“Until such time as locally owned arrangements can be found…”

Following the shelving of the Sinn Féin/DUP drafted Public Assemblies, Parades and Protests Bill, Northern Ireland Minister of State, Hugo Swire, announced “the launch of an open competition for appointment to the posts of chairman and members of the Parades Commission.”

Today, as the BBC reports, Owen Paterson revealed the outcome of that competition.

From the NI Secretary of State’s statement

Secretary of State Owen Paterson MP today announced the appointment of Peter Osborne as Chair of the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland and six new Commission members.

They are Douglas Bain, Delia Close, Rev Brian Kennaway, Dr Catriona King,

Frances Nolan and Robin Percival. They will all take up their posts on 1 January 2011.

Owen Paterson said: “Until such time as locally owned arrangements can be found the Parades Commission will continue to play a vital role in ensuring that there is a means of dealing with contentious parades which allows for consideration of the rights of those who wish to parade and those who are affected by parading.”

Is that more helpful?

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  • The Word

    What we need from Owen Patterson is a proactive, ethically based campaign, independent of both communities, designed to undermine the notion of parading in the 21st century.

    What purpose does it serve other than to keep division alive? It certainly is not intended to secure the union, or a united Ireland in the case of the republican tradition.

    What we clearly have developing is a balance of power supposed to maintain the positions of each community. It has as much logic as the notion that either Paisley or Adams brought peace in the end by their extreme positions.

    Their notion that power blocs maintain peace is as deluded as their notion that war brought peace.

    But it will all seem sensible until we’re back at war again. Maintaining private armies will make this all the more likely. Better that we start now and address the underlying anxieties that are dragging us back to conflict.

    Better that we start now to learn to live together, rather than pursuing the parading of division.

  • “the underlying anxieties that are dragging us back to conflict.”

    TW, where does anxiety feature? There are two opposing constitutional positions and conflict has flared up on numerous occasions.

    I don’t expect London or Dublin to act independently; they’re embroiled in the problem and they’ve tended to back the extremists here in the hope that this would protect their respective institutions.

  • Cynic2

    “designed to undermine the notion of parading in the 21st century.”

    ….great idea. Lets undermine free speech and free association too!!!!

    I actually think that parading is daft but if that is you bag then its your right to do it, within reasonable limitations

  • 241934 john brennan

    The slow learners in DUP/Sinn Fein had a done deal on parades – as a trade off for the devolution justice. Remember SF wanted an Alliance Justice minister and DUP wanted the trade off. Who got their eye wiped. Answer local tax payers, who will now foot the bill for another British appointed – Stormont paid – expensive parades quango

  • Rory Carr

    Cynic2 is right. The right to parade is fundamental, which may include some necessary disruption to the general public during the course of any parade, but there is no corresponding right to use any such parade as a means to intimidate. Hence the necessity in Northern Ireland for a Parades Commission.

    Contentious parades ought surely to be confined to areas where they find support and be denied in areas where their presence is seemed insulting, intimidating or plain unwelcome. The argument for the continuance of parades along routes claimed as historical rights ought similarly be denied where that ‘historical right’ in the main implies a right to annoy and intimidate.

    Following such good sense principles then I can but echo the sentiments of the young m’amselle in this clip.

  • Drumlins Rock

    “– Stormont paid – expensive parades quango”

    remember the DUP/SF proposals were for at least two quangos, not to mention a mountain of paperwork, as one example the draft bill included a requirement to notify the Fire Service, Ambulence Service, all local councilors, MLAs and MPs as a minimum for every parade, I sure that’s all the fire service needs! over 3000 extra bits of paperwork.
    I’m presuming Robin Percival has also resigned from any residents group and has written highly critical books, in the interest of balance that is…

  • The Word


    Clearly Rory is expressing the anxiety that surrounds the parading issue.

    Republicans need the marches too, as he well knows, because without them perpetually reminding the great unwashed and renewing the faith, the republicans will go soft and forget about all that they’ve done to get this far.

    An Orange leader might express the same concern, that if there is no reminding and renewal, the people might start to integrate and they might lose their power.

    They both know that their power is sustained in division and that division is their raison d’etre.

    Orangeism is the older version of this absurdity and the British government must see itself as having a role in addressing the origin of the anxiety. That origin is in my opinion centred on the unethical and immoral use of the Plantation by the imperial power. Unionists just can’t cope with that error and their willingness to religionise their anxiety is to me found in that era. There were battles later that they rejoiced about but clearly their rejoicing has become a religion as if it addressed the fundamental concern, their feeling of estrangement from God.

    The British can demythologize the Plantation by recognising that it was wrong.

  • andnowwhat

    We need to inpose equality between ALL parades.

    This means no disproportionate infliction upon those who wish no part in it.

    The only good example of a parade,that we havee here, is the Pride march.

    I thusly suggest that if any group is to have a parade they must follow their example.

    This will include a GENUINE reachig out to all mkembersa of society and reitriring later to a GAA/Orange hall to indulge on alcoholic shooters, dancing for hours to (Ian) Kylie (Paisley) and shagging strangers in the GAA/Orange hall bogs.

  • Munsterview

    Pete & spacenicks,
    Some picks from the dark side of the moon that may be of interest


    These are as listed in the dailygrail.com

    This mondays digest was devoted mainly to UFO material.

  • JeanMeslier


    The shots are magnificent and enchanting in equal measures

  • joeCanuck

    …the great unwashed…

    Nothing like starting the day with ansult to large numbers of people.
    You haven’t been diagnosed with a OCD regarding handwashing by any chance (along with your other demonstrated shortcomings)?

  • joeCanuck

    an insult, even.

  • TW, I’ll let Rory speak for himself.

    Why are you mythologising an anxiety that doesn’t exist?

    Very few folks here can trace their family roots as far back as 1800 so how would they know what their ancestors were up to or where they were living in 1609?

    Catholics, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and other Christian denominations draw from the same well. Some have behaved impeccably, others atrociously. The same can be said for those of other faiths, agnostics and atheists. The broad brush approach tells you very little, unless you’re someone who obsesses on the small print.

  • The Word


    I think that you’re doing no service to the truth in this.

    The fact that mostly, but not all, of marching unionism is working class is an indication of where the anxiety lies.

    The better off might rationalise it away while supporting pseudo-Tory parties here. But the poorer members of these organisations can now see more clearly the self-interested morality that would have led to such an immoral disaster as a Plantation and I think that that is where the anxiety is coming from.

    The marching anxiety is religionised because they can’t face the reality that what was done was immoral, was part of their heritage, was part of them.

    The religion is founded on an evil and like all such foundations, others tend to be regarded with suspicion and paranoia, and a new value system is ordered by subservience to the God of wealth. That is why we get all these working class Tories in Northern Ireland.

    “great unwashed” – Just a joke, Joe.

  • Rory Carr

    Thank you, Nevin. And, since I have the floor…

    I must admit that I do not care much for parades myself – Republican, Orange, Gay Pride, military, Salvation Army – it’s no odds to me – I won’t go on them and I won’t go to watch them and indeed I will try to avoid them. But if other people enjoy them who am I to say they cannot?

    So I am willing, in the interests of community harmony, to put up with a bit of disruption every now and then providing that they conduct themselves in a civilised fashion and do not march where they are not wanted or behave in an insulting or intimidating manner – and that applies to all of them (especially the Sally Ann !).

  • The Word


    It is not a matter of “caring much” for these parades as it is of understanding the motivations and dealing with the anxieties expressed so that society can move on.