Lessons in Lambeg Leadership

As another Marching Season rolls into view, clear signs of faux outrage from unionist politicians are already discernible, feeding the paranoid loyalist masses.

To stand at a sectarian interface for two years in a working class district, marching towards it at nights, making frequent, angry, menacing yet futile speeches every week, erecting new flags and banners to face the Other to provoke annoyance; such is the station of many working class loyalists in north Belfast.

The abdication of leadership within political unionism continues to leave such individuals without any sense of direction. And there is little sign of change.

The latest illustration of unionism’s leadership deficit has been brought to us courtesy of the carefully co-ordinated faux unionist outrage at the pending prosecution of Pastor James McConnell for his comments about Islam.

It is worth reflecting for a minute on how McConnell’s comments bore no relation to sectarian tensions that exist in north Belfast between protestant loyalists and catholic nationalists.

But when you’re trying to stoke the flames, that is a minor obstacle to overcome.

And so, within hours of news that Pastor McConnell is to face prosecution from the Public Prosecution Service for comments he made in which he described Islam as “Satanic,” DUP MLA William Humphrey picked up the Orange Drum.

Humphrey screamed that this was double standards because the PPS had not proceeded with charges against The Druids band, following comments made at a concert in Ardoyne last summer.

The DUP could have addressed the McConnell incident on its own merit. That could have involved defending freedom of speech and opinion, noting the need to balance views, including those of clergy in a church setting, with the responsibilities of all in society to protect vulnerable minority communities from those blinded by prejudice and intolerance.The DUP could have walked that middle line, defending their opposition to the prosecution of Pastor McConnell whilst addressing fears and concerns of the minority communities who have bore the brunt of racist attacks in Belfast in recent years.

They could have. But they didn’t.

Instead, they chose the easier path, deciding it would be best to sectarianise the issue, doing so in the usual cack-handed manner which leaves them vulnerable on a number of fronts, which I will demonstrate below (I appreciate the pastor’s comments brought sectarianism front and centre, but we’ve a traditional interpretation of sectarian to maintain ’round these parts….)

A PPS Spokesperson wasted no time in dismissing the spurious charge from Humphrey:

“The assumption that these cases are directly comparable is wrong. The only similarity is that a decision was made in both cases that the test for prosecution for an offence of stirring up hatred or arousing fear, contrary to Article 9 (1) of the Public Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 was not met.

“The decision to prosecute Pastor McConnell relates to the different offence of sending, or causing to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that was grossly offensive, contrary to section 127(1) of the Communications Act. There was no evidence available to support the bringing of such a charge in the case of the Druids.

“We consider that this matter is now most properly left to the courts to decide.”

What is fascinating is that William Humphrey had this to say in defence of his charge that The Druids should also have faced prosecution:

“There seems to be a double standard being applied here and it is up to the PPS to prove that this is not the case.

“The implied justification for PSNI and PPS inaction on the matter of The Druids was that the speech was given to a nationalist crowd in a nationalist area.

“This is false. This was an open air event, with a concert-standard PA system. The sounds travels far, as evidenced by noise complaints from previous years.

“The event takes place in the grounds of the Holy Cross Boys’ Primary School. The grounds are yards from the interfaces of Ardoyne/Woodvale and Ardoyne/Lower Oldpark. It also ignores its distribution on the internet.”

The MLA went on to say: “The differential behaviour by the PSNI and PPS in dealing with these two complaints in north Belfast is contributing to distrust in and disengagement from our policing and legal processes. These problems need to be acknowledged and addressed. Therefore I call on the PSNI and the PPS to offer full and public explanations of why they behaved differently in these two cases.”

Let’s leave aside the comments from the PPS. From the stance outlined by Humphrey, the DUP position would appear to be that either song lyrics or words spoken in public in a non-contentious area are grounds for prosecution.

Well, now, doesn’t that just open up a whole new can of worms?

Firstly, this would effectively mean that any and all loyalist bonfire sites which proceed to play loyalist songs which include lyrics that could be deemed offensive could leave individuals associated with the events open to prosecution.

Secondly, loyalist bands participating in parades in non-contentious areas (ie as exclusively unionist as Ardoyne is nationalist) are now vulnerable to being prosecuted if they play songs with lyrics that could be deemed offensive if the music can be heard in the distance.

And on that vein, footage released last night shows a loyalist band participating in Friday night’s Tour of The North parade striking up The Famine Song immediately after passing the point outside St Patrick’s Church on Donegall Street where the Parades Commission had decreed the bands had to maintain a single drumbeat. Using the DUP criteria outlined by William Humphrey, this band would need to face charges.

So. To recap.

What started as an issue about a pastor commenting upon Islam was quickly deflected by a senior DUP politician into a sectarian squabble aimed at deepening divisions with the most significant Other (as opposed to the less significant Other referenced by McConnell), with grassroots loyalists falsely being told along the way that they are being victimised by the police and the courts and that the Catholics are being treated more favourably than them.

Thus is the story of how the flag protesters were created. The bogus grievance narrative requires careful nurturing, you know…..

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Before anyone says that the it’s a republican video – a total of two videos, including this one, have been circulated by loyalists on Facebook and retrieved by others.

    Can we now stop pretending that the song being played is Sloop John B ? The crowd can clearly and openly be heard singing the Famine Song.

    Would any unionist commentators (of the capital-U unionist bent) feel up to explaining the justification, in cultural terms, for singing No Pope of Rome at any parade ?

    The sad rabble hanging around at the bottom of Clifton Street on a parade that was otherwise non-contentious are actively harming their own cause. It’s not about whether they’re in earshot of St Patrick’s or not (clearly they were – Union Street is less than 50 yards away from the front door of the church) but whether or not it is appropriate to sing songs like this at all. The Parades Commission will have little choice other than to ban all parade supporters for the length of Clifton Street.

  • Gopher

    I think the salient point of this long post is there is very little left to squeeze out of the whole marching thing and fewer care (Re 2015 General election result and 2014 LG elections) The bands jumped through the hoops and a song has been elevated to “cult” status. Whats the score after that? Its so easy to lose count. Did we move the border? has the border vanished? Whats the next Passchendaele? Sorry I forgot silly me its welfare reform. Is Pastor McConnell sane? Is William Humphrey stupid? Will the Druids be able to fill any event anytime soon without public money? Sorry Chris I honestly admire your inteligence but your playing to a crowd that gets as many people as the above mentioned Druids on a Friday night which is much the same number that listen to William Humphrey

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Gopher, I think it’s very silly to underestimate this.

    In my own case family history at St Patrick’s goes back many generations, to the time when the church was built, when my great-great-grandparents and others came in from places like Randalstown and as far as the Donegal direction in search of work. Bishop Dorrian, who is of that time and who had the church built (as well as Milltown Cemetery) is buried behind the altar.

    I’m not religious but the church has important significance personally, as well as to Belfast’s history more generally, and if you think that I’m going to sit here and watch it be insulted and degraded by a bunch of hooligans you have another think coming.

    I don’t want to block parades and I don’t want to see people restricted from following through their traditions which I accept are equally as valid as mine. All I am asking is that people show a bit of dignity when they are walking past a church – as I would do myself when passing near any church anywhere else. It’s sad that they even have to be asked to do this as they are being asked for nothing more than basic manners.

    When I see a video showing that there are people who cannot find it within themselves to show the most basic manners and decency which cost them absolutely nothing, I find myself in the same boat as the Carrick Hill Residents Association.

  • Gopher

    To me and if I had my way the Orange Order and every single marching band would be banned. All the “You Tube” videos have done is elevate the “famine Song” to cult status. Its pointless to put more conditions on the parade, they will simply go through the hoops and find some way to antagonize you right back. I dont think a bookies would have given you odds of the famine song being played once the hoops had been jumped niether would he have given you odds of some other eejit to video it so as offence could be disseminated to people who wernt actually there! Society got Prince Charles to go to the Chapel and say look guys its not freaking us its them, we think they are just as big as muppets as you do and worse because they can claim some tenuous linage to us they are an embarrassment. Like I said there is little left to squeeze.

  • the rich get richer

    This kind of stuff is certainly easier than Improving Standards of Living, Standards of Health, Standards of Education, Standards of People getting on with their Lives and living with the people that live in the Spaces that they share.

    Far be it From Me to Suggest that Politicians take the easy Road.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    There is no need to ban either the Orange Order or every single band. Nobody actually wants this to happen. All that is being asked for is a little bit of respect.

    The Youtube videos are useful in the sense that, in the past, when bands on parade or their supporters were accused of bad behaviour this would simply be denied by stonewalling unionists. Even now they still deny that the song being played in 2012 at St Patrick’s was the Famine Song. The videos make these denials impossible.

    It isn’t pointless to put more conditions on the parade. If this keeps up, eventually it will go the same way as Lower Ormeau, Ardoyne, Garvaghy Road and so on. The only losers here are the bands. I don’t want that and in all fairness I don’t think the residents in the surrounding area want it. Just be nice. That’s all they have to do.

  • anne

    i can understand how frustrated ordinary decent people feel about the endless orange order/Loyalist/DUP stoking of the flames of sectarianism.with regards to what happened the other evening at the tour of the north parades passing St patrick’s church perhaps this little proposal is worth some thought?
    https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/loyal-bands-of-ulster-march-into-the-future/

  • anne

    one other point – St patrick’s church faithful and local residents have been putting up with this type of atrocious behaviour for over 140 years. isn’t it time for some respite?https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/tale-of-a-blue-plaque-and-two-statues-presbyterianism-and-sectarianism-in-belfast/

  • Mirrorballman

    What struck me most after watching the video is how un-Christian the entire spectacle was. Military like uniformed bands marching under military like banners to screams and cheers of rabid supporters with the odd sectarian sing along to boot. Does anyone really believe that these type of parades have anything to do with professing Christian faith?

  • anne

    Mirrorball – you rightly pointed out the glaring contradiction between what the orange order say and what they do/are associated with. There’s also a glaring conflict of interest in the stormont assembly as many unionist MLAs are also members of the orange order – so whose interests are prioritized? The UK’s, NIs or the Orange Order’s? Why should the OO piggyback on the unionist vote? Why shouldn’t it form its own party and canvass for votes like everyone else?

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Folks – can anyone say they are honestly surprised?

    We know what these people are, what they represent, what they choose to glorify. The only people worse than them are the “public” representatives canvassing and feeding their paranoia, hatred and bitterness.

    Let the whataboutery commence…

  • Chingford Man

    The only bogus thing going on here is Chris Donnelly trying to pass off sectarian pot-stirring as incisive journalism.

    By the way, is any Slugger writer capable of producing anything coherent about the pending McConnell prosecution, which seems to raise issues more important than what Chris Donnelly has chosen to highlight?

  • Robin Keogh

    I dont think its within the capacity of some bands, marchers and supporters to show any kind of respect or dignity. There has always been a small but significant section of the unionist loyalist community that simply hates all taigs and i dont believe anything will shift it. Big house Unionism in the form of traditional political unionism is happy to sit back and watch its foot soldiers do its damndest to stoke up tensions and harrass the nationalist community while at the same time hide behind a fake veneer of christian peace to shroud their sectarian DNA.

  • tmitch57

    Because historically it was convenient for unionist politicians to rely on the OO and other marching societies to deliver their members on election day in exchange for input into unionist–particularly UUP–policy.

  • babyface finlayson

    Robin
    I’m not clear if the DNA you refer to is of political Unionists or the ‘foot soldiers’ but either way I think it is a poor choice of words. By suggesting there is something inherently sectarian in this group,you basically write off any hope of them changing.
    The young people at Twaddell are being taught to hate,as Chris suggests,it is not genetic.

  • Jag

    “some other eejit to video it so as offence could be disseminated to people who wernt actually there”

    No, I disagree. Recording unacceptable behaviour is key to eliminating it. When people have their faces splashed across the Internet, with details such as names, addresses, employers quickly added, then they think twice before acting like savages.

  • Gopher

    Im sorry but the ruling was out of earshot of the church, not out of ear shot of You Tube.

  • Jag

    It’s 2015!

    We have video phones. We have WordPress. We have MS Paint or other free imaging software on our laptops.We have Twitter. We have Facebook.

    How soon before someone takes stills of those bands playing the Famine song and stills of the Orange men who accompany them. And zoom in on the faces of band members and Orange men. Post them on the Internet. Let people see them – the perpetrators and their supporters (or those who stood by doing nothing to stop the sectarianism). Let people name them, identify where they live and work and provide details of their employers, so that decent members of society can lawfully and peacefully show their disdain for this type of behaviour.

    Does a respectable Orange man really want to achieve infamy for sectarianism, does he understand what that means for his employer and his career prospects. Does he really want to go through life being (literally) recognised as sectarian? Or do band members think they’re like the Batman and when they don a cap or bowler hat, they’re not recognisable?

    In any society or community, we have self-regulating ways of eliminating unacceptable behaviour. Let’s do it. Let’s start with the Tour of the North parade past St Patrick’s.

  • Gopher

    People seem to enjoy the conflict too much to ban the Orange Order, to me and once again to society (re general election result 2015 local government result 2014) its boring. As I replied to Chris. What changed? Nothing, its pointless. Great Ban them from Clifton Street, then another You Tube video comes out of them on whatever street. Great ban them from there! The only losers are society in general. The parade met its conditions, conditions that before hand people seemed happy with. I dont like Orange Order songs so I dont watch them on you tube. Dont watch the Druids on there either

  • Jag

    In case you’re wondering what this approach would look like, here’s a blanked out image (high definition showing the faces clearly is available) of one individual from the Tour of the North parade marching behind a band belting out a sectarian tune.

  • Carl Mark

    yep your right, lets ignore the elephant in the room, £4,000,000 a year in policing of a pointless protest the lack of leadership inside unionism.
    Shall we also ignore bandsmen fighting among themselves in Donegal Pass.
    Yep your right lets forgot all that and talk about a old dude with tolerance problems and a martyr complex!

  • Chingford Man

    I would rather ignore your typically worthless contribution.

  • Robin Keogh

    What is your view on orange parades and bands that go out of their way to offend and insult their neighbours? Do u think its ok? Just let it slide?

  • Chingford Man

    I’m afraid in a free society there is no right not to be offended. If there was, presumably we social refuseniks could have restrictions imposed on the Belfast Pride parade on the grounds that we felt offended and insulted by it.

  • Glenn Clare

    Here is some republican DNA, and when she references the “English” she means the British and when she says that she means me.
    Price and her younger sister, Marian, now 60, followed a family tradition of Republicanism.

    “It is not enough to say we were born to be Republicans, it’s more precise to say Republicanism is part of our DNA,” she said. “My father used to sit us on his knee and tell us stories about how he’d gone off to war in 1939 at the age of 19 to bomb the English.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/northernireland/10803439/Old-Bailey-bomber-Dolours-Price-accused-Gerry-Adams-of-being-behind-the-abductions-of-The-Disappeared.html

  • babyface finlayson

    Jag
    Marching behind a band playing an offensive song is hardly christian, but in itself I don’t think it is against the law.
    You think it wise to put peoples addresses online and inviting hate mail or maybe worse, to individuals and their families? I don’t.

  • barnshee

    “The decision to prosecute Pastor McConnell relates to the different offence of sending, or causing to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that was grossly offensive, contrary to section 127(1) of the Communications Act. There was no evidence available to support the bringing of such a charge in the case of the Druids”

    Their message was delivered by horse power?

    ” Other to provoke annoyance; such is the station of many working class loyalists in north Belfast.”

    Judging by this posting they have been very effective

  • barnshee

    The only part I disagree with is “a small but insignificant” bit

    PS If I was a member of a religious grouping which refuses to accept other Christian sects as valid-, which excommunicated its members who married “out” which blackmails its members – children to be brought up Roman Catholic or no church wedding AND where its schools continue to promote “the prods can`t go to heaven message” I might be a little careful about criticism of other sects and their bizarre practices.

  • barnshee

    Happy for you to do that (as long as you post your photo , you name and address and your employer )
    Thought not

  • submariner

    The OO continually tell the rest of us that they are not out to offend anyone and are just a religious organisation. If this is the case why then do they continue to hire bands that play offensive songs outside a chapel or continually hire bands who are open supporters of loyalist terrorists. It would be much easier and more Christian to say to band’s if you indulge in this type of behaviour or are supportive of Terrorist organizations then we will refuse to hire you,I think the band’s would soon get the message.

  • Jag

    If decent Orange men who otherwise tolerate sectarian chants and singing, stand back and do nothing, and continue with their march, their neighbours and the community should know about it.

    Frankly, I would not want to do business with the firm which employs the gentleman above. Such boycotting and coldshouldering is perfectly legal and is a valid means for the community to promote norms of decency on its members.

    If Orange men from down the country think they have anonymity when they come up to the city, and stand back and allow their march to be taken over by sectarianism, then their neighbours in their local community should know about it.

    The website will show not only the enlarged pictures of participants and invite submissions of details including employer name as relevant (which can be verified), but it will also host video showing the individual participating in, or being party to, or standing idly by at, displays of sectarianism.

    I hope the Orange Order will endorse this initiative, as it weeds out the troublemakers which besmirch the reputation of the Order. You never know, if this behaviour is suppressed, the royal family may one day meet with the OO, which at present they regard as ghastly bigots.

  • Jag

    I don’t see what that’s got to do with the price of fish. If I am being sectarian, if I participate in a civilised march that is hijacked by sectarians and I stand back and do nothing, then I have no right to be aggrieved if someone tells the community about it.

    A decade ago, we didn’t have Twitter and Youtube and blog websites which can be up and running in five minutes. We didn’t have camera phones. We do in 2015.

  • anne

    That was then . This is now , the 21st century – the cold war has ended, the berlin wall has fallen, scotland is agitating for independence and we still have politics in NI guided behind (and often openly) by the unelected Orange Order. Let them stand openly as their own party

  • babyface finlayson

    Jag
    And if they get their windows put in while the kids are watching tv,well I guess those kids should have thought about that before they chose their parents, eh?

  • Jag

    I would unreservedly condemn such criminal and brutish behavior. The address will be at area level rather than street and house number, and is mainly aimed at those Orange men from down the country who think “what happens in Belfast, stays in Belfast”. Not in 2015, it doesn’t.

  • Carl Mark

    True their is no right not to be offended but there is a right to be protected from expressions of hatred, two different things.
    And there is no comparison between Belfast pride and a kick the pope band playing the famine song.
    You may be offended by Belfast pride but Belfast pride is not setting out to offend you that is the difference.

  • Robin Keogh

    I have absolutely no idea what the hell you are talking about !

  • Robin Keogh

    And how does that concern chris’ post?

  • Catcher in the Rye

    I oppose banning the Orange Order because they have a right to exist, and they have a right to free speech and assembly. To deny them that right is to deny those rights to everyone.

    The point is that there need to be consequences for this kind of intimidatory and provocative behaviour.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Nobody is saying that the parade broke the Parades Commission ruling.

    And it was about 120 yards from the front of the church. If you take a walk up Clifton St some time you’ll see that it would have been entirely within earshot of the church.

    But that isn’t the point. The point is that people shouldn’t be singing sectarian songs anywhere, and certainly not in shared spaces.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Chingford Man,

    I can absolutely assure you that several months of on and off republican or nationalist parading past the mouth of the Shankill Road or Sandy Row would not be tolerated.

    Since unionists reject the right not to be offended (note the over-the-top reaction to the tricolour being hoisted on Stormont) we can’t proceed on that basis.

  • barnshee

    You are unaware of the current practices of the Roman catholic church in NI?

    refuses to accept other Christian sects as valid-, which excommunicated its members who married “out” which blackmails its members – children to be brought up Roman Catholic or no church wedding AND where its schools continue to promote “the prods can`t go to heaven message”
    I might be a little careful about criticism of other sects and their bizarre practices.

  • Chingford Man

    You’ve got to hand it to Republicans when it comes to finding creative ways to set their opponents up to be murdered, with the obligatory disclaimer that obviously you “would unreservedly condemn such criminal and brutish behavior.”

    If I was a Republican, and obviously I’m not, I would be embarrassed to be associated with you.

    Chris Donnelly, see what crawls out from beneath stones when you go pot-stirring?

  • Robin Keogh

    But the difference is stark. Pride does not exclude anybody. It does not pass through suburban areas . It does not hoist anti hetrosexual banners, nor does it attempt to claim dominance over others. There is no ‘right’ to be offended but there is an intellectual understanding of when one is behaving offensively. So, i ask u again, to be clear, do u think orange parades (as above) should try harder to avoid offending their neighbours? Xx

  • barnshee

    I have similar photos from IRA parades -in particularly- Dungiven In fact I know some of the people personally including where they work -do they deserve similar treatment?

  • barnshee

    Some of the bands now play other “beach boy” songs– the crowds howl ” we know what you mean” will they be now classes as offensive.?

  • Chingford Man

    If there was a right to be protected from expressions of hatred, half of the Sluggerati would have a criminal record in regard to it.

    If it’s my perception that Belfast Pride sets out to offend me and my values, how does that differ from your perception that Orange parades set out to offend you?

  • Chingford Man

    Perhaps those people most vociferous in denouncing the Orange Order for supposed offensiveness might actually have a deep hatred of Orangeism and want to use the agitation over parades to inflict a political defeat on unionism? Or is that being cynical?

    Actually the organisers of London Pride have excluded UKIP’s LGBT group from parading under its own banner, so, no, I don’t believe Pride is remotely inclusive.

  • Alan N/Ards

    I have to agree with you. The leadership of the OO is gutless. They claim to be a Christian organisation and yet allow this unchristian behaviour to continue. Pathetic!

  • Trevorabh

    Genius idea! I wonder could we broaden it and have some sort of bloated body to ensure as many terrorists as possible get a retirement fund through contributions from the political frontliners? That would work well too!

  • Gopher

    The point is the parade met its criteria. A couple of options we could ban them or accept they fufiled what was demanded of them by law. Perhaps since we like Quango’s in this country and songs upset people, strangely not because they are tuneless and played on tuneless instruments by talentless people we could set up one to decide which songs can be played in the North and which ones are illegal. You dont even need to be present all we need for proscecution is a You Tube video

  • Jag

    Some of the displays in Dungiven a few years back were just as bad as what we see at most OO Belfast parades, of which there are many at this time of year.

    This initiative would be just as valid, and effective, at Republican marches, particularly when you have Republicans from across Ireland attending, thinking they are somehow anonymous. In 2015, you’re no longer anonymous. If you want to lend the support of your organisation to such sectarian behaviour, regardless of your community, and you stand idly by, then you deserve to be identified to your community.

    Remember, it’s 2015. We all have HD video cameras, We have the Internet, we have Twitter, Facebook and WordPress. You should act accordingly.

  • Carl Mark

    wow, paranoid or what, so who is going to do all this murdering then!

  • Carl Mark

    really, did Gay pride sing a song telling all the straights to go home, do they piss up against the wall of your church, do they parade round in circles outside your place of worship.
    for god sake wise up man.
    we know you don’t like Gay people to compare them to kick the pope bands is just stupid.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    The point is the parade met its criteria

    It may be a fact that the parade met the criteria (I assume you mean the Parades Commission determination) but it is certainly not the point, which is that people should show due respect for the traditions of others – especially when they are demanding respect for their own. I don’t know why this is so difficult for you to understand.

    If people simply acted sensibly, like they do almost everywhere else, there would be no need for prosecutions, quangos, or any of this other strawman nonsense you keep coming up with.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    It’s not only being cynical, it’s incorrect.

    Let me put it in a nutshell for you. Unionists are my fellow countrymen. Some of them are even my cousins. A few are my friends.

    We have to share the country. We can’t fight over it; there can be no victory for anyone. I have no fundamental problem with parading or the 12th. I want to see the 12th going ahead. I am not a nationalist, but I think most nationalists feel the same way. You will note Dungiven, a >95% nationalist town, as a case in point. The local Orangemen came in for a cup of tea and a chat, and their march went ahead without any problems or unreasonable restrictions. That’s how it should work.

    For that deal to work, respect has to be reciprocated. That means that you don’t sing songs about me and how badly you want me to go home or how badly you wish my awful church didn’t exist. I don’t sing songs about wishing the Protestants would all go “home” whatever that means. I don’t want to see a future where Protestant churches don’t “sadden my eyes”.

    Why is that so hard to understand ?

    As for London Pride – I think it was a mistake for the organisers to exclude UKIP is they were prepared to sign up for the values of the parade. But let’s be honest here, UKIP aren’t known for being the most tolerant of diversity. They keep having to kick people out of their party.

  • Chingford Man

    The people who did the murdering originally?

  • Robin Keogh

    Ah ok, so today u get exed from the Church if u marry a non RC? Are u for real ?

  • barnshee

    Marriage” out ” is not recognised as valid— comes in handy later if second marriage “in” is needed
    What about the rest— the blackmail etc?

  • Gopher

    They respected the parades commision determination. You want to sanction songs outside of that and make that part of the determination. I say fair enough lets have a Quango to look at songs. You just cant have arbitary banning of songs without a Quango. You have to gather the history of each song, take submissions from all interested parties see if the songs glorifies secterianism, terrorist murderers, outlaw groups responsible for secterian and terrorist murders etc and things like that. Personally I would have musical merit in there as a criteria too. “You Tube” is a useful way to gather evidence of the intent. The Orange Bands have about 6 songs so we will probably be left with the Dambusters March and the Great Escape unless of course either are played in a provocative manner and there are lyrics I dont know about attached to those songs. There is also the possibility that someone on the Quango might find songs glorifying night time precision bombing raids by the RAF as offensive so it could just be the Great Escape.

  • Carl Mark

    Simple, as pointed out no one at pride sings offensive songs or disrespects people’s place of worship.
    it has no history of this and if I wanted it to offend me I would have to go see it a lot of the problem with the OO parades is that they come round to the places were people live or worship with the intention of offending!

  • Carl Mark

    its the famine song they are playing, please don’t insult our intelligence.