Last night on BBCs “The View” Chris Ryder and Brian Feeney warned that it would be a bad marching season. Of course there is the potential for widespread violence and even deaths. And I am aware I speak in relative safety…but the last sustained period of bad marching seasons turned out ok for nationalism. I speak of Drumcree …and the now established principle that the Orange Order will never get down the Garvaghy Road again. For all the huffing and puffing….the Orange Order lost that one big time.
Rev Mervyn Gibson had a twinkle in his eye and tongue firmly in cheek last night. The threat that the Orange Order will not sign documents requesting a legal parade…on the basis that their flag protesting friends make no such request and are unlikely to be held to account due to the softly softly approach of PSNI…fatally discredited???…seems likely to divide Orangeism.
Whatever it’s misgivings about the Parades Commission…and I suspect a nod and a wink from the NIO that it will be abolished is really what Gibson wants..the illegal parades would seriously divide the Orange Order. Already it is a minority culture but if used to shore up DUP and UUP it becomes increasingly marginalised and toxic. An that’s a GOOD thing.
The Good Friday Agreement ended the Conflict. But it sold the mantra that we are all right and all wrong. Nobody won or lost. Enter the Conflict Resolutionists…who tell us that we must accommodate the Orange Order….a nasty squalid sectarian organisation.
Oddly the Conflict Resolutionists…often English and American are good decent liberal minded nomen and women who would recthat at the notion of accommodating the English Defence League and the Ku Klux Klan.
Thats the thing. The Culture Wars in the USA have been won by the Civil Righand movement and lost by the right wing racists. Likewise…as last years Olympics showed British multiculturalism has won out over the British racism. Now….they haven’t gone away ya know. There will always be Racism. There will always be Sectarianism. But ..?THe lesson is that the Ku Klux Klan …for example…have been exiled to the margins off Civilisd Society. We should do the same with the Orange Order….then be nice to them.