Last Thursday’s The View gave most of the programme over to the vexed issue of parading. It includes a number of noteworthy points. Neil Jarmin points out that the Parades Commission has missed an opportunity offered it by Paddy Ashdown’s Strategic Review of Parading to give it a more robust set of processes (that might give people more realistic expectations, and enable it to field appeals).
As Better Together noted some time back here on Slugger:
…the volume of complaint appears to be given more weight than the intrinsic wrongs of the acts themselves. We need dialogue on how to make the PC operate more consistently, coherently and impartially.
The headline quote is from David Hume of the Orange Order. Given the multiplicity of views held by Republicans even towards that flag, it may be an appeal likely (in the short term at least) to fall upon deaf ears.
Yet there is a danger that in looking to process for answers we forget about the politics of the thing. There are no bureaucratic devices that can address the alienation felt by various communities across Northern Ireland. As Martin Og Meehan notes somewhat sceptically of the latest attempt to cool tempers ahead of the summer..
How the British Police, Elected Politicians and a few others can hope to end centuries of sectarian marches or Political Policing without the input of one of the main protagonist’s in the equation, the Loyal Orders is beyond seasoned observers. Given the fact that these secret societies consistently refuse to speak with residents groups who oppose triumphalist parades. The same observers also cannot understand why most residents were not asked to go to Cardiff in spite of their repeated statements calling for genuine dialogue.
Of greater concern is the degree to which the two main political parties, as pointed out in the Dail last week by Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin invite deeper scepticism by their tendency to publicly ignore either the law and/or their own already considerable powers to hold the police directly accountable…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty