Duplicity over parading scuppered graduated response

In Saturday’s edition of the News Letter Sammy Wilson MP MLA took a swipe at the ‘whingers’ who have dared question the duplicity that led to the withdrawal of TUV, PUP and UKIP from the ‘graduated response’.

Back in July TUV set down a marker for our involvement, so it should come as no surprise that when Jeffrey Donaldson let the cat out of the bag that parading was very much on the table, that our involvement came to an end.

My response to Sammy Wilson, as carried in the News Letter yesterday, is as follows:

Sammy Wilson’s attack on TUV didn’t come as a surprise, though its venom was telling.

Observers will have noted that TUV has become a target of his recently.

A Stormont committee meeting had to be suspended after he branded Jim Allister a thug for daring to question a shifty Special Adviser about the treatment of a principled councillor who is a party colleague of Mr Wilson.

This same Sammy Wilson would now have us believe that he is concerned about Unionist unity behind the “graduated response”.

What exactly is the “graduated response”?

Five months after the statement which announced a united response to the outrageous decision in North Belfast few people know. Unionist parties promised to roll out a programme of action across government. Nothing happened.

The only thing which held the Unionist coalition together was the DUP and UUP promise not to negotiate parading. The agreed position of the Unionist parties was that a refusal to engage on parading was the one telling point of pressure we had on Theresa Villiers.

An assurance was given on 20th November that this pledge was being kept.

However, on 2nd December Jeffrey Donaldson boasted on Nolan: There has been some very constructive engagement around the talks table. We have focused in on the issues including parades.

Jim Allister emailed both Peter Robinson and Mike Nesbitt the same day seeking clarification. They still haven’t replied.

So much for claiming we took unilateral action without attempting to ascertain facts. Rather than respond to private attempts to resolve the issue numerous spokespersons have argued that while they discussed parading they didn’t negotiate about it.

We have joined Alice in ‘Through the Looking Glass’ with Unionists at the talks taking on the guise of Humpty Dumpty and telling us: “When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean-neither more nor less.”

That’s the sort of Jesuitical talk which explains why many voters abandoned the executive Unionist parties in May.

TUV remains true to our pledge to the Ligoneil Lodges.

To resolve the parading issue we invite all Unionists to unite behind the vision we outlined in 2010 – there should be a presumption in law in favour of parading traditional routes and main arterial routes.

 

  • Ernekid

    Does anyone really care about what these idiots do with their moronic parades? How about they do us all a favour and take a march off a cliff.

  • Neil

    To resolve the parading issue we invite all Unionists to unite behind the vision we outlined in 2010 – there should be a presumption in law in favour of parading traditional routes and main arterial routes.

    You know what else is traditional? Female genital mutilation. Traditions are OK, as long as they don’t impact negatively on people, but it’s not a very good reason to continue doing something. A lot of traditions are now illegal. Like distilling alcoholic drinks or parading where the PC says you cannot.

    The TUV fantasise about going back to the situation where they could march anywhere and everywhere they want and the local police force will batter the taigs out of the way if necessary. Chances of this happening? Nil. You need us to agree with you. You need to compromise with us. Nightmare eh?

    Welcome to the 21st century, you might not like it here, but you’ll get used to it. You can parade where the parades commission tells you to, that’s the law of the land you claim loyalty to. You don’t get Ardoyne, you don’t get the Ormeau, and you don’t get Drumcree. You’ll have to make do with the other 3,500 parades many of which are tolerated by the Nationalist host community at great inconvenience.

    In Derry the Orangemen engaged with the locals and now have a very successful marching season. Back in Belfast the thugs with big foreheads demand they get exactly what they want 100% of the time, and as a result get nothing. You might learn from that, or better for me, just keep bashing your head off a brick wall, it may have the desired effect eventually.

  • Cue Bono

    So what exactly is the desired effect Neil?

  • chrisjones2

    …because, uncomfortable as yoiu find it, they exist and they have rights

    I note that you have no views on the protesters walking off a claiff with them

  • Gerrynearly

    They may have rights, but those rights do not supercede the rights of the local residents and that seems to be the problem. They can’t see that, or rather don’t want to see it

  • Neil

    bang one’s head against a brick wall
    Definitions
    . to try to achieve something impossible

    Really it was sarcasm. It won’t have the desired effect, however I’m more than happy for the not an inch wing to waste their time trying to pretend the last 15 years didn’t happen and the Unionist state for a Unionist people is going to make a comeback sometime soon.

  • Cue Bono

    The Trojan Horse in action. The rights of peaceful marchers do not trump those of feral rioting mobs. Civil Rights Provo style.

  • Cue Bono

    Interesting that you won’t expand on what the desired effect is Neil. We can only guess.

  • Neil

    The desired effect, from the TUVs point of view is to get to march wherever they want because they used to do so (tradition = god given right ya see). The desired effect from my point of view is they waste their time up in the caravan of hate, farting in the wind while the rest of us get on with our lives.

    I thought that much was obvious, although I can see that you’re attempting to insinuate that the metaphor I used, banging one’s head off a wall, was in fact not a metaphor and for some (idiotic) reason I might literally be suggesting that someone headbutts a wall. No doubt this was intended to be followed up by mopish shrieks of some kind referring to my bloodlust due to my desire for people to headbutt walls. Sadly, no. It’s a metaphor and a well known one. My 8 year old could have accurately interpreted that comment for you.

    Of those that express an opinion on the PC 62% want it retained, while 38% want it abolished. Unfortunately for the TUV it looks like society may decide to go with the will of the majority regardless of how many toys they threaten to throw out of the pram.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-25410805

  • Cue Bono

    Nah, I just wanted to know what your desired effect would be Neil. You still haven’t had the courage to spell out what that would be. ‘Waste their time’ is a bit of a lame cop out if you ask me.

  • Neil

    It’s what the metaphor means. It’s in the dictionary, the definition is above. What more can I do to explain it?

  • chrisjones2

    …I agree…..and there are two sets of residents too…on opposite sides of the road.

    I was just challenging the casual onse sided sectariasm

  • chrisjones2

    The desired effect from the TUV is to increase their vote

  • Gerrynearly

    They might be on the other side of the road but its the same community. To try to claim otherwise is disingenuous

  • Gerrynearly

    Nobodys rights should trump anybody else’s, which is why dialogue is the only way to sort this out. Simply demanding to be allowed up the road will not work.

  • Tacapall

    Peaceful marchers – You’ve either got dementia or your deliberately being economical with the truth Cue Bono, did we all just imagine we watched Orange marchers and their hangers on riot and attempt to murder police officers who enforced the legally binding determination of the parades commission banning Orangemen and their hangers on from parading back up Crumlin road. An attempt by an independent body to solve the enigma of the issue of opposing rights, the rights of the marchers vs the rights of the residents the compromise being a parade in the morning with a bus back in the evening, you are obviously opposed to compromise.

  • kalista63

    But this is something of an event greater failing of unionism and none more than the TUV. Ardoyne is a prime example is. Demographic change.

    What happened for decades here is abnormal, where orders could dictate to residents, communities, towns and the police. Look at the hoops anti austerity marches have to go through in London or anti water charges arches in Dublin.

    As Neil said, just because is was accepted in the last, doesn’t mean it is acceptable now or was even acceptable back then.

  • kalista63

    Mr Cairns, can you please explain why loyalists should be allowed to parade wherever they Want?

  • chrisjones2

    I agree.They share all the same problems but dont see it because of the chruch they (usually dont) go to

  • chrisjones2

    Have you ever seen an orange parade at 6pm on the 12th????

  • chrisjones2

    Didnt the residents refuse that?

  • chrisjones2

    I agree…or that you have right to stop them going up ….both sides of the one coin

    the reality is that they just HATE each other.The parade is the symptom

  • chrisjones2

    Can you explain why they shouldn’t

  • Fobhristi

    Peaceful Marchers? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5S7w1MGIuk Is this your idea of peaceful?

  • Dan

    Is Wilson getting a little jumpy?
    A little cooperation between the other Unionist parties come election time might wipe the smile off his face.

  • Cue Bono

    I think you’ve explained it perfectly Neil. I’ve a very good idea where you are coming from.

  • Cue Bono

    I recall a peaceful march followed by automatic gunfire from republican terrorists being directed at the police. That was when the ‘independent body’ decided that the peaceful march should be banned and that is when the trouble started. Perhaps you had forgotten all that?

  • Fobhristi

    I can explain. The le raison d’etre of the OO is to celebrate the perceived defeat of Catholics and was/is to maintain an uncompromising level of political control over said Catholics forever more. This ‘glorious’ defect of Catholics is celebrated by militaristic marching on public roads accoumpanied by beligerent and of course equally militarictics bands thats often times name themselves after individuals who are further celebrated for murdering Catholics, and who often choose to play music that they perceive will cause maximum offense to who? You got it, Catholics. When this ‘traditional’ tirade of hate marches through areas or near to areas where Catholic people live is where there is a very obvious problem, well obvious to some.

  • Guest

    I should also add that the word ‘traditional’ really only means they have been getting away with it for a very long time, long enough for it to become a ‘tradition’.

  • Fobhristi

    I should also add that ‘traditional’ really only means that they have been getting away these behaviors for a very long time, long enough for them to become a ‘tradition’.

  • Tacapall

    People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones Cue Bono there has been violent confrontations numerous times in the past, going right back in history where both sides used violence to get their way, you trying to claim the victim card for loyalism is depressing but predictable. I recall when the rioting actually started, when Nigel Dodds got hit on the head by a brick thrown by those he was parading with. I also remember all the excuses given to judges by all those unfortunate orange patriots who were arrested for their violent behaviour – Too much alcohol, too much drugs.

  • Sharpie

    It failed because it doesn’t have a common purpose. Each party to the nascent graduated response coalition had their own distinct reasons for participating. Ostensibly it was about one 6 minute march in North Belfast, the sub texts are many including electoral strategy, local control, short-term tactics and so on.

    It disintegrates because when the hard questions come it is obvious that there is not one voice and nor should there be. On the other side there is apparently one common cause – to not have Orange Marches walking where they are not wanted. This is consistent in every place where the Parades Commission bans a march.

    The Orange and Loyalist bands have seemingly lost the argument in these areas as to making a justification for the parade whereas in the places where they enter dialogue they seem to find sympathy.

    if it wasn’t about winning and the other losing then the outcome could be very different. If it was genuinely about a compromise based around acknowledgement and respect I am certain that it could be attained easily. The more entrenched the Orange position becomes (including the camp) the less room there is for anyone to shift their position.

    Ultimately this is a failure of leadership to “prepare” their people for compromise which is the only solution. In the absence of compromise there has to be arbitration by someone – currently the Parades Commission but if not by them, by the police, and if not by them by violence. Arbitration is not a solution – just a short term management device.

  • kalista63

    For the same reason, not every tosser can walk in to my house when they fancy it.

  • kalista63

    And don’t forget those summers we literally lost over Drumcree or the armed attacks on the police over the Whiterock parade.

    Peaceful? Yeah, when they get their own way. Any eejits ca do that.

  • kalista63

    Some peaceful loyalist protesting.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wgWw0SkpM2w

  • eireanne

    i notice other people have called them headbangers – you are not alone Neil

    https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/headbangers/

  • Cue Bono

    The march was entirely peaceful, but came under attack from republicans every year. The republican violence was rewarded and the march was banned. Small wonder that loyalists concluded that violence reaps rewards.

    The problem at Ardoyne of course is all about Sinn Fein cacking its breeks at the thought of the dissidents gaining ground there if the Sinners are too soft on the prods. They know their constituency well enough to know that the road to popularity is via hatred of the protestants. Whoever can attack the Prods the best will be the top dog. That is why ‘independent’ government agencies give them what they want. To keep the lid on republican violence.

  • Cue Bono

    Simply denying them the right to walk up the road wont work either then I take it?

  • Cue Bono

    Yeah he’s in very good company there.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The rights of peaceful marchers do not trump those of feral rioting mobs. Civil Rights Provo style.

    Unionists do not support the rights of peaceful marchers to march whereever they want.

    The seeds of the Drumcree conflict (and by extension most of our current marching problems) stem from the 1980s when unionist councillors attempted to prevent a St Patrick’s Day Catholic Church parade in a part of Portadown. UUP councillor Orrin Hatch staged a sit-down protest on the road to stop it from going ahead.

    So please put your talk of civil rights away. Either your rights apply to everyone, or they apply to no-one. Unless you are going to defend the right of the Antrim GAA team to march down the Shankill carrying crucifixes and stop to sing Danny Boy outside the Rex, please don’t try to pretend that you believe these rights exist.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The march was entirely peaceful, but came under attack from republicans every year. The republican violence was rewarded and the march was banned.

    If it’s okay for any parade to go ahead irrespective of the views of the members, provided it is peaceful, then I imagine you must support a Bobby Sands memorial hunger strike march down the Shankill. Then we can blame the rioting loyalists for attacking the civil rights of the peaceful republicans. Right ?

    Small wonder that loyalists concluded that violence reaps rewards.

    When did they conclude this ?

    1690 ?
    1918 ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I think it was Newton Emerson who called it about right.

    The “graduated response” was basically a holding pattern designed by Peter Robinson to tie up unionists (and loyalists) to take the sting out of the tensions associated with the parading decision. Like the Unionist Forum before it, it was never intended to go anywhere or actually accomplish anything. Robinson knows that unionists basically have no power in this matter, and no way out. The Crumlin Road parade is lost.

    I am not sure I can take the TUV very seriously on this. They signed up for something with no clear mission statement, agenda or timetable. What did they expect given past form RE the unionist forum ?

  • Cue Bono

    You are comparing apples with oranges if you’ll pardon the pun, which I doubt. The OO is not asking to march through Ardoyne. They are asking to walk down the same arterial route that they have walked down for decades. The only thing preventing them from doing so at the minute is the blind sectarian hatred and sustained violence of republicans.

  • Cue Bono

    Can you explain why it is ‘lost’ in the evening, but not ‘lost’ in the morning? Same road, same people, but strangely more acceptable at different times of the day. Millions of pounds squandered because of republican hatred.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The OO is not asking to march through Ardoyne. They are asking to walk down the same arterial route

    Okay then,

    If the Bobby Sands memorial hunger strike band marched down Grosvenor Road, past the front of Sandy Row and onto Great Victoria Street towards the Markets, that would be okay ? It’s an arterial route and doesn’t pass any houses.

  • Cue Bono

    I remember a bunch of Provos marchng past the bottom of the Shankill Road a couple of years ago. There were protests, and understandably so given what they did to the people there, but there was no widespread rioting, no gunfire, no attempted murder and the march went ahead.

  • Cue Bono

    “The seeds of the Drumcree conflict (and by extension most of our current
    marching problems) stem from the 1980s when unionist councillors
    attempted to prevent a St Patrick’s Day Catholic Church parade in a part
    of Portadown.”

    The Prods ade them do it! Who could have guessed? Unfortunately Gerry Adams blurted out the real reason for those ‘marching problems’ when he praised the people who put years of work into creating them. All part of his Trojan Horse strategy no doubt.

  • aber1991

    If Protestants are strutting through or near a mainly Catholic locality, they are not “peaceful marchers”. They are aggressors.

  • aber1991

    “when unionist councillors attempted to prevent a St Patrick’s Day Catholic Church parade in a part of Portadown.”
    They did not just ATTEMPT to stop the Catholic parade. They did prevent it.

  • aber1991

    Yes, you are correct. The Protestants provoked it. They always do.

  • aber1991

    Their parades provoke Catholics.
    They refuse to let Catholics parade in parts of towns where Protestants live.

  • aber1991

    What is wrong with Catholics hating Protestant tyranny?