in the interests of the greater good of the commission

The BBC report that the Parades Commission chairman, Roger Poole, has issued a statement saying that David Burrows has resigned from the Orange Order. Apparently, no statement yet on the Commission’s website, Roger Poole said the move was “designed to remove any element of doubt” about his[David Burrows] position. *shakes head* But if they really believed that then he wouldn’t be stepping outside when any parade was being discussed, would he? With the Appeal Court denying leave to take the case to the House of Lords, no doubt the hope in some quarters is that this is an end to the controversy.. but as far as I’m concerned, and I suspect many others, Eamonn McCann’s point still stands.From the BBC report:

The commission said it had taken account of the judgements of the courts.

It said it was “conscious” that Mr Burrows’ association with the Portadown lodge meant he could not “participate fully in all of the commission’s deliberations, activities and decision making processes”.

The commission said in a statement that Mr Burrows would not play any part in its deliberations on parades in Portadown, “in the interests of fairness and transparency”.

And a reminder of Eamonn McCann’s assessment:

The fact that what happened may have been within the law shouldn’t be allowed to obscure the political truth of the matter, that the NIO has polluted a public appointments procedure by engaging in a cynical, dishonest, sectarian and incompetent exercise designed to lure the Loyal Orders into acceptance of the commission.

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  • Pat

    Mr Poole should have said it was a move designed to try and pull the wool over peoples eyes. He and Burrows may try and present a Commission to the world with a banner of “Unbiased and fair” but lets not kid ourselves, the Commission has at least 2 members with vested interests tied to the Orange Order.

    No matter what Burrows has decided to do for his own policial and/or monetary motives, he is still the man who lead the Orange Order in Portadown. Is Burrows going to make a statement now to tell us that his actions and the actions of the Portadown Orangemen were wrong? or is this just a stunt to try and fool the World into believing the Commission is unbiased and that Nationalists are getting their fair dues.

    Clearly there looks to be more sculduggery going on behind the scenes to try and shore up his tenure on the Commission.

    Has Mr Burrows turned his back on his beloved Orange Order for the monetary reward, has he been promised a knighthood? It does seem very strange that someone who was willing to stand and argue to the World Press how right the Orange Order were, in the face of their supporters murdering three defenceless children, is now willing to turn his back on his friends and organisation to stay on a Commission whose decisions he would not accept.

    There must be other motives, Mr Poole has said that Burrows resignation removes any doubt over the Commission and Burrows participation on that Commission, however if the voting of the Commission members in relation to each Parade is not open to scrutiny by the public so that we can see unbiased trends then there will always be doubt. Show us his voting records!

    Will this same Commission and members, who have accepted the DUPs “Shared Space” concept, apply that Equally to Nationalists who may want to Parade down through this new “Shared Space” – or is the law different for Nationalists?

  • John

    My opinion of Mr. Burrows will never change. I will always see him standing wearing an Orange Sash on Drumcree Hill organising the protest. This protest resulted in widespread civil disobedience in which a Police Officer was killed, a young taxi driver and father murdered, and the Quinn children aged 7, 9 and 11 were murdered. I wonder did he put this down on his CV when he applied for the job?

  • Nevin

    [i]The commission said in a statement that Mr Burrows would not play any part in its deliberations on parades in Portadown, “in the interests of fairness and transparency”.[/i]

    As the SDLP has not been a neutral party in the parades debacle can we expect Joe Hendron to ‘step outside’ re.parades in West Belfast?

    Surely Burrow’s stance on parades in Portadown will be much the same as on similar parades elsewhere?

    John lays all the blame of the debacle on the Orange Order while ignoring the contribution made by anti-OO elements who conspired against it, including Dick Spring.

  • fair_deal

    No Orangeman need apply for public position?

  • John

    The blame for murder, violence and destruction lies at the feet of the people who organise, take part in and thoose who choose not to condem one side but just the other. I condem all violence, loyalist, nationalist, unionist and republican. Now that Mr. Burrows has removed himself from a sectarian organisation he should apologise for his past connections to Drumcree. This would make him more acceptable to the honest law abiding community.

  • Bemusd

    “No Orangeman need apply for public position?” (sic)

    Christ – here we go again. No Orangemen need apply for positions within public bodies designed to adjudicate on Orange and other parades unless it is made clear that persons of a diametrically opposed view will also be appointed. Is that so hard to understand?

    Hain really needs to get his arse kicked by the House of Lords on this one. It’ll also be interesting to hear the outcome of the Bertha McDougall application, a case where Hain again ran a coach and horses through all applicable rules and legislation in a desperate attempt to get a DUP-friendly face appointed as Victim’s Commissioner so that the untermenschen would stop burning and rioting over their grubby little ‘parade’.

  • fair_deal

    “Is that so hard to understand?”

    If it only applies to the PC why is there is a membership declaration for service in the police too?

    “the untermenschen”

    “Untermensch (German for under man, sub-man, sub-human; plural: Untermenschen) is a term from Nazi racial ideology.” Interesting.

  • Bemused

    P.S.

    1. The Lords leave committee will grant leave to appeal despite the Northern Court’s refusal.

    2. Burrows resignation is a transparent damage limitation stunt.

    3. Even the Chief Justice’s decision on this has rendered Burrows a totally busted flush. The Chief made it quite clear in his judgement that Burrows would be a clear contaminant upon any adjudication dealing with Orange parades and that any such decisions in which he played a part would be left wide open to challenge by Judicial Review. Unfortunately a last gasp attempt to say “oh but hold on, I’ve now left the Orange Order” won’t wash with the High Court. Hain has made a complete and utter balls of this and deserves everything that’s coming.

    P.P.S. Did anyone read that article in one of the Sunday rags which carried excerpts from Burrows’ application form? Christ – the silly moustachioed half-wit wouldn’t have been successful in an application to work at McDonald’s never mind a public body of significant importance. He, Dawson Bailie and a raft of other ‘loyal’ buffoons should be packed off to ‘English for beginners’ classes forthwith.

  • Bemused

    “”Is that so hard to understand?”

    If it only applies to the PC why is there is a membership declaration for service in the police too?”

    Sorry FD, you’ll have to elaborate – I genuinely don’t understand the point you’re making.

    “the untermenschen”

    “Untermensch (German for under man, sub-man, sub-human; plural: Untermenschen) is a term from Nazi racial ideology.” Interesting.

    And you would describe the filth who burned, rioted and destroyed their way around Belfast as…?

  • Nevin

    Bemused, it must be quite difficult to obtain local non-partisan folks for these quangos. Bob Collins of the Equality Commission would hardly be described as a DUP-friendly face. As for Daphne Trimble 😉

  • Bemused

    Precisely Nevin – the difference being that Bob Collins, Daphne Trimble et al were appointed following a properly scrutinised, transparent procedure. Burrows, McKay and McDougall weren’t – that’s why Hain’s now in the shit.

  • Nevin

    [i]a properly scrutinised, transparent procedure.[/i]

    Can you provide a link that I can scrutinise, Bemused?

    Did Collins apply for the post or was he an Irish government nominee? AFAIK intergovernmental ‘exchanges’ are neither transparent nor subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

  • fair_deal

    Bemused

    I raised a point about membership of the OO and public service. You argued the objection was not a general one to an OO member but in a strictly limited to a strictly defined set of circumstances for one public body. I raised the issue of the police to show the objection seems to go beyond one public organisation and strictly defined circumstances.

    “And you would describe”

    People who broke the law I would describe as criminals not adopt nazi phraseology and attitudes.

    Also nationalists were never ever consulted about the last batch of appointments to the NIHRC and Equality Commission. Those articles in the Irish News about the SDLP and Sinn Fein lobbying government hard for Monica McWilliams and others for what was supposed to be the same public appointment open process as the PC must have been made up.

  • kensei

    “No Orangeman need apply for public position? ”

    100% Correct when they have a huge conflict of interest. When should be the same for anyone.

  • Bemused

    a properly scrutinised, transparent procedure.

    “Can you provide a link that I can scrutinise, Bemused?

    Did Collins apply for the post or was he an Irish government nominee? AFAIK intergovernmental ‘exchanges’ are neither transparent nor subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

    Posted by Nevin on Jun 23, 2006 @ 11:43 AM”

    Nevin:-

    1. I can’t provide a link.

    2. My understanding is that he and the other commissioners were appointed following a publicly advertised competition (as per the previous commissioners).

    3. The appointment has never been legally challenged. If it were then all documentation relating to the appointments process is discoverable as of right and could be inspected without difficulty. Why hasn’t it been challenged (despite all the initial, predictable bluster by the DUP)? Because the Duppers know that Collins was appointed on merit and that the process was water-tight. Trust me, if they thought they had even a half-chance at a judicial review they’d have issued proceedings without a second thought.

    “Bemused

    I raised a point about membership of the OO and public service. You argued the objection was not a general one to an OO member but in a strictly limited to a strictly defined set of circumstances for one public body. I raised the issue of the police to show the objection seems to go beyond one public organisation and strictly defined circumstances.

    “And you would describe”

    People who broke the law I would describe as criminals not adopt nazi phraseology and attitudes.

    Also nationalists were never ever consulted about the last batch of appointments to the NIHRC and Equality Commission. Those articles in the Irish News about the SDLP and Sinn Fein lobbying government hard for Monica McWilliams and others for what was supposed to be the same public appointment open process as the PC must have been made up.

    Posted by fair_deal on Jun 23, 2006 @ 11:56 AM

    Christ – where do you start with this?

    1. Political parties can lobby till the cows come home. All of that is utterly irrelevant if the appointments process itself is impartial, transparent and possessed of integrity.

    2. I’ll give you a clue here. Why do you think that Orangemen shouldn’t be unilaterally appointed to the PARADES commission. Might it be anything to do with the fact that the commission adjudicates on PARADES? Last time I checked the O.O’s primary outdoor activity was PARADES. In any event, Poice are only required to register their membership of the O.O/Apprentice Boys/Knights of Columbanus/Ku Klux Klann etc. – they’re not barred from joining simply because they’re members of one of these crackpot outfits.

    3. The people who tried their best to destroy this city last September are, in my eyes, subhuman. That’s only my opinion but I’m perfectly happy with it.

  • fair_deal

    Bemused

    “All of that is utterly irrelevant if the appointments process itself is impartial, transparent and possessed of integrity.”

    The process is meant to be confidential ie political parties aren’t supposed to know who applies so if they do know the names and lobby for them then it has fallen at the first test. In most recruitment processes canvassing is specifically prohibited.

    “Why do you think that Orangemen shouldn’t be unilaterally appointed to the PARADES commission. Might it be anything to do with the fact that the commission adjudicates on PARADES?”

    1. He applied how is that unilateral?
    2. So a public body shouldn’t have anyone appointed directly involved in the atcivity? So no artists on the Arts Council? No human rights lawyers on the NIHRC?

  • Bemused

    Bemused

    “All of that is utterly irrelevant if the appointments process itself is impartial, transparent and possessed of integrity.”

    The process is meant to be confidential ie political parties aren’t supposed to know who applies so if they do know the names and lobby for them then it has fallen at the first test. In most recruitment processes canvassing is specifically prohibited.

    “Why do you think that Orangemen shouldn’t be unilaterally appointed to the PARADES commission. Might it be anything to do with the fact that the commission adjudicates on PARADES?”

    1. He applied how is that unilateral?
    2. So a public body shouldn’t have anyone appointed directly involved in the atcivity? So no artists on the Arts Council? No human rights lawyers on the NIHRC?

    Posted by fair_deal on Jun 23, 2006 @ 12:25 PM

    Oh dear – I’ll try to take this slowly.

    1. Burrows was APPOINTED unilaterally i.e. Hain failed to apply any legitimate comparative criteria as between him and other applicants (other than “Oh great – this twat has a hopeless conflict of interest, can’t read, can’t write, but hey, he’s an Orangeman so at least that will keep the Duppers happy”.

    2. The Arts Council wasn’t set up to adjudicate upon disputes between artists and those opposed to the activities of artists.

    3. If the appointments of Monica McWilliams, Bob Collins, Daphne Trimble et al were so hopelessly improper and unfair, why were none of them challenged? See my previous post for an answer.

    Really mate, all of this asinine inflammatory bluster such as “No Orangeman need apply for public position?” (sic) is doing you no favours.
    Yes, I know that you really, really, really want to be able to show that you and your ‘people’ are being discriminated against, oppressed, have become second class citizens etc. etc., but trust me, you haven’t. The rest of world doesn’t believe you either. All of your desperate protestations merely confirm what the international community has suspected of ‘loyalists’ for some time – they’re a bunch of biggoted malcontents who discriminated and oppressed all round them for centuries and now have the cheek to claim that the tables have been turned on them. The croppies aren’t going to lie down. There’s no going back to 1690 or even 1960. The game’s up. It’s all over. Your grubby little rotten borough is on it’s last legs. ‘Fair Deal’? Fair deal for whom exactly? Can we take it that you and your predecessors were agitating for a ‘fair deal’ for Northern Catholics/Nationalists in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s?

    My arse.

  • fair_deal

    “why were none of them challenged?”

    Because political parties can’t get legal aid.

  • Bemused

    “why were none of them challenged?”

    Because political parties can’t get legal aid.

    Posted by fair_deal on Jun 23, 2006 @ 01:09 PM

    Oh dear – I’ll take that whimpered piece of half-wittery as a near-tacit admission of defeat.

    Lack of Legal Aid didn’t stop the Duppers taking the previous Secretary of State to the House of Lords, did it? As regards challenging the appointments, all you have to do is come up with a properly interested person who is eligible for legal aid and away you go – how do you think the appointments of Burrows, McKay and McDougall are being challenged?

  • Nevin

    Bemused, your ‘understanding’ is of limited value if you are unable to provide some evidence of transparency and for scrutiny. Collins appointment to the leadership of the quango could just as easily have been the result of some horse-trading by officials from the two governments.

  • Nevin

    Nevin – I, frankly, can’t be arsed running around trying to find job application invitations from two years ago. I repeat my earlier comments though – anyone who thinks that Collins’ or any other appointment was improper – off you go. Challenge it. Put your money…etc.

  • Nevin

    Bemused, it seems you’ve morphed into Nevin!!

    You could have stopped at ‘can’t’. I already have a note from a government official, acting on behalf of a former secretary-of-state, declaring that ‘details of the exchanges between the Irish and British Governments remain confidential’.

  • fair_deal

    “Lack of Legal Aid didn’t stop the Duppers taking the previous Secretary of State to the House of Lords, did it?”

    Eyes roll. In fact that challenge was paid for with 100% public funds (80% direct public funding and 20% indirect public funding through the DUP “agreement campaign” fund). The two departments the DUP held the ministerial posts for contributed 40%. During devolution the DUP ministers and MLA’s waived their extra allowances e.g ministerial salaries, chairmanships in the last Assembly and had it paid into the Campaign fund instead so its source was public money.

    The Campaign Fund was expended on these legal cases and election campaigns and devolution has been in suspension therefore no means of replensihing it.

    So that is why they had the resoucres to take a challenge then and do not have so now.

    While we are on the subject you might be interested to know Legal Aid will support a resident to challenge a PC decision but refuses the same support to a member of the OO.

  • Bemused

    Bemused, it seems you’ve morphed into Nevin!!

    You could have stopped at ‘can’t’. I already have a note from a government official, acting on behalf of a former secretary-of-state, declaring that ‘details of the exchanges between the Irish and British Governments remain confidential’.

    Sorry about that bit of identity fraud Nevin.

    Again – whatever the two governments wish to claim as being ‘confidential’ is fine. I can tell you though that if you get leave to judicially review the appointment you will get access to any and all relevant documentation relating to it. I don’t want to keep repeating myself, but the reason that none of these appointments were challenged is because any prospective challengers knew that they hadn’t a proverbial leg to stand on.

  • Bemused

    Can I assume that in answer to the question “Lack of Legal Aid didn’t stop the Duppers taking the previous Secretary of State to the House of Lords, did it?” you’re answering ‘yes’?

    “While we are on the subject you might be interested to know Legal Aid will support a resident to challenge a PC decision but refuses the same support to a member of the OO.”

    Yes – it’s called the law. Under the Legal Aid, Advice and Assistance (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 and various attendant Regulations the Legal Aid committee may refuse Legal Aid to an applicant who it appears is, in fact, proposing to issue proceedings on behalf of another person or organisation where that person or organisation would be ineligible for legal aid assistance owing to their level of assets/earnings.

    Let me guess? More ‘discrimination’?

  • Nevin

    Bemused, the judicial review could only access those documents and exchanges which are not covered by the confidentiality clause.

  • Bemused

    Sorry Nevin – you’re absolutely wrong. The High Court has full power to order Discovery in judicial review applications in the same way as in any other proceedings before it. Any ‘confidentiality clause’ in a contract or document is unenforceable if discovery is ordered by a High Court judge.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Fair_Deal: “No Orangeman need apply for public position? ”

    Not for the Parade Commission… it gives the seeming of bias. Even, assuming arguendo, that they could render an unbaised decision, the appearance of bias would be sufficient to undercut any credibility the Commission has.

    As for “no orangemen,” seeming as Rev. No doesn;t want any Catholics about the pace, you might deal with the plank in Unionism’s metaphorical eye before worrying about other people’s motes.

    Fair_Deal: “So a public body shouldn’t have anyone appointed directly involved in the atcivity? So no artists on the Arts Council? No human rights lawyers on the NIHRC? ”

    What part of “conflict of interest” continues to elude you, Fair_Deal? Throw in the irregularities of the OO fellows who were appointed and you’ve got some real problems. As much as some may want to allow the OO to feel more invested in the PC, adding OO members does more damage to the PC’s credibility than help.

  • Nevin

    Bemused, I must do a little more research on this; there is certainly conflict between your assertion and the civil servant’s statement. Who do you think can provide a definitive answer?