Suck it up!!!!

‘Suck it up!!!’ That’s what us evil Orangemen have been once again told over the past few days.

“Suck it up. Yes the painting does indeed show Orangemen be-decked in Ku Klux Klan garb. Yes it does indeed impose a direct connection and all the connotations of the ‘Klan’ onto the Orange Order with no doubt or ambiguity.

Yes, thanks to modern media, it does bring to mind to even the most uninitiated on the Klan, racism, lynching’s and even the image of an uneducated inbred white man. So what? Suck it up. Its ‘art’. It’s freedom of expression. Don’t be so sensitive.”

No bother. I, as one of the 40,000 plus Orangemen in Northern Ireland, will be annoyed but I already know I will indeed have to ‘suck it up’. I already know that anything perceived as ‘Orange’ or Loyalist or remotely with any traditional Christian connotations is deemed fair game for abuse with impunity.

Total, unequivocal impunity irrespective of context or setting or medium. I already know that I’m ‘bad’. I already know that laws against hate don’t apply to me, indeed most laws don’t (unless I’m in the ‘box’ of course).

I hear the cries already….. MOPE! MOPE!! MOPE!!! MOPE!!! (the derogatory expression ‘most oppressed people ever’- used to cast aside those who take objection to unfair and uneven portrayal of their beliefs). Well let’s examine the MOPE accusation.

Let’s compare this particular image scenario to some other minority groups and organisations and imagine what would be permissible to be hung on the walls of the Ulster Museum in the name of art. Would, for example, a group of travellers lurking behind a fence, the suggestion being they are waiting with intent to divulge an unsuspecting home owner of their possessions, be acceptable?

What if we stay on the Klan theme, and have a nice image of a middle class black American family sitting down to a dinner table of fried chicken and watermelon? Or, and this is a novel one, how about a group of young GAA players juxtaposed with Irish Republican paramilitaries, emphasising the very real quasi political and paramilitary undercurrents in the ‘sporting’ organisation?

(Sorry, scrap that one. We don’t need a painting, we have photographs from Dungiven on Wednesday!). What about a nice big picture of Mohammed on display? I can hear the quotes now from academia, from politicians, from journalists, from the ‘great and the good’ over-class that defines what is acceptable and what is not and interprets the law accordingly….. “Suck it up Islam!!’. As the ‘kids’ says these days ‘NOT!’

Note: I had thought of reproducing the infamous cover of Charlie Hebdo with this piece to illustrate a point. I don’t believe the context would be deliberately to cause offence, simply to emphasise the pre-eminence of freedom of expression et al. I didn’t. I believe it would have been removed. Maybe I’m wrong?


It’s art us thick Orangemen are told. You are interpreting it wrong we are told. Or, as some others tell us, just don’t look at it. On this occasion I’ll set to the side some of the more obvious similes raising their head here in terms of freedom of expression; namely the very different approach towards those who take offence at certain parades, certain music or simply just the presence of something they don’t want. I’ll set it to the side to look more specifically at this piece of ‘art’.

Have I indeed missed the immense subtlety and genius at work in the image? Am I failing to observe some truly deep intellectual commentary on modern society? I’m looking.

All I can see is that someone with exemplary artistic ability has trotted out on a canvas a line thrown out by Irish Republicanism and others who stand on polar opposite positions of Orangeism for decades. There’s nothing smart or clever. It’s an infantile regurgitation of a quasi-political propaganda message, and that in turn makes the actual painting nothing more than a quasi-party propaganda poster.

It’s no better than a German WW2 poster depicting hook nosed Jews. It’s no better than the 19th Century Punch cartoons depicting Irishmen (Green and Orange on many an occasion) as hunched, ape like, thuggish Neanderthals- though at least the Punch cartoons usually had some sort of deeper political comment to make. This ‘art’ is as deep to intellectual comment, as a puddle is to the Atlantic.

I, and the tens of thousands of other Orangemen, and women and children, and our families will indeed have to ‘suck it up’. We know that already. We will just add it to the list.

  • El_Commi

    Maybe the reason you are so upset is because it hits pretty close to home.

    I’ll just leave this here;

  • barnshee

    People in strange garbs outside a Roman caltholic church-more likely to be Opus Dei or such like secret grouping. Paint/Blood on the garments?– probably represents the murder of the Protestant Martyrs ? At this time of the year a possible Halloween connection?
    Interpret art as you see fit

  • Perhaps readers may be unaware of the historical documented links between the two organisations as referred to in todays Irish News cartoon by Ian Knox.

  • Ernekid

    the Reaction of the Orange Order to this painting has clearly shown that many in the Orange Order have a tin ear for art.

    For me personally, art is good if it manages to provoke a reaction. If it is able to stimulate a discussion then it works as an piece of art. This has clearly succeeded in that goal. You don’t have to agree with what it says but at least it gets you thinking.

    Personally I rather like the painting. I think that it’s use of colour show a great deal of movement of the subject. I think the political overtones are fairly apt. Loyal orders are inherently discriminatory organisations and need to be challenged. The Orange order has been at the forefront for perpetuating and entrenching divisions in our society for centuries. Its sectarian nature needs to dealt with.

  • sir d

    ach bless.

  • Am Ghobsmacht


    Conway Young Volunteers DID act like this outside a church and the OO did little to discipline them.

    They did it for all the world to see.

    In some ways they acted like how we perceive the KKK to act.

    Having crude stereotypes of black people eating watermelon could be a bit tasteless, but that’s not in any way the same as this painting.

    If you don’t want the world to see you as such then please just implore your Belfast brethren behave in a decent and civilized manner (like most Orangemen do, which is why the painting is of CYVFB and not some decent, well behaved band from the countryside) and we won’t see these kind of things.

    If it was a fictional depiction of rowdy behaviour by Bruce’s True Blues or Magheramorne Silver Band then yes, you’d have a right to be outraged.

    But it is not based on fiction, it is based on something that really happened.

    Stop THAT from happening and you’ll stop THIS from happening.

  • Tiredofthespin

    I’m tired of listening to the Orange Order claim victimhood. I’m also tired of being told what to do by them. They make up about 2% of the population but, through their domination of the unionist parties, they’ve been dictating to the general population how they can live their lives since the formation of NI. So they’re upset about this painting. I care as much about that as they do about the 98% of the population who aren’t Orangemen.

  • Zeno
  • LiamÓhÉ

    Slugger or LAD? Seriously, the similarities between sectarian bigots parading outside a Catholic Church and the KKK are more than obvious (reminds me of the bigots shouting abuse at children some ten years ago). I love how the artist included the woman standing by in the yellow vest, as was the case in the original video recording of the incident to which this painting is clearly referring. There is clearly an ambiguity there between Christian Easter parades (in Spain or Italy) and the different context of KKK white supremacists.

  • Sliothar

    When the Orange Order, and its supporters, go into their well-rehearsed (and increasingly hysterical) hissy-fits about perceived slights to their view of the world, there are times when I think I am entering a parallel universe where facts are turned on their heads and reality meets its nemesis.

    Lets look at the facts: an Orange marching band was found guilty in court of, as the judge said, “… outrageous and inflammatory behaviour which could have precipitated serious public disorder.” He continued, ‘It has the potential “as an anthem of sectarian abuse at least, or, at worst, racial hatred,” Judge Copeland held’.

    They were playing the Famine Song which according to an opinion delivered by Lord Carlaway, in the Scottish High Court of Judiciary: “the song calls upon persons of Irish descent, who are living in Scotland, to go back to the land of their ancestors, namely Ireland […] they are racist in calling upon people native to Scotland to leave the country because of their racial origins. This is a sentiment which, once more, many persons will find offensive.” But park for a moment the idea of playing a song in a part of Ireland asking the Irish people in Ireland to go back…to where?

    So, what the world witnessed was a crowd of swaggering, bully boys, marching around in circles, playing a sectarian song, in a blatant flouting of the letter and spirit of the determination of the Parades Commission, i.e., THE LAW, in total disrespect to the Catholic residents of the area and to their Church. For this appalling behaviour, thirteen members of the band were convicted of provocatively playing a sectarian tune outside the church.

    Fast forward to an interpretation of the event by one of Ireland’s great painters in which he depicted, in one small corner of a much larger work, his view on what a lot of the offended residents might have felt by the band’s actions – that they were behaving as a bunch of racist, sectarian bigots. And what is the default icon of this type of racist, sectarian bigot? Yep, the KKK.

    But now we are invited to enter into the parallel universe of the permanently offended where we are asked to look on these sectarian shenanigans and its perpetrators as the poor, innocent victims in this whole affair.

    You couldn’t make it up….

  • Belfast Confidential

    I’ve had a browse through the comments below.

    It seems there is a clear link between the OO and the KKK due to the fact we have a google search result showing among other things, a KKK flag temporarily erected in an estate in east Belfast, a contributor known for a blog where he counts the number of ussuns and themmuns has raised the somewhat vague cartoon in the Irish News that after another bit of Googling appears to refer to a KKK branch raised in Glasgow sometime in the 1930s, and a particularly poor photoshop from a Scottish cybernat.

    This isn’t the first painting the former artist has done of Orangemen depicted as KKK members. One might well be thought provoking – if accompanied by similar searching within his own community we could maybe at least say the artist was looking to expand his own mind as well as those of others – but that this imagery has appeared in more, well I put it down to the last thoughts of a bitter old man.

    Given the above – the bottom line on this one – would the RUA and Ulster Museum have felt confident enough to put a similarly strong defacement of an Irish nationalist community organisation on display?

    After all, the comments in the media suggest the only thoughts provoked have been along the usual entrenched lines. So they’ve failed on that count too. One wonders what the curators deem more valuable – the bitter dying wish of an otherwise unremarkable painter (did anyone else know his work prior to this?) or the damage to the Ulster Museum and RUA’s image for putting up an artpiece that looks more at home on a gable wall…

  • murdockp

    (Q1)Have I indeed missed the immense subtlety and genius at work in the image?

    Yes, you have missed the subtlety as the controversy is not in the image its self, it is in the debate being played out by viewers of the image in the same way Marcus Harveys ‘Myra’ has been debated since the day it was displayed or in recent years Hurst’s ‘Mother and child divided’ formaldehyde tanks went on display.

    (Q2) Am I failing to observe some truly deep intellectual commentary on modern society?

    Yes, I think that is a fair comment and I think it stems from the fact the members of the OO have a particular set of beliefs which have not altered much over many, many decades.

    That in itself is not a criticism as every human being has every right to live their life as they wish no matter what their beliefs happen to be. e.g the Amish community, the traveller community and as a libertarian I defend you right to continue your ways and I also defend your right to March.

    However modern society is rapidly passing your order by in the same way it is also passing many of the mainstream religions by such as catholic church meaning you are always on the back foot compared with mainstream society. e.g. gay marriage.

    I put this down to the advance of IT, technology and communication in particular the rise of social media which has basically brought the world’s people together like never before

    This is why the LGBT movements have gathered so much widespread support in such a short time frame in so many countries.

    Mike Nesbit is right to say you are on the wrong side of history, but it seems to me most of the OO members wear their position on this and other issues as a badges of honor, which again is your right to do so, but is an acknowledgement that the OO is not aligned with the values of a modern secular European society.

    It may sound crude, but I am going to use the 1970’s TV program the ‘Benny Hill show’ as an example of how society changes over time. thirty years ago this was family viewing watching a man in his sixties running round after young girls in underwear on national television at 20.00 in the evening.

    In 2015, modern society would not tolerate this type of programming in 2015.

    In the very same time frame it may have been acceptable 30 years ago by the wider society in NI to celebrate protestant ascendancy and stage anti catholic demonstrations but in 2015 our more tolerant, secular, ethnically and religiously diverse society finds the whole spectacle out of touch and unnecessary.

    At from a purely artistic basis, and the truth is the above picture captures actual events which are anti catholic and do celebrate protestant ascendancy.

    So in answer to your original question are you missing some intellectual commentary on modern society in this picture, personally I think you are, but being a member of the organisation the commentary is about you may struggle to understand why people see you in this way and just feel that you culture is being unfairly demonised.

    Note I have noting against your loyal order and which you and you brethren every success in the future, but you did ask the question and I am giving you an honest answer.

  • Belfast Confidential

    “At from a purely artistic basis, and the truth is the above picture captures actual events which are anti catholic and do celebrate protestant ascendancy.”

    If we took the position that every argument in the world had a bad side (the KKK) and a good side (ussuns), there wouldn’t be much point in having a point of view.

    Celebrating the protestant ascendancy, or the right to live in Ireland as an Irishman and protestant? Both happened because of the victory at the Boyne and accompanying battles.

    While I admire any attempt to widen the debate, the guts of your argument are presented in that paragraph above and it has the opposite effect of reducing it to a very narrow reading of orangeism.

  • murdockp

    How can one debate when people keep arguing that black is white and white is black. All the neutral can do is call it as they see it,

  • Belfast Confidential

    Are you claiming the Boyne celebrations are black and white in their interpretation?

  • AndyB

    The last few days have indeed been full of outrage over the Joseph McWilliams painting.

    However, in all the outrage, the elephant in the room has been missed, or perhaps wilfully ignored.

    That elephant is that the perception of the Orange Order as being like the Ku Klux Klan is real. It may be unwarranted, but the perception is there, created by the unlawful behaviour of some Orangemen, by certain bands (such as the CYVFB as in this particular case), and by those hangers-on who are ready to riot if the Orange Order does not get its own way.

    The answer to this painting is not to protest about being thus depicted, but to ask the question “why should people think so ill of us?”

    Perhaps even a different one: “as a Christian organisation, is this perception of us damaging our ability to witness to and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, because all certain people can see is Orange sashes and intolerance?”

    I wonder.

    I wrote at a decent length about this issue when David McNarry wrote to the News Letter about parades, ultimatums, and becoming agitators for their civil right (without regard for the civil rights of others). My response, which is in the comments on the News Letter site and also on my own blog, was an attempt to write it from a biblical Christian point of view.

    In the end, Christians have an obligation, and that is not to let the things of man, such as nationality and flags, come between them and their ability to witness effectively to Christ.

    For the record, I’m British, pleased to be British, thankful to God that I live in a country where I can worship God freely and witness to him freely, and in no hurry to change any of the above.

    However, also being Irish (and Northern Irish), I am not afraid of the possibility that Belfast might one day cease to be in the UK. God will still be God, I would still be in a western country with those freedoms, how can I logically fear that?

  • Biftergreenthumb

    I suppose the difference between the OO/KKK painting and one depicting African Americans eating fried chicken and watermelons is that the former is a critique of a particular organisation’s beliefs and behaviour and the other is stereotyping a whole ethnic group.
    You are not born a member of the OO. You choose to join it. The OO has certain beliefs and values which like all beliefs and values are open to criticism. The painting, by depicting Orange men as Klans men, is comparing the two organisations in order to critique the beliefs and values of the OO. This is a perfectly legitimate thing to do. (You may disagree that the OO and KKK are relevantly similar. In that case you should say why rather than simply expressing outrage and mopery.)

    Depicting a family of African Americans eating fried chicken and watermelon is not a critique of ideas, beliefs, values, behaviour etc It is just a crude stereotype of an ethnic group. This is completely different from criticising the beliefs and values of any organisation including the OO.

    I find it strange that you would use the Charlie Hebdo incident to support your case when everyone came out in support of free speech and freedom of (artistic) expression in response to that issue.
    As the great philosopher Ricky Gervais said “Just because you are offended doesn’t mean you are right.”

  • murdockp

    I don’t understand the point I never mentioned the battle of the boyne.

    Note I am not a ‘usssun’ as you call it, I sit in neither side. I am only observing what i see.

    Unless of course ‘unssun’ is defined as everyone on the face of the earth who is not one of us then I am a ‘ussun’

  • murdockp

    By the way, that does not change the fact that the OO are out of sync with the values of modern, progressive european / british citizens.

  • James7e

    “the difference between the OO/KKK painting and one depicting African Americans eating fried chicken and watermelons is that the former is a critique of a particular organisation’s beliefs and behaviour”

    I’m sorry? The ‘beliefs and behaviour of the OO’ involve lynching and hanging innocent people? I must have missed that particular issue of An Phoblacht….

  • Twilight of the Prods

    Hi Quincey

    I posted the comment below in response to a neat point by Ben de Hellenbaque in the other thread. But I’d be very interested in your thoughts.

    “perhaps a nail on the head Ben. Religious fraternities in Spain parade wear those conical hoods – in order to show penitence for the sins and uncharitable acts of their lives. They are displaying anonymised shame.

    So the message could be – ‘KKK or Religious fraternity being shamed? After all wasn’t it Famine song or Sloop John B?’

    So it mightnt be so clumsy and nasty a metaphor after all…but surely mischievous. No harm in that.”

    So if the intention was to compare the Orders with the Klan -it would be a calculated insult displaying the painters own anger. Simplistic and lacking in thought.

    But If it wasn’t the KKK, or if it was displaying the ambiguity of interpretation and offence – would you still be offended?

    PS many of those fraternities used to self harm during their parades…most don’t now. Just sayin like.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “I’m sorry? The ‘beliefs and behaviour of the OO’ involve lynching and hanging innocent people? I must have missed that particular issue of An Phoblacht….”


    Really? Is that what you think they are implying?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Belfast Confidential

    The link between the KKK and OO comes from a few different angles:

    1/ Deliberate attempts to demonise the OO – There are those in the nationalist community who wish to depict the OO in the most unfavourable light and tend to build upon scant references and flimsy evidence.

    Unfortunately, the OO (mainly the Belfast lodges) give these originally flimsy assertions some badly needed support.

    2/ General ignorance – Given our influence by American popular culture we have in some ways adopted their bogeymen too, the KKK being one of the most readily identifiable, so, as a lazy comparison the western brain tends to go the path of least resistance and refer to the most recognisable symbols of hatred and intolerance.

    Again, the KKK is a poor comparison for the OO if anyone does any kind of objective research but again too many lodges and their accompanying bands support this comparison and it will be ever thus until the Belfast lodges and their bands can be brought to heel.

    “Given the above – the bottom line on this one – would the RUA and Ulster Museum have felt confident enough to put a similarly strong defacement of an Irish nationalist community organisation on display?

    I would say yes, they would.
    If we can find paintings where an artist has shown a nationalist organisation in the 21st century repeatedly disrespecting a house of worship knowing that cameras would be at the ready then I’d wager that the museum would display it.

    WHY there has to be this insistence on a one-for-one trade in ‘insult’ is beyond me.
    If the OO or its accompanying lodges do something dumb then that deserves to be highlighted regardless of wether there is an equivalent on the nationalist side or not.

    Can we not just focus on remedying the OO’s shortcomings so that it has an unassailable moral high ground rather than scraping around looking for equally reprehensible nationalist behaviour to act as a counter balance?

  • the rich get richer

    The orange order members are very delicate creatures altogether.

    Throughout their history they have been known for their extreme delicacy.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    If you really want to throw a spanner in the works of all those who seek to demonise the OO then read the following hypothetical (read: completely fantastical) newspaper report:

    “… other measures taken by the Orange Institution centre around the prevention of anti-social behaviour at band parades.

    The OI has set out a list of guide lines regarding band and lodge behaviour, appropriate and inappropriate songs & tunes, alcohol consumption and the designation of ‘rest zones’ (e.g. close proximity to certain houses of worship) for parades.

    It has been decided that the OI will be responsible for policing parades in areas of ‘a non-contested’ nature (presumably to avoid a perceived escalation of ‘provocation’ by residents groups which the OI regards suspiciously).

    The OI has also decreed that it will seek out all possible methods and legal recourses available in the forthcoming crackdown on the displaying, flying and selling of paramilitary paraphernalia and insignia at all OI related parades…”

    Should the above news snippet ever become a reality it will be great day for Northern Ireland and indeed unionism in general.

    *Cue “what about nationalists!!!!???”-style retort*

  • Ernekid

    AG. can we put you in charge of the OO outreach strategy? The fact that your hypothetical report is fantasy is a bit sad. In addition to that could the OO tackle the horrendous amount of litter that accompanies their celebrations? The sheer amount of litter, discarded and broken alcohol bottles and general detritus on the streets of Belfast on the evening of the 12th of July was appalling.
    Its not great PR.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Unfortunately Ernie by the very token that I’ve criticised the OI makes me ineligible to advise it in its eyes.

    Plus I’m a godless flaneur with libertine aspirations, they (in general, some grassroots members agree with me, I know that much) wouldn’t listen to me if I had a wax-sealed scroll carrying the authority of a freshly re-incarnated King William III…

  • Gingray

    Am Ghobsmacht – I think there is something in all that. The OO is a large organisation and many members will have different views, particularly in different parts of Northern Ireland.

    But they operate under a Sinn Fein style omerta, if even one or two lodges was proposing your suggestions, it would be a good sign.

    Not too hopeful tho.

  • Neil

    Lot of interesting comments below, my own take is that there is a perception of similarity between the KKK and the OO. Maybe it’s because:

    They are both primarily Christian organisations.
    Both do not like Catholics.
    Both wear funny outfits.
    Both march around areas where they aren’t wanted with “pride”.
    Both groups have events that descend into violence.
    Both groups are made up primarily of young men, who have a penchant for quasi-militaristic behaviour.

    Off the top of my head there are aspects of the OO that strongly resemble the KKK. In fact strip away the anti black thing in the US and tell me what makes them different.

    I, and the tens of thousands of other Orangemen, and women and children, and our families will indeed have to ‘suck it up’. We know that already. We will just add it to the list.

    So in short, everyone hates us and we don’t care? Wouldn’t be worthwhile maybe seeing if there’s some legitimate criticism in there somewhere and addressing it?

    MOPE! MOPE!! MOPE!!! MOPE!!!

    Well if you’re gonna MOPE, people are gonna call you a MOPE.

  • James7e

    Uhm… yes, AG, I think that is what they are implying.

  • Belfast Confidential

    I only ask because otherwise I’ve missed your point re black is white and vice versa.

  • Belfast Confidential

    “1/ Deliberate attempts to demonise the OO”

    Such as painting them with KKK masks over their heads? I’m not sure I follow the logic that an organisation is similar to another seemingly random (but openly racist) organisation because it has critics. Reducing things until they’re meaningless does not help, which leads into

    “2/ General ignorance”

    I don’t see why the membership of the OO is anymore guilty of such a crime than any other citizen to be honest. Continually calling out one over and above any other will only lead into that demonising effect you yourself mention, and a hardening of attitudes.

    “Again, the KKK is a poor comparison for the OO if anyone does any kind of objective research”

    Which is kind of my whole point. I understand the criticism you have expressed re the OO and their reaction to playing a tune that has two very distinct & different lyrics outside St Patrick’s. But that argument has been played out and to give such a crass treatment of it the dignity of an Ulster Museum showpiece, well it’s not something I’ve recalled happen in a mainstream publicly funded arts body before.

    “If we can find paintings where an artist has shown a nationalist organisation in the 21st century repeatedly disrespecting a house of worship knowing that cameras would be at the ready then I’d wager that the museum would display it.”

    Come on, either it’s a ‘poor comparison’ – and not worthy of such prominence – or it’s not.

    “WHY there has to be this insistence on a one-for-one trade in ‘insult’ is beyond me.”

    I’m not sure why you create the need for a comparison of a like for like example and then dismiss it in the next sentence. But if you must – there are many incidents of Orange hall attacks in this century – something that is a lot more costly in real terms to the small communities who must replace them – yet I doubt there will be an art piece explicitly comparing the ‘natives’ to untamed sub humans for example.

    I think we can agree the ludicrous KKK comparison completely enveloped any supposed ‘subtlety’ in this former artists message. That alone should be enough for a publicly funded museum curator to say ‘not this one’.

  • Belfast Confidential

    “modern, progressive european / british citizens.”

    I’ve concluded that this particular definition has come to mean whatever values a particular person happens to hold, and is devoid of any real meaning.

    C.F – the Guardian reading Eurosceptic. Fine example of one such ‘progressive european citizen’ until they realised that mainland Europe also has a right wing too.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Yes, thanks to modern media, it does bring to mind to even the most uninitiated on the Klan, racism, lynching’s and even the image of an uneducated inbred white man. So what? Suck it up. Its ‘art’. It’s freedom of expression. Don’t be so sensitive.”
    We all reap the seeds that we sow.

    Singing “the famine song” outside of a church has been variously defended as :

    – not the famine song
    – the church was unoccupied at the time
    – it’s only a building, so what’s the big deal
    – it’s an expression of culture and therefore should be immune to restriction or regulation
    – we have no control over bands
    – the incident was filmed by a Sinn Féin member and should therefore be discounted

    So while ordinarily I think you are right to be upset that you are being unfairly portrayed in the painting, the way that the Orange Order have chosen to deal with this incident and other similar incidents has eliminated any likelihood that I will feel any sympathy for the position they find themselves. Get your act together, behave like civilised people and start taking responsibility for how your parades are conducted and maybe people on the outside will start taking your concerns a little more seriously.

  • Caita

    If you don’t want to be compared to the KKK, don’t march around in circles outside a church playing sectarian songs. Does this really need to be explained?

  • Lagganeer

    The elephant in the room so to speak “perception the mother of the times we live” and the picture adds to the Orange flames, such
    an opportunity such a great picture movement flowing through it but no cigar for the artist from us marching folk, at the end of it same old story same old media ,Bands the lodges Parades culture and community leading it no big Euros or Dollars to spin when things go wrong what you see is what you get, but what a fixation
    the last 3 years we have seen on this ,media still clinging on with finger nails ,no sign of a picture with sein fein outside Stormont and the IRA army council standing in balaclavas as they look on perhaps as we speak its being painted and I’m wrong, Ulster Museum
    may be clearing a place as I speak and ill eat my words.

  • eireanne

    view examples of their considerate behaviour towards “the other sort”

  • eireanne

    Mr McWilliams ( maybe like many other people in Northern ireland?) was apparently terriffied of the orange order
    There must have been a reason for his terror . Was it linked to the orange order’s behaviour/image or to the type of behaviour it was known to unleash, while washing its hand of all responsibility? After all, why would a benign religious organization inculcate terror and dislike/hatred in so many people who were not members?

  • eireanne

    Here’s what tourists think of the 12th july parades/marches – This is what the orange order refuses to hear

  • eireanne

    here are a few examples of their “considerate” behaviour over time

  • eireanne

    mr mc williams was apparently terrified of the orange order
    maybe many other people are too. Why should a seemingly religious organization project such terror on to non- members?How does it achieve such (unwitting?) aims?

  • paulgraham7567

    Have not members of the OO been involved in sectarian violence?

    I support the rights of Unionists and loyalists to be free to practice their beliefs and culture, but asking them to be respectful and tolerant of others does not make me a “SHINNER”.

    Act like the “Christians” you profess to be and you will find yourselves more popular. It’s really not that hard to understand.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “I’m not sure why you create the need for a comparison of a like for like example and then dismiss it in the next sentence”

    Well, you made the comparison first; “would the RUA and Ulster Museum have felt confident enough to put a similarly strong defacement of an Irish nationalist community organisation on display?”

    So,I answered in kind and then supplemented the answer with my own view that sometimes things need to be judged in their own right without worrying about themuns e.g.
    if the parading culture has problems then it has problems, it does NOT have problems that can be discounted just because themuns have their own set of problems or bigots too.

    “yet I doubt there will be an art piece explicitly comparing the ‘natives’ to untamed sub humans for example”

    And in this piece no one is depicted as an untamed sub human either.

    It would be entirely fitting however to portray such arsonists as KKK types.

    Just because such a painting may or may not exist does not give the OI a ‘Schrodinger’s Cat-esque’ get out of jail free card with regards to their actions (or rather the actions of a minority that are associated with the OI).

  • Am Ghobsmacht


    They’re (he is) implying that certain traits of the OO ‘could’ be compared to certain traits that the KKK are infamous for.

    But no one has mentioned lynching or hanging innocent people as these particular traits (though no doubt an embittered minority would, but that’s clearly not the case here).

    Could you also please expand on your disagreeing of BGT’s point?

    He highlighted one was an ethnic group and the other was a group with a set of beliefs (in which he did NOT include lynching as a belief).

    I believe he was referring to the unregulated aspect of some marches and the occasions of disrespect that some bands display on occasion to Catholic churches.

    So, back to his point, is he incorrect when he highlights the difference between an ethnic group into which one is born and another group into which one joins (and again, does not involve lynching)?

    If he is NOT incorrect in this assertion then perhaps you owe him an apology for your An Phoblacht remark which (perhaps unbeknownst to you) infers that he is of republican persuasion? (If I understand correctly he is a unionist of sorts, though I might be ‘misrememberin’)

  • Zig70

    The bandsmen ended up in court for their actions. I think Joe McWilliams did society a service and brought the OO into the frame for stirring the pot and not taking responsibility for their march. So often in NI the working class pay the price for the elite and their secret wee handshakes.

  • Bill Slim

    CNR bigots are the worst bigots because they think they are so enlightened.

    With apologies to Peter Hitchens.

  • Sliothar

    I’ve read the article (thanks for the link! :-)) but I feel that it was somewhat sensationalist in tone. Certainly I can understand, from a non-supporter’s POV, Joe McW’s attitude to the OO’s in-your-face ‘celebration’ of its culture. I can’t, in truth, comment as to how it achieves this feeling except that I would echo others’ opinion of its triumphalist intent which, obviously, is ‘by design’.

    For example, I went to a lecture several years ago given by a noted authority on Orange cultural music (amongst several other musical genres), Archdeacon Gary Hastings, C of I, when, on asked a question as to how or why, when the questioner heard an Orange band playing its music, he was filled with trepidation.
    ‘Good’, said the Rev – with a twinkle in his eye, admittedly – ‘it’s working!’

  • James7e

    I am neither Orangeman nor Christian.

  • James7e

    “There must have been a reason for his terror “.

    Perhaps he just believed the wild-eyed propaganda that Republicans teach through sheer repitition. I’ve personally been to quite a few Orange Order parades and have never seen any reason for anyone to feel terrorized. More Dad’s Army than the Gestapo – though you’d hardly know it from reading the quasi-propaganda rants one sonetimes sees on here.

  • Sliothar

    To the pure, all things are pure.
    Eye of the beholder, James.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Question: IF there was a painting next door of SF dressed as the kkk or SS or something would everything be o.k.?

    And if so, why?

  • William Carr

    perhaps if the OO distanced itself from the naked sectarianism we see around the 12th, stopped marching with bands that have links to terror groups and took a stance on the burning of other peoples symbols at bonfires (i know the OO don’t build the bonfires as a organization but it could expel any member who is involved or attends a bonfire that has racist or sectarian items being burnt on it).
    It could also do something about the sectarian music and singing at its events and maybe deal with the drunken coat trailers at parades.
    try cleaning up your act and maybe people wont see a relationship between the OO and the KKK!

  • William Carr

    Really James, are you claiming that there are no sectarian or racist overtones around the OO and the Twelfth,
    No sectarian songs or chants, how about the bonfires they all good! and has no member of the OO ever been involved in a sectarian murder gang!

  • murdockp

    the point I make ss I see a group of men undertaking an anti catholic protest outside a catholic church whilst celebrating the protestant ascendancy. You are telling me you see something different. So by trying to argue that my observation which is factually correct is something else is comparable to you arguing that the colour black is in fact white,

  • murdockp

    the statement modern, progressive European / british citizens is not devoid of any real meaning.
    There is a lot of journalistic commentary, opinion polls and academic research to support this position, or lets turn it the other way, what academic support / opinion polls etc. do you have to support that the majority of the population are backward looking, anti equality, racist Europeans?
    Any supporting evidence you can throw at me will only reflect the views of a very small minority.

  • murdockp

    wow, it just gets worse.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    One would need to have a heart of stone to read this to the end and not burst out laughing.

    Mr Dougan, consider this image for a moment or as long as it takes:

    And then read this:

    Then reflect on the painting’s title: ‘Christian Flautists outside St Patrick’s’.

    Then ask yourself: Is the purpose of the artist to provide answers or to ask questions?

    Then ask yourself: Do you see only what you want to see?

    Also ponder the question: Is taking offence a choice?

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Who said it was the KKK depicted in Joe’s painting? I knew the man since childhood and I very much doubt your claim.

  • Redstar

    I think the KKK must feel pretty angry at being linked to the OO

  • Biftergreenthumb

    Who said anything about lynching?

    I just said that by depicting the OO as Klans men the artist is deliberately comparing the two organisations.

    I cant speak for the artist but i would guess that the painting is comparing the KKK’s racism with the OO’s sectarianism.