A shot across the DUP’s bows?

At a recent Orange Order meeting Grand Secretary Drew Nelson attacked the government for its failure to engage with the Institution on a range of issues and argued that Northern Ireland remains a cold house. While his comments were aimed at government was it also meant as a shot across the DUP’s bows? The lack of concrete proposals on parades in the St Andrews Agreement is known to have caused dissatisfaction. The government inaction even on those modest proposals has done little to ease that especially comparing the speed with which government took forward nationalist demands of the Human Rights Forum and Irish Language Act consultation. Now one of the modernising voices in the Order highlights a series of other issues, all of which were contained in the DUP’s equality and confidence building measures document, that have not so far not been delivered.

  • Pete Baker

    fd

    Probably best to include a mention of the recent NIO statement on parades

  • willis

    Sadly Drew is not modernising enough.

    Does he not realise that reducing the heating in his house can reduce his carbon footprint?

    When are the eleventh night celebrations going to be carbon-neutral?

    Certainly the emphasis on walking is to be welcomed, but by the looks of Drew he needs to be walking a bit more on the other 364 days of the year.

  • heck

    fair deal

    what do the mean by action on parades?

    I think what unionists what it the we go back to the situation where the orange order coat trails through nationalist neighbourhoods.

    and the way SF are going my new years prediction might come true.

  • Nevin

    Is Nelson interpreting events correctly?

    In times past, the OO and the Catholic Church provided a focus for Unionist and Nationalist community cohesion. They’ve since been left behind and the government’s appeasement process ‘facilitates’ paramilitary control of local communities.

    The main threat to UK economic institutions has come from PIRA so it would hardly be surprising if the bulk of government ‘bribes’ went to PIRA controlled districts as distinct from those that were under the UDA or UVF heel. Were the UDA and UVF to make suitable noises to government then they too could expect further bribes to facilitate community control.

    OO and Catholic buildings will continue to be burnt to make a gesture to ‘themmuns’ but, as you can see from Bebo, loyalist and republican marching bands are gradually supplanting OO and AOH ones. The Parades Commission turns a blind eye to many of these paramilitary parades despite the PC guidelines, as does the politicly directed PSNI – and the IMC and NICCY. Fascism rules OK – or should that be KO?

  • lib2016

    Drew Nelson a moderniser? He! He! Maybe he’ll set up a Committee to do something about the problem.

    Now that Sinn Fein has a comfortable place inside the tent there’s plenty of room for progressive unionists to join them, but they’ll have to do better than this. Finding a representative with some credibility might be a start.

  • Nevin

    Lib2016, if Brigadiers McGuinness and McDonald are inside the tent perhaps we should look for alternative (political) accommodation …

  • Lib2016

    Nevin,

    Let’s see…..the governments of three countries and the population of Ireland North and South back the GFA.

    As against that we have the arsonists of the Ravenhill Road.

    Wonder who’ll win!

    The DUP are the only credible force left in unionism and they have no alternative to the GFA. It doesn’t take a lot of insight to see what happens next.

  • graduate

    OO has been in decline for some years. The brightest and best within Unionism no longer feel the need to be affiliated with the Order although they might deny it.
    Don’t think it was necessarily a shot against DUP bows, more a reminder that they haven’t gone away and intend to start making more noise to keep themselves in business- after all we’re gearing up for the start of the marching season- Easter’s early this year.

  • graduate

    forgot to say that I agree with idea that it’s becoming a cold house for prods but that’ll work itself out in time with DUP carrying on the way it’s been going.

  • Diluted Orange

    “Does he not realise that reducing the heating in his house can reduce his carbon footprint?

    When are the eleventh night celebrations going to be carbon-neutral?”

    It’s true. This year we should be looking into throwing renewable-fuelled missiles at each other instead of petrol-bombs. How about cow shit or something like that?

  • Nevin

    Lib2016, the only ‘forces’ left are the loyalist and republican paramilitaries. The governments of which you speak appear to pay little heed to the views of ordinary decent folks.

  • kensei

    “Lib2016, the only ‘forces’ left are the loyalist and republican paramilitaries. The governments of which you speak appear to pay little heed to the views of ordinary decent folks.”

    “Ordinary Decent folks” elect the politicians. You get what you pay for.

  • The Clockwoman

    Since the awful years of Drumcree the OO has increasingly attracted the lowest denominator in Protestantism. They say they are attracting more members, but with the growth in extreme Loyalist bands it is easy to see what parts of the community this growth is coming from. It would be interesting to see what would happen if the grand master, whoever he is, would take the line of the Scottish OO and ban such bands, alas this is unlikely. If the above is true then the middle class Protestants are drifting away, like what the gentry did years before them.
    It was said in the 1900s that the only thing that identified a working class prod with a well to do one is membership with the OO but ever since the link was destroyed the UUP along with the OO has haemorrhaged members and influence. I believe the grand secretary is a successful lawyer so maybe he will do something.

  • Nevin

    “You get what you pay for.”

    It seems that most of the decent folks stayed at home on election day 🙁

  • Nevin

    Clockwoman, it seems that loyalist and republican marching bands are on the way up – perhaps with a little financial support from the paramilitary godfathers. It doesn’t bode well for the future.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    What utter balderdash Fair Deal. Government inaction on Protestant areas compared with the ‘speed’ with which they took forward the consultation on the Irish Language Act and the Human Rights Act (which also applies to Protestants don’t forget).

    People will read this and blink as they recall the umpteen schemes involving millions of pounds for “Protestant Working Class areas” which were rushed through by the British Government, without anything in the way of consultation, to bolster Protestant communities (so they said) but really to fatten the wallets of the loyalist drug lords.

    Loyalist/unionist communities have only themselves and the political leadership(!) of unionism to blame for the state they’re in. The political leadership of unionism has failed to face down the unionist paramilitary monster it itself created and maintained and now is reaping what it sowed. I don’t want to get entirely biblical…..

    Anyhow let’s not drag the consultation on the Irish Language Act into this debate – unionists have nothing to fear from such legislation. They won’t be compelled to speak Irish – merely the state will be compelled to give a service in Irish to those who seek it. And if they have concerns, well they have until 3 March when the consultation period ends to voice them.

    But less of the hypocrisy displayed by Fair Deal would be a good start.

  • kadenza

    I think it would be politically and socially responsible for the DUP to drop the parades issue.

    They seem to be no more than a trigger for serious conflict.

  • darth rumsfeld

    oh dearie me, so many pessimists, so little evidence. I know you want the Orange to be a declining organisation of lumpens , but sadly it ain’t so.Let me lift the veil a wee bit for you.

    Membership in 2004 was on a par with 1904, having peaked twice in the 1920s and 1960s. The blip of an increase post-Drumcree 1 stopped a slow managable decline much less serious than many other fraternal organisations- or, dare I say it, candidates for the Roman Catholic priesthood.

    The Ulster Scots renaisscence has resulted in halls being utilised much more regularly and by the young, women, and others who may have had little contact with Orangeism. Many community groups need halls as a base. Orange-affiliated credit Unions have milliones of pounds of investments

    A recently formed business club for Orange professionals has taken them abroad on investment trips.So much for the loss of professionals- though I grant you that the days of an accoutant being a nominal member to have some common talking point with his farmer clients is largely gone, but then again was that really a committed member?

    Where our influence has diminished, it is in the direct access to the ear of the leadership of the Ulster Unionist party-some loss, and that was ended by our own choice.

    What Drew Nelson didn’t say was that it suits the government to freeze out the Orange as it prefers the community structures within working class protestantism to be paramilitary controlled, and thus more open to bribery , and less coordinated- and of course the unspoken fundamental policy of all Viceroys and Lords Lieutenant still applies to our pretend potentate Hain- to weaken Orangeism as much as possible.

    “Let’s see…..the governments of three countries and the population of Ireland North and South back the GFA.”
    Let’s see…. the governments of dozens of countries and the population of much of the world
    back the war on terror in Iraq…etc

    You see, libbie, you still have to have your blind spot pointed out on every thread you grace. It doesn’t matter what the US government says, nor the Irish, and only marginally what the British want. It certainly is entirely irrelevant what the Irish people want- more so what they wanted 9 years ago. What is relevant is what people can work out together- not your nah nah na nahnah arguments saying in effect “I declare we’ve won, so you losers are just going to have to do what I say”. First, anyone with a titter of wit can reframe the question to be the winner- y’know like you guys misinterpret the 1918 general election -and second we have the precedent of nationalists refusing to accept that they lost and demanding another go- “OK well then best of nine hundred and ninety nine…damn OK best of one thousand and one” etc etc.

    And when you finally learn this lesson the next thing you’re going to have to do is be nice to the Orangemen-after all, you expect me to accept being governed by the IRA

  • The Clockwoman

    Darth you said, “Membership in 2004 was on a par with 1904, having peaked twice in the 1920s and 1960s.” Is this taking into account the population increase since that time? If not this it doesn’t bode well at all.
    Darth yo admit to being a member of the OO so that me pose to you this question:
    What do you think of the DUP now being a pro-agreement party?
    For example the Northern Ireland Act 1998 which made legal the Good Friday Agreement put a framework for multi-party government: i.e. Sinn Fein and DUP et al. Either you want power sharing or you don’t. Which is it?

  • The Clockwoman

    I wonder if the OO could transform into a St Patrick parade instead. As Patrick existed before 1690 maybe this would be more PR friendly to tourists. Also as it is becoming more and more evident the future King of the United Kingdom of GB and NI wants to be defender of faith and not defender of the faith. At any rate the proscription of any future Monarch from marrying outside his or her faith is incompatable with the Human Rights Act 1998.

  • kensei

    “It seems that most of the decent folks stayed at home on election day”

    Then they didn’t say anything, don’t have a voice and have no grounds for complaint.

    ““OK well then best of nine hundred and ninety nine…damn OK best of one thousand and one” etc etc.”

    Welcome to democracy. We get as many goes as we like.

    “And when you finally learn this lesson the next thing you’re going to have to do is be nice to the Orangemen-after all, you expect me to accept being governed by the IRA”

    No, I don’t. I expect you to be ruled by my elected representatives under the rules we have agreed.

    I’ll be nice to orangemen, but I’ll oppose the organisation totally while they remain aggressive and fundamentally anti-Catholic.

  • Lord Muck

    kensei:
    “I’ll be nice to orangemen, but I’ll oppose the organisation totally while they remain aggressive and fundamentally anti-Catholic.”

    Here, here! Well said.

    Orange Order = bowler-hatted sectarianism and bigotry (though in fairness, they are not racist, to give them their dues)

    They should be disbanded and replaced with an organisation with a 50/50 quota system for Catholics and Protestants…

  • fair_deal

    OC

    Temper Temper

    “Government inaction on Protestant areas compared with the ‘speed’ with which they took forward the consultation on the Irish Language Act and the Human Rights Act (which also applies to Protestants don’t forget).”

    Rather than address my specific point you have misrepresented it. I specifically compared the treatment of the parades issue with the Human Rights Forum and the Irish Language Act consultation.

    Here is the Bill of Rights timeline:
    13th October 2006 St Andrews Agreement launched
    14th November 2006 Bill of Rights Forum Consultation launched
    Link 1
    28th November 2006 BoRF Consultation closed
    Link 2 (pdf file)
    18th December 2006 Inaugural meeting BoRF
    Link 3
    “as early as possible in the New Year.” Appointment of Independent Chair and commitment to properly staff it.
    31st December 2007 Deadline for BoRF’s report
    Link 4 (pdf file)

    Here is the Irish Language Act Timeline:
    13th October 2006 St Andrews Agreement launched
    13th December 2006 Irish Language Consultation paper launched
    Link 1
    19th January 2007 EQIA of Irish Language Act launched
    Link 2 (pdf file)
    2nd March 2007 Close of Legislation Consultation
    9th March 2007 Close of EQIA responses
    After that it is government’s stated intention is “Our aim is to ensure that legislation can be taken forward quickly thereafter in line with the St Andrews Agreement.”
    Link 3 (pdf file)

    Here is the parades timeline:
    13th October 2006 St Andrews Agreement launched
    2nd February 2007 Terms of reference announced. 3days before purdah begins
    Link 1

    Compare and contrast.

    ILA and BoRF consultations launched with NIO ministerial statement. ILA and BoRF consultation documents produced. ILA and BoRF with clear timelines of their development. Where no date is given a commitment for issues to “taken forward quickly” or “as early as possible”. This also leaves aside that for a piece of legislation that is potentially

    Parades Review no launch of consultation by NIO minister. No publicly available consultation document produced. No timelines for the work of the Review. No details of membership, structures, approach, staffing etc. No commitment to act quickly just a simple statement of more detail “later this year” in fact the minister saying things would NOT happen speedily “This will not be a quick fix”.

    The Bill of Rights did have the potential to be of genuine benefit for individual rights as once did the NIHRC and the BoRF. However, the complete mess the precious commission made of the process, subsequent appointments to the NIHRC and BoRF means they are creatures of the human rights industry and its special interests.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to throw charges of hypocrisy around so quickly. The nationalist community is seeking its culture to be on permanent display and an integral part of all public bodies AS OF right but attacks another community for trying to occassionally use a public road. Hmmmm.

    As for your broader points I will address those later today.

  • kensei

    “They should be disbanded and replaced with an organisation with a 50/50 quota system for Catholics and Protestants…”

    I don’t think it is necessary. I have no problems with an organisation that promotes a specific faith or set of faiths. I do have major problems with one whose oath includes a lot of anti-Catholic stuff and seems focused on being doggedly anti-Catholic and sectarian.

    We live in a world with Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism and more. Why should Catholics be singled out? Not to mention that Presbyterian’s have almost as much theological differences from High Anglican’s as they do with Catholics. Just promote your own faith, and be happy with it, rather than specifying opposition to everyone else. Then actually consult people on marches with a bit of consideration, rather than saying you are going down and violence will result if you don’t.

  • kensei

    “I wouldn’t be so quick to throw charges of hypocrisy around so quickly. The nationalist community is seeking its culture to be on permanent display and an integral part of all public bodies AS OF right but attacks another community for trying to occassionally use a public road. Hmmmm.”

    No, it attacks another community for wishing to have a march of an anti-Catholic organisation down predominantly Catholic areas, an organisation that has a history of marching to prove it’s “top dog”, the organisation typically refuses to even discuss objections with the people living there and threatens violences and paralysis if it doesn’t get it’s way.

    See above. I have no problem with the concept of a Pro-Prod organisation. Hell, I want you march, FD, if it really makes you happy. But I can’t do anything other than oppose the OO in it’s present form. Nationalism and it’s organisations have had to change, about time Unionism started catching up.

  • The Clockwoman

    I thought Lord Muck was being facetious kensei lol I would let OO do its on thing. This too shall pass.
    Why do we need a Bill of Rights? Surely the Human Rights Act will trump it.

  • Nevin

    Kensie, it’s a little more complex than you suggest:

    “After partition Northern Nationalists kept a respectful distance from the State and became ‘a society within a society’. The Catholic Church was the key institution in integrating the community and clerical leadership was important. There was an intertwining of Catholicism, Irish culture and political nationalism.”

    Republican paramilitarism has steadily been taking over the community role formerly held by the Church. We even saw Adams holding an audience recently in Clonard Church.

  • kadenza

    Fair Deal, its not culture, just thuggery.

  • fair_deal

    kensei

    1. Neither a catholic nor a protestant owns the public road going past their house.
    2. Anti- and pro- are in the eyes of the beholder.
    3. You seem to ignore the key point of “as of right” ie they don’t have to expect to negotiate/consult about it each and every time they want to do it they expect it to happen automatically. Hence the hypocrisy of seeking one form of treatment for their own community but seeking to deny it to the other.

    “an organisation that has a history of marching to prove it’s “top dog””

    No its a reminder that this place is shared.

    As for violence, both communities have used the threat and actual violence around the parading issue.

  • Sean

    fair deal

    If it is just a reminder of shared spaces then why the F#$% the pope songs or the Kill All Fenians signs.

  • Nevin

    fd,

    Any thoughts on why the Loyal Orders and the Churches permit paramilitaries to remain within their ranks?

  • The Clockwoman

    For they have access to easy money Nevin???

  • fair_deal

    Sean

    Songs aren’t sung on OO parades never seen the signs you refer to either.

    Nevin

    1. An ex-prisoner is allowed to re-integrate into society once they have finished their sentence within certain legal safeguards i.e. for sex offenders, child molestors etc.
    2. Membership of a Loyal Order can only be removed on the basis of evidence not suspicion. Any member expelled without proper evidence can successfully sue. One meber successfully did so in the 1990’s.
    3. As with most large highly decentralised voluntary organisations rules are not always enforced.

    I am not quite sure why you include the churches. Are people supposed to fill in a form before they are allowed into a pew?

  • Nevin

    fd, I include the churches because they have much in common with the Loyal Orders and similar groups ie in NI they play a political/social role as well as a religious one.

    Have the rules of which you speak ever been applied to paramilitaries, many of whom having committed the most heinous crimes?

  • Nevin

    Interesting point, Clockwoman. I wonder how much of the criminal assets acquired by the paramilitaries ends up in the coffers of the Churches and Loyal Orders et al.

  • fair_deal

    Nevin

    The OO rule is automatic expulsion upon conviction of a serious criminal offence ie something more than speeding. Enforcement is the responsibility of the member’s lodge.

    Neither the accounts of a church or any of the Loyal Orders have been part of an ARA investigation.

  • The Clockwoman

    fair_deal i like your point about suspicion and evidence. Is this based on the rule of law? If so we shall be seeing the endorsment of Sinn Fein into government soon as they have a mandate.

  • Nevin

    fd,

    Wouldn’t membership of a paramilitary organisation be regarded as an offence meriting expulsion?

    If the local lodge fails to act can’t HQ step in and discipline lodge officers for bringing the organisation into disrepute?

  • abucs

    More acts of generosity such as the recent sharing of Orange Order facilities with a local GAA team and most people would support their access to the NIO.

    I think the OO have the potential to be a positive force within NI, but i would suggest that the parades “controversies” should be handled silently and not made major issues for the group.

    I think they will be in a much better position to further their Christian principles if they handle all the contentious issues in private through dialogue instead of having the issues define them (in many peoples minds).

    I also think that more of the positive outreaching to catholics such as mentioned above would help their PR hugely (and thus their acceptance and access to government).

  • The Clockwoman

    Remember a programme were an official tried excusing expulsions by stating that many lodges were ‘family’ affairs. And at face value if a member of the UDA/IRA etc said he knew where you lived and he will get the boys on you and the lodge chair lived in that area then i challange any one to expell a member under these circumstances.
    Why am i making excuses for the OO?

  • Nevin

    Clockwoman, police officers and others continue to live under such threats whilst agencies of government bank-roll paramilitary controlled community projects. It’s a funny old world. Presumably the clergy would be exposed to similar threats if, for example, they refused communion to paramilitary godfathers.

  • abucs

    It doesn’t matter why Clockwoman, sure it was a timely comment anyway. :o)

  • Lord Muck

    This about it this way : you go about setting up an association/group/club/organisation that excludes other people on the basis that they be Jewish, and you call it a cultural group.

    Ok, just how far do you think this one would go in any modern western civilized society?

    The Orange Order is barred to Roman Catholics, and it could be argued that anti-Catholicism is a cornerstone of this outfit

    Such groups should be proscribed unless they reform. They are a product of a bygone bigoted and sectarian era and should not be tolerated for being “traditionally sectarian”

  • The Clockwoman

    Ruth Kelly is a servant of the Crown but yet she, what could be termed an anti-protestant organisation. Is she a bigger threat as she is in the Government?

  • fair_deal

    Nevin

    “Wouldn’t membership of a paramilitary organisation be regarded as an offence meriting expulsion?”

    Yes it would and it is up the the local lodge to enforce the rule.

    “If the local lodge fails to act can’t HQ step in and discipline lodge officers for bringing the organisation into disrepute?”

    Grand Lodge does not hold a complete membership list it only receives membership numbers. So it isn’t in any automatic position to know which lodges have or haven’t acted appropriately.

    Clockwoman

    What exactly is your question?

  • Nevin

    fd,

    You portray the OO as a very incompetent and undisciplined organisation.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Either you want power sharing or you don’t. Which is it?”

    I don’t.

    “At any rate the proscription of any future Monarch from marrying outside his or her faith is incompatable with the Human Rights Act 1998.”

    No it isn’t. Read the Act. The HRA has statutory limitations inbuilt which clearly apply

    “I’ll be nice to orangemen, but I’ll oppose the organisation totally while they remain aggressive and fundamentally anti-Catholic.”
    Now this is just the kind of kneejerk prejudice someone as intelligent as kensei really should refrain from. Please leave the rhetoric behind and explain exactly what you mean by

    a)-“oppose..totally”- i.e. what exactly? Do you go so far as to torch a hall, or stop at “understanding” those who do? ARe you going to sit in the road if there’s a parade in your town, or just cheer on those who break the law?

    b)”anti-Catholic”- an important phrase- I assume you regard your own claim to be nice to Orangemen but not their order as a “Hate the sin, love the sinner” type of distinction- exactly the same incidentally, as the official Orange stance on the RC church and its members- making you…er, as bad as me

    c)”aggressively and fundamentally” – mmm nice hyperbole. As opposed to what exactly-“fluffily and superficially”? Well I have to confess we’re not big fans of the Vatican, but so far as aggression is concerned since Dolly’s Brae almost 160 years ago the record of aggression is pretty poor. I’m sure many Orangemen have been involved in acts against RCs and I just know you’re salivating to MOPE about Whiterock- tho that was police agin the brethren as I recall.
    The notion of Lodges heading up the town for a barney -if ever true- belongs to the century before last. And I hate to break this to you, but we’ll agonise more over what to put in the sarnies for the 12th than how to get wee Seamie put out of his job as a binman for the corporation. Yup , as aggression goes, we’ve been a stupendous failure. Not surprising really, since that’s not what we’re about.

    If by fundamental opposition you mean there’s no prospect of compromise then I guess you’re right, but that’s no more a fault than the lack of any possible compromise between Gaelic and Aussie Rules- and a lot less violent BTW.Honest differences are better than mushy and phony compromises IMHO

  • The Clockwoman

    Question wasn’t really a question. Just who cares … really.

  • kensei

    “1. Neither a catholic nor a protestant owns the public road going past their house.”

    No society permits absolute freedom of assembly. One of the factors determining whether or not said assembly can occur is the wishes of the people that live there. So, for example, if a company wishes to stage a concert near a residential area, it will likely get a hard time from the council if residents object. If the people think they are being intimidated in particular, you will find the right to live without fear is one most societies do find absolute.

    Secondly, if you are going to disrupt people, it is only common courteously.

    “2. Anti- and pro- are in the eyes of the beholder.”

    To an extent. It is impossible to read the OO’s oath and think it is anything other than anti-Catholic. And if people are telling you it is offensive, maybe you might try listening.

    Why are we mentioned at all? there a lot of religions in the world Protestantism disagrees with. Remove the debate, and stop obsessing over us, ta.

    “3. You seem to ignore the key point of “as of right” ie they don’t have to expect to negotiate/consult about it each and every time they want to do it they expect it to happen automatically.”

    Comparing it with general promotion of the Irish language is a laughable comparison.

    “Hence the hypocrisy of seeking one form of treatment for their own community but seeking to deny it to the other.”

    There is no hypocrisy. Happy to fund and support and Ulster-Scots / Anglo-Irish culture that isn’t bigoted, sectarian and aggressive.

    “No its a reminder that this place is shared.”

    No, it’s a reminder of your place.

    “As for violence, both communities have used the threat and actual violence around the parading issue.”

    Whataboutery. Natioanlists shouldn’t offer the threat of violence either. The OO has been more effective, though, and shut the place down in the past. I particularly dislike being stuck in my house, fd.

    You haven’t got a moral leg to stand on. Please change off your own bat and get credit, rather than have it imposed and dragged from you. I’m asking for your own good, honestly.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Nevin: “You portray the OO as a very incompetent and undisciplined organisation. ”

    Hardly. The rules are established to protect the central body, in an equation that respects for over substance. The less the central body knows about its various appendages, the less like the central body is to be held accountable.

    Its a wee bit like the French captain in Casablanca closing the cafe upon “discovering there was gambling in the establishment,” then accepting his winnings. It is competant in a rather cynical vein, allowing the central body to disavow any misbehavior or misdeeds by the individual lodges.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Lord Muck,
    I think you know very well that the Orange order excludes people in the same way that any organisation does. Thus Sinn Fein is anti-Unionist on the basis that its policy is to oppose the Union. Am I whining because they would block my application to the Seamus O’Gunman cumann?

    The orange belief system makes it inimical to atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Protestant ecumenists, and indeed all protestants who do not share the idea of a common Protestant interest- many baptists being a good example-not to mention women and under 16s-must mean we’re sexist and ageist too by your logic.

    Of course we could ban all organisations that exclude certain groups- so you’ll be off down the Finsbury Mosque to close it down when Rabbi Shlomo Cohen is told not to bother coming back for Friday prayers. But we don’t, because all political and cultural groups appeal to certain sections of humanity, and exclude others. Crikey, even Saga discriminates against those of us not yet wrinkled enough to remember the last time the UUP had a decent leader- I’m not whining about it.

  • The Clockwoman

    Going by Paisley they were all Judases. Only Oliver Cromwell would have suited Paisley or himself …

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Kensei: “No society permits absolute freedom of assembly. One of the factors determining whether or not said assembly can occur is the wishes of the people that live there. ”

    Not wholly true, as evidenced by the neo-Nazi march through pperdominantly Jewish Skokie, Illinois, the peacable assembly of Klansmen in NYC and the like. If it is a public road, paid for by the taxpayer and an existing permitting process is in place, then anyone who can fufill said requirements should be allowed to march.

    That said, if the permittee has a history of poorly managing, poorly marshalling or simply cocking-up the planning and c3 required to hold a march safely and sanely, then, by all means, the permit should be denied. Track-record counts.

  • fair_deal

    kensei

    “No society permits absolute freedom of assembly”

    Never said it did. Equally no society permits sectional ownership of public roads.

    Neither does every society provide an absolute right to the display or use of a lesser-used language in a public facility.

    “If the people think they are being intimidated ”

    Hence the recognised requirement on the marchers to demonstrate they will do so peacefully. Unless people are saying they are intimidated by merely seeing people from a different community.

    It is not courteous to deny a right. It is not courteous to claim sectional ownership for something held in common.

    “One of the factors determining whether or not said assembly can occur is the wishes of the people that live there.”

    Incorrect. That is not one of the general exclusion applying to the right to assembly or the related freedom of speech. In fact the emphasis is more on tolerating what is disliked.

    “Comparing it with general promotion of the Irish language is a laughable comparison.”

    It is all about treatment of cultural practices and all I am asking is nationalism practice what it demands. If you can’t see the hypocrisy of it and resort to laughter as a defence mechanism so be it.

    “Whataboutery. Natioanlists shouldn’t offer the threat of violence either”

    No not whataboutery just pointing out to someone who had written a blinkered comment about violence being from one source in relation to parading that they had made a misleading statement.

  • fair_deal

    Nevin

    The OO operates in the 21st century with a structure and rule book that has seen little adaption since its foundations. As with most cultural/traditionalist bodies it has a conservatism about its structures that go well beyond good sense. Also like other Unionist bodies, it suffers from unwillingness to part with tuppence to make the organisation more effective.

    I have always liked my mother’s description of the OO
    “I have never seen as disorganised a group as the OO in my life but as long as they hold the 12th every year no one seems to mind.”

  • kensei

    “Hence the recognised requirement on the marchers to demonstrate they will do so peacefully. Unless people are saying they are intimidated by merely seeing people from a different community.”

    By seeing people from a different community marching with an anti-Catholic organisation, commemorating beating themums a few hundred years ago, with a history of violence and links to paramilitaries and who are doing so over the objections of the people who live there after refusing to even discuss the concerns? After years of it being a subtle reminder of who runs the place.

    Yeah, that might do it.

    “It is not courteous to deny a right. It is not courteous to claim sectional ownership for something held in common.”

    The OO is abusing it’s rights. If people are living in an area all the time, I think they have a right to be consulted on what goes down it. You are only one step away from their home and often you are not just entering a street, or an area, but a community.

    I’m not suggesting unreasonable blocks. But if people have legitimate concerns then there is a moral obligation, if nothing else to talk with then and try to resolve the issue.

    People will point there is a lot of subjectivity here, and that’s true. But by most standards, after the history of both the OO and here generally, making no attempt at reconcilatio or compromise and insisting on “your rights” is objective wrong.

    “Incorrect. That is not one of the general exclusion applying to the right to assembly or the related freedom of speech. In fact the emphasis is more on tolerating what is disliked.”

    It is amazing then, how much community opposition can produce effective results. Not 100% granted, but effective none the same.

    “It is all about treatment of cultural practices and all I am asking is nationalism practice what it demands. If you can’t see the hypocrisy of it and resort to laughter as a defence mechanism so be it.”

    The Irish Language is totally inert in regards to religion and freedom. You can use it how you like, write pamphlets supporting the Union or Protestantism if you want. You can ignore it, and it won’t stop you going out of your house. It offers no threat to anyone.

    Not all cultural practices are equal. You might have went with the GAA, there, but whoops, they’ve modernised there rules, so no luck there.

    “No not whataboutery just pointing out to someone who had written a blinkered comment about violence being from one source in relation to parading that they had made a misleading statement. ”

    No, it really was whatabouttery. Unless you support the OO shutting the place down and keeping me stuck in? Perhaps you support the violence at Whiterock, or indirect results like sectarian murders?

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Track-record counts.”
    Does that not also apply to protesters Dread? Why do protesters need to threaten to disrupt the ABOD parade in Londonderry because of complaints about feeder parades elsewhere? Why do protesters need to sit down on the route of a legal parade

    “I think they have a right to be consulted on what goes down it.?”
    yeah but… when the road is a main thoroughfare does that still apply? Many residents’ groups object to parades near, not in their areas.
    And if it’s just about minimising inconvenience I can go some way with you, but that’s not what’s required is it?
    Perhaps now that we all recognise the police we can go through them…hmmmmm

  • kensei

    “yeah but… when the road is a main thoroughfare does that still apply? Many residents’ groups object to parades near, not in their areas.”

    If there is no reasonable reroute, I would be more sympathetic. If attempts at engagement have been made in good faith, I’d more sympathetic. There are cases where the OO is fighting a couple of hundred yards closer to nationalists though.

    “And if it’s just about minimising inconvenience I can go some way with you, but that’s not what’s required is it?”

    It’s not just about that, but it’s a factor. While we are on this point, FFS stop shutting down the place on the 12th. Work with the shops and restaurants or something to sort it out. It’s really annoying.

    “Perhaps now that we all recognise the police we can go through them…hmmmmm”

    I prefer the independent body established for the purpose, ta.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Darth Rumsfeld: “Does that not also apply to protesters Dread? ”

    A foolish question that smack of whataboutery and indulge…

    Yes, it does apply, assuming arguendo that it is a planned and permitted protest.

    But then, I look at this process as a balancing of rights, rather than either side excercising an absolute right.

    Darth Rumsfeld: “Why do protesters need to threaten to disrupt the ABOD parade in Londonderry because of complaints about feeder parades elsewhere?”

    Explicit whataboutery, but, since you asked nicely… 😉

    Because, Darth, in this wicked world, if one does not rock the boat, one rarely obtains satisfaction regarding their complaints. Perhaps they have decided that “sharing their pain” and letting others feel the pinch is the quickest way to obtain satisaction on their complaints. Not being one of the threateners, however, I can only give you my most reasoned guess.

  • fair_deal

    kensei

    A group of people walking down a public road after having served 28 days notice and complied with the required responsibilities is courteous and reasonable.

    “The OO is abusing it’s rights.”

    The exercise of a right is not an abuse.

    “It is amazing then, how much community opposition can produce effective results”

    Simple, sectional lobbying has led to de facto suspension of the right in particular circumstances. If nationalism wish to view a reduction in human rights as success more the fool them.

    “The Irish Language is totally inert in regards to religion and freedom.”

    Shall we start with every word learnt is another bullet in the struggle etc etc

    “You can use it how you like, write pamphlets supporting the Union or Protestantism if you want.”

    You don’t say a language can be used to make pamphlets. Freedom of assembly and the linked freedom of speech can be used to demonstrate support for the full variety of opinions too. So your point is what exactly?

    “You can ignore it, and it won’t stop you going out of your house. It offers no threat to anyone.”

    So Irish can be displayed and used and it does not communicate exclusivity or partiality of that public body or to anyone? However the use of a public road now and again does communicate domination and top doggery etc? Hmmmm.

    “Not all cultural practices are equal.”

    Explain please?

    “You might have went with the GAA, there, but whoops, they’ve modernised there rules, so no luck there.”

    I am afraid I can have plenty of luck with the GAA. Some of us have an eye for detail the media doesn’t.

    The rule about membership of the Crown forces was thankfully abolished. As for foreign games it has only been suspended for a set time at only one venue, Croke Park. The need to be Irish and nationalist to be a member remains so it is still more than a sporting organisation. Perhaps you would like me to dig out my Hunger Strike Rally, Casement Park and GAA threads etc?

    Finally my opinions on violence are known very well. Please do not allow frustration of an argument lead you to misrepesent or imply I hold a pro-violence opinion.

  • Nevin

    So, FD, the OO is incompetent, undisciplined – and something of a safe haven for paramilitaries. It’s little wonder that some of its more respectable members have left.

  • kensei

    “A group of people walking down a public road after having served 28 days notice and complied with the required responsibilities is courteous and reasonable.”

    Sure. Unfortunately, they aren’t a group of people, they are an anti-Catholic organisation with a history. There is a distinction, there.

    “The exercise of a right is not an abuse.”

    It is when the exercise of that right harms others.

    “Simple, sectional lobbying has led to de facto suspension of the right in particular circumstances. If nationalism wish to view a reduction in human rights as success more the fool them.”

    It isn’t a reduction of human rights, local consent occurs regularly in a democracy – and it extends beyond here and beyond the marching issue.

    “Shall we start with every word learnt is another bullet in the struggle etc etc”

    What some Republicans think of the Irish Language is neither here nor there.

    “You don’t say a language can be used to make pamphlets. Freedom of assembly and the linked freedom of speech can be used to demonstrate support for the full variety of opinions too. So your point is what exactly?”

    My point is that Irish in itself is not offensive. What people do with it or how they use it may be. So I have no problem with Orangemen’s right to march, but big problems with the idea they should be able to do it any time, anywhere with any consequences to others. So the issue isn’t the thing itself but what is done with it.

    I should have thought that obvious.

    “So Irish can be displayed and used and it does not communicate exclusivity or partiality of that public body or to anyone?”

    Only when that use is selective. If the requirement is universal, then by definition it doesn’t. You wish marginalise Irish and make it into something it isn’t.

    “However the use of a public road now and again does communicate domination and top doggery etc? Hmmmm.”

    The use of a public road by an organisation wedded to those aims does, yes.

    “Explain please?”

    A cultural practice that involves sectarianism isn’t equal to one that doesn’t.

    “I am afraid I can have plenty of luck with the GAA. Some of us have an eye for detail the media doesn’t.”

    I wouldn’t say it is perfect, or the process is complete. But it has started a process the OO hasn’t even thought about.

    “Finally my opinions on violence are known very well. Please do not allow frustration of an argument lead you to misrepesent or imply I hold a pro-violence opinion. ”

    Then avoid whatabouttery, and we’ll avoid the problem.

  • fair_deal

    kensei

    “they aren’t a group of people, they are an anti-Catholic organisation with a history. There is a distinction, there”

    1. Yes they are. Each one is a human being. They are exercising the right of free assembly with others hence a group.
    2. Could you quote from the UN Declaration or ECHR which states that none of them apply to OO members or those who disagree with Roman Catholicism?
    3. So if one community defines an organisation as having a negative history towards them then that community can start picking which rights they have. Hmmmm. I am sure both communities could have a lot of fun with that notion.

    “It is when the exercise of that right harms others.”

    No harm comes to anyone by a person walking down a road.

    “What some Republicans think of the Irish Language is neither here nor there. ”

    However, what some nationalists think of the OO is here and there when it comes to determining whether the OO enjoy the right of free assembly. Hmmmm.

    “local consent occurs regularly in a democracy – and it extends beyond here and beyond the marching issue.”

    Please inform me which rights are subject to local consent? Can you show me where in the ECHR it mentions local consent? Is the right to vote subject to local consent?

    “My point is that Irish in itself is not offensive.”

    Some people do perceive it to be so. You and I may not. Inherent form and how it is used are also two different things.

    “A cultural practice that involves sectarianism isn’t equal to one that doesn’t”

    Sectarianism comes in many forms. Who is the judge and jury in determining which practices are sectarian or not?

    “Then…”

    You can admit an error or excess on one point without detracting from your broader argument.

  • Sean

    fd

    the OO is not being denied the right to march

    they being denied the right to march wherever the hell they want

    even thst Nazi parade in Skokie had a highly specific route designed to cause the least disturbance

    so in short the OO is not being denied its rights or they wouldnt be allowed to march at all

    they are just expected to exercise their rites responsibly

    and surely you dont object to the responsable excersizing of rights

  • kensei

    “1. Yes they are. Each one is a human being. They are exercising the right of free assembly with others hence a group.”

    You form part of a group, you poll some of your rights, and you are subject to the judgment on the whole group.

    That’s why they need to file intent to march, but an individual can just dander down the street.

    “2. Could you quote from the UN Declaration or ECHR which states that none of them apply to OO members or those who disagree with Roman Catholicism?”

    The right to assembly is not absolute and subject to conditions.

    But they aren’t actually being denied their right to free assembly. They are being denied the right to assembly exactly there at exactly that time as opposed to a wee bit further on. That’s a somewhat big difference.

    “3. So if one community defines an organisation as having a negative history towards them then that community can start picking which rights they have. Hmmmm. I am sure both communities could have a lot of fun with that notion.”

    No, but a community has a right to raise objections, apply pressure through the correct channels and try to get things they view as negative stopped.

    The OO is objectively an anti-Catholic organisation with a dubious history. You can’t argue it, FD.

    “No harm comes to anyone by a person walking down a road.”

    Mass group not individual, anti catholic, sectarian agressive, won’t talk, links to paramilitary bands etc etc.

    “However, what some nationalists think of the OO is here and there when it comes to determining whether the OO enjoy the right of free assembly. Hmmmm.”

    No one is denying free assembly. Just the right to march exactly there, at exactly that time.

    “Please inform me which rights are subject to local consent? Can you show me where in the ECHR it mentions local consent? Is the right to vote subject to local consent?”

    No, but the right to assembly is not absolute. Other mass gatherings such as outdoor concerts will take the consideration of locals into account.

    “Some people do perceive it to be so. You and I may not. Inherent form and how it is used are also two different things.”

    If you could explain how Irish translations of some signs, or a translations of some documents you never have to see offend you, I’d be grateful.
    Why does say, the word “Gents” become offensive when translated to “Fir”?

    “Sectarianism comes in many forms. Who is the judge and jury in determining which practices are sectarian or not?”

    It’s a fuzzy concept and there is no rule book. Explicit anti-Catholicism in the oath of joining, a history of the practice, violence, weak condemnation of sectarian violence and more would be a fair indicator, no?

    “You can admit an error or excess on one point without detracting from your broader argument.”

    Correct. You were engaging in whataboutery, and I have nothing to concede.

  • Billy

    Fair Deal

    “1. An ex-prisoner is allowed to re-integrate into society once they have finished their sentence within certain legal safeguards i.e. for sex offenders, child molestors etc.
    2. Membership of a Loyal Order can only be removed on the basis of evidence not suspicion. Any member expelled without proper evidence can successfully sue. One meber successfully did so in the 1990’s.
    3. As with most large highly decentralised voluntary organisations rules are not always enforced. ”

    Why then do the OO refuse to speak to resident’s committees on the basis that they are fronted by “convicted Republican terrorists”?

    Is it only “loyalist” prisoners who can re-integrate then?

    Frankly, I don’t care about the difficulties of the OO in removing “loyalist” terrorists – that’s their problem.

    What the OO need to clearly understand is that the days of the OO parading where they wanted when they wanted are long gone. And their blatent double standards are unacceptable.

    If a Resident’s committee elects a former Republican prisoner as their spokeperson, that’s their business. Likewise if the OO has former “loyalist” prisoners, that’s their business.

    However, what the OO are saying is that they won’t talk to a committee because it contains a former Republican prisoner although they have former “loyalist” prisoners in their organisation.

    I think that’s a pretty good definition of hypocrisy.

    I am a moderate Catholic and would have no objection to OO parades going through Catholic areas after dialogue between the two groups.

    However, I won’t accept the OO insisting on Nationalists meeting standards that they themselves blatently won’t meet.

    That smacks of the old “we are the people” mentality and those days are long gone and won’t ever be coming back.

  • Nevin

    “And their blatent double standards are unacceptable.”

    Have you considered applying this principle to decisions taken by the Parades Commission, Billy?

    The PC raised no objections to this PIRA paramilitary parade in Ballycastle last May even though similar events in other areas in previous years were in clear breach of PC guidelines. The views of local residents were not sought and no consideration was shown to PIRA victims and their families in Ballycastle; the PSNI did not intervene.

    Some Catholic clerics and the Irish government made a huge fuss about the Drumcree parades; AFAIK they’ve remained silent about PIRA and other paramilitary parades.

  • darth rumsfeld

    kensei- I note you’re still not commenting on my posts, but rushing back to the emotive language, such as “actively anti-Catholic”. I suppose I should be flattered that you can’t debate with me. But let’s try again, and hope you won’t be coy.
    How “actively” would you tell us? Was it active anti-Catholicism when the Grand master and others stood outside Harryville Chapel in support of the worshippers? Was it active-anti Catholicism when members donated money towards rebuilding the chapel somewhere near Crumlin damaged by arsonsist a few years ago?
    I could argue that the theology of the Roman Catholic church is trenchantly hostile to my beliefs- being a heretic and all- but that doesn’t necessarily mean I regard Father O’Shaughnessy as actively opposing me.

    Billy
    I think you need to look more deeply at these committees. Gerry Adams remarks in Adare show quite clearly they are not concerned residents associations setting up flower shows, and painting out graffiti. They were set up for one reason only- to oppose parades. And turning your argument around, if you think it doesn’t matter that ex-prisoners are in groups , you’ll obviously have no concerns about ex-prisoners in orange Lodges. Of course , in both the key word is “ex”. If the Adare speech is true, then the residents group were being actively directed by SF/IRA -some might simply regard that as R & R for people who had been terrorists

  • fair_deal

    Sean

    When someone says “No you cannot walk down that public road because we dont like you” you are denying the right to march. That person is advocating the right to march only inplaces people like the marchers.

    kensei

    Your representation of the law is plain wrong. A parade notice is to inform the state not to seek permission of the state.

    It is clear neither of us is going to move on our respective positions so rather for a couple dozen more threads. I think our positions can be summarised like this.

    I believe in freedom of speech, assembly and association. I believe people should be allowed to exercise these on public roads regardless of who they are.

    You believe in a local veto on rights especially if you don’t like the people wanting to exercise them. I believe that local vetos on any right sets a dangerous precedent.

    “I have nothing to concede.”

    On your representation of my views You have everything to concede kensei. You brought up the topic of violence. You tried to ignore the violence emanating from your community. I did not deny the violence emanating from mine. Then in desperation you tried to misrepresent my views on the use of violence. You were given two opportunities to withdraw this false impression about my views on violence but refused. To think you were the one lecturing me about common courtesy earlier on. However, why would I surprised about a nationalist not practicing what they preach.

    Billy

    The OO has a general objection to have to be expected to negotiate what is a human right. A right is that a right with clearly defined limitations. Local consent is not an accepted limitation. They especially don’t like doing so with unrepresentative groups. The ex-prisoner fronting these groups was a simple demonstration of their unrepresentativeness.

  • Billy

    Nevin

    I am not here to defend the parades commission.

    I’m not going to take issue with the examples you list – I’ll accept it as accurate. I do know that there have also been cases where OO parades have breached guidelines (“loyalist” paramilitary trappings etc) and the parades commission have taken no action.

    I have no problem with changes being made to the parades commission if it improves their performance.

    My main point is still totally valid. The OO leadership have openly admitted that there are “loyalist” prisoners in their ranks. There are also blatent examples every year of OO parades with bands and banners commemorating “loyalist” terrorists. (I do not approve of any bands or banners commemorating Republican terrorists either).

    I am not aware of the OO leadership taking any action about this. When they are questioned on the media about the “loyalist” prisoners, they waffle on about it being a local matter and do nothing.

    However, they still say that they won’t talk to resident’s committees because they contain Republican prisoners.

    Personally I don’t differentiate between “loyalist” and Republican terrorists – I despise all of them. However, the OO leadership clearly think that they can refuse to talk to Republican prisoners but that Catholics should talk to “loyalist” prisoners.

    As I said, I am a very moderate Catholic and would like to see contentious parades settled by dialogue. But we are no longer second class citizens and will not accept hypocrisy from the OO.

    If the OO has a problem with ex prisoners, then they should get their own house in order before criticising others. If they are unable or unwilling to enforce their own “standards” internally, then they obviously have no right to try and demand that Catholics meet these same “standards”.

    However, that is their position and has been for some time. Despite their frankly piss poor attempts at a positive PR camapaign, intelligent people can see through this blatent hypocrisy and explains why there is so little support for their position beyond NI Unionists.

  • Billy

    Fair Deal

    I expected better from you.

    As others have pointed out, it is not as simple as a basic right. With rights come responsibilities, the UK govt would (rightly) not allow the BNP to parade through Brixton so why should they allow an OO parade through a predominantly Catholic area where they are not welcome?

    The OO leadership have admitted that there are “loyalist” ex prisoners in their ranks – they also admit that there may well be members of “loyalist” paramiliatries in their ranks.

    Let’s face it, the OO are quite happy to have plenty of “loyalist” paramilitary muscle around when it suits them. When the OO doesn’t get it’s own way – they resort to rioting and violence i.e. Whiterock. Then we have high ranking OO members coming on TV to condone this violence.

    There are still OO lodges with banners and bands commemorating “loyalist” terrorists. With each passing year the OO “leadership” does nothing about this.

    I hope we can ultimately reach a stage where all contentious parades are settled by dialogue. However, as I said, with rights come responsibilities. If the OO cannot meet it’s responsibilities by dealing with the offending lodges, bands, members (after all, it is supposed to be an organisation for civil and religious liberty, is it not?), then they should have the right to march through Catholic neighbourhhods recinded.

  • Nevin

    Billy, have you any comment to make about the double standards being applied by Catholic clergy and the Irish government?

    Were you surprised that the Irish government and some Catholic clergy colluded with paramilitaries to foment strife during the so called peace process?

    [I dealt yesterday with the Churches and the Loyal Orders (and GAAs?) rather too friendly association with paramilitaries]

  • fair_deal

    I never said it was an absolute right. I said
    “A right is that a right with clearly defined limitations. Local consent is not an accepted limitation.”

    The responsibility for anyone holding a procession on a public road does so in a non-violent manner. Those same responsibility lies with those who oppose it and wish to demonstrate against it. Equal rights and equal responsibilities.

    It is highly likely that members of paramilitaries are part of almost all voluntary organisations going in Northern Ireland. They will be members of churches, sporting organisations, community groups, charities etc. The OO is not unique in this.

    “There are still OO lodges with banners”

    There is 1 lodge not lodges and I have previously state my personal objections to it.

    I see like kensei you also only see one side’s violence. Has there been violence to do with parades disputes? Yes. Should it have happened? No.

  • kensei

    “Your representation of the law is plain wrong. A parade notice is to inform the state not to seek permission of the state.”

    See what would happen with regards to the state if you kept trying it at random, without notice.

    “I believe in freedom of speech, assembly and association. I believe people should be allowed to exercise these on public roads regardless of who they are.”

    Allow me. You believe in promoting sectarian organisations. You believe that they should be allowed to go anywhere they want, when they want. You do care about about people’s legitimate concerns, do not think they need addressed. You don’t respect other people and you don’t see how a having a history of sectarianism and violence on your doorstep could itself be intimidating and you don’t respect.

    You believe in freedom of association as an absolute right ahead of any other right, including people’s right not to live in fear. You also believe that re-routing a parade by small distances is a suppression of the right to Assembly, when it quite clearly isn’t.

    “You believe in a local veto on rights especially if you don’t like the people wanting to exercise them. I believe that local vetos on any right sets a dangerous precedent.”

    No, I believe that the right to free assembly is important but not absolute, unlike people’s right to live without intimidation. I believe in such a divided society, with the history of the organisations and people involved, dismissing people’s concerns and demanding an absolute version of the right to march forfeits any moral argument. And I believe if you are going to be part of an aggressive, dismissive, sectarian organisation you should expect opposition.

    I’m not opposed to the OO marching, however abhorrent I find it, and I would be opposed to an outright ban.

    “On your representation of my views You have everything to concede kensei. You brought up the topic of violence. You tried to ignore the violence emanating from your community.”

    No, we were talking about the OO. Whatever my community got up to, it wasn’t directly relevant to the point I was making. You brought it up because you wanted to distract from the point by engaging in whataboutery.

    “I did not deny the violence emanating from mine. Then in desperation you tried to misrepresent my views on the use of violence.”

    No, I didn’t misrepresent. I asked you a question because you had left space for it. The point was that we can both play the same game.

  • Nevin

    fd,

    Surely you must be concerned that paramilitaries can end up controlling/dominating parts of the organisations you mention.

    I recall some years ago an OO parade where one of the bands was carrying paramilitary flags. No attempt as far as I could see was made to rectify matters, even though the guest of honour was the then head of the OO. Just imagine the hullaballoo if a journalist had captured the OO head and the flags in the same photo.

  • fair_deal

    Nevin

    “you must be concerned that paramilitaries can end up controlling/dominating parts of the organisations you mention”

    The one benefit of the OO’s highly decentralised structures means even if paramilitaries or anyone else for that matter were interested enough to try and take control/dominate it is an impossible task. It pretty much messes everything else up in terms of communication, cohesion, co-ordination, implementation of decisions and enforcement of rules but they do stop one group taking it over.

  • Nevin

    Hardly an impossible task, fd.

    There’s nothing to stop an external organisation moving its own people into positions of authority locally and then the delegates can proceed to alter HQ rules. For example, the OO could become less like the UUP and more like the DUP.

  • fair_deal

    Nevin

    No one has managed it in over 200 years

  • darth rumsfeld

    kensei- over here!

  • Nevin

    fd,

    We’ve seen a tussle between the UUP and DUP factions in the OO for quite a few years now and the OO stances in recent years have been essentially pro-DUP. That may change again ….

  • fair_deal

    1. For the nth time I have never said it is an absolute right.
    2. I am no more a threat to anyone with or without a collarette on.
    3. Repeating, expanding and exaggerating on why the OO should have lesser enjoyment of a fundamental human right remains “veto on rights especially if you don’t like the people wanting to exercise them”
    4. I don’t play games and I didn’t misrepresent your views about violence and murder. Three strikes and you’re out. Have a nice life.

  • Sean

    fd

    the right to freely assemble is a fundamental right?

    so you of course would not object to the IRA assmbling in down town Ballymena and going for a wee wander up the high street

  • fair_deal

    Sean

    1. The IRA isn’t allowed to assemble anywhere as it is an illegal group.
    2. As regards a SF, republican band or whatever, yes they have the right to hold a march in Ballymena town centre.

  • Nevin

    fd,

    Republican bands were confined to the Fisherwick Estate IIRC.

  • fair_deal

    Nevin

    Yes they were and they shouldn’t have been.
    I disagreed with the objectors at the time.

    Relevant thread

  • darth rumsfeld

    I agree with f-d @ post 10. I also know of case where parade organisers have reported paramilitary style bands to the plods and been ignored. One- not a million miles from Mount Vernon – was told not to come back to a parade, but when the police were asked to take action against the band they said that when the loyalists were “practising music” the cops knew where they all were- perhaps an unnecessary precaution given recent revelations

  • Nevin

    “The IRA isn’t allowed to assemble anywhere as it is an illegal group.”

    What’s the difference between this event in Strabane and an IRA assembly, fd?

  • darth rumsfeld

    nevin, f-d’s a newly married idealist. I mean, only a bitter old cynic like me would think that noone has ever been interviewed about this Strabane hatefest, while pensioners in an orange order parade in East Belfast were interviewed by police and a file sent to the pps because there was no named organiser of the parade…….oops

  • Nevin

    Darth, I understand at least one loyalist version of the Strabane event has been held in Co Antrim without bothering to submit an application to the PC. The PSNI probably observed from a discrete distance …

  • darth rumsfeld

    soooooo…. we have a state where the police and other authorities refuse to face down the paramilitaries even in the face of blatant lawbreaking, yet the meeejah and bloggers here criticise the Orange order- a part time organisation run by old men in many areas BTW- for not doing what rosy faced armour wearing hefty peelers won’t?

  • Nevin

    Darth, I think you need to point the finger at the two governments rather than the police in this instance; you can’t expect the police to flaunt the ‘control freakery’ of New Labour and old Fianna Fail. Also individual police officers are easily targeted by the local paramilitary godfathers; the ‘we know where your wife and family live’ observation carries real menace.

    We’ve also seen President McAleese praise a joint paramilitary venture and the godfathers being presented as role models for children and young people. This charade is being ignored by the IMC, NICCY and other official bodies yet, surely, it is an expression of (agreed) fascism.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Darth Rumsfeld: “we have a state where the police and other authorities refuse to face down the paramilitaries even in the face of blatant lawbreaking, yet the meeejah and bloggers here criticise the Orange order- a part time organisation run by old men in many areas BTW- for not doing what rosy faced armour wearing hefty peelers won’t? ”

    It is their parade so. ultimately, responsibility lies with them for the parade.

    That the police are a useless collection of slack-jawed CO2 generators is a larger and different problem.

    Nevin: “I think you need to point the finger at the two governments rather than the police in this instance; you can’t expect the police to flaunt the ‘control freakery’ of New Labour and old Fianna Fail. Also individual police officers are easily targeted by the local paramilitary godfathers; the ‘we know where your wife and family live’ observation carries real menace. ”

    Not much of a fig leaf there, Nevin. Its not as if this were some new tactic on the Loyalist’s part. The history of over-lapping membership between the various and sundry organizations might also play into the equation.

  • darth rumsfeld

    nonsense dread. paramilitaries are society’s problem, and society requires the police to deal with them, whether they are in a street, bar, or football stadium. By your logic the IRA parade in Strabane was merely a wee bit of artistic expression of the proto-fascist Shinner leadership, not a public and illegal association

  • Nevin

    Dread, if you’d had an opportunity to read my earlier posts you’d have noted that I referred to all paramilitaries, not just the loyalist ones.