Edinburgh Orange Order pro Union parade illegal?

Interesting one from `Cybernat` (his term) Craig Murray regarding the proposed Orange Order demo in Edinburgh shortly before the Independence referendum.

The proposed Orange for No march appears plainly to be in contravention of the Public Order Act 1936. This act makes it illegal to wear a uniform to promote a political cause:

Section 1 (i)
Subject as hereinafter provided, any person who in any public place or at any public meeting wears uniform signifying his association with any political organisation or with, the promotion of any political object shall be guilty of an offence:

He goes on to cite that the same law was used to prosecute `Irish Republicans in the 1980s demonstrating at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park for wearing black berets.`.

The Independence debate seems to be warming up.  The recent STV debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling is still available to watch on the STV Player here , whilst last night`s AF Neil documentary on how Scottish Independence will affect the rest of the UK is on BBC iPlayer here.

The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland campaign for the Union is called `British Together`and is an officially registered `No` campaign group.

The Royal Black Institution has recently passed motions opposing Scottish Independence.


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  • John Montgomery

    Yes interesting that he failed to read the law directly under what he quoted above!

    It states the following –

    Provided that, if the chief officer of police is satisfied that the wearing of any such uniform as aforesaid on any ceremonial, anniversary, or other special occasion will not be likely to involve risk of public disorder, he may, with the consent of a Secretary of State, by order permit the wearing of such uniform on that occasion either absolutely or subject to such conditions as may be specified in the order.

    Source – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Edw8and1Geo6/1/6

  • Michael Henry

    ” This act makes it illegal to wear a uniform to promote a Political cause ”

    Not that it was needed but it would have been interesting to see the British army when they used to patrol our streets to have been took to court over this law-they were in fact fighting not marching to keep the six as part of the UK-The orange order is not allowed to march in uniform for the UK -but the Brit army was allowed to wage War in Uniform to keep the UK-

  • seal

    Let them march, Yes vote will increase as the vast majority of Scots despise them.

  • Gareth Murray

    By which you mean you despise them and most others are indifferent to them.

  • Zeno1

    Short title and extent.

    (1)This Act may be cited as the Public Order Act 1936.

    (2)This Act shall not extend to Northern Ireland.

  • Tugger

    I’d like to see your evidence to back up that statement.

  • Séamus

    The parade does not take place on a “ceremonial, anniversary, or other special occasion”. (They could argue that being right before the referendum makes it a special occasion, but that’s a stretch.)

    And as for public disorder, such a thing would surely be unheard of at an Orange Order parade.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    I agree with Seamus in that there is little chance of public disorder at an Orange related parade.

  • Stuart Boyd

    Big difference in Black beret wearing murderers and campaigners in support of the Union.

  • Joe_Hoggs