Blogged: My season with the Orange…

No, not mine. But ignited has decided the only way to explain his affiliation to the Orange Order is to blog his summer and talk about what it means to him as he goes along. He lays out his intial thoughts here. Well worth reading!

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  • Dewi

    “Personally I find the other 364 days a year far more rewarding than the parades themselves.”

    Enough said Ignited.

  • KieranJ

    “I’ve come to the conclusion that it is actually quite hard to explain the Orange”

    No kidding.

  • McGrath

    We will see how this unfolds. The guy at this stage anyway, is seeking empathy which is positive. If the OO, indeed the wider unionist community made itself more available, in fact made genuine attempts to demystified themselves, it would go a long way. I have never understood people who though the most important thing to them was being a Prod or a Taig.

  • Rory

    I found at least part of his reply to an enquiry from one reader (O’Neill), on whether or not he had been attracted to the Order by religion or politics, interesting:

    “Politics. I don’t believe politics should be brought into the OO…. although they should comment on issues such as the Parades Commissions, moral issues (abortion, age of consent etc), issues affecting the Orange directly.”

    It is this reduction of moral issues to encompass only that which pertains to sexuality and reproduction – matters which the majority of people would consider matters of personal choice rather than of public morality – that is troubling to the outsider who can easily dismiss the silly marching and drum beating with an indulgent smile “so long as nobody gets hurt”.

    Yet his attempt to explain is well meant and useful as such apologiae tend to be in revealing more via disarming candour in his seeming innocence at how the rest of the world may view him. A true Pooter for Orangeism and all the more to be valued for that.

  • Dec

    not one person or group have the right to dictate who can go through a certain area. Freedom of assembly and freedom of religious expression are paramount in British society, and as long as parades are done in a dignified and respectful matter then that is the bottom line. In the same breath the right to peaceful protest is also provided for and must similarly be respected.

    When all’s said and done, it’s the same dreary old bollocks…

  • circles

    Despite Ignited earnestly pitching for the “I am a reasonable thoughtful person” position, he has, as you point out Dec, dished out the same dreary old bollocks.
    How can he seriously spout on about freedoms and then switch to “not one …. group have the right to dictate who can go through a certain area”? Ahhhhhh yes, of course, I almost forgot, the Orange hierarchy of freedoms. Non-orange residents are free to disagree with the Orange Order marching – how gracious Ignited – but unfortunately the Orange Freedom pulls rank because “Freedom of assembly and freedom of religious expression are paramount in British society, and as long as parades are done in a dignified and respectful matter then that is the bottom line”.
    So wheres the respect in marching down a street where you know the people who live there don’t want you to do so?
    And what about the freedom to not have somebody elses religious beliefs paraded indiscriminately up and down every thoroughfare available?
    On this logic, every loony tune group can mach wherever it tickles their fancy. The National Front, Militant islamic groups, Militant Irish Republican groups, and of course the Noble Orange (NO).
    Pure shite.
    Although as Rory said – “his attempt to explain is well meant and useful as such apologiae tend to be in revealing more via disarming candour in his seeming innocence at how the rest of the world may view him.” Indeed.

  • So basically Ignited is free to discourse on the marching season from the perspective of an Orangeman unless he expresses some pro-Orange opinions, whereupon his articles become ‘dreary old bollocks’.

  • circles
  • circles

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr damn hyperlink technology nonsense. Try here http://redemptionsson.blogspot.com/2008/06/orange-order-glengormley-mini-12th.html

  • Ally

    As someone who is only really getting into blogging, I thought this would be a good topic to speak up on.

    As a member of the OO I am really looking forward to reading these accounts. None of my close friends are in the institution and many have negative perceptions. This is something I am trying to counter, and it will be great to be able to follow the experiences of someone else as they explain why the OO is important to them.

    There is still much work to do following a very bad decade for the OO, but only by being open and tackling negative perceptions straight on can we hope to restore the public faith in the institution.

  • circles

    Chekov you completely missed the point 🙂

    Ignited is free to discourse on the marching season from the perspective of an Orangeman. In fact I think its a brilliant thing and for me highly informative. It gives people like me a chance to see behind the Arches and posturing and skewed media angles and maybe learn more. If he did not express his pro-Orange opinions then what would be the use in posting as an Orange man or even being in the order?

    But to then read his postings and find them to be the same ‘dreary old bollocks’ is a bit of a disappointment. It gives the impression that in fact there is no further insight to be had. The OO is actually a case of what you see is what you get.
    The problem seems not to be that they have failed to articulate their position. More worryingly, it seems they have articulated themselves all too well – and still we are left scratching our heads, and are none the wiser as to why they do what they do.

  • Dec

    So basically Ignited is free to discourse on the marching season from the perspective of an Orangeman unless he expresses some pro-Orange opinions, whereupon his articles become ‘dreary old bollocks’.

    Sorry to interrupt your MOPE Chekov but the ‘dreary old bollocks’ I referred to is the belief, held by the OO in particular, that they can march and assemble anytime, anywhere, anyhow and that this right is the fundamental tenet of Britishness. Ignited latest re-hash of this nonsense is tiresome and far from the fresh new insight that was hinted at.

  • Rory

    In a spirit of neighbourliness my mother used to go next door after the family had left for the Twelfth celebrations each year and tidy up, set the fire and wash the breakfast dishes. Later in the evening she would set the table with a ham salad and freshly baked bread for their home coming and light the fire so the room would greet them cheerily upon their return from The Field. She would say, reiterating what they themselves often said, that “it was the only day they had”. And, sadly, it was indeed the only day they had.

    The rest of the year they went only to church and school, the boys to Boys Brigade and later the ‘B’ Specials. They did not go to any dances, had no plays or concerts in their church halls, did not even support the local soccer team (too many “fenian” players) and of course céilis, feiseanna and GAA games were taboo. They never had parties in their house nor music, no laughter of boys and girls dancing or playing “postman’s Knock” or “Spin the Bottle” as they flirted with harmless teenage sexual teasing rituals. Nor did they seem overly fond of reading and I never saw one of them grace the local library or attend at the many night classes available that might have expanded their knowledge of English history and literature for example – subjects which you might expect they would take pride in.

    So all they had was that one day each year to curse the Catholics and feel so much more British and superior. We were happy to let them have it, for it was all they had. Poor sods!

  • “Sorry to interrupt your MOPE Chekov but the ‘dreary old bollocks’ I referred to is the belief, held by the OO in particular, that they can march and assemble anytime, anywhere, anyhow and that this right is the fundamental tenet of Britishness. Ignited latest re-hash of this nonsense is tiresome and far from the fresh new insight that was hinted at.”

    Far from considering myself ‘oppressed’ by your posts Dec, I consider THEM the epitome of predictable, dreary old bollocks. When I read an account of the marching season by an Orangeman, I seek an insight into that person’s thinking, I don’t expect him to refute fundamental beliefs about the right to march that are common to most members of that Order. I’m certainly interested in the reasons that someone like Ignited would join, I’m interested in his comments about struggles within the Order to present it in a more positive light, I’m interested in the activities the Order organises which are not marches, I was extremely interested in his account of a controversial parade which encompassed observations about marchers, bandsmen, alcohol, protesters and policing. None of that is dreary bollocks. Plenty of dreary bollocks though as regards the Sinn Fein protesters and wee scrotes coordinating vandalism through bebo.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    I could blog my experiences in the coming weeks, but why bother it will be the same as the last few weeks where we have had about 5 or six orange/kick the pope marches. They all involved in checking to see if any of the weans are wearing green, God forbid a celtic strip or tracksuit. Making sure that no crucifixes are on show and just to be sure taking the weans inside in case someone who knows that they are Catholics spots them and directs abuse at them. Vacating our garden so that we don’t attract any unwarranted attention, and shutting patio doors also helps.

    Oh and if last year is anything to go by, we will have 30 or so half-wits waking up the neighbourhood at around 7am for the Glasgow July 12th on a saturday morning. That is tens of thousands annoyed, not just me. However the civil and religious liberties of PRODS far exceed you or I.

  • Yep Scottish loyalists, nearly as bad as Scottish barstool republicans.

  • Mayoman

    Except ‘barstool’ republicans cause no harm, hence the term ‘barstool’. I take from that reply, chekov, you advocate that all these Scottish loyalists become ‘barstool’ orangemen. I think there’s a hell of a lot of people who would back you on that one! Any chance of mooting it fro NI as well??

  • May a barstool republican has reached into his pocket to fund active republican murderers.

  • Mayoman

    Are you really serious Chekov??? On the subject of the OO?? Are you really, really serious taking that line?? Brian Kennaway springs to mind!

    “The leadership of the Orange Institution have yet to face up to what is more than a “perceived” paramilitary connection. Sammy Duddy, spokesman of the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG), the political wing of the UDA, stated: “It’s time to admit that the Orange Order has always used the paramilitaries as the big stick.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2006/apr/27/northernireland.devolution

  • willowfield

    DEC

    When all’s said and done, it’s the same dreary old bollocks…

    Human rights are “dreary old bollocks”?

    CIRCLES

    On this logic, every loony tune group can mach wherever it tickles their fancy. The National Front, Militant islamic groups, Militant Irish Republican groups, and of course the Noble Orange (NO).

    In a liberal, free society, that is, of course, the starting point: the “freedom of assembly” equivalent to “I disagree with what you say but I defend your right to say it.”

  • Taking what line? The line that barstool republicanism isn’t harmless? Certainly I’m taking that line. What your post has to do within anything I’ve said I don’t know. I’m not a proponent of the Orange Order. I am merely interested in what ignited has to say. On the subject of our Scottish friends, I certainly see those who do not even live here, but align themselves closely with either extreme of our politics, whether it be loyalist or republican, as very low lifeforms indeed.

  • *with instead of within

  • willowfield

    Have to agree with Chekov – Mayoman’s response to him was quite perplexing.

  • Fakist

    “I disagree with what you say but I defend your right to say it.”

    So there is no problem with nationalist parades or perceived nationalist games in the bastion of tolerance.

  • willowfield

    Er, as I already said, the starting position is that people have the right to freedom of assembly.

    Try reading people’s posts before responding.

  • kensei

    willow

    In a liberal, free society, that is, of course, the starting point: the “freedom of assembly” equivalent to “I disagree with what you say but I defend your right to say it.”

    I fully support the OO’s right to march. They should absolutely not be denied it. What i object to ids the idea that they simply must have freedom of Assembly, there, in that there spot, at that there particular time and if you change it one second or one inch you’re steeping on my rights.

    No Western Democracy grants that.

  • “Try reading people’s posts before responding.”

    I think he did read your post Willow, but whereas the words in your post said, “In a liberal, free society, that is, of course, the starting point: the “freedom of assembly” equivalent to “I disagree with what you say but I defend your right to say it.”, the words Fakist saw were, “whilst I think there should be freedom of assembly, all nationalist parades should be banned in addition to Gaelic games”.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    >>Yep Scottish loyalists, nearly as bad as Scottish barstool republicans.< >May a barstool republican has reached into his pocket to fund active republican murderers<

  • Steve

    Willow

    Don’t run and hide now answer the nice persons question

    and you will of course support the hunger strike commemoration march through the middle of Ballymena will you not?

  • But not as bad as intellectually impaired arseholes I’d wager.

    Was that aimed at me? How ironic, given the incoherent rant that follows!

    And maybe you have been hanging around schools with your hands in your pockets…………..%&$£!!!!!!

    What are you talking about? Why would I hang round schools with my hands in my pockets? What a bizarre allegation!

    I take it now that these accusations would merit me a little visit from your Unionist death squad friends.

    What allegations? Did I make any allegations about you? You certainly have made a direct allegation against me, which I would suggest that you retract. I certainly have no ‘Unionist death squad friends’, whatever that might mean.

    Who from past experience wouldn’t find me but just shoot the first guy that looked like a Taig

    Which of my friends have you had past experience of and which of them has shot anyone? What does a ‘Taig’ look like? I suggest you start backing up these ludicrous accusations.

  • Or retract them immediately.

  • willowfield

    Can’t believe the comments posted above by Prionsa, suggesting that a contributor has “Unionist death squad friends”.

    This kind of thing is surely unacceptable?

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Checkov

    Tell you what. You retract your snide remark and subsequent allegation about me and I’ll think about it. Apart from that Va fungu!

    Some of us actually care about the experiences of others, with your pithy remark I take it you care not a jot about families and decent human beings in general being subject to triumphalist OO hate marches. That often put people into a state of fear and alarm.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Willow

    Selectivity is your strong point, so no surprises there.

  • Tell you what. You retract your snide remark and subsequent allegation about me and I’ll think about it. Apart from that Va fungu!”.

    I made no snide remarks or allegations. You in contrast have made a very specific serious allegations against me. You should retract it immediately or substantiate it.

    Where is admin? Surely this poster can’t be allowed to make a comment alleging that I have ‘Unionist death squad friends’.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    >>I made no snide remarks or allegations.< >Where is admin?<

  • Democratic

    FFS! – this whole slugger thingy is quickly decending into farce – must be that time of year again – between this and the DUP “Unionist Academy” thread – as a Prod that’s it for me I think….Good luck folks – maybe one day one single person might actually be swayed even slightly from their entrenched positions on this site through the likes of the great exchanges above…

  • circles

    Willow and Chekov – before we actually lose the point of this discussion and descend into meaningless exchanges of abuse and insults (from all quarters), this idea of freedom of assembly really does have me intrigued. So I really would be interested in hearing your response to Steves question “you will of course support the hunger strike commemoration march through the middle of Ballymena will you not?”

    Personally I wouldn’t support such a march at all. Theres commemoration of the past and theres taking the bloody piss – the hunger strike march falls clearly into the second category, as do most of the contentious orange parades. Why go where you are not wanted and where you plainly cause grave offense?
    For me this is a central question about the OO that I have never heard a semisatisfactory answer to. I had hoped ignite would try and get there – but he didn’t and ence the “dreary old bollocks”. Do either of you have anything fresh to add?

    And on the topic of freedom of expression – the kind of random insults that are being lobbed around in this thread are exactly what happens whenever everyody is free to express any kind of bullshit thought that may pass through their half a mind. I thought that was one of the paramount things about being british?

  • willowfield

    CIRCLES

    Willow and Chekov – before we actually lose the point of this discussion and descend into meaningless exchanges of abuse and insults (from all quarters)

    I have made no exchanges of abuse or insults and resent the insinuation. Prionsa has made a direct, personal and very serious allegation against Chekov, using an excuse a Chekov’s broad reference to barstool republicans. You should condemn that, rather than seek to tar all contributors with the same brush.

    , this idea of freedom of assembly really does have me intrigued. So I really would be interested in hearing your response to Steves question “you will of course support the hunger strike commemoration march through the middle of Ballymena will you not?”

    I won’t “support” any “hunger strike commemoration march”, but I will defend people’s right to hold such marches. It is a fundamental principle of a democratic society, entrenched in the European Convention on Human Rights, that people are allowed to hold such marches and demonstrations.

    And on the topic of freedom of expression – the kind of random insults that are being lobbed around in this thread are exactly what happens whenever everyody is free to express any kind of bullshit thought that may pass through their half a mind. I thought that was one of the paramount things about being british?

    Hence the appeal to admin in respect of Prionsa’s outrageous remarks. Although that has also been attacked by Prionsa.

  • Dec

    Chekov

    It’s taken 2 posts but I’ll try one more time. The ‘dreary old bollocks’ I referred to was yet another advocation of the apparent right of Orangeman to assemble and march wherever the hell they like (they’re not as magnaminous when it comes to footing the security costs of course but that’s another story). AS another poster said, no democracy affords this ‘right’ let alone the UK, as was ably demonstrated last week to those who assembled to protest George Bush’s visit.

  • willowfield

    The starting position is ALWAYS in favour of the right to freedom of assembly. In order to deny this right there must be sound reasons.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    >>before we actually lose the point of this discussion and descend into meaningless exchanges of abuse and insults (from all quarters)< >Hence the appeal to admin in respect of Prionsa’s outrageous remarks<

  • “What the fuck was barstool Republican if not a snide remark?”

    It was a disparaging remark about barstool republicans. Do you think they are a group that should be defended?

    “Or allegations about giving money.”

    I stated that barstool republicans often sustained terrorist activity through their donations. Do you disagree with this statement?

    “Yep I definitely had you and Willow down as two who would go crying to teacher. Seems I was right.”

    You made an outrageous and specific allegation about me. If you will not retract it then clearly something should be done about it.

  • “Those who would pathetically run to teacher over trivialities”

    It is not trivial to allege that I have “Unionist death squad friends”. It is an outrageous, slanderous lie which simply cannot be tolerated.

  • willowfield

    I have tried repeatedly throughout though to keep the spotlight on peoples lives being disrupted by these marches. Those who would pathetically run to teacher over trivialities do not see fit to respond to such seemingly unimportant matters.

    How does hurling scandalous accusations against other contributors fall into the category of “trying repeatedly to keep the spotlight on peoples [sic] lives”?

    How can you possibly describe a serious accusation about another contributor as a “triviality”?

    Yawn……. you are easily outraged, are there many big girl’s blouses up your way? Why so selective anyhow, answer please stop running away? Is funding so-called terrorists not a bad thing for you any more?

    I’m afraid I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. You made a scandalous allegation, you were asked to retract it, and you haven’t. As someone who has been the subject of these kinds of unfounded allegations in the past, I have no hesitation in calling for them to be retracted. In the event that the accuser won’t withdraw his allegation, there is no alternative but to appeal to admin.

    These boards cannot function if they become merely a medium for people to hurl accusations at one another, without any requirement even to back up their claims.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    >>These boards cannot function if they become merely a medium for people to hurl accusations at one another, without any requirement even to back up their claims.<

  • circles

    Willow I don’t understand your position on this freedom to assemble (and apoogies if you felt I was having a dig at you with my last post).
    I agree that the OO have the right to march – I have absolutely no probelm whatsoever with that. Where my problem begins is when the OO want to march through an area where the people living there do not want it – indeed are completely opposed to it. It seems to me that in such cases the OO expects that the residents “civil and religious liberties” are of less import than their own. I personally find this stinks completely of hypocrisy and makes a complete bollox out of any talk the Order may have of freedoms.
    I would think exactly the same thing if OSF wanted to organise an easter parade down the lower shankill by the way.
    Such marches immediately stop being about freedom and are more about repression (“repress your identity as mine takes precedence”) – and I’m still no closer to an answer to the question: Why march where you are not wanted and where you plainly cause grave offense?

  • DM

    PE – pathetic comment from you, far below your usual standards.

    On another note some of the comments on recent threads, particularly in relation to unionist culture etc, have made me question whether its worth coming on this site any more. Reasonable comment is increasingly hard to find.

  • joeCanuck

    Cool it guys.
    Go to another thread .

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    >>PE – pathetic comment from you<

  • Dewi

    “The starting position is ALWAYS in favour of the right to freedom of assembly. In order to deny this right there must be sound reasons.”

    As a matter of philisophical interest why is that ALWAYS the starting position? IMHO an alternative “starting position” would be the best thing to happen to NI for about 300 years…

  • Seems to me that some posters assume that the right of assembly includes the right to use public property for their assembly, denying the use of said property to others for some period of time. Now, obviously the right to assemble does include the right to meet SOMEWHERE but the question is whether that somewhere is solely at the discretion of the assemblers and they may deprive others of the use of public property whenever they wish. Does it mean that one may threaten or harass others going about their business? I did some research, hardly much more than scratching the surface, and I cannot find any such unlimited right of the assembly’s meeting place.

    And, that’s the real issue here, isn’t it? Nobody is denying the right of the Order to parade, but many do question and deny the right of the Order to parade on this piece of public property, i.e. on this road.

    Seems to me that because the OO marched down a road to get to a railroad station for many years does not give it the right to march down the road today when the station is closed and the buses they board could meet them somewhere else. Tradition is NOT sufficient to disturb the residents.

    Seems pretty simple to me!!!

  • Rory

    Do just fuck off, Bob McGowan, you are starting to bring light and reason into this discussion and completely ruining it for all the rest of us.

    What kind of upbringing, what sort of education, of mentoring, were you subject to that you bring such an outlandish sense of “thinking things through” to our traditional values?

    I would say “May you rot in Hellfire!”, but I am not quite sure about the physical properties of human flesh and bone exposed to extremely high temperature and do not wish to ruin my denunciation of you simply because I didn’t pay attention in Science Class III because I was reading my Bible instead (Leviticus, if you must ask).

    Besides which you are probably a Catholic – so there!

  • willowfield

    PRIONSA

    Totally agree Willow, but why so selective with your moaning to teacher? Third time lucky eh, maybe I’ll get an answer soon.

    I’ve already said that I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. You’ll have to be less cryptic if you want an answer.

    CIRCLES

    I agree that the OO have the right to march – I have absolutely no probelm whatsoever with that. Where my problem begins is when the OO want to march through an area where the people living there do not want it – indeed are completely opposed to it. It seems to me that in such cases the OO expects that the residents [sic] “civil and religious liberties” are of less import than their own.

    And what are the residents’ “civil and religious liberties” that trump the right to free assembly? By what right do people stop other people assembling freely in public space and walking along a public road? By what right do people claim “ownership” of a public space?

    Would you accept the right of homophobic “residents” to prevent a gay pride march? Or of racist “residents” from preventing, say, the Notting Hill Carnival parade?

  • willowfield

    DEWI

    As a matter of philisophical interest why is that ALWAYS the starting position?

    Because we live in a liberal democracy in which human rights are accepted and respected.

  • phil mccartan

    Chekov,

    How can you cry slander when you hide behind a nom de plume?
    Stop the MOPEry,sad man.

  • Dewi

    Very basically Willow why is the right to march anywhere you want a fundamental human right?

    Me – I’d ban the lot. I regard the right to bring up families in peace, have free schooling – something to eat – free Press etc. as important.

    Really can’t see the right to Parade in the same league. Or in any league to be honest.

  • willowfield

    CIRCLES

    and I’m still no closer to an answer to the question: Why march where you are not wanted and where you plainly cause grave offense [sic]?

    I don’t think the OO wishes to march in places where it is not welcome. For example, it does not wish to turn off the Garvaghy Road and parade around the housing estate: it merely wishes to walk along the Garvaghy Road which is a main road into Portadown town. Similarly, it doesn’t wish to walk into the Ardoyne: they merely wish to walk along the Crumlin Road, which is also a main road, which barely abuts on to the Ardoyne district.

    I think there is a real distinction and I think the OO feels that the Provo-created nationalist opposition groups are being unreasonable in declaring main thoroughfares as “their” territory, along which they have the right to determine who may or may not walk.

    I also think the OO genuinely feels that there is nothing inherently offensive about it and that the opposition groups are deliberately seeking to be offended in order to create conflict and sectarian agitation.

    Personally, I think people should tolerate others’ cultural pursuits, and while there may be reasons to protest or seek the banning of a parade (e.g. if there is illegal activity or offensive banners), in most cases there is not. (I think the OO has agreed not to play certain music and to restrict parades to genuine members, etc.)

    Also, it seems that the nationalist opposition groups have used violence as an implied threat, and it is wrong to give into such threats.

    Personally, I think good behaviour should be rewarded and bad behaviour punished. If OO parades involve disorderly behaviour, for example, I think it is reasonable to place restrictions on it. If the opposition groups engage in rioting, then, I think as a point of principle their demands should not be met.

  • Dewi

    Willow

    “Because we live in a liberal democracy in which human rights are accepted and respected. ”

    The trouble is you don’t. I know you can’t comprehend my lack of understanding but the fact that you don’t let people speak Irish in your courts means that you don’t respect human rights.

  • willowfield

    DEWI

    Me – I’d ban the lot. I regard the right to bring up families in peace, have free schooling – something to eat – free Press etc. as important.

    Well, that’s where you depart from the established liberal democratic and human rights tradition of western society.

    Really can’t see the right to Parade in the same league. Or in any league to be honest.

    Maybe an independent Wales will opt not to join the Council of Europe and not to sign the European Convention, and you will get your wish.

    I doubt it, though.

  • willowfield

    The trouble is you don’t. I know you can’t comprehend my lack of understanding but the fact that you don’t let people speak Irish in your courts means that you don’t respect human rights.

    There is no “human right” to speak Gaelic in courts, although, if the speaker does not understand English, he does indeed have such a right.

  • flycatcher

    Now, now Willowfield,

    Stop deriding Wales because it’s part of the UK and not an independent country.

    Pot and kettle springs to mind….

  • Dewi

    “There is no “human right” to speak Gaelic in courts, although, if the speaker does not understand English, he does indeed have such a right. ”

    This is the real bit that gets me. In Wales I can can speak Welsh in court even if I speak English fairly fluently. Yet there you insist on people speaking English whatever their preference. Willow – if I got done for speeding in NI and insisted on speaking Welsh what would be your approach ?

  • Steve

    Willow
    I also think the OO genuinely feels that there is nothing inherently offensive about it

    truly offensive people seldom find themselves offensive, if they did they might try to moderate their behavior

    Willow
    and that the opposition groups are deliberately seeking to be offended in order to create conflict and sectarian agitation.

    20,30, 40, 50 ad infinitum years ago nobody could protest about these marches as they would find their houses burnt and relatives murdered. The Opposition was not created it was just finally given a voice because republicans risked their lives and property to make it so

    Willow
    Personally, I think people should tolerate others’ cultural pursuits, and while there may be reasons to protest or seek the banning of a parade (e.g. if there is illegal activity or offensive banners), in most cases there is not

    So naturally you agree then that the hunger strike commemoration march should be allowed the freedom to march through Ballymena as it see fit?

    Willow
    (I think the OO has agreed not to play certain music and to restrict parades to genuine members, etc.)

    And they violate this every year and no one is ever punished. The oo always says not us its just the hangers on, which is brown and muddy but so much more aromatic.

    willow
    Personally, I think good behaviour should be rewarded and bad behaviour punished.

    So 600 years of bad behaviour should be ignored at a swep of the hand and the oo should be given the benefit of the doubt?

    At every detirmination that is sent out that the oo disagrees with we see their behaviour manifest itself, they are bullies used to getting their own way and when they dont its time for a sulk or a riot(remember Whiterock). They can not behave on the parades they have now why should they be allowed back in places they are not wanted.

    Give it 10 years if the oo can show that they have respect for the communities in which they already parade then maybe they should consider allowing expansion. If they still fly the uvf banners and play the f*** the pope songs then every year they should be curtailed until they learn or they no longer exist

  • willowfield

    DEWI

    This is the real bit that gets me. In Wales I can can speak Welsh in court even if I speak English fairly fluently. Yet there you insist on people speaking English whatever their preference. Willow – if I got done for speeding in NI and insisted on speaking Welsh what would be your approach ?

    It wouldn’t be up to me: it would be a decision for the magistrate who would be bound to ask you to speak in English, unless he was of the view that you could not understand English.

    The problem here, Dewi, is that hardly anyone speaks Gaelic. The magistrate is unlikely to understand it, nor are the solicitors and barristers, nor witnesses, nor court staff, etc. It’s not like Wales where the language is relatively widely understood and where you have courts functioning entirely in Welsh.

    STEVE

    So naturally you agree then that the hunger strike commemoration march should be allowed the freedom to march through Ballymena as it see fit?

    Try reading my posts.

  • Dewi

    “It wouldn’t be up to me: it would be a decision for the magistrate who would be bound to ask you to speak in English, unless he was of the view that you could not understand English. ”

    And if I refused? – Which I would – what next ?

  • Steve

    Willow

    I did try understanding your own hypocracy

  • ardenvohr

    Stop sucking up to Dewi, W’nkfield.

    You took the piss out of his country for not having an independent voice and you are now back-tracking big-style.

    Have the courage of your convictions, for a change

  • willowfield

    DEWI

    And if I refused? – Which I would – what next ?

    No idea, to be honest. The case would probably continue and your defence would be unheard??

    STEVE

    I did try understanding your own hypocracy

    I don’t have any “hypocracy”, so there is none for you to try to understand.

    ARDENVOHR

    I neither “took the piss out of” Wales, nor back-tracked, and nor am I “sucking up to” Dewi.

    If you’ve nothing to contribute to the discussion, I suggest that you don’t bother posting.

  • Dewi

    “No idea, to be honest. The case would probably continue and your defence would be unheard??

    Come on Willow mun – do you truly think my evidence would not be heard?

    In a more glorious hypothesis I if were asked to give evidence in a murder case and wanted to give it in Welsh – what would you say ?

  • flycatcher

    Yeah, W’nkfield-thanks for your suggestion but forgive me if I don’t comply with this all the same.

    I would suggest that you learn to tolerate different views in the same way that weary sluggerite put up with your mind-numbing ‘Copy and Pasting’ inertia.

  • willowfield

    Come on Willow mun – do you truly think my evidence would not be heard?

    I already said that I don’t know what would happen but, yes, my guess is that it would not be heard (or at least it would not be understood, given that the other court-users would not understand you).

    In a more glorious hypothesis I if were asked to give evidence in a murder case and wanted to give it in Welsh – what would you say ?

    I would say that you were being irresponsible and obstructing justice by deliberately and unnecessarily choosing a language that the court would not understand.

  • circles

    Willowfield I’m still trying to get to the bottom of your logic – hpe you can help me with this. I’m now usingyour exact argument, but will just change sides ok?
    “I think there is a real distinction and I think the Organisers of the Hunger Strike Comemmoration March through Ballymena feels that the OO-created loyalist opposition groups are being unreasonable in declaring main thoroughfares as “their” territory, along which they have the right to determine who may or may not walk.”
    Would that argument still work for you? Would you accept that as a reasonable ground for letting a republican parade through the centre of Ballymena?

    “Would you accept the right of homophobic “residents” to prevent a gay pride march? Or of racist “residents” from preventing, say, the Notting Hill Carnival parade?”
    Well it depends on what you mean by putting the residents in inverted commas W’field. The OO tactic in doing this is to claim that in fact they are not residents at all but come from outside the area (a logic that the OO seems patently unable to apply to itself by the way). The OO also likes to assuage any possible traces of a guilty conscience by disparaging anybody who may oppose their pompous displays as “Provo-created nationalist opposition groups” – completely ignoring the actual fact that these are just people who do not want to hear the billy boys, or see the union jack, or be locked into their houses as the OO troop by.
    So back to your question – Would I accept the right of residents to prevent a gay pride march? Yes if the march was intended to provoke and was being forced through an area where people do not want to see it or be forcd to participate in it – the march should not be alloed to go ahead. Fortunately though, gay pride marches do’t foist themselves onto peoples neighbourhoods regardless of what the people think. Thats the OO’S speciality.

  • Reader

    Bob McGowan: Seems pretty simple to me!!!
    Well, we’re not living in total isolation here. Why not tell us what the US position is on freedom of assembly, and we can see if you, and willowfield, and circles, would be happy to apply it here too?

  • RepublicanStones

    Sure let the colonial lackeys march where they want, hell, let their fundamentalist brethern the Klan march through Harlem as well !