The shades of Orange

A political attitudes survey of Orange Order members by Professor Tonge has confirmed the broad range of political views held by the brethren. Almost 20% would consider giving a preference to the SDLP. The growth of support for the DUP among members since the agreement has been marked especially among young members (80% likely to be DUP voters). However, Yonge says that the DUP’s strong appeal to younger voters has “”nothing to do with religion” but rather with efficacy, they percieve that “the DUP is the party that best represents their ethnic bloc against a nationalist threat”. This emphasis on political rather than religious solidarity is also reflected in their reasons for joining the Orange Order.

  • shamo

    Your analysis of these findings is highly dubious, Fair Deal.

    Firstly, that almost twenty per cent of the Orange Order would consider giving a preference to the SDLP can hardly be extrapolated as evidence of a “broad range of political views”. Indeed, someone who votes tactically for the SDLP amongst the Orange Order may be more strategically aware, but their motivation is likely to be the thwarting of Sinn Féin (and even of nationalism in general, by splitting the nationalist vote) than reaching out in any diverse or uncredited way. This may prove that one in five Orangemen has some modicum of political savvy, but that, in itself, is a backhanded proof of their overwhelming ignorance.

    Equally, your assertion that the DUP vote has to do with efficacy rather than religious bigotry can be debunked on two fronts:
    Firstly – and I’m not going to argue this point ad nauseam due to its facile obviousness – the DUP is the most bigoted and overtly sectarian political organisation on this island, and probably in Western Europe.
    Secondly, the DUP isn’t politically effective: they’ve rejected any moves towards a non-sectarian division of power, or any kind of locally accountable political advancement. They may even end up yielding some considerable power in Six County affairs to Dublin due to their rejectionist political stance.

    As with the concept of a sectaian, artificial, gerrymandered state, unionist politics is built on the concept of religious and ethnic supremacy; the two cannot be dissevered, and that’s why the state will eventually fall apart.

  • shamo

    BTW, the censorship of the term b-i-g-o-t-r-y on this site is ridiculous. Maybe, Mick, you might just ban all adjectives or epithets of any kind, and we can live in a Edenesque blogosphere of labelessness.

  • Garibaldy

    Shamo,

    That was Jonathan Tonge’s, rather than fair deal’s, finding that people voted for the DUP on the basis that it negotiated most toughly on behalf of unionism. Similar arguments have been made in regard to the ascendancy of PSF.

  • Steaky

    I agree Shamo, athough the subject was debated to death about a month ago inbetween posts on the subject at hand

    http://www.sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/willie_frazer_on_us_radio/P25/

  • Steaky

    For Info
    I was referring to the censuring of words above.

  • Keith M

    “However, Yonge says that the DUP’s strong appeal to younger voters has “”nothing to do with religion” but rather with efficacy, they percieve that “the DUP is the party that best represents their ethnic bloc against a nationalist threat”.”

    This is exactly the scenario I outlined when I saw the consociational arrangements within the Belfast Agreement. Voters gravitate towards the parties that they think will represent their interests rather than those that are prepared to work for the people as a whole.

    Any new agreement needs to do away with designation, but now that SF and the DUP have gained their powerbases it is in the interests of neither group to do so.

  • shamo

    Well, I think if you start censoring one term (which, if a perjorative, is not normally considered an obscenity), then where does it end?

    As Samuel Taylor Colerdige once said, on a similar theme, “I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of toleration”.

  • shamo

    BTW – apolgies Fair Deal.

    As regards Keith’s comments on consociational arrangements; unless you’re willing to support a united Ireland, or, failing that, joint authority, any local arrangement which is not conscoiational will just result in a “Protestant State for a Protestant People”. And we all know how messed up that would be.

  • DK

    “Any new agreement needs to do away with designation” – isn’t that what the Alliance Party have argued for? Have a 60% majority vote required, rather than effectively giving SF & DUP (or SDLP & UUP as it was then) an ethnic veto.

  • Keith M

    DK; yes APNI are also in favour of a weighted majority, though I would have a slightly higher threhold (66.6%).

    shamo; a weighted majority allows both communities to be represented without giving any one party a veto.

  • Ziznivy

    Irish nationalist politics are built on the concept of religious and ethnic supremacy; the two cannot be dissevered. *twitches uncontrollably*

  • shamo

    Granted, Keith M, but let’s face it, all these internal arrangements are absurd anachronisms in the modern Europe.

    A united Ireland, with strong links to Britain through a council or the isles, with the buttress of sound EU legislation to protect minority rights, and a greater say for unionists in the smaller (and probably more hospitable) parliament in Dublin.

    In the end of the day, it won’t be another decade before there’s far more foreign nationals on this island than Ulster Protestants, and the modern, diverse Europe needs to be a place that opens up borders and minds, not closes them within the confines of tribal loyalties, ancient battles, and sectarian fabricated states that inculcate yet attempt to mollify what is essentially sectarian supremacism. All this politically scientific dancing on the end of a pin with weighted majorities and consociationalism reminds me of something Jonathan Swift wrote about Big-Endians and Little-Endians squabbling over their preffered method of eating an egg. How silly, how utterly grotesque (may I use such a word?) and redundant in the modern world.

  • kensei

    DK

    “Any new agreement needs to do away with designation” – isn’t that what the Alliance Party have argued for? Have a 60% majority vote required, rather than effectively giving SF & DUP (or SDLP & UUP as it was then) an ethnic veto.”

    The net result of such a situation is to simply exclude republicans. It’s DUP Christmas!

    Ziznivy
    “Irish nationalist politics are built on the concept of religious and ethnic supremacy; the two cannot be dissevered. *twitches uncontrollably*”

    That’s bollocks. Any other wild and unfounded statement you’d like me to debunk?

    shamo

    “with the buttress of sound EU legislation to protect minority rights”

    Personally, I’d rather put my faith in a new Irish Constitution for that.

  • shamo

    I’m all for a new Irish Constitution, Kensei.

    The trouble is, I’ve seen how the last one was traduced. European legislation has enforced a whole raft of progressive measures, from preventing discrimination to protecting part-time employees, which were standard in more advanced European nations but were only introduced here under EU pressure. Sure, I don’t like beaureacrats and unelected officials in some instances bringing in this legislation, but for the moment the European supra-political structure is far more progressive in many ways than that in Ireland.

    Let’s make a strong Irish constitution, but let us also harness the progressive strands of European politics for local and international gain.

  • Keith M

    shamo “Granted, Keith M, but let’s face it, all these internal arrangements are absurd anachronisms in the modern Europe.” I don’t agree, every country or region has its own arrangement to make sure it has the ability to provide stable democratic goverenence. The B.A. clearly did not provide this in N.I. Whether it be Belgium, Switzerland or Catalonia, internal arrangements are needed and it’s a matter of finding the right one for N.I.

    “A united Ireland, with strong links to Britain through a council or the isles, with the buttress of sound EU legislation to protect minority rights, and a greater say for unionists in the smaller (and probably more hospitable) parliament in Dublin.”

    I don’t see unionists going for this. The problem for those supporting a “united Ireland” is that they are not convincing unionists and by the time they might start, the role of the nation state will be so limited within a federal Europe, that the lines on the map will be all but irrelevant.

    “In the end of the day, it won’t be another decade before there’s far more foreign nationals on this island than Ulster Protestants..” Indeed and these people have no interest in a “united Ireland”, thus diluting it as an issue even further.

    DK “The net result of such a situation is to simply exclude republicans.”

    No, unless the SDLP showing some backbone that it hasn’t done so far. If the SDLP were to go for this and were then rejected by the nationalist electorate, the SF vote would soon climb to above 33.3%, which is the safety clause for support from either community.

  • Ziznivy

    Kensei

    ““Irish nationalist politics are built on the concept of religious and ethnic supremacy; the two cannot be dissevered. *twitches uncontrollably*”

    That’s bollocks. Any other wild and unfounded statement you’d like me to debunk”

    I forgot to include with this statement the statement from shamo “unionist politics is built on the concept of religious and ethnic supremacy; the two cannot be dissevered”. Point being one “wild and unfounded statement” deserves another eh?

  • fair_deal

    “BTW – apolgies Fair Deal.”

    Thank you

  • shamo

    “Keith M: I don’t see unionists going for this. The problem for those supporting a “united Ireland” is that they are not convincing unionists and by the time they might start, the role of the nation state will be so limited within a federal Europe, that the lines on the map will be all but irrelevant.”

    Let’s just remember that unionists didn’t wait for anyone to be convinced (even Ed Carson) before illegally and undemocratically partitioning the state by use of fascist tactics. Talk of the nation state being irrelevant in the EU is around for decades, and just as unthinking and presumptuous now. The only solution is external, not internal, and unionists may have to be coerced by both governments into a new political arrangement. They can’t hold everyone to ransom with threats of violence forever. Democratically, the British want a united Ireland (see most recent Guardian poll) and the Irish want a united Ireland. That’s democracy; not some quasi-theoretical outmoded theory from the dregs of political science that demands a unionist state.

    “Indeed and these people have no interest in a “united Ireland”, thus diluting it as an issue even further.” Yeah, but the majority on both these islands do; again, your logic is inverted and myopic, jaundiced against the vast majority of democratic opinion.

    The rest of us are living in a post-Enlightenment era.

    Ziznivy – unionist politics, since the foundation of a gunrunning UVF, the threats of warfare against British and Irish democracies, and in its fundamental support for a sectarian state, cannot be separated from sectarianism. As stated above, the few unionists who were genuinely political and wanted Ireland united under the British Empire, were quickly sidelined and their ideas distorted by revisionism. (The greatest symbol of which is the juxtaposition of Carson’s statue and Stormont.)

  • Ziznivy

    Shamo

    It’s equally possible to draw a sectarian line through the history of nationalism. The unionist acceptance that a sectarian state was wrong and unsustainable is now well documented. Unionism now accepts the necessity to share power with nationalists in a democratic Northern Ireland, it accepts the principle of self-determination for the people thereof.. There are undoubtedly sectarian unionists, but your overblown hot air is no more proving that Northern Ireland is not a legal entity, that unionism is inherently sectarian or that a United Ireland is inevitable than me pointing out the cultural homogeneity of the Republic of Ireland, the sectarian atrocities committed by Republicans or indeed the ethno-religious sectarianism of the Southern state from 1920 on will prove that nationalism is intrinsically sectarian.

  • Ziznivy

    I meant to add by the way, that we have two competing ideologies, of which I actually believe that unionism at its best most effectively embraces modern ideas of pluralism and tolerance. That is an opinion and one I’m happy to offer arguments to back up, but sweeping judgment calls condemning one side or the other’s entire philosophy as indefensible represents a closed mind mentality that says more about you than it does about unionists.

  • kensei

    “No, unless the SDLP showing some backbone that it hasn’t done so far. If the SDLP were to go for this and were then rejected by the nationalist electorate, the SF vote would soon climb to above 33.3%, which is the safety clause for support from either community.”

    Yeah, but there is more cover in a weighted majority situation than attempting to push ahead without Sinn Fein. Plus, there are no guarentees SF’s vote would pull above 33.3%. The DUP’s is much more likely. And if the vote did climb above the threshold, we are were we are now: paralysis. Weighted majority is voluntary coalition by other means, excpet possibly worse.

    Perhaps at some unspecified point in the future it might be doable. But the key requirement of the GFA wasn’t some kind of ideal governance, it was about getting everyone in, and giving everyone a stake in running this place. That is ultimately, the best shot for stablity.

  • lib2016

    Talk of ‘weighted majorities’ is even more removed from reality than talk of ‘joint authority’.

    The Good Friday Agreement is signed sealed and about to be delivered. Someone has to take the responsibility for difficult decisions and for the moment that is the British Government. When we reach the 50%+1 situation that will change to an Irish Government.

    Anything else is just a pipedream, or even worse another unionist ruse to delay change. Not to worry – it has taken time to reduce unionism to a quivering group of political outcasts led by a geriatic but the work has been put in and we’ve reached that point at last.

    Even the NI Conservative Party recognises that there is no Orange card. No Orange card = no Orange state.

  • darth rumsfeld

    you really need to get out more lib-if you really believe that nonsense then it’s not tobacco in your pipe.

  • Keith M

    kensei I’ll take your points on a weighted majority in reverse order.

    “Perhaps at some unspecified point in the future it might be doable. But the key requirement of the GFA wasn’t some kind of ideal governance, it was about getting everyone in, and giving everyone a stake in running this place. That is ultimately, the best shot for stablity.”

    Perhaps the Belfast Agreement should have paid more attention to providing a workable formula for governence rather than an “all inclusive” solution which never worked properly. If it had, we may not have had 5 years of stop-go politics and three years of complete paralysis. The damage caused by the B.A. cannot be undone. The support for the centre has been undermined (perhaps permanently). I’m looking to a future where something at least can be savaged from the wreckage of the agreement.

    “Yeah, but there is more cover in a weighted majority situation than attempting to push ahead without Sinn Fein. Plus, there are no guarentees SF’s vote would pull above 33.3%. The DUP’s is much more likely. And if the vote did climb above the threshold, we are were we are now: paralysis. Weighted majority is voluntary coalition by other means, excpet possibly worse.”

    It cannot be worse than the current scenario, where two parties basically have a veto and are using them in parallel. If the SDLP were to join a coalition with unionism and were still able to hold off SF getting to 33.3%, then there is an arguement that at least the is sifnificant support within the nationalist community for such an arrangement.

    On a slightly different note, I think that it is very important than in any democratic legislature, there is an effective opposition. The DUP managed to do that from within the executive after 1998, but at the cost of killing off the B.A. I think that it’s far better that if you want to provide opposition, then you do so from outside the executive.

    shamo, “Let’s just remember that unionists didn’t wait for anyone to be convinced (even Ed Carson) before illegally and undemocratically partitioning the state by use of fascist tactics.”.

    Get over the whataboutary. We’re discuissing the here and now and options for the future. Dragging every thread into the quagmire of the past seems to be a favourite tactic of republicans on Slugger, and then laughably they say that the DUP are the party of the past!

  • Bushmills

    Darth

    With one fell back-hander Lib is silenced – well done! BTW, or mutual anti-power sharing pal was in cracking form the other day, I was lucky to escape with my life!

    Turning to the findings of the survey. This survey shows I think, one of the main reasons why Kennaway/Trimble/RDE have fallen out of love with the OO. Because it is no longer dominated by the Ulster Unionist Party and its supporters, they devote their time to attacking it and trying to denigrate it, under the guise of “returning to its roots”.

  • shamo

    Keith M – denying the realities and lessons of history is a classic tactic of unionism in general. If you can’t rationalise the past, then there’s little hope in rationalising the future.

  • Bushmills

    Can we draw lessons from history in any context let alone Northern Ireland?

  • lib2016

    Not silenced but beginning to dispair of ever receiving an honest reply. The demand for weighted majorities will get nowhere, just like all the rest of the unionist wishlist.

    This is the usual nonsense and a repeat of the old tactics, anything to avoid facing up to the only game in town – to powershare or be sidelined. That’s all thats left – Bertie and Blair aren’t pushovers and without the support of the Orange mob unionist has no power. Never did have and never will again.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Strange that no-one noted this from the article:

    Leaders of the Orange Order were also “staggered” to find out that almost 2% of members would cast a vote for Sinn Féin if they could not back their favoured unionist party.

    Professor of Politics at the University of Liverpool, Jonathan Tonge, who conducted the study with colleagues from the University of Salford, said Orange Order leaders were shocked at the results.

    “They were staggered that any of their members would even contemplate voting for Sinn Féin,” he said.

    “They wanted to know who these people were and why they were in the Orange Order.”

    However, as all of the 300 questionnaires were anonymous, the identities of the dissident Sinn Féin supporters will remain secret.

    While he suspects the respondents who indicated support for Sinn Féin had misread the question, Prof Tonge believes the number who indicated a preference for the SDLP is a more serious statistic.

    “There is a moderate wing of the Orange Order that would be willing to vote SDLP,’ he said.

    And no-one has really identified why so many Orangemen would be prepared to vote SDLP.

    So much for ‘loyalty’ Fair Deal!

  • kensei

    “Perhaps the Belfast Agreement should have paid more attention to providing a workable formula for governence rather than an “all inclusive” solution which never worked properly. If it had, we may not have had 5 years of stop-go politics and three years of complete paralysis.”

    Republicans would not have accepted weighted majorities or any other formula that could have been used to exclude them. It’s 1997, and the prospect of a second break in the IRA ceasefire is very real. Even without that grim threat, an Assembly boycotted by Republicans or one which sidelined them alienate a huge section of people you are trying to get on board.

    We have apralysis only because Unionism was allowed an out.

    “The damage caused by the B.A. cannot be undone. The support for the centre has been undermined (perhaps permanently). I’m looking to a future where something at least can be savaged from the wreckage of the agreement.”

    The Asemly not running has undermined the centre. The results for the SDLP and UUP were good at the initial election; it’s the collapses that killed them.

    “It cannot be worse than the current scenario, where two parties basically have a veto and are using them in parallel. If the SDLP were to join a coalition with unionism and were still able to hold off SF getting to 33.3%, then there is an arguement that at least the is sifnificant support within the nationalist community for such an arrangement.”

    No, there could be 30% support within and it would still be enough.

    “On a slightly different note, I think that it is very important than in any democratic legislature, there is an effective opposition. The DUP managed to do that from within the executive after 1998, but at the cost of killing off the B.A.”

    Are you crack? There is absolutely no evidence to back up that asertion. Playng musical chair does not an effective opposition make.

    If there is a significant failure in one of the parties, voters will punish them. Watch someone screw up health or education and see the backlash.
    And if people are really angry, you’ll see new parties.

    “I think that it’s far better that if you want to provide opposition, then you do so from outside the executive.”

    Which may or may not be true. But in our current situation, giving everyone a piece and making them feel involved is far more important.

  • Brodie

    The SDLp vote within the Orange Order is probably actical to try and ensure that SF candidates are not elected (there is more on the survey in the Newsletter). Still a surprisingly high figure of potential OO ‘bloc defectors’ perhaps?

  • darth rumsfeld

    “BTW, or mutual anti-power sharing pal was in cracking form the other day, I was lucky to escape with my life!”

    Yes, be sure we in the Continuity Unionist Party are watching you and your liberal pals very closely.

    BTW why has noone passed comment yet on the death of that pillar of government General Alfredo Stroessner of Paraguay. A man so dictatorial he was even threatened with excommunication by Holy Mother Church deserves some epitaph on slugger.

  • Bushmills

    darth

    Yes, but I never voted for his Purpleness!!

  • brian

    off topic but is Jim Allister related to Enoch Powell ??

    http://u.tv/newsroom/indepth.asp?id=76079&pt=n

  • Greenflag

    Never mind shades of Orange – Shades of Green is what’s needed

    ‘Was in a taxi on O’Conell Street in traffic waiting for the lights to change.

    The light went green but the WOMAN car in front was just sitting there.

    Next thing the taxi driver has his head out the window and he’s roaring

    “C’mon misses for ########## sake – it’s not going to get any ####in greener!”

    Green for Go – Orange for Slow and Red for stop

    Sounds like a good analogy for NI ?