Lord Laird to head Orange Order?

The Sunday Life reported yesterday that Lord Laird is being tipped to succeed Robert Saulters at the helm of the Orange Order. Laird, who took part in a public debate as part of the West Belfast Feile this year, has for long been a colourful figure.

In May 2005, Laird used parliamentary privilege to make allegations against Dundalk-based former BOSI Chairman Phil Flynn. Laird has himself been subjected to media scrutiny, facing criticism for expenses he claimed when chairman of the Ulster Scots Agency, not least for his famous kilt taxi trips.

Laird lodged a complaint with the Equality Commission in November 2002 in an attempt to get a case against the Irish News for incitement to hatred after columnist Tom Kelly had branded the ulster-scots language as “gibberish.” The column was written following an advertisement for the then £45,000 a year post which began with the line ‘Tha Boord o Ulster Scots is lukin fir a Heid Faictor…’

Laird was, at the time, chairman of the Ulster Scots Agency. He resigned as chair of the Ulster Scots Agency in April 2004.

  • fair_deal

    When does silly season end?

  • Chris Donnelly

    FD

    Take it you’ll not be putting your money on Laird’s ascendancy to status of Grand Master then???

  • fair_deal

    CD

    Nope

  • Fanny

    “Laird … has for long been a colourful figure.”

    Colourful? Surely “fat, self-serving bumpkin”?

  • Nationalist

    Don’t you mean he’s the Ken Dodd of Ulster Scots. Once upon a time all members of the Orange Order and Ulster Unionist Party all had elecution lessons to rid themselves of the Ulster accent so to be “more English than the English”.

    Lord Lard has tried his hardest to have all Protestants belive that they originate from Scotland and that their “Ancient” language is that of the Broons. Q.Does anybody know exactly when the Scots stopped speaking Gaellic and took up the Ulster Scots as their first language?

    The fact that many many people from the Protestant faith descend from ancient Irish people who traded their religious belief’s for food in the 19th century and that many others were actually from England seems to have been airbrushed out by these Re-Writer’s of history.

    Today we now see Lord Lard wanting to make the world believe that the Orange Order and their Unionist terrorist members are a cross community organisation.

    I am looking foward to see and read how he presents the murders of Catholics by Orange Order terrorists like Brian Robinson to the world – how will he change or dress up his version of history to read for those “cross community” activities?

  • Fanny

    “Lord Lard”

    LOL. I actually meant to write “buffoon” but my fingers typed “bumpkin”, which of course is a slur on the good people of rural NI.

  • Jack Black

    Well he’d hardly be worse than Dickinson.

  • Billy

    I hope this goes ahead.

    He’s already been a figure of ridicule in the Lords with his Ulster Scots crap.

    If he becomes head of the OO, it will give him (and the OO) a great opportunity to be even more ridiculous to a greater number of people.

  • Nevin

    Fanny, the majority of ‘bumpkins’ are urban dwellers – the Danish for bumpkin is [i]fumlen[/i] which sounds like an Ulster courting custom …

  • fair_deal

    Q.Does anybody know exactly when the Scots stopped speaking Gaellic and took up the Ulster Scots as their first language?

    For your education
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Scots_language

  • Setanta

    Lord Laird to sort out the Orange Order’s image problem….Who came up with this one?

    Was Abu ‘The Hook’ Hamza busy then?

  • Fanny

    Nevin

    “Fanny, the majority of ‘bumpkins’ are urban dwellers”

    They followed the money then, did they?”

    ” – the Danish for bumpkin is fumlen which sounds like an Ulster courting custom …”

    LOL. Did you catch Michael Booth’s book on HC Andersen? Very funny.

    “Q.Does anybody know exactly when the Scots stopped speaking Gaellic and took up the Ulster Scots as their first language?”

    Fairt Deal, do help me with this one. Someone on another thread was arguing about the correct name of the Irish language, i.e. Gaelic. But I thought Scots Gaelic was correctly called Gallic, no?

  • Fanny

    Sorry, for “Fairt” read “Fair”. It’s all this Lard/Laird stuff that’s playing havoc with my fingers .

  • Nevin

    Fanny, perhaps ‘fairt’ is just Irish for ‘fart’ 😉

    There must be more urban ‘awkward, unsophisticated persons’ than rural ones.

    Could it be a diminutive of ‘bum’ or ‘boom’? “Does my bumpkin look big in this?”

  • Fraggle

    Fanny, ‘Scots Gaelic’ is called ‘Gaelic’ too but it is pronounced ‘Gallic’.

  • fair_deal

    Fanny

    Like lots of things to do with minority languages there is a debate about it.

    AFAIK this was a device for english to draw a distinction between the two. In the languages themselves there were both spelt the same Gaelic but Gallic is closer phonetically to the scottish pronounciation.

    Over the past while there has been a shift from Gaelic being the predominant name for the language to Irish. With this predominance the need for a distinction declined. So twenty years ago you would have most probably seen references to Gaelic language and Gallic language but now it would be to the Irish language and Scots Gaelic language.

  • Fanny

    Thanks for the heads-up, Fair Deal. I always thought Gallic was confusing, reminding me as it did of horrendous school hours spent poring over Caesar’s Gallic War 🙁

    And Nevin, you’re a naughty boy. I meant to insult Lord Lard, not good old FD.

  • Nevin

    I wonder how Fanny became a pet name for Frances.

    I’ve just noted that ‘fanny’ is an Americanism for buttocks – the joys of confusion in an almost common language.

  • fair_deal

    Fanny

    Nevin is a ‘non-fan’ of myself, a list that got a somewhat longer after my GAA threads.

  • Fanny

    “Nevin is a ‘non-fan’ of myself, a list that got a somewhat longer after my GAA threads.”

    So you’re a naughty boy too then, Fair Deal.

    Nevin, I wonder too how Fanny became a pet name for Frances. “Franny” pronounced with a lisp sans milk teeth, who knows? My second name is Elizabeth but people were calling me Lizzie, so take your pick. We know what a lizzie is don’t we?

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,

    It’s a smart move by the orange order…to give it a more acceptable look and appeal world wide as they stratergize to march down garvahy road.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    I hope Laird does for the Orange Order what he did to the Ulster Scots Agency….

    Incidentally, since Lord Laird left his role as Chairman of the Ulster Scots Agency, the Language Body has been unable to publish audited accounts. I wonder why……

  • Fanny

    Kathy C

    “It’s a smart move by the orange order…to give it a more acceptable look and appeal world wide.”

    And there we were thinking the Americans didn’t do irony….

  • james orr

    Will the last one out of Schomberg House please turn out the lights? This would be an utter disaster for anyone who hopes to see any kind of improvement in the public image of the Orange Order.

  • bertie

    “The fact that many many people from the Protestant faith descend from ancient Irish people who traded their religious belief’s for food in the 19th century”

    Not an undisputed fact. Some churches did provide a welfare outreach but as I understand it, this was on the same basis as any other church charity work, i.e. you didn’t need to convert to get the help.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    It should of course be noted that some believe the Scots and Scotland are name after a tribe, the Scotti, from Dalriada(Dal Riata) in Northern Ireland who moved there – others are however not so sure.

    http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/majorsites/dunadd.html

    So the Scots Irish may really the Irish Irish who have came home to reclaim their birth right. If that is the case they have more right to be in Ireland that many others who proclaim themselves Irish.

  • Fanny

    “It should of course be noted that some believe the Scots and Scotland are name after a tribe, the Scotti…”

    “Beam me up, Scotti, I’m late for the Kirk.”

  • bertie

    Laird heading the OO. Stranger things hve happened. I just can’t think of one at the moment.

  • Fanny

    But joking aside, to appoint Lord Laird as Grand Master would arguably be the worst decision the OO could make in the coming time.

    They’re not my favourite organization by any means but I do appreciate the importance of the position they occupy within the unionist community and indeed the Protestant psyche. They must change of course and they themselves are conscious of this; their image leaves much to be desired.

    There must surely be a middle ground between the dourness of Saulters and the buffoonery of Laird. Is “normal” the word I’m looking for? Someone who can command the respect not only of the Order but of the community at large.

  • Paul P

    Anti agreement organisation headed by a pro agreement leader—don’t think so.

  • hovetwo

    The fact that many many people from the Protestant faith descend from ancient Irish people who traded their religious belief’s for food in the 19th century”

    Not an undisputed fact. Some churches did provide a welfare outreach but as I understand it, this was on the same basis as any other church charity work, i.e. you didn’t need to convert to get the help.

    I’m sure Garibaldy would be able to answer this better (really must read Ó Gráda) but AFAIK the vast bulk of welfare came with no strings attached. Groups such as the Society of Friends saved many lives. There were a handful of well-documented examples of over-zealous evangelism in the Cork area.

    Souperism was more often a strategic choice for the upwardly-mobile lower middle classes in the 18th century – Edmund Burke’s family allegedly converted for reasons of social advancement, although young Edmund himself was a devout Anglican IIRC. As the 19th century wore on non-conformism – and even popery – became more socially acceptable. Plenty of catholic gombeen men who became slum landlords etc.

  • hovetwo

    No chance Brian Kennaway could get the gig?

  • bertie

    “Anti agreement organisation headed by a pro agreement leader—don’t think so. ”

    Has it come out one way or the other? There are presumably still pro agreement UUPers still in it.

  • Garibaldy

    Hovetwo,

    Thanks for the (misplaced) vote of confidence. Like you say, there are a small number of incidents of food-for-conversion (a tradition alive and well among US-based groups btw) but the idea that conversion was necessary to get food was largely a myth, and continued due to some other evanigelical missions later in the 19th century.

    As for Burke, there are some Irish historians who agree with contemporary accusations that Burke was secretly a Catholic (his wife was openly so), but I’ve never seen anything that would suggest it to me. Non-Irish historians are much more sceptical. Certainly his hatred for English – and to a lesser extent, Irish – dissenters came from his support for the established church. On non-Established religions becoming more respectable, I think the era of the French Revolution was vital myself.

  • Dr Strangelove

    I presume if Laird were to get the hotseat, the first thing he would do is change the name to something more Ulster Scots.

    I had a look at the online dictonary to see what the ulster scots word for marching was, presumable it is marchin, or something very similar to the english word. To my surprise there was no listing of a verb to march. There was however the word macherabite, which for the unitiated is ulster scots for hermaphrodite.

    A Laird lead order would indeed be interesting.

  • unionist

    this is a non story designed to push people into supporting Stephen Dickinson

  • Fanny

    Dr Strangelove

    “There was however the word macherabite, which for the unitiated is ulster scots for hermaphrodite.”

    Zounds! It sounds like something from the Paleozoic era — cue tasteless joke at the expense of the Orange Order.

  • jimbob

    I have heard this story was planted to torpedo his chances early on.

  • Billy Ghoti

    And to think I used to sit beside him at school.

    If only I had known then ………..

  • Fanny

    “I have heard this story was planted to torpedo his chances early on.”

    So all the OO need do is read this Slugger thread.

  • fair_deal

    “push people into supporting Stephen Dickinson”

    Eyes roll

  • Orange

    I thought that the story itself was the funniest thing i could read until I read Kathy’s comment

    “It’s a smart move by the orange order…”

    There is absolutely no chance of this happening and as willing as the Orange Institution often is to shoot itself in the foot I dont think its got lemming fever just yet!

    “I have heard this story was planted to torpedo his chances early on.”< \i>

    I think that gives it much too much credibility. Its hard to describe just how laughable the whole concept really is. John Laird practically single-handedly managed to make Ulster-Scots into a bit of a laughing stock for many people. There is also absolutely no backing for him in Grand Lodge given that he hasn’t had any senior involvement. Its just too clear that if he does fancy the job that it would be for his own self-promotion.

    There is only one real serious contender to take over from Bobby Saulters and that’s Drew Nelson. Rumour did have it for a while that Willie Ross fancied a crack at it given that he doesnt have much to do these days but I think he’s given up on that too as he probably wouldnt have that much support.

    I make the pledge that if John Laird wends his way into the position of Grand Master I will immediately resign from the Orange Institution and never set foot near a 12th July parade ever again.

  • lib2016

    Given Drew Nelson’s connections the Orange Order could do republicans no bigger favour than pulling him out of the shadows.

    The whole past history of the collusion and murder that went on in the 80’s is going to be opened up over the next few years.

    It will be good to know where to go when the public enquiries start, under Irish rules this time. 😉

  • correct italic

    no more italics

  • jimbob

    “…Its just too clear that if he does fancy the job that it would be for his own self-promotion…”

    Precisely. Its his raison d’etre.

  • Nationalist

    So Fair Deal – it would seem that Lord Lard has been promoting an English Dialect as an ancient language and with the aid of the DUP having millions of pounds diverted to pay for the promotion of the Broons, money that would be better spent on hospitals, just to get one over on Nationalists.

    Obviously as he has been able to get the British Government to give £millions to that project the Orange Order (Orng Urder) must see him as the perfect person to get them £millions to promote and pay for Unionist terrorist rememberance parades for the likes of Brian Robinson etc. and to pay for advertising these as a cross community party held in Norn Irland every March through to September.

    No doubt some of the £millions will be used to advertise the event around the world which of course will show the residents groups, who don’t want the terrorist memorial parades through Nationalist areas where they committed their crimes, as bad uncompromising people attacking Protestant “Culture”.

  • Orange

    John Laird did nothing to get any money for Ulster-Scots.

    He usually spent most of it on taxis waiting for him in Dundalk or some such place.

  • Jack Black

    So FD, you’d PREFER Dickinson?! If Drew Nelson doesn’t stand then what other option is there?

  • Orange

    Jack Black
    I certainly wouldn’t prefer Dickinson – but just because he also seeks a bit of publicity here and there doesnt mean he’s the only other possible contender.

    Strange as it may seem, there are capable people within the Order whom you may not have read about in the papers.

  • fair_deal

    “So FD, you’d PREFER Dickinson”

    Nope. To put this kindly, I believe Brother Dickinson has found his appropriate niche in the Order.

  • fair_deal

    Nationalist

    I realise you may be annoyed that your question based on a significant level of linguistic ignorance had a simple and clear answer but please base comments to me on what I actually say not whatever pops into your head

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all, The orange order has a goal and that is to walk Gavarhy road….and what they are doing is strategic plans to get to their goal. Like I said earlier…it is a smart move by the orange order…and as I have stated on different threads on this site…sinn fein doesn’t counter the smart moves of orangism anymore….makes me wonder….why. What ever happened to the truth…the orange order is akin to the kkk and nazi’s…. Sinn Fein is doing alot to help the orange order clean up it’s image..to bad they stop going after it as a hate group—which it is.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Do you know how Americans suffer from the stereotype that they are thick, gullible, and inclined to seek simplisitic solutions to matters for which they have no insight- with the obvious exception of their fine President?

    Well thanks kathy, for proving that it’s OK to laugh at your nation. The stereotype is true, and we’ve seen the posts to prove it!!

  • pondskater

    Please note that the preferred form in Scotland is “Scottish Gaelic” rather than *Scots Gaelic. As the name suggests, “Scots” originates in Lowland Scots.