Dear Cousin Trevor,
Aw boys, you missed it, Trevor… I know, I know – when a kicking heifer kicks you in your reproductive areas, the only thing for it is the bed. I know that. But boys a boys, you missed it. It was powerful.
The whole shebang was organised by the Orange Order, and the Reverend Mervyn Gibson was at the top of his game. He let such a gulder out of him. “No surrender!” he roared, and you could have heard him in Aghohill. And he warned us. “Let me make it clear” he said, and you know something big’s coming when they start with that. ”If the protocol is not sorted then make no mistake – NO MISTAKE – there will be no next 100 years for Northern Ireland!”
And then he gave them sleekit pile of Provo loving fenian bastards their answer about sitting down and talking. “Let me respond to this magnanimous gesture”, says he. “We are here longer than Joe or Richie’s folks are in America. We are United Kingdom citizens by birth, Northern Irish through our culture and heritage, which makes us British by choice and conviction. We have no intention of becoming part of an All-Ireland. Save your breath.”
It wasn’t just the hairs on the back of my neck that stood up when he said that – every bit of my body where I have a growth of hairs at all at all, they were standing to attention as stiff as ramrods.
Before Rev Mervyn’s speech we had a wee prayer from the Worshipful Brother the Rev Ron Johnstone. He’s a very clever man, that Rev Johnstone. Spends hours every day thinking about all sorts of things. In his wee prayer, he reminded us about the thousands of families that had to flee southern Ireland because of their faith and allegiance. “Oh Lord hear us” he prayed “Make our land safe and protect us.” And at the end of his prayer he gave the cry “For God and Ulster! Amen.” Could you think of a better end to a prayer? Every man, woman and wain shouted back to him “For God and Ulster!”
I declare to God, there were that many Orange bands from every art and part, Trevor – some from America, even. And flags, and union umbrellas and Lambeg drums. Boys but that’s a powerful sound, the Lambeg. I could sit with a wheen of cases of beer and listen to the Lambeg for three days and nights straight. And we paraded and a police officer I was talking to, he said it was like the North-West 500, and he figured there’d hae been maybe 100,000 people there.
And it wasn’t that it was just a great day to be a decent God-fearing Protestant and British citizen. What it also done was, show them plotters and cheaters and liars that they weren’t going to be going at us any longer with their oul’ soft fenian chat about the Belfast Agreement and democracy. To hell with democracy, Trevor. Democracy’s a grand thing if decent respectable people are running our wee country, but when we have blondie weemin telling us they’ll vote our wee country out of existence – by God that’s a totally different matter. If they think just because they’ve outbred us, if they think for a minute that we’re going to allow them to out-Border Poll us as well, then they can dream on. If they don’t like it here, let them pack their bags and go down south, if they think it’s that great, and let us decent church-going, Twelfth-marching, loyal people get on with our lives.
My blood is up, Trevor, that’s all I’ll say and no word of a lie. The blood is up. I’m a decent-living man not given to words of passion or anger normally, as you well know. But I think we have to fight fire with fire. So let me conclude this letter with three time-honoured words: Fuck the Pope.
Yours in loving Union