The future of the Orange Order

The Guardian profiles Grand Secretary, Drew Nelson, and credits him with the changes to the Twelfth parades and the new engagement with the Nationalist and Catholic communities. While a broadly positive piece the analysis displays the media’s general misunderstanding of the workings of the Orange Institution. Its decentralised structure means it is near impossible for one person to have such a degree of influence. However, Drew Nelson is a symbol of what one slugger contributor a number of years ago described as “the middle management revolution” that has been going on in the Orange Order.

  • Dec

    and credits him with…the new engagement with the Nationalist and Catholic communities.

    Partial engagement, anyway.

  • Uncommon sense

    Drew Nelson – is he they guy who said on Talkback yesterday that he “doesn’t disagree” with the burning of Irish Tricolours?

  • Fanny

    I wonder where he stands on the burning of pictures of Michael McIlveen. “I’m not necessarily disgusted.”?

  • circles

    Yeah and its not necessarily an engagement either.

    Sorry I’ve had enough of this OO cleaning up its house BS – they’ve allegedly been at it for years, with no visible results at all. But then I probably just misunderstand them too – God love the poor wee lambs. Swinging swords at the queens constabulary and burning tricolours doesn’t mean yer a nasty person. They’ve more than used up the benefit of the doubt I’ve been giving them for years.

    Middle management revolution? Yes, yes FD – I’m sorry but I’m not buying the soft soap these days.

  • Stephen Copeland

    … Drew Nelson, and credits him with the changes to the Twelfth parades and the new engagement with the Nationalist and Catholic communities.

    It is good to see attitudes change. Some of us still remember Drew Nelson from darker days, when he was linked to Rev. Hugh Ross, the sinister leader of The Committee. There are still parts of that story that need to be clarified, but if Nelson has now moved towards ‘engagement’ with the nationalist community it can only be an improvement.

  • fair_deal


    Do you honestly believe the Committee stuff?

  • Stephen Copeland


    Did Trimble win his case? (I think Drew Nelson was his solicitor at the time, too!)

  • fair_deal

    What case? I don’t know. I’ll take that as a yes.

  • joeCanuck


    You may be in big trouble.

    Are Elliots? still in business and do they rent out sackcloth and ashes?

  • Dread Cthulhu


    Christ on a cracker…

    What do they want next, an apology from the McIlveen family for sending their son out in so provocative an outfit?

  • joeCanuck

    Dread Cthulhu

    It’s the old “mote in your eye, the beam in mine” sort of thing.

  • fair_deal


    Why am I in big trouble?

  • joeCanuck

    You’ve forgotten the auction already?????

    Just a jest, fair deal, just a jest.

  • fair_deal


    Oh Ok. I have a slight suspicion that the thread led to the story. The language in the article is similar to the thread. A coincidence I am sure.

  • joeCanuck

    Oh I’m pretty sure the thread did lead to the story fair-deal.
    Someone “touted” you. Shame on them.

  • Sir James Baxter III

    You mean the Twelfth parades sans the white hoods and burning crosses.

  • Kenny

    It would be churlish not to give Drew Nelson credit for moving the OO forward (albeit a very little).

    However, the best “PR” job in the world cannot obscure the fact that it is an anti-Catholic organisation with an ambivalent (to put it mildly) attitude to the murder of Catholics.

    It has loyalist terrorists within its ranks and refuses to expel them. Their gross hypocrisy -refusing to talk to resident’s groups led by “Republican terrorists” – is staggering.

    One lifelong Orangeman called TalkBack on Thursday (he was afraid to give his location or lodge because he feared reprisals). He quite honestly stated that he wouldn’t consider 50% of the OO members he knew to be Christians at all – just driven by Anti-Catholicism.

    Some of the OO members/supporters on this site really make me laugh. They seem to imagine that they have widespread support in the UK – THEY DON’T!!!. Only in Scotland and isolated parts of England i.e. Southport.

    I have lived here for nearly 30 years, my wife and children are English. The vast majority of English people laugh at the OO (particularly at Drumcree) and consider them an anachronism.

    However, they do also see the OO supporters burning flags (including the Michael McIlveen) flag – not directly criticised by Drew Nelson or the OO (in fact Nelson encouraged flag burning).

    Most decent people over here associate flag burning with Nazis + b-i-g-o-t-s (they’re not wrong either!).

    The OO need to wake up and smell the coffee. The parades commission may be replaced with another body at some point – but the days of the OO marching where it liked are over FOREVER!!.

    I have no doubt that there are decent OO members such as the guy who called TalkBack. However, until the OO gets a leadership who are willing to kick out the b-i-g-o-t-s and terrorists, dispense with the loyalist terrorist banners and bands, and engage in constructive dialogue with Catholics – their “image” will worsen, their membership will lessen and there will be further restrictions placed on their marches.