There’s a slight anti-American bias among some of us towards the way Americans use the English language. I mean, all that turning nouns into verbs – like no one feels torn two ways or has mixed feelings any more, they’re conflicted. But one phrase of theirs that fits neatly here at present is ‘tough love’. I’m talking Ardoyne here.
Let’s briefly remind ourselves of the events. Last 12 July – no, I lie – two Twelfths ago – some Orange Order members were prevented from marching in the Ardoyne area as it would be provocative. That was what the Parades Commission decreed. So what did the loyal Brethren do? They set up a camp. Camp Twaddell. They didn’t like not being allowed to march home and they figured they or a symbolic camp presence would stay there until they got their way. Consult the residents? Discuss the matter with them? Nah. No way. We want home. See how much all this is costing? Not an inch.
So now the word is that there’ll be a commission of inquiry into the matter. What will the commission inquire into, Virginia? Why, to establish what the problem is and see if it can be resolved.
Except that the dumbest of Santa’s reindeer knows what the problem is. The loyal Brethren want to flout the ruling of the Parades Commission – in fact they want it abolished. And no, they’ll be discussing nothing with no residents. No sir. Our right to walk the Queen’s highway, not an inch, never never ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-boom.
So because they don’t like this Parades Commission that has dared rule against their wishes, they’re going to get a commission of inquiry (no, Virginia, you may not ask who pays for it). Because they’ve kept the Twaddell pot boiling, they’ll have a commission of inquiry to…well, to establish what happened in such a way that the loyal Brethren can (i) get the OK to march home via the notorious flashpoint; and (ii) cut the ground from under the Parades Commission.
And tough love? Well that’s when you stop giving in to every whine and threat of someone, usually a child, and let them know politely but firmly that when you say No you mean No. You don’t mean that yes, you’ve reconsidered and you’ll give into their wishes, anything for a quiet life and is that bad old Parades Commission upsetting you well we can’t have that, bye-bye Parades Commission. On the contrary.. A definitive, legal, impartial No is coming at you. Not because we hate you, O Orange marchers, but because deep down we love you. And we don’t want you to be reduced to a spoilt, nyampy brat that threatens to scream and scream ’til it’s sick if Theresa Villiers doesn’t give it what it wants immediately.
A few blogs back I pondered what the British Secretary of State was for. If she succumbs to the tantrums of Camp Twaddell she’ll make it perfectly clear that she’s a jelly-belly. Don’t be that, Theresa. Dish out instead some tough love – for all our sakes.