    Perhaps they still believe that routing decisions were taken by the then RUC Chief Constable whereas the latter merely was asked for his advice and carried the can for a decision taken by Spring and rubber-stamped by the British government.

    “Excerpt from Briefing given by the Tanaiste to Media, Wednesday 10 July 1996

    Enright: I have to ask you about Northern Ireland and the current situation there obviously is a matter that preoccupies peoples minds during trouble. What’s your view of the current situation and just how dangerous is it?

    Tanaiste: The current situation is very serious. I think we have all seen over the last number of days the inherent risks in what is happening in Northern Ireland. My request would be the same as has been made by the British Government and indeed by the Chief of Police in Northern Ireland – a call for restraint, a call for I think recognition that if people proceed down this line certainly the future is very bleak. We were a very short time ago quite optimistic about the opening of discussions and negotiations. We have seen a possible return to Northern Ireland at its worst in the last number of days. Coming up to 12th July it would be I think very important that leadership is shown, that restraint is shown and that we avoid plunging back into the abyss.

    Enright: Are you satisfied that Unionist leaders have done everything they can to calm the situation?

    Tanaiste: I think it beholds leadership on all sides to ensure that nothing is said or that nothing is done that creates any further difficulties. The police and the security forces in Northern Ireland are working under extreme difficulties, have been for the last number of days and nights, and I think it beholds leadership now to ensure that the situation is not compounded or exasperated and restraint should be called.

    Enright: Do you regret that the Government here have taken such a strong view on the routing of marches, do you think perhaps it was a mistake to reroute this march?

    Tanaiste: No. I have to say to you that the view that we have taken and the view that is now supported by the British Government is that you have to have [balance?] – the test is reasonableness. We respect the right of people to engage in marches. They also have to respect the right of people who do not wish marches going through their areas and the balance was the British Government advised by the security forces set out to achieve a balance and obviously balance involves compromise. And there was a compromise sought and my view is that that compromise should be respected. There is tension, there are serious risks but one would hope that people would show the restraint that is necessary. And if there is leadership I think the ultimate compr[om]ises can be worked out.

    Enright: Do you support the Chief Constable’s view that this march should have been rerouted?

    Tanaiste: Yes we do support that, yes.”

    Additions in [] are mine.

  • Comrade Stalin

    the Order may be just beginning to realise how far they will have to travel to gain the trust and confidence of nationalists

    Chris, this is just a chuckified version of the dishonest unionist line “we need to be sure republicans are committed to exclusively democratic and peaceful means”. In the case of unionists it is clearly a catch-all to try to avoid sharing power. Your version of it is a similar catch-all. Nationalists do not like the Orange Order and they do not want it parading through “their” areas. Other than not marching, how can anything the OO ever do actually fix this ?

    A resolution to the parading dispute involves nationalists removing their objections to Orange marches in the majority of cases. Nationalists aren’t going to do that, so why pretend that there is some possibility that they will ?

    Like the rest of our problems in NI, the solutions are (a) to put the past behind us, and (b) to live and let live. The Orange Order are a rotten organization and their drunken, abusive hangers on are the dregs of our society. However, this is a free country. The idea that there should be neighbourhoods where arbitrary rules are enforced regarding the people who wish to pass through them is the first step on the road to an apartheid state. Let them march and the novelty of their silly processions will soon wear off.

  • “though not with Sinn Fein, apparently because of their attitude to violence”

    Considering the attitude the OO to violence I don’t see the problem here. Perhaps they can both discuss tactics or weaponry.

  • kensei

    “Nationalists aren’t going to do that, so why pretend that there is some possibility that they will ?”

    100% pure bollocks.

    “Let them march and the novelty of their silly processions will soon wear off.”

    200% pure bollocks. History really doesn’t bear this out.

    “Other than not marching, how can anything the OO ever do actually fix this ?”

    1. Remove the anti Catholic rules within the Orange Order. A member should not be able to be expelled for attending a funeral mass, for example. Being pro Protestant should be enough, there is no room for being anti Catholic.

    2. Instantly expell anyone with links to loyalist organisations, who carry loyalist flags, who engage in rioting or civil disobdience or other inappropriate behaviour.

    3. Hold face to face talks with any residents that protest. It is simply a matter of respect and typically where it is done, it is sorted out cf Apprentice Boys of Derry.

    My personal opinion is that if ANY side refuses to meet with the other then it instantly loses the argument.

    4. Outreach to the Catholic communtiy, for example with suitable Catholic Charitable Organisations for some joint work.

    The above would go a long way, and improve the OO’s standing among Catholics no end. Stop parades (temporarily) where there has been unacceptbale behaviour would also go send a powerful message out to both sides.

    If they actually wanted Catholics to attend marches or bonfires, there would have to be more really. It’s all a bit dull. Floats would be a good start.

  • north antrim

    have to agree whole heartedly with kensei, but a few additions. The bonfires create a real mess, perhaps they could be replaced with a fire work display and some traditional scottish folk music (or irish 😉 ) and traditional dancing, i can imagine it bein a really good party. Perhaps all the stuff done for Rabbi Burns could be move to, or copied on the 12th night (or is it the 11th?).

  • Comrade Stalin

    kensei, the Orange Order can never have any standing with me. It is a purely sectarian and evil organization that resembles the KKK. It is an affront to a decent society.

    This debate is about whether or not people are allowed to permit free speech and free assembly. Provided they don’t break any laws, the OO should be able to march anywhere they like.

    Let’s go through your points :

    1. Remove the anti Catholic rules within the Orange Order. A member should not be able to be expelled for attending a funeral mass, for example. Being pro Protestant should be enough, there is no room for being anti Catholic.

    The OO is a religious organization and like all religious organizations including churches, it’s role is to divide people. It is by no means the only organization which does this – look at the news over the past couple of weeks, on two separate occasions where leading Presbyterians and Catholic bishops complained loudly about joint worship ceremonies.

    2. Instantly expell anyone with links to loyalist organisations, who carry loyalist flags, who engage in rioting or civil disobdience or other inappropriate behaviour.

    A fair requirement and I wish everyone in Northern Ireland would do this. Sadly too many of us are sympathetic to paramilitaries, either because we need their services for political muscle, or simply because we need cheap hash/coke, counterfeit sportswear or petrol. This is true of republicans and unionists equally.

    3. Hold face to face talks with any residents that protest. It is simply a matter of respect and typically where it is done, it is sorted out cf Apprentice Boys of Derry.

    The notion that people should have the right to be consulted about other people wishing to pass through their neighbourhood is an affront to civil rights. People acting within the law should be able to do anything they want and walk whereever they want. What if some people decided they were offended by Polish immigrants and required that the Polish people should have talks with them to negotiate permission to walk down their street ? How about black people ? Jews ? You’re setting up a very dangerous and nasty precedent, where people who decide that they are offended by something start squashing other people’s rights.

    My personal opinion is that if ANY side refuses to meet with the other then it instantly loses the argument.

    If someone told me I needed their permission to walk down their road I’d tell them – pardon me – to go and f**k themselves.

    4. Outreach to the Catholic communtiy, for example with suitable Catholic Charitable Organisations for some joint work.

    Catholic charitable organizations me hole, who goes to mass these days anyway ? Bishops, priests, clerics – none of these people are elected, they are appointed arbitrarily by a hierarchy working to extend the influence and interests of their religious organization. I don’t see why I should consult the Catholic church about anything, any more than I should consult the (spit) Loyalist Commission.

    The above would go a long way, and improve the OO’s standing among Catholics no end.

    The OO is fundamentally anti-Catholic and it can never have standing among Catholics, and it shouldn’t have standing with anyone who believes in pluralism, democracy and a decent society. We should stop trying to pretend that it can. Instead we should try to grasp the concept of civil rights. It boils down to a simple question – should people be allowed to shout “f**k the pope” through a megaphone or should they not ?

    If they actually wanted Catholics to attend marches or bonfires, there would have to be more really. It’s all a bit dull. Floats would be a good start.

    I want nothing to do with marches and I think people who light bonfires, destroying playgrounds, streets, and council property in the process, should be arrested and prosecuted.

  • JoeCanuck

    Comrade
    Pretty good points. However, we do not live in Never Never Land (oops, maybe we do).
    We know that there are certain people attached to some Orange Order parades who go out of their way to give offence to Catholics. Equally we know that there are certain people within the Catholic community who are only too willing to take such offence.
    So, in the near certainty that there is going to be intercommunal violence, what can the authorities do?
    I suggest a simple solution: Set up a body called, for example, “The Parades Commission” Let them decide, albeit not always perfectly, when a specific parade is likely to cause strife, and, if so, to impose some sort of restriction.

  • kensei

    “This debate is about whether or not people are allowed to permit free speech and free assembly. Provided they don’t break any laws, the OO should be able to march anywhere they like.”

    No rights are absolute.

    “The OO is a religious organization and like all religious organizations including churches, it’s role is to divide people. It is by no means the only organization which does this – look at the news over the past couple of weeks, on two separate occasions where leading Presbyterians and Catholic bishops complained loudly about joint worship ceremonies.”

    That’s fine. Religions will result in people with different views. Vive la difference. But there is a line and the OO crosses it. It is anti Catholic organisation. It needs to become a pro Protestant one, without the nasty baggage and we’ll all get along fine.

    “The notion that people should have the right to be consulted about other people wishing to pass through their neighbourhood is an affront to civil rights.”

    And being initimidated isn’t an affront to civil rights?

    “People acting within the law should be able to do anything they want and walk whereever they want.”

    Unless they are intimidating others by their actions. Or stirring trouble. Or glorifying terrorism, which is now a crime. Or doing a million other things that curtail your rights in a modern society. No right is absolute.

    “What if some people decided they were offended by Polish immigrants and required that the Polish people should have talks with them to negotiate permission to walk down their street?”

    Then I would expect the Polish people to talk to them, out of respect as much as anything else.

    “How about black people ? Jews ? You’re setting up a very dangerous and nasty precedent, where people who decide that they are offended by something start squashing other people’s rights.”

    No, because coming to the talk with a reasonable position will sort out the biots from the genuine concersn very quickly. That’s the beauty of dialogue. If the OO talked in good faith, and the residents could find no alternative acceptable, I’d be finding myself supporting the OO.

    “If someone told me I needed their permission to walk down their road I’d tell them – pardon me – to go and f**k themselves.”

    And you’d lose the argument.

    “Catholic charitable organizations me hole, who goes to mass these days anyway ?”

    Me. Lots of people I know. Next question.

    “Bishops, priests, clerics – none of these people are elected, they are appointed arbitrarily by a hierarchy working to extend the influence and interests of their religious organization.”

    Becaause some of them have a lot of respect at the local level – particularly local priests. And a lot of them have lay involvement. Which would be my prefered organisation. But you are misisng the point.

    “I don’t see why I should consult the Catholic church about anything, any more than I should consult the (spit) Loyalist Commission.”

    I didn’t ask for consulatation, I asked for outreach with charitable organisations. It could be as simple as some joint events for a good cause. You are being ridiculous.

    “The OO is fundamentally anti-Catholic and it can never have standing among Catholics, and it shouldn’t have standing with anyone who believes in pluralism, democracy and a decent society. We should stop trying to pretend that it can.”

    The OO is at the moment, but it doesn’t have to be. I suspect you are an athiest, and God help me if I have started you on the evils of religion. I do not believe in fatalistic attitudes and I do not believe there is anything wrong at a fundamental level with an organisation that wants to spread the Protestant faith, or play dress up or whatever. No one atatcks the Legion of Mary or the St Vincent de Paul, say. I’ll always disagree with it, but that isn’t the same thing.

    “Instead we should try to grasp the concept of civil rights. It boils down to a simple question – should people be allowed to shout “f**k the pope” through a megaphone or should they not ?”

    No, we should try and talk to each other. We should try to change and grow and get rid of 18th century attitudes. Rights are important and all very well, but you can’t beat actually respecting people.

    As for shouting fuck the pope – is it going to incite violence? Is it intimidating people? People should be as free as they can be, without hurting others.

    “I want nothing to do with marches and I think people who light bonfires, destroying playgrounds, streets, and council property in the process, should be arrested and prosecuted.”

    I would tend to agree, but I was just trying to make suggestions. There is no reason in theory why a Catholic could not attend the parade or a bonfire. The excution is merely horribly wrong. Perhaps we should apply some St Pat’s Day parade equality measures on it.

  • greg

    “The notion that people should have the right to be consulted about other people wishing to pass through their neighbourhood is an affront to civil rights.”

    Don’t agree cs.

    Should the orange order have the right to march through or past an area celebrating someone like uvf killer Brian Robinson.

    Robinson is commemorated by the orange order on an annual basis, during contentious parades, as are other uvf leaders.

    I don’t think it is an affront for people or victims to object to an organisation who promote and facilitate such commemorations into, or past areas were their prescence is deemed offensive.

    Would it be an affront for residents who live close to to the bus stop in Eltham, south east London, where Stephen Lawrence was murdered, to object to a BNP march past the spot of his murder ?

    Or would it be an affront for Shankill residents to object to an IRA parade past the former Frizell’s fish shop on The Shankill Road ?.

    I don’t think it is.

  • JoeCanuck

    Comrade Stalin’s argument is naive in the extreme.
    He seems to be adopting an anarchistic argument whereby the state has no right to pass laws. He seems to believe that “rights” are absolute.
    This is utter nonsense.
    Most, if not all, laws are passed by the state (larger community) to protect the sheep from the wolves.
    A persons right to be a psychopathic murderer is trumped by my right to life.

  • are you sure

    Greg: Vol. Brian Robinson is obviously highly respected by his local community if they still pay respects to him each year, why do you have a problem with that ??

  • JoeCanuck

    Are you Sure

    There are still people in Germany who celebrate Hitler’s birthday each year.
    I guess that’s ok.

  • Brian Boru

    Ulster scot, how do you reconcile you “extinction” thesis with the current rapid growth in the number of Southern Protestants – certain to be confirmed in this year’s census when detailed results are published next year? In the 2002 Census it confirmed the Protestant % was 4%, the highest since 1970, and that their numbers grew faster than Catholics since 1996. I think we are heading for a situation where Unionist politicians will continue to chide us for a decline in Protestantism in the South even when there will likely be more of them down here than there were at independence when they were 7%. How bizarre that seems.

    Or maybe when this happens we will instead hear the Unionists waking up to the reality that modern Ireland is not a cold-house for Protestants. Go on about the 20’s if you wish – we are not going to agree on that question. But surely it’s the present day which counts as a real indicator of how Protestants would be treated in a UI?

  • the columbian

    brian “the dreamer” boru:

    By 1972 an article once condemned by critics as liberal and indeed by some as offensive to Catholicism, had come to be seen as out of place, dated, and potentially discriminatory to Protestants. The “special position” of the Catholic Church had granted to that church, albeit in an undefined manner, a special status that was out of step with post-Vatican II Catholic thinking on the relationships between the churches. The Protestant churches, though they had declined in adherents, were more outspoken and willing to express their unhappiness than they had been in the Ireland of the 1920s and 1930s, when many were fearful that criticism of the Irish state would be seen as criticism of Irish independence and so implicitly a preference for the British ancien régime that had ruled Ireland before 1922.

    Roman Catholicism was given an undefined “special position” not as the “true church” but merely as the church of the majority. Pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism did not accept that other religions had any rights. All rights belonged to it by being the ‘true church’ supposedly created by Jesus, irrespective of its number of adherents. To base its position not on theology but purely on who had more adherents (“numbers, not truth” in the words of one critic) angered organisations like Maria Duce.

    The Article also explicitly recognised other religions, using their official titles. Right wing Roman Catholics had long since disputed the rights of those churches to use those names, traditionally referring to the “so called Church of Ireland”. The use of those titles infuriated organisations like Maria Duce.

    altough some of these constitutional offenses were removed, the papish minset has not.

    yes i am getting the picture of how protestants would be treated in a united ireland.

  • Brian Boru

    “altough some of these constitutional offenses were removed, the papish minset has not.

    yes i am getting the picture of how protestants would be treated in a united ireland.”

    Rubbish. In fact much of what you have said almost sounds like an argument in favour of a UI. The people have voted in referenda to scrap the ban on divorce and the “special place” of the Church in the constitution. The bans on contraception and homosexuality are gone. So what is left of Church influence? If you’re going to say the Church control of schools then I would point out that in the UK, the Church is also allowed to run its own schools. The “papish mindset” is a figment of your imagination.

  • the columbian

    Brian “myopic” boru , lets take some recent shows of irish hospitality to loyalists. Firstly the recent warm welcome to the love ulster parade in dublin. Then theres the widespread support for a royal visit to the south. The employment practices, why does the garda a force of 12,000 only emply 14 protestants ?, The presidents recent comments referring to my community as nazis. btw there were 30 Orange Lodges in the city of Dublin, four District Lodges, a City Grand Lodge, Trinity College Grand Lodge, and seven Preceptories. Within a few months not a single one of them had survived the 1920 eradication of the protestant population in the republic.

  • Rubicon

    “1920 eradication” – are you pointing to specific events?

    The decline in the Protestant population in the South had a number of causes:

    1. With the coming of the Free State many Protestants in government and commerce choose to leave the country. In part, perhaps a fear of religious discrimination was among their reasons for going but so too was the expectation that the country wouldn’t be run properly, that it would be unstable and that they didn’t feel any loyalty to it. Crown civil servants were offered transfers so for some the process of choosing to leave wasn’t as difficult as it might have been. This could not be described as “eradication” or even “sectarian” on the part of nationalists – the first President of the Free State was a Protestant.
    2. “Eradication” may be a fair word for one of the causes of Protestant decline – the Great War. That was decimated the Protestant young male population
    3. The RC rules regarding mixed marriages and the requirement that children be raised as Catholics. This was certainly sectarian – but it was not a law on the statute books of the state.

  • the columbian

    rubicon: so you dont think that protestants being murdered and their property burnt had anything to do with it??

    Dr. Garrett FitzGerald in his autobiography:

    “If I were a Northern Protestant today, I cannot see how I could be attracted to getting involved with a state that is itself sectarian. […] According to Fianna Fail1 it would be a waste of time to talk about changing the Constitution so as to make it acceptable to unionists. […] a reflection of the Catholic ethos in our legislation was ‘quite natural and what you would expect'”

  • uldter scot

    Brian – the modest gowth in protestants in the ROI is due very largely to immigrants – ie Drogeda Presbyterian church had 14 members 10 years ago now 150 – virtually all immigrants.

    The point being made which you ignore in a UI sceanario is that British Unionists would be forced to be invisable to survive.The overt demonstration of loyalty to another state/or expression of a different culture is not tolerated in the ROI.Following partition the southern prods had to keep their head down to survive – they became invisible ghosts allowed to make money/keep property but the price was that they did not express any political/national challenge to upset the nationailist myth of one happy contented unfied people.Hence a UI will have one outcome for british unionists extinction – otherwise no jobs,discrimination,and marginalisation to force us to imigrate – because we choose to be different and by that challenge the false irish national dream of one people.

  • Rubicon

    TC – I was pointing to the causes of the decline in the Protestant population and what I think you are referring to is the criminal burning of many properties owned by the landed gentry. I don’t believe this effected many people – it’s kind of in the nature of the landed aristocracy to keep the club small.

    You mention murders as a cause. I’m not sure how many there were but they were extremely small in number compared to Protestant losses in WW1. The following is a record of just some of the Irish losses during the first year of WW1 – many of whom were Protestants (take a tour around St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin and read the long list of names).

    In Gallipoli – The Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the Royal Munster Fusiliers were the first to disembark from the S.S. River Clyde and of the first 200 men to leave the ship, 149 were killed and 30 wounded immediately. The Dublins had 25 officers and 987 other ranks but only, one officer and 374 other ranks made it ashore. There were 637 casualties in the first 36 hours.

    The Allies decided to launch a fresh attack against the Turks and chose Suvla Bay, 25 miles north of Cape Helles. The first Irish volunteer unit to go into battle was the 10th (Irish) Division which contained the new service battalions of the Irish regiments. As a result of administrative incompetence, the Division’s artillery had been sent to France and the men arrived without either maps or orders. The Division did not fight as a unit. There was a chronic water shortage and the soldiers ran out of ammunition and had to resort to throwing stones at the enemy. At least 3,411 serving with Irish battalions were killed or missing , 569 from the 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers alone.

    Near St. Julien, during the second battle of Ypres, the 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers suffered near annihilation just one month after the Helles Landings. On May 24th, 1915, around 2.45am, the Germans launched a poison gas attack. The Battalion strength was 666 men. By 9.30 pm, only one officer and 20 other ranks remained.

    On September 29, 1915, the 2,454 strong 10th (Irish) Division set sail from Gallipoli for Salonika to fight on the Bulgarian front. On the 3rd October, the Royal Dublin and Munster Fusiliers were at the front line and were ordered to take the village of Jenikoj which is now in Macedonia. In the attack, they lost 385 men killed, wounded or missing. There is a granite Celtic cross there to commemorate the 10th (Irish) Division. This complements the ones at Wytschaete in Flanders and Guillemont in France. (http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/index.asp?docID=2517)

    In 1916 losses became far worse and didn’t stop until November 1918.

  • the columbian

    Rubicon, i apologise, what must have i been thinking of. Sure protestants just decided to leave for no partticular reason. AFTER the war Within three or four years from 1921 146,000 Protestants had to flee from the new Irish state. Maybe the burning of a “few” properties of gentry made them all leave.

  • Rubicon

    What’s your source for your population figure AFTER the war? There wasn’t a census in Northern Ireland until 1921 and not until 1926 in the south. The previous counts were (for both areas) in 1911 – BEFORE the war.

    The War Memorial gives 49,400 Irish killed in service during the war (more than 1 in 3 of those that volunteered).

    Your 146,000 comes from what? 1926 – 1911?

  • the columbian

    rubicon, the following is quite disturbing but they are facts. apologies for its length, but this is only a small section.

    Many protestants had been driven out by brute force, along with some Catholic loyalists who had served in the British army or the Royal Irish Constabulary. But if Catholic loyalists were traitors in republican eyes, Protestants were the tribal enemy. Protestant small businessmen were run out of Monaghan; Protestant farmers around Carrick-on-Shannon were subjected to “continuous persecution”, a contemporary report said, and left for the North; near Clonakilty, a Unionist JP and his son were forced to dig their own graves before they were shot by republicans, who then hanged the JP’s nephew.

    The story had been similar in west Cork 50 years before the Provisional IRA was even named. More than 200 big houses were burnt throughout Ireland in the lustrum after the first world war, symbols of the ascendancy class swept away in a frenzy of destruction. But the republicans’ principal target wasn’t Anglo-Irish landlords. During 1919-23 they shot 122 people as “spies and informers” in Cork. That number included 17 farmers, 25 unskilled labourers and 23 unemployed.

    Apart from one or two prosperous Dublin suburbs, no district in the south ever had a Protestant majority, but there were far from negligible minorities in some areas: in the Bandon district of County Cork, for instance, Protestants accounted for one in six of the population until the Troubles. It was there, in and around Dunmanway, on the nights of 27-29 April 1922, that ten people were shot by republicans. They included James Buttimer, an 82-year-old retired draper; Ralph Harbord, curate of Murragh; Alexander McKinley and Robert Nagle, both aged 16; and Jim Greenfield, a “feeble-minded” farm servant. None was rich or propertied. All were Protestants.

    The republicans’ justification – if the word applies – was revenge for attacks on Catholics in Belfast, about which southern Protestants were said to have remained silent. As Hart shows, that was untrue: in the months before the massacre, “there were frequent Protestant meetings and letters to newspapers condemning the northern pogroms”. This violence, Hart concludes, “did not seek merely to punish Protestants but to drive them out”, and it succeeded. A witness reported that “for two weeks there wasn’t standing room on any of the boats or mail-trains leaving Cork for England”, while others escaped to Ulster, part of a general exodus that sheds bleak light on those sharply declining Protestant numbers.

    There is often a tendency to point to the Great War as a reason for the decline of Southern Protestantism. However an analysis of sign-up figures demonstrates clearly that Southern Protestants had quite a low volunteering rate (there was no conscription in Ireland) – one broadly similar to that of their Catholic neighbours. Both Southern Catholics and Protestants were far less inclined to sign up for King and Country than were Ultonian Catholics and Protestants. As Hart concludes “it was not the world war that blighted Southern Protestantism, but what came after”.

    source: The Fate of the Southern Unionists by Geoffrey Wheatcroft.

    A Sample of the Murders of Cork Unionists January – March 1921
    (Source: Southern Irish Loyalist Relief Association papers)

    January 27th Thomas Bradfield Bandon
    February 2nd Mrs King Mallow
    February 3rd Tom Bradfield Desertserges
    February 12th Robert Eady Cork
    February 15th W Sullivan Cork
    February 16th James Coffey Bandon
    February 16th Jimmy Coffey Bandon
    February 16th J Beale Cork (Mr Beale’s father-in-law and brother- in law also murdered on the same day)
    February 18th Mrs Lindsay Coachford
    February 23rd William Connell Skibbereen
    February 23rd Dan McDonnell Cork
    February 23rd Matthew Sweetnam Skibbereen
    February 28th A Cotter Ballineen
    March 3rd J Cotter Cork
    March 12th John Good Timoleague
    March 25th John Cathcart Youghal
    March 30th William Good Timoleague
    March 31st Donovan Bandon

  • Rubicon

    Yes TC – disturbing reading indeed!

    I remain far from convinced that Irish nationalism eradicated more Protestants than did the crown. The quote you post from Hart isn’t persuasive evidence of Protestant eradication. Migration from Cork and emigration to England (and further) wasn’t a Protestant only affair – before the war of independence, during it or since. The disturbances in Cork at that time caused a general dislocation of people.

    The so-called ‘republican’ targeting of Protestants was without doubt as despicable as those carried out against Catholics in the north (the latter being far more widespread).

    Even if the assertion is correct that southern Protestants were no more likely to volunteer than southern Catholics then thousands of the former were killed. Their sisters then being left to marry Catholics and – as I’ve already said – the Church’s sectarian rules then brought about generational decline.

    In my first post I pointed to a fear of discrimination as one of the possible motives for Protestants leaving – but not the only factor.

    You might find it helpful to see what the Scotch-Irish site has to say on the matter (hardly a pro-nationalist source – http://www.scotchirish.net/Protestants in Ireland.php4)

    “Many of the Protestants living far from Ulster decided to remain, but in border areas many Protestants decided that it was worth moving house so that when Home Rule took place they would be in part which did not get Home Rule (today’s Northern Ireland). This is what the majority of the Protestant reduction between 1911 and 1926 can be attributed to…. In most counties (exceptions being Cork, Dublin and the border counties) there were insufficent (sic) Protestants to enable most Protestants to realistically marry another Protestant, so most married Catholics.”

  • the columbian

    Ill finish with this

    The events of the war of independence in County Cork, and throughout Southern Ireland, was to have lasting ramifications on the unionist community there. Even today many Unionists South of the border refuse to refer to the 1919-23 period as the “war of independence”, opting instead for the more emotive term “the reign of Sinn Fein terror” , a term which perhaps accurately sums up the unionist experience of the republican revolution.

    The period plunged the Protestant community in Cork into a period of decline. As TCD Senator Mary Henry asserted in a speech to the young unionist group in Trinity College; “once a small community grows smaller it can only decline”. From the winter of 1920 onwards thousands of ordinary Protestants and unionists throughout West Cork “spent many nights away from home, sleeping in barns and fields. While IRA volunteers were going on the run from their enemies, these people were on the run from the IRA”.

    The numerous boxes of compensation claims from the county, still held in the Public Records Office in NI bear impressive testament to the suffering of Cork Unionists at the hands of the IRA. Many were to flee to Northern Ireland or the mainland, never to return.

    On a personal note i remember my late grandmother told me on a visit to donegal in the 1920s a shop window had a job advertised, with the added requirement “protestants need not apply”, and she saw this first hand.

    in summing up looking at the sectarian climate in ireland in the 1920s it is safe to say that the new republic certainly did not cherish all its children equally. This tragic part of history has been largely airbrushed out of irish history.

    on a positive final note

    Many people in the county still hold to their Unionist heritage and their British identity , boosted by an influx of immigrants from the mainland. In 1987 a Unionist candidate, Stan Gebler-Davies, stood in rural Cork and polled several hundred votes, proving once again the old maxim that political traditions never really die out; they merely hibernate until given the opportunity to revive themselves.

  • Rubicon

    TC – you quote your grandmother. I’d not doubt the accuracy of her recollection. DeValera himself insisted on the appointment of a librarian in Co. Clare being a Catholic.

    Without wishing to diminish the personal responsibility of anyone who took part in sectarian murders in the early 20’s – it was a time of turmoil that tends to accompany wars of independence and their early years afterwards. Worse happened in the civil war that followed.

    However many Protestants despaired of DeValera’s policies and voted with their feet I can assure you there were many, many more Catholics who emigrated. Emigration was an essential requirement of “DeV economics” with little sense emerging until Sean LeMass.

    I do question your balance and whether a state of “reign of Sinn Fein terror” is an objective assessment.

    My Grandfather was part of that “reign”, he fought in the war of independence, put his gun down after the Treaty, was dissatisfied with the Treaty but refused to take part in the civil war (“Irishmen need to resolve their differences peacefully”). He defended his Protestant neighbour (ex-RIC) whose farm and family still survive there today. In the early 1970’s he railed against the “provos” and had to be kept from the TV since he became too upset. He died in 1974 and the provos sent an honour guard who were politely asked to leave. They did.

    May both our grandparents rest in peace – they lived in turbulent times. More than 90 years later the challenge is different – we have the evidence they didn’t – the wisdom of hindsight. Forming your view of the truth from selective individual statements dated in the 1920’s is a dismissal of that evidence and (I hope) less than my grandfather would expect of me – and your grandmother too perhaps?

  • Conor Gillespie

    Isn’t this thread supposed to be about the Orange Orders ability to engage with the community? how did it disintegrate into this stuff? There are more than enough threads about anti-protestant sentiment in the south after 1921. lets get back to the point at issue i.e. where do you think the OO is going with these new developments?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I personally don’t accept the notion that there was a widespread orchestrated effort to slaughter loads of Prods. There’s just no evidence of it. True there was a shameful degree of sectarian killing going on – that was true across the whole island and we’ve never really stopped it. Anecdotally speaking however I know several practicing NI-born Protestants living in Dublin who love the place, find their views respected and tolerated, and wouldn’t move back to NI for the world.

    To my initial point about Orange marching, I think it’s easy to go through the responses directed at me.

    Joe :

    We know that there are certain people attached to some Orange Order parades who go out of their way to give offence to Catholics. Equally we know that there are certain people within the Catholic community who are only too willing to take such offence.
    So, in the near certainty that there is going to be intercommunal violence, what can the authorities do?

    Short term, the authorities should use a baton charge and arrest people who are breaking the law or disturbing the peace. Punitive jail terms and sentences to people causing trouble.

    This isn’t a solution though, and longer term, it isn’t the job of the authorities to solve our problems in NI. It is the job of our politicians and political leadership to show that the way forward is to swallow hard and show respect. Orangemen should be more respectful of the people who protest their marches. Equally people should remember that they have no right to stop people walking/marching/morris dancing through their neighbourhood, provided it is done lawfully.

    Kensei:

    And being initimidated isn’t an affront to civil rights?

    There are surely boundaries to this argument. The BNP might tell you that the presence of large numbers of blacks and muslims in their neighbourhood is intimidating. I don’t think you are a BNP type, but how could you say that they were wrong, if this is what you believe?

    Unless they are intimidating others by their actions. Or stirring trouble. Or glorifying terrorism, which is now a crime. Or doing a million other things that curtail your rights in a modern society. No right is absolute.

    The Stormont government used all of these arguments when it banned the civil rights marches in the late 1960s. It’s funny how things are the same even when the shoe is on the other foot. I wonder how different things might be if the Stormont government hadn’t attempted to put down marches by citing things like public order and terrorism.

    “What if some people decided they were offended by Polish immigrants and required that the Polish people should have talks with them to negotiate permission to walk down their street?”

    Then I would expect the Polish people to talk to them, out of respect as much as anything else.

    But would you expect they would have to talk to them ? I’m having serious problems believing what I am reading. Should we divide the country up into small tribal ghettoes where everyone has to obtain a pass to walk through ? I mean, where do you draw the line with this ?

    No, because coming to the talk with a reasonable position will sort out the biots from the genuine concersn very quickly.

    Lots of people in South Africa thought that apartheid was a reasonable position. I know what you mean by “reasonable” but it’s a very, very arbitrary thing. The problem is that suspending other people’s rights (like the right to move and assemble freely) over an arbitrary definition of “reasonableness” is the start of a slippery slope towards an authoritarian state.

    I do not believe in fatalistic attitudes and I do not believe there is anything wrong at a fundamental level with an organisation that wants to spread the Protestant faith,

    The OO is about rather more than that.

    No, we should try and talk to each other. We should try to change and grow and get rid of 18th century attitudes. Rights are important and all very well, but you can’t beat actually respecting people.

    Forgive me if I’m getting you wrong. But is it your position that any of my rights may be suspended if someone decides that I’m being disrespectful ? It sounds like that’s what you think.

    I have to confess to you, there are a lot of people and things I have total contempt for. I’d find it very restrictive to live in a society where I wasn’t allowed to disrespect them.

    As for shouting fuck the pope – is it going to incite violence? Is it intimidating people? People should be as free as they can be, without hurting others.

    Do you mean physically ? Catholicism by itself is an insult to some Protestant extremists who regard it as the embodiment of the anti-christ. There are people out there who think that a woman showing her face in public is an insult to God. How far do we go to “respect” people ? How far should we go to avoid hurting others over the things that they freely choose to believe ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Continuing on …

    greg:

    Should the orange order have the right to march through or past an area celebrating someone like uvf killer Brian Robinson.

    Yes.

    I’d not be at all happy about this, especially not if it was a member of my family that they’d killed. Unfortunately we live in a society where quite a lot of us commemorate killers. That is a problem that will need to be addressed whether the killers go marching or not.

    Or would it be an affront for Shankill residents to object to an IRA parade past the former Frizell’s fish shop on The Shankill Road ?.

    Technically again, they should have the right to do so if we truly want a society where people have the right to free expression. We will need to confront these things sooner or later – they won’t be solved by stopping people expressing their views, marching, or whatever else.

    Joe :

    He seems to be adopting an anarchistic argument whereby the state has no right to pass laws. He seems to believe that “rights” are absolute.
    This is utter nonsense.

    In several countries such as Ireland or the USA the Constitution (and the Bill of Rights) supercedes all laws passed by the legislature.

    States have rights to pass laws but they must do so within the boundaries of human and civil rights. This is the subtle point which the unionists who ran Stormont failed to grasp. Republicans are quite clearly in danger of repeating that failure.

    Most, if not all, laws are passed by the state (larger community) to protect the sheep from the wolves.

    Pretty much the words in the aftermath of the Reichstag fire (damn, I knew I had to hit Godwin at some point).

    A persons right to be a psychopathic murderer is trumped by my right to life.

    There is no well understood right to be a psychopathic murderer. Silly strawmen do not contribute to the debate here at all.

    Back to the subject of reunification again, I’m reminded that the number of Protestants in the RoI was in decline long before partition. Today in Ireland the number of Catholics is in decline. Clearly this is not because there is some kind of ethnic cleansing going on. We should try to get out of our little sectarian mindset and remind ourselves that religious makeup and demographics change for reasons often unassociated with intimidation or “ethnic cleansing” (what an insulting term).

    I would expect though that any future Irish reunification would be a complex constitutional affair, and that yes, I would expect the Constitution to be substantively overhauled to triple-lock the rights of the formerly unionist minority. Nobody in a state should feel threatened by it, and all political beliefs – including those that seek the destruction of the state – should be tolerated provided the law is not broken.

    “the colombian” – I’m afraid you’re just publishing assertions without reference to any facts. Can you substantiate this 146,000 number ? Note that it’s insufficient simply to refer to census numbers, you have to back up the claims that you are making. I think that your statement that the new state (it wasn’t a republic until 1937) did not treat it’s children fairly is a fair one, but it is a step much beyond that to say that there was a systematic policy of cleansing.

    Rubicon, I appreciate your 6:50pm post. I’ve heard similar stories from my own family, and I’m always cheered up to hear about people who once used violence standing up for the case for peace against the prevailing odds.

  • Rubicon

    CG – fair point, I’ll get back on topic.

    CS has raised interesting points. I can’t say I’m convinced about the absolute right to march – organised marches aren’t the same as individuals walking. There are dangers in seeking state interventions on these matters though.

    Rather than approach the problem from a rights perspective we have to first acknowledge that state intervention is less a recognition of rights abuse than it is of the civil disturbances, violence and damage to property caused by rioting. Even with the Parades Commission the fact that both banning and allowing marches leads to rioting is clear.

    State intervention isn’t solving the problem – mostly I suspect because it is not an issue about rights but one of acceptable methods of protest. There are ways residents objecting to Orange marches can make their objections clear, such objections properly and peacefully organised could cause the OO dreadful embarassment.

    Covering the street in petals and standing on the pavement with backs turned to the street is just one “crazy idea”. I’m sure others could think of better ones to communicate the offence given by the OO celebrating sectarian murderers.

    Without the violence there would be no need for state intervention and no need for the OO to waste its time in consultations. The OO know damned well the offence they give in many of the flashpoint areas.

    Current policing of parades makes such peaceful protest near impossible and perhaps it is in this area the Parades Commission could be of most help. The media might also help by doing a better job of showing the banners some bands display.

  • kenseic

    “There are surely boundaries to this argument. The BNP might tell you that the presence of large numbers of blacks and muslims in their neighbourhood is intimidating. I don’t think you are a BNP type, but how could you say that they were wrong, if this is what you believe?”

    There is a difference between wilful intimidation and, you know, being intimidated because lots of evil foreigners have moved in the neighbourhood. The OO clearly fall into the former category.

    I don’t really believe in many absolutes; the world is far too compliacted for that. You have to set out boundaries (of varying degrees of strictness) and then go with your judgement as best you can. People tend to forget that an important component of modern society isn’t just law, but also the judicary.

    “The Stormont government used all of these arguments when it banned the civil rights marches in the late 1960s. It’s funny how things are the same even when the shoe is on the other foot. I wonder how different things might be if the Stormont government hadn’t attempted to put down marches by citing things like public order and terrorism.”

    To be fair, every government in the world uses these justifications, and they are in many cases valid. I certainly would not agree with “putting down” marches the same way civil rights marches were. And in genreal, civil rights marches did not walk right into the heart of loyalist areas.

    “But would you expect they would have to talk to them ?”

    Yes.

    “I’m having serious problems believing what I am reading. Should we divide the country up into small tribal ghettoes where everyone has to obtain a pass to walk through ?”

    We don’t have to divide it up. It already is. The people who live in those areas have rights not to be intimidated, not to be unduly disturbed and the right to have their opinion heard. The first point is that is a case of competing rights rather than a simple straightforward, Orangemen have the right to march.

    Second, you have to ultimately deal with the facts on the ground. Even if the OO were entirely in the right, you have to deal with consequences of allowing the OO down anywhere they want, and the effect that has on the communities that live in those areas and the wider nationalist communities. Idealism is all very well, but it needs tempered with pragmatism, otherwise the result is chaos.

    “I mean, where do you draw the line with this?”

    If you pick any line, even the absolute one, then I can guarentee I can come up with a situation where you would find it very hard to go with the rule you have laid down.

    That’s why we have millions of lawyers, and judges instead of a big computer. A line isn’t enough, you need judgement and interpretation too.

    “Lots of people in South Africa thought that apartheid was a reasonable position …”

    I don’t believe the rule of law or rights should be replaced in favour of undefined terms. I also don’t believe the orangeman’s right to march is absolute, and it is competing with residents rights.

    There are without doubt, reasonable and unreasonable claims against the Orangemen’s right to march. Again, I am not defining “reasonable”, merely pointing out that dialogue will help sift out the bogus claims.

    You know, you might need some sort of body to do it. I think I’d call it “Super Parades Body 57”. No wait, that’s a stupid name. How about “Parades Commision”.

    “The OO is about rather more than that.”

    *At the moment.*

    “… But is it your position that any of my rights may be suspended if someone decides that I’m being disrespectful ? It sounds like that’s what you think.”

    No. The point I’m trying to get across is that it is that you can have the state enforce rights (and indeed in some cases it is important to do so) but it is a poor substitute for a society where you are respected as a human being by other people. Your rights in such a society are respected as a matter of course, because you are respected as a person.

    The state can help create the conditions for such a society, but only we, in the form of interaction and dialogue can actually produce it.

    Just be clear, I very strongly believe in consitutional democracy and in rights that are, if not inalienable, certainly very hard to stamp on. But, for example, the amount of constitutional cases in the United States, and time given to the interpretation of it should show that this isn’t an amazing cure all, and that all sorts of problems will occur.

    “… I’d find it very restrictive to live in a society where I wasn’t allowed to disrespect them.”

    Respect people, disrespect views, bud.

    “… How far should we go to avoid hurting others over the things that they freely choose to believe ? ”

    Then the people who hold those views aren’t respecting others! We shouldn’t respect views that are causing damage, I agree. It’s all a balancing act. No one magic law will sort it all out.

  • JoeCanuck

    Comrade

    I think you have overlooked
    my arguments completely.
    And calling me silly does not help your argument one bit.
    who is it that decides that a “right” is generally accepted? You? 50% + 1?
    And your vision of a sectarian police force directed by a political party, selectively baton charging just one section of the populace in a case of civil strife brings back some painful memories.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “There is a difference between wilful intimidation and, you know, being intimidated because lots of evil foreigners have moved in the neighbourhood. The OO clearly fall into the former category.”

    Let’s have some proof for this one kensai.

    I would suggest you would want to find-
    1. cases of parades being organised in areas where no parades ever took place. Why shouldn’t the good people of Crossmaglen, Forkhill, Coalisland, Creggan and Andytown not have a bit of intimidation too?
    But most “contentious” parades are in areas that have experienced a demographic change, but still have a local lodge of local people doing what their grandads did a hundred years ago when..er there was noone to take offence. And one reason for the demographic change is often a campaign against the local Protestant community.

    2. Examples of provocative or insulting behaviour might help. Bluebag carrying skinheads cxhanting anti-RC slogans and UVF colour parties being an obvious example. These regrettably do exist, but not at official Orange events. Greg’s about to regurgitate his Brian Robinson example here, but sadly for him that’s a loyalist event, and if Robinson’s lodge is stupid enough to be there, it’s not sanctioned, nor should it be. Oh, and yes he was a murderer, so no tears should be shed for him.
    It’s hardly intimidation for a group of teenage girls and OAPs with accordians to parade to a church service in Carnlough or Dungiven- and if that’s the best intimidation the prods can come up with,its no wonder they’re depressed.
    3. Isn’t their a danger that your second- apparently less wicked- example of intimidation might be seized on by, say, the Unionists of Crumlin, who have seen half of West Belfast move in to their sleepy village and put up tricolours at Easter, as the exact parallel of their situation?