Here comes summer: where’s me sash?

All the pundits seem satisfied that the talking is over until the Autumn. Monday is just for the optics, and we’ll all settle down for the Summer break.

Except that some things don’t take a break and one of them is arrogance. For the next couple of months, we’ll be subjected to drum-thumping, baton twirling bands whose central purpose is to remind everyone, and maybe especially themselves, that over 300 years ago, a Catholic English king was defeated by his Protestant son-in-law king. Oh, and that this is our wee country.

I wonder how, in 100 years, history will judge the Orange Order. We can guess from looking at how it judges the Order during the twentieth century and the nineteenth century.

The Order has always been a reactionary and divisive force. In the nineteenth century, it was opposed to Catholic Emancipation, the Great Reform Bill and any progressive policy they were confronted with. Their marches attracted drunkenness and violence to such an extent that the British government banned the Order for a number of years.

In the twentieth century they rejected the Good Friday Agreement, they fumed when confronted with a ban preventing them marching down the Garvaghy Road. As a consequence innocent people died, including three young boys who died when their home was petrol-bombed.

In the twenty-first century, the Order has made determined efforts to present a more acceptable face to the world, even creating a comic-strip hero and referring to the Twelfth celebrations as Orangefest.

It hasn’t worked. Orange Order members would say that that’s because Catholics/Nationalists have been brain-washed by Sinn Féin into refusing to allow the Order to march on the Queen’s highway. Catholics/Nationalists would point to the origins, history and ordinances of the Orange Order, which makes it clear that Catholics are not welcome and Catholic doctrine is idolatry.

What does this society sorely need? A coming together in genuine reconciliation. Will the thousands of Orange marches this Summer aid that reconciliation in any way? Au contraire. It’s true that for many Orangemen, the Twelfth is simply a bright day out in a dull Summer. But it comes under the banners of an organization that has always regarded half of the population here as not just inferior but anathema.

Sad, sad, sad. And it looks as though the DUP will show the same willingness to change as the Order to which many of them belong.

Sumer is icumen in. Thump, thump, thump.

37 Responses to Here comes summer: where’s me sash?

  1. paddykool June 30, 2017 at 11:00 am #

    No change except for the size of the bonfires…’s out for summer!

  2. Eolach June 30, 2017 at 11:32 am #

    “Cuir síoda ar ghabhar agus is gabhar i gcónaí é. ” ……Put silk on a goat and it’s always a goat . No matter how you try to dress or present the Orange Order it’s still the OO. It’s foundations won’t change , it’s raison d’être won’t change but most importantly it’s membership won’t change .They are a motley bunch driven by sectarianism and dominance. They are comprised of men who are interchangeable with the loyalist paramilitaries ….whose illegal existence is still openly acknowledged and tolerated by a still-partisan police force. They have nothing to offer the 21st century , and like the DUP will only slowly evaporate when we have a new progressive Ireland freed from all the trappings of the past.

  3. Brian Patterson June 30, 2017 at 11:38 am #

    A little reported (or commented upon) fact is that a large percentage, if not the majority of, churches of the main non- Catholic denominations (C of I, Presbyterian and Methodist) will fly the Union Flag throughout July. Perhaps the Primates of those churches could explain this tradition, explain in what way it furthers harmony, good community relations and mutual respect. Things they would claim are holy, wholesome, ever in their minds and close to their hearts.

    • Willie D. July 1, 2017 at 6:41 am #

      The Presbyterian Church, of which I am an adherent, has never had a tradition or policy of flying the union flag in July, or at any other time of the year and I’ve never seen a union flag displayed on a Methodist church. Some Church of Ireland churches do fly the flag, probably as a result of decisions taken by individual parishes. So your contention that “a large percentage, if not the majority” of non-Catholic churches fly the union flag is completely erroneous. The reason it’s little reported on is because it doesn’t happen, with the exception of some C of I churches. There are no “primates” in the Presbyterian and Methodist churches, in the former case we have a Moderator, elected on an annual basis.

  4. James Hunter June 30, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    Very good jude

  5. Ryan June 30, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

    This is what George Galloway had to say very recently on Unionists and the Orange Order….

    • paddykool June 30, 2017 at 2:33 pm #

      You couldn’t really argue with Mr Galloway on any of the points he makes in this interview.Each point is exactly and historically true but i’m sure there’ll be some who’ll cry that he is re-writing history….just as the same people believe that the earth ids 6000 years old.

      • Ryan June 30, 2017 at 2:41 pm #


        Galloway is ruthless in debates and he was ruthless here. Yes, everything he said was very accurate, including the origin of “Hill Billies”. I guessed that was the origin of the term because I made the connection with the planters/farmers of the southern states of America and Ulster Scots, both are basically the same people. I also didn’t mistake the similarities between how Blacks were treated by these same people and how Irish Catholics were treated in Ireland, I’m not just talking about history here in the North from the 1920’s but going back way before that. The recent Troubles here were just a small extension of the problems here in Ireland going back many, many decades.

      • giordanobruno June 30, 2017 at 3:52 pm #

        Why is he wearing his hat?
        Was the interview conducted outdoors?

        • Michael June 30, 2017 at 4:07 pm #

          And the relevance?

          • giordanobruno June 30, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

            paddy is very big on the importance of appearance you know.
            See previous conversations on Arlene and Michelle for example.

          • paddykool June 30, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

            Well gio .I think he suits his hat and he probably feels good wearing it . You might as well ask Bob Dylan why he likes to wear his collection of hats onstage or why you , yourself might like to wear a particular hat or get your hair cut in a particular style. Speaking of styles …my barber loves to get a hand-made mod suit once every year as a special annual treat. I’ve gotta say , he polishes up well too, He , like Mr Galloway ,probably thinks of it as an individualistic little fashion tic. I’ve a thing about hats and shoes, myself…The wife rolls her eyes ….”not another one?!!”….”‘Fraid so , love ….gotta have it!”

          • paddykool June 30, 2017 at 6:53 pm #

            PS… gio …was there really anything that Mr Galloway said that wasn’t historically accurate?…any one thing? I thought he was clear enough .His thoughts on the origins of the hillbilly ethos and its connection to the Scots /Irish “Billy” and “Hills are actually the plain truth …a truth I’ve known for a lifetime .

          • giordanobruno June 30, 2017 at 8:21 pm #

            I didn’t watch it. His self regard is just too much for me.
            Wearing a hat in a tv studio seems a tad unnecessary to me, that’s all.

          • Wolfe tone June 30, 2017 at 10:01 pm #

            Gio, whaa you didn’t watch/listen to what he had to say? Shock horror. Here was me thinking you were a fair minded balanced kind of chap just wantin people to just get along on the one road? That ‘mask’ is at your ankles old boy!

          • giordanobruno July 1, 2017 at 10:46 am #

            As usual you are a day late and a dollar short.
            I made no judgement on what Galloway said either way.
            I simply asked a question about his hat. So shoot me.

          • Wolfe tone July 1, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

            “As usual you are a day late and a dollar short.
            I made no judgement on what Galloway said either way.”

            Yeah you did.

          • giordanobruno July 1, 2017 at 3:04 pm #

            What was my judgement on what he said in this interview then?

          • Wolfe tone July 1, 2017 at 6:40 pm #

            Gio, you aren’t the sharpest knife in the drawer that’s for sure.

        • ANOHER JUDE July 1, 2017 at 4:29 am #

          I was also curious as to why GG wears that hat during interviews. I read somewhere he wore it to hide a scar he received as a result of being assaulted by thugs. He has actually been the victim of several vicious attacks, from Billy Boys and other knuckle draggers. His critique of the history of Paisleyism was spot on. Violent words and actions in a cocktail of anti Catholic/ Irish bigotry.

  6. michael c June 30, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

    Gio,you would’nt understand as its a “TAIGY” thing. A number of TDs wear their caps all the time in television studios!

    • giordanobruno June 30, 2017 at 5:08 pm #

      Gorgeous George is a taig??
      Gorgeous George is aTD??
      Well that explains it I suppose.
      There was me thinking he was just a self regarding buffoon.
      How wrong I was!

  7. James June 30, 2017 at 7:49 pm #

    Letting your mask slip Gio, that is not like you. Michael must be getting a little under your skin.

    • giordanobruno June 30, 2017 at 8:17 pm #

      You’ve lost me there.

  8. James June 30, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

    Not very nice playing the man Gio, where do you think Mr Galloway is wrong in his analysis?

    • giordanobruno June 30, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

      Everyone here plays the man. Did you not notice? It’s allowed.
      I didn’t watch Gorgeous George;s analysis I just made a fairly insignificant remark about his hat.

      • paddykool June 30, 2017 at 11:36 pm #

        Watch the interview ,gio and don’t get hung up on what the man is wearing. judging a book by its cover in this case is not a good idea. Listen to exactly what the man is saying and forget about self-regard , ego and all the rest. It is very plain speaking with little ambiguity. Refreshing in that respect.

        • giordanobruno July 1, 2017 at 9:03 am #

          I might but I am guessing it is pretty much: the Orange Order is awful, always have been and always will be.
          Not sure how that gets us anywhere.
          What is George’s solution? A marching stadium?

      • Jude Collins July 2, 2017 at 1:04 pm #

        Gio – I have asked you – and others – repeatedly to draw my attention to ‘man-ball’ abuse stuff. Why don’t you do that rather pass glib remarks such as ‘It’s allowed’? If you aren’t prepared to help dealing with such instances, you’ve hardly got room for complaint.

        • giordanobruno July 3, 2017 at 3:01 pm #

          If I was to point out the many instances of abuse here I would have no time left for my own erudite comments.
          I did point out some recently where Nigel Dodds was referred to as a neanderthal and Arlene as a terrorist sympathiser.
          As they were not removed I take it such things are acceptable.
          Why not take responsibility for your site and spend ten minutes at night reading the days comments. That would be all it takes.

          • Jude Collins July 3, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

            Did you point these out to me, gio? I don’t remember that. I most DEFINITELY would want to take both comments down – they’re outrageous regardless of who they are aimed at. Please give me a pointer where they are. The fact is, gio, I simply don’t have time to go through every comment and I’ve said before, I depend on people to show restraint and to help me keep such remarks off the site. You appear to think I welcome/permit such comments – if I do it’s because I don’t know they’re there. Frankly, if this continues I’ll have to give serious thought to removing the comment section. As I think I said before, it seems to me too many arguments are circular, and if what you tell me is true, it’s becoming a haven for abuse and possible libel. That has to stop.

            Do let me know where those Nigel/Arlene remarks are

          • giordanobruno July 3, 2017 at 6:23 pm #

            Here is my comment from a while back. It was in direct response to one from you asking for examples of abuse, just as you are doing now.
            As far as I can see the comments in question are still up.

            ‘giordanobruno June 13, 2017 at 1:09 pm #
            Does Stephen Nolan count? There is one right above your last comment.
            Not to mention the frequent accusation that he is partisan.
            On your recent thread on the DUP/Tory coalition (the one where you portrayed them as pigs at a trough) I can see them referred to as dinosaurs and twice as neanderthals.
            Arlene is a ‘loyalist terrorist sympathiser and some other unionist is merely a bigot, both of which you may consider fair comment.
            ‘Backwoodsmen you have used yourself so I assume that is acceptable.’

            If everybody is fair game then so be it, I have no desire to be pilloried by wolfetone every time I point out this kind of stuff.
            As long as it is the same rule for everyone I don’t care.

          • Jude Collins July 3, 2017 at 6:44 pm #

            Gio – I accept your implicit reproof – I should have followed up on this. Mea culpa. Now tell me where it IS, so I can take it/them down? What was the name of the blog under which the comments appeared? And (ideally) who made the comments? I’m beginning to lose patience…

          • Wolfe tone July 3, 2017 at 6:52 pm #

            Christ almighty someone really has too much time on their hands. Cringeworthy.

          • giordanobruno July 4, 2017 at 8:29 am #

            I already gave you that. It was the blog about the DUP/Tory pact, the one where you depicted them as pigs. Around June 12th/13th. I think Brian P was one of the offenders sadly.
            I notice the predicted attack from wolfie who like a schoolyard bully does not like anyone drawing attention to this kind of stuff, probably because he is a serial offender..
            This is why I am reluctant to highlight anything at all.

  9. ANOHER JUDE July 1, 2017 at 4:36 am #

    The Orange are a hideous gargoyle on the face of Ireland but they take their inspiration from their lords and masters across the water. Only when the anti Catholic laws of succession are scrapped will the Protestant people here look inwards towards Ireland rather than outwards towards England. The fact is EVERY member of the Order is anti Catholic, the only point of contention is the extent of each person’s bigotry. Some can have civil relations with the likes of me, some can barely contain their loathing. And some, in past times, have physically attacked them’uns.

  10. Pointis July 2, 2017 at 8:32 am #

    AJ I would agree with you but I think the influence is deep than the succession laws and I think some of the Protestant churches should remove the Westminister Confession of faith from their constitutional beliefs.

    The problem as outlined by some within the Protestant churches is that there would seem to be a very strong aversion to ecumenical positions within congregations so that moves to reach out to Catholic neighbours is met with emptying pews.

    I remember a senior Protestant cleric being tackled on Sunday Sequence a few years ago on the issue of removing the Westminister Confession of Faith from their doctrines and the lady in question seeming to be uncomfortable about discussing the issue before finally admitting that the main opposition came from the hierarchy of the church itself and indeed the opposition formed a significant majority.

    For those not familiar with the Westminister Confession of faith adhered to by main Protestant Churches it essentially states that the Pope is the anti-Christ and that Catholics are essentially the Devil’s disciples. Difficult to see much crossing the divide when your told that those on the other side are the sons of Satan!