McNarry wants an apology from Conservatives

David McNarry has demanded a public apology from the Conservatives over the anti-Orange Order article that appeared on the local website. The Conservatives have distanced themselves from the article written by a senior local member. A spokesperson said they had total respect for the Orange Institution and:

“The Conservative Party has no issue with the Orange Order. It is a perfectly legal organisation and many of its members are engaged in charity and church work.”

UPDATE The McNarry statement also seems to be different from HQ’s position , it had responded to the attack by saying:

“Judging by its most recent ill-tempered statement, the DUP Press Office appears to be having a bad few days. The accusation that the UUP is engaged in a ‘diatribe’ against other unionists is quite frankly laughable – it was, after all, the DUP’s Edwin Poots who first attacked the UUP and members of the Orange Order in a highly inflammatory manner. It is highly regrettable that the DUP have – yet again – chosen to bring the Order into partisan politics.”

  • Parson

    Not a smart move by McNarry. The issue would probably have died a death and looked as though the DUP were flailing around desperately if he hadn’t stormed in.

  • jone

    One of the stated aims of this alliance was to move beyond sectarian politics ie. the get the fenians on board. Good luck with that now that the UUP and the Tories are running around proclaiming what fine fellows the Orange Order are.

  • Well done McNarry in exacerbating this non-story. The man can’t keep his gob shut.

  • bar o’moeter

    good old mcnarry – jumped in feet first.

    makes tom elliotts remarks in the last week look utterly pathetic, particularly in light of the fact that he is a county grand master in fermanagh. he’s a disgrace to the institution locally and his refusal to condemn the remarks made by the Tories has went down like a lead balloon amongst grass roots members.

    if he hadn’t been due to relinquish office in october, he’d have been put out.

  • John T

    I’m loving it. Where is Monsieur Shilliday in this debate? I thought he would be leaping to condemn McNarry over his defence of this ‘sectarian scar’ on the face of Northern Ireland and the precious UUP… imperilling these ‘popular’ and ‘mandated’ overtures to the Conservative Party… breaking ranks in this blatent act of ‘disloyalty’. And what of Mr. Peel? Who’s next? Those ‘backward facing’ effigy burners in Lewes? The ‘history obsessed’ Act of Settlement?

  • cynic

    I think the email reply about the Conservative article was spot on. The OO issue is a sacred cow that needs to be addressed. For years the OO was a pillar of the party – a political donkey draped in a flag to be led out at every election. Those times are long past.

    People who want to be members of the OO and subscribe to its values are free to do so – that’s part of the civil and religious liberty that Conservatives believe in. Their views should be listened to and valued. But that does not mean that the OO should have iconic status or that any reactionary, bigoted views espoused by a small minority of orangemen have precedence in party policy. Quite the reverse.

    So where is the UUP going? What does Unionism mean if we don’t accept the wider more pluralist views of our fellow British citizens across the UK or even the wider ‘unionist’ population in Northern Ireland?

    Why, for example, does the UUP have so few women members and female elected members? What roles do they play in the branches beyond making tea? Is there a single female MLA? More than a dozen female councilors across the entire province? What has the Party done about it?

    Does the UUP have a single member from an ethnic minority and if not, what has it done about it? How many elected members are under 40 – or even under 50?

    Why has it failed to capitalize upon its only MP left? Could it be perchance that she is female and therefore only to be occasionally patted on the head by the leadership?

    The UU website is quite clear on the aspiration. It quotes Reg as saying

    “Normal politics will be better than a constant them-and-us battle over ancient squabbles. Normal politics will be better than the experience we’ve endured here for decades.”

    I agree completely. The UU have a choice. They can wallow in the swamp of the past with the DUP or show leadership, rise above it and lead Unionists out to the future. That includes showing leadership within the OO. It also means reaching out to a wider section of the unionist community and inspiring them with a vision that things can be better, that there is a better way to do politics in the future.

    That will be a challenge but given where they are now electorally what have they got to lose?

  • Blackmouth

    I hate to say I told you so, but…..

    🙂

  • elvis Parker

    You’ve got to hand it to McNarry he has an eye for self publicity. Shame the publicity damages his own party.
    He’s either stupid or preparing the ground for defection….

  • I think between them Poots and McNarry have just about proved Jeffrey Peel’s “sacred cow” comments correct.

    FAIL!

  • Blackmouth

    ELVIS

    Or alternatively he actually isn’t terribly impressed with some jumped up Tory laying in to an organisation he’s been a member of for years?

  • No. He’s got an eye for self-publicity.

    He wasn’t a member of the UDA for years when he got laid into Margaret Ritchie.

    Reg should discipline him. (If you’ll forgive the unpleasant image).

  • George

    “Is there a single female MLA”

    Is there a single Catholic UUP or DUP MLA for that matter?

    I hear all the time about these supposed Catholic unionists but the unionist parties doesn’t seem capable of allowing even one of them a voice.

    Either they don’t exist or they are being prevented from being selected to run for office.

    So which is it?

  • fair_deal

    George

    FYI. The UUP had a Catholic MLA in North Down from 1998-2003. There was also an unsuccessful Catholic UUP candidate in North Antrim in 1998 (although she subsequently took an discrimination case (settled out of court I think)).

  • rabelais

    “The Conservative Party has no issue with the Orange Order. It is a perfectly legal organisation and many of its members are engaged in charity and church work.”

    Does the phrase ‘damning with faint praise’ spring to anyone elses mind?

  • 0b101010

    Why, for example, does the UUP have so few women members and female elected members? What roles do they play in the branches beyond making tea? Is there a single female MLA? More than a dozen female councilors across the entire province? What has the Party done about it?

    Does the UUP have a single member from an ethnic minority and if not, what has it done about it? How many elected members are under 40 – or even under 50?

    Why has it failed to capitalize upon its only MP left? Could it be perchance that she is female and therefore only to be occasionally patted on the head by the leadership?

    Hear, hear. They are the party of old, white, Protestant, Orange, Unionist men.

  • Blackmouth

    Chekov

    Is he not the Chief Whip? I appreciate your frustration, but there’s no point in denying people inside the UUP are not happy about this.

  • Floody Watters

    Rabelais ‘faint praise’
    Perhaps but I have to say I coming round to Peel’s view why it wrong to criticise the Orange?
    What is the point of the Orange?
    I mean we have plenty of churches and plenty of politcal parties.
    Does the Orange serve any purpose beyond perpetuating Protestant paraonia and insularity of the type so ably demonstrated by McNasty?

  • Blackmouth

    Also, just one point. Why should David McNarry be disciplined for criticising another party? Is it now a punishable offence inside the UUP to say anything against the Tories, even when some of their senior members make offensive remarks?

  • Blackmouth

    I appreciate the abve post has two points!

  • Craigavon’s Dog

    FD, how is NcNarry’s statement at odds with the other? You’re scraping the barrel now my son.

  • “Also, just one point. Why should David McNarry be disciplined for criticising another party? Is it now a punishable offence inside the UUP to say anything against the Tories, even when some of their senior members make offensive remarks?”

    Not specifically for this incident. For consistently spouting intemperate shite.

  • Blackmouth

    Craigavons Dog

    It clearly demonstrates a divergence. McNarry demanded an apology, UUP HQ stuffed words attacking the DUP into Tom Idiots mouth and then presented them as his own.

    It’s clear that UUP HQ and their cheerleaders on here are not pleased that McNarry should dare to defend the Orange Institution against the assaults of their new mates in the Tories.

    What was I saying about the UUP being a coalition?

  • Frankly it is laughable for the DUP’s to accuse Ulster Unionists of adopting a position of hostility towards the orange instiution. Was it not senior members of the DUP that caused the split within Orangeism and undemined the institution through the creation of the independent order.

  • Blackmouth,
    I fail to see where this ‘divergance’ occurs, Ulster Unionist HQ respond to a ridiculous attack from the DUP, McNarry gives his opinion on how the Tory’s should deal with the incident.

    Supporting my earlier point (from Fair Deals link) ‘The UUP also noted that while its party leader was an Orange-man, neither Peter Robinson nor ex-DUP leader Ian Paisley are.’

  • oneill

    So where is the UUP going? What does Unionism mean if we don’t accept the wider more pluralist views of our fellow British citizens across the UK or even the wider ‘unionist’ population in Northern Ireland?

    I’m with the “cynic”!

    This whole episode may also be a turning point for Unionism in NI if enough within the UUP are prepared to grasp the nettle and realise that they have lost a long time ago the battle for the Cultural wing of Unionism; the DUP have got that particular segment signed, sealed and delivered. But a 100% concentration on this segment will ultimately not save our place within the UK. There must be more broadness of vision and more risks taken to appeal to those presently outside the tent but who nevertheless are happy for the Union to continue for whatever reason. Bringing those folk on board will not take voters away from the DUP (the TUV has more potential in that area) but just might increase the overall Unionist majority expressed at the various elections and more importantly the next Border Poll.

    I’ve said it before: WIN-WIN for all genuine Unionists f we can get manage to get Cultural (as exemplified by the DUPes and TUV) and Civic (potentially represented by the UUP/Conservative merger/link up) Unionism pulling in the same direction and that’s towards the rest of the UK.

  • cynic

    “Was it not senior members of the DUP that caused the split within Orangeism and undemined the institution through the creation of the independent order.”

    Don’t think so. Didn’t the Independent OO exist from the early 1900s but Paisley latched onto it after the OO (with UUP prompting) refused to allow Free P Ministers to be chaplains. Paisley never joined the Independent but often spoke at its meetings _ I can only assume he was trying not to alienate the OO ie it was all political calculation.

  • Blackmouth

    Emmanuel

    “Was it not senior members of the DUP that caused the split within Orangeism and undemined the institution through the creation of the independent order”

    Actually it wasn’t no. I suggest expanding your reading beyond the Bertie Kerr Book of Ulster History.

  • Floody Watters

    Seems like DUP tactics have worked?!
    Tories going to bugger up DUP double jobbers!
    http://www.conservativesni.org

  • Big Maggie

    I find it hard to believe that the Tories claim to have “total respect” for the OO, as the News Letter reports.

    “Token” respect is probably more like it. British politicians tend to have a hands-off and softly-softly approach to Ulster, lest feathers be ruffled. Look at Gordon Brown’s reluctance to reprimand Iris Robinson for her disgraceful comments. Any English, Welsh or Scottish politician would have got a rollicking, and deservedly so.

  • frustrated democrat

    Shock horror a member of the Conservatives has expressed an opinion on the OO, when he was provoked, that is not in line with party policy.

    He is entitiled to his position even if it is not official party policy, just as the 6,000 years and anti gay mobs have a position in the DUP that is opposed to official policy.

    Freedom of thought and expression is not banned in the Conservative party, unlike the DUP, ask Boris if you don’t believe it.

    Members of the OO are very welcome to join the Conservatives and then they can express their opinions as well.

  • Big Maggie

    frustrated democrat

    “He is entitiled to his position even if it is not official party policy”

    Clearly his party doesn’t agree if they’ve pulled the article. The knuckle draggers who want censorship not debate have won yet another little victory over free speech.

  • dub

    o’neill,

    you want nice unionism (civic) to stop trying to be anything like common unionism (cultural) and yet you also want both to be facing in the same direction towards nice uk. how you gonna manage that?

  • fair_deal

    Craigavon

    Simple. HQ blames DUP for problem. McNarry blames Conservatives for problem.

  • fair_deal

    Floody

    Errr It also pulls the rug out from under the argument that they only may to get a ‘full-time’ MP is to vote UUP/Tory as the Conservatives are going to make it happen by law.

  • Elvis Parker

    FD
    ‘the Conservatives are going to make it happen by law.’
    Yeah but in fairness that would only be after the next General Election – so would cut in at Assembly election in 2011?

  • fair_deal

    EP

    I tend to find when a party has to start explaining its arguments by employing “yes buts” they are not onto a simple and effective message.

    We may disagree how much but I think is fair to say a potentially key selling point has now been undermined by this (and they did the digging all by themselves).

  • Llamedos

    What relevance have the OO got in modern secular politics as much as the relevance that the KKK or the PIRA,Irish Golfing Union, the RYA,the Boy Scouts, the Irish Masters 0f Foxhounds, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Buffaloes, Alcoholics Anonymous,etc,etc. have. I personally have no intention of living in McNary’s, Adams’, Mrs Robinson’s,the Grand Mufti’s or any other members of the Flat Earth Society’s time warp.
    I just want to see proper Nation and Union wide politics practised throughout the Kingdom and stop this charade of putting up with a bunch of totally overpaid under achievers whose sole purpose in life is to feather their own nests at the taxpaying voters expense whilst doing nothing but give us their outpourings of ill advised political bile.
    This merger cannot take place quick enough let’s start at the NEC at the beginning of October and approve it at the UUP conference at the end of the month.
    LONG LIVE THE CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY.

  • cynic

    If the party doesn’t have a real clear out soon and totally refresh the team and infuse new ideas, then its a dead parrot. Simple as that. Adapt to survive or perish.

  • oneill

    you want nice unionism (civic) to stop trying to be anything like common unionism (cultural) and yet you also want both to be facing in the same direction towards nice uk. how you gonna manage that?

    Irish Nationalism is also derived largely from cultural/ethnic roots, still I wouldn’t necessarily classify all its proponents as “common” or “not nice”. Regarding getting both facing the same direction towards the rest of the UK; if they are both genuinely Unionist that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

  • oneill

    Sorry, last comment was answering “dub”‘s post.

  • McGrath

    The narrative so far:

    UUP: We’re not Orange Bastards anymore, we’re friends with the Conservatives now.

    Conservatives: Yes, but some of you are still Orange Bastards.

    Orange Bastard: Say sorry for calling me an Orange Bastard.

    UUP: Leave our Orange Bastard friend alone.

    (Apologies for the language, used only for effect not intent)

  • darth rumsfeld

    you couldn’t get a bigger Orange bastard than me, and I’ll happily say McNarry’s an arse. The UUP exploited Orangeism for over a century and many a duffer donned a sash for personal advancement- even Terence O’Neill ffs. In return the Orange got precious little.

    The UUP has to stand on its own two feet and cultivate civic unionism- if such a thing exists, but whether snuggling up to Dave will impress more than the gold coasters is still unclear. Cultural Unionism has turned its back on Reg’s team, and the braying of McNarry won’t change that

  • Blackmouth

    darth

    Nicely put!

  • Peter Brown

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/northern_ireland_politics/7563507.stm

    Not only are they going out maybe they’re moving in together – where is there a a phone box no-one uses anymore?

  • Peter Brown

    Btw Darth the portrait of the Queen presented by Terence still hangs proudly over the fire[lace in Ahoghill Orange Hall

  • bisto

    Peter

    Gelson’s Corner on the Belmont Road. The builders have been working on it for weeks.

  • Peter Brown

    Are there 2 side by side in case anyone calls a UUC meeting?

  • bisto

    Well the UUC could meet in Bennet’s! LOL!