What Cannot Be Forgiven 97

Thirty thousand orangemen marched in Belfast yesterday to the statue of Sir Edward Carson. He was the vicious lawyer who hounded and destroyed Oscar Wilde for his homosexuality, as well as a thug who openly promoted violence in politics.

The effects of history on today’s politics are fascinating, and dangerous when perceived historical injustice or heroism becomes an obsession, as with the Orangemen. I had not fully grasped the significance of the fact that the largely Scots Oramgemen called their pledge of 100 years ago a Covenant. Which reminds me of another anniversary, next month is 300 years since the birth of Montrose.

The Unionist campaign in the Independence referendum has seen a continuing wooing by New Labour of the Orange Order in Glasgow, which occasionally emerges into the mainstream media. BBC Scotland is completely New Labour controlled and a bastion of pro-Unionist propaganda. I found this tendentious report particularly amusing. Note how is skates round the fact that Matheson was at the Orange Order meeting, instead allowing him to spin on precisely what he had said about relaxing restrictions on Orange parades. Note the total lack of difficult questioning. New Labour even went on to give public money to Orange Order parties for the Jubilee – while peaceful young student protestors I know personally were violently arrested for holding anti-monarchist placards in a park.

New Labour in Scotland have not only reached out to the Orange Order, but decided to adopt neo-con policies and attack the SNP from the right. They are greatly approved by The Daily Telegraph and the Tory think-tank, Policy Exchange. The policy appears to be for New Labour to join the Tories and Lib Dems in blaming the SNP for the strain in public services caused by Tory cuts to the Scottish government’s services.

As a strategy to build a united Unionist coalition it make sense, except it is a coalition entirely of the right. I am not sure New Labour can any longer count on tribal loyalty in Scotland’s cities for their voters to follow this neo-con lurch. Of course, the Orange Order are big on tribal loyalty. Maybe that is why New Labour feel so comfortable with them at the moment.

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97 thoughts on “What Cannot Be Forgiven

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  • Phil

    Conservative, Labour, Liberal, SNP? The choice in mainstream party politics is so small as to be no choice at all. Step away from the system.

  • Phil

    I care not if the SNP are misrepresented but that the BBC lie about the NHS is the type of propaganda we all should fight.

    [Mod/Clark: non-functioning “a” tags removed, see 30 Sep, 3:48 pm below.]

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Seems to me that the Unionists have forgotten, and learned nothing during the past century.

    Reminds me of Professor A. V. Dicey’s fulminations against the Liberals for passing the Parliament Act to reduce the Lords ability to stir up trouble throughout the UK. By this time, Dicey was the most persuasive spokesman of the Unionists, and recalled John Bright’s surprise denunciation of Parnell’s Party in a 1883 Birmingham parliamentary election for wanting Home Rule:

    “Bright’s declaration that Parnellites were the ‘Rebel Party’ came home to every Englishman and Scotsman throughout Great Britain, as also to every Irish Unionist.” (A. V. Dicey, A Fool’s Paradise (Murray, London, 1913), p. xxiii.

    Dicey had done a complete about-face in the process, giving up on Parnell and his party because Dicey wrongly thought that they had supported the Clan Na Gael’s dynamiting campaign, and the Phoenix Park murders while the Oxford professor was trying to persuade a distinguished party of British visitors to the opening of Henry Villard’s Northern Pacific Railroad that the Irish immigrants in America were proving that they were capable of self-government.

    Dicey’s rage over the apparent betrayal by Parnell knew no bounds subsequently, making him Britain’s wildest Unionist.

    Thanks largely to his efforts, the Ulster Covenant- what called for a public mandate before the Liberal government could impose Home Rule upon Ireland – prevented its approval in Parliament, and the whole process was suspended because of the opening of WWI.

    Triumphant Unionism at this time could well put the United Kingdom, especially Northern Ireland being a part of it, again at risk, and Britain should see what well might be at stake.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    (Old) Labour used to be the ‘natural’ party for many working class (or working class-origin) Irish Scots Roman Catholics in Scotland and esp. in Glasgow, including in local govt. The SNP used to be viewed, I think, by them as very much a ‘Protestant’ party. Tribalism of one sort or another is endemic in Scotland.

    I didn’t know about this link b/w New Labour and Orangeism. There was always been a strong Orangeist element among skilled traditional workforces, eg. the shipyards, trade unions, etc. indeed that was one of the main reasons Orangeism flourished in the West of Scotland – it was partly to prevent the Catholic Irish immigrants from getting good jobs. I’m not sure how this type of opportunism wrt New Labour will play with voters who happen to be Roman Catholic.

  • Vronsky

    Unionists are now spinning that Independence would be a bad idea as only the SNP has any electoral credibility, so there would be no opposition party. New Labour are now fully in bed with the Tories, a toxic brand in Scotland, so your suggestion that they will now lose their urban heartlands seems likely to be true – but they were losing them anyway. A few years ago I campaigned in an old Lanarkshire mining community, solid Labour, no hope. Last time round it went to the SNP – convincingly.

    The last mugs to cuddle up to the Tories, the Lib Dems, are now behind the SNP in electoral support – in England!.

    I’ve always felt that Labour had to embrace independence or they would be crushed by it. Certainly the point must very soon arrive where they realise the game is up and they must reform or disappear. Courting the Orange Order is disgusting but also, and significantly, desperate.

    Yes, BBC Scotland is awful. The six o’clock news is known as the “murder an’ fitba” show, plus of course any anti-SNP story that they might be able to drum up. Much good has it done them – there’s an overall SNP majority in Holyrood despite an electoral system designed to make that very thing impossible, and a looming referendum with little support for the status quo. Poor souls. Hope their CVs are up to date.

  • Clydebuilt

    Craig , notice how the first person in with comments after the article is anti SNP, The same thing happens on Newsnetscotland.com.
    It’s an attempt to devalue any pro independence pro SNP article.

    All the best


  • Ally

    Great and successful parade yesterday, disagree BBC Scotland are pro Unionist, as they certainly aren’t pro Glasgow Rangers who are one of the largest pro union fan bases in. The country

  • Clydebuilt

    Suhayl Saadi

    The Protestants used to view the SNP as a Catholic
    The Catholics used to view the SNP as Protestant

    It’s classic divide and rule, that’s exactly what Rangers and Celtic is.

  • Anon


    The BBC are totally Unionist. Greig Dyke the ex boss of the BBC described the BBC’s function as the Glue that holds the Union together.

    The BBC aren’t anti Rangers any more than they are anti Celtic.
    I do agree they were out of order with their treatment of Ally Mcoist, I put that down to an individual it’s certainly not an indication of their political leaning.

    There was a Rangers demo at the BBC building at Pacific Quay. There was another demo in May this year by Nationalists against the BBC anti independence bias (150 Turnout) . It never got a mention in the Scottish Media.

    To get an example of how the BBC covers scottish politics watch First Minister’s Questions, youlll get it on i-Player or Newsnetscotland.com. Then see how it is covered in their Radio bulletins and Reporting Scotland.

  • Vronsky

    “The SNP used to be viewed, I think, by them as very much a ‘Protestant’ party.”

    Inasmuch as the accusation ever had any substance, perhaps it was this unsavoury interlude. Wolfe latterly joined the Catholic church.

  • Mary

    BBC Scotland is very unfair to the Palestinians too. Scottish PSC have had a few run-ins with them and once occupied the BBC premises.


    Don’t they have a well fed looking type called Brian Taylor who puts out the propaganda? He makes me think of Orwell’s Napoleon in Animal Farm.

    PS I admire Craig’s stamina after the 8 x 6x. It doesn’t affect the functioning of his neurons apparently.

  • Mary

    B-Liar saw/sees himself as the great peacemaker of course.

    When flogging his ghastly book he said in Belfast:

    Recalling the “huge amount of time” he spent on the peace process here, he said: “It’s one of the things I’m very proud of and one of the things that is most satisfying.”

    He also had this message for the province’s political leaders: “Don’t lose faith and keep working on it all the time, because it’s worth it.

    “And just remember that right round the world there are people who have taken heart from it.”


    PS The said ghastly book is on Amazon for £13, less than half price but you can get plenty second hand for 0.01p. Ha Ha.

  • nevermind

    Make of it what you want. Comments on regular posts only ever coax two or three comments from Craig, but let them eat cake, when it comes to sport, golf in particular, he just can’t hold himself down.

    I think your future as online sports commentator is far more relaxed than chasing news about a dead/disappeared/ cut up/ hung up to cure Adam Werritty. Asking for him just gets their backs up and who knows what might happen if the red Tory’s get back into Government….

    There is nothing party politics can present to the people of England anymore, they have lost trust. 14%/23% particiapation in local elections makes it abundantly clear that we are governed by a conspiracy cabal of minorities, who as their last default, try to reign as coalitions.

    Fuck Golf, and fuck the sectarianism that is embedded in the same system of minority politics.

    I’m beginning to agree with Ed Carson, this lot needs drowning, they never change or learn from their mistakes, Ed Milliped’s utterances on what he will do with banks, if ever elected ( well mate you will get no majority and you have to go bed down with the Lib Dems, knowing full well that it stinks of Tory piss) are total utter shite, who does he think will believe such pile of stinking manure.

    The innate inaction and false fatuous satisfaction to have done something after the fingers hit the keyboard, is so frustrating.

  • craig Post author


    Yes, I know that Glasgow’s Catholic community had the closer ties to Labour historically, and the Conservative and Unionist Party had the closer ties to the Orange Order. The world changes however – and it’s another example of the drawing together of Tories and New Labour.

  • Julian

    My understanding of Sir Edward Carson as concerning Oscar Wilde was that he simply defended a libel case against the man who publicly outed Oscar, i.e. proved that there was no libel.

  • Mary

    A hounding of the man certainly. RIP Oscar Wilde.

    Carson had known Wilde when they were students at Trinity College, Dublin, and when he heard that Carson was to lead the defence, Wilde is quoted as saying that “No doubt he will pursue his case with all the added bitterness of an old friend.”[8] In fact, Carson went out of his way to make his case and destroy Wilde, portraying the playwright as a morally depraved hedonist who seduced naïve young men into a life of homosexuality with lavish gifts and promises of a glamorous artistic lifestyle. He impugned Wilde’s works as morally repugnant and designed to corrupt the upbringing of the youth. Queensberry spent a considerable amount of money on private detectives who investigated Wilde’s presence in the London underworld of homosexual clubs and procurers.

    Wilde abandoned the case when Carson announced in his opening speech for the defence that he planned to call several male prostitutes who would testify that they had had sex with Wilde, which would have rendered the libel charge unsupportable as the accusation would have been proven true. Wilde was bankrupted when he was then ordered to pay the considerable legal and detective bills Queensberry had incurred in his defence.

    Based on the evidence of Queensberry’s detectives and Carson’s cross-examinations of Wilde at the trial, Wilde was immediately arrested and charged with gross indecency. He was eventually found guilty and sentenced to 2 years’ hard labour, after which he moved to France, where he died penniless.

    ex http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Carson,_Baron_Carson

  • Craig Evans

    Good to see you posting again Craig,

    I trust you and the followers of your blog are aware that of all the BBC political websites, BBC Scotland is unique in that you cannot make comments on any story. Only when BBC Wales or Ireland or god forbid London commentators make mention of a story are you allowed to comment, then you are usually swamped by rabid anti Scottish comments.

    For agood laugh, they the alternative BBC Scotlandshire website at:




  • Jay

    Why are we only able to think in nullifing experiental terms:
    Perhaps it is the churlish… nature, of our fabricated faux leaders and there lack, grounding that make it all too difficult to think otherwise?

    I mean why do we think in political terms of left / right and liberal. Religious for and against and factioned and racial and cultural beliefs as well as class and gender to boot.

    Come on, go and hug a the biggest tree you can find, and get with the programme.

    (Divide and Conquer is all nature of things;)
    can we not look for personal and collective betterment without any of its destruction.

    At least Craigs post on the Euro maybe somewhat in that direction.

    Unite and build. Enjoy the weekend what left for back to the oily grindstone.

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  • thatcrab

    If the Orange Order had not organised against home rule, how would the ‘elite’ priesthood class throughout Ireland have been affected? Was their widespread institutionalised sexual and mental abuses of the vulnerable, under their cloak of divine patronage to any degree limited or assisted by Northern Irelands democratic rejection of home rule?
    Who can say, but the history is not short short of bogeymen to examine.

  • thatcrab

    Read Paul Foot’s “Who Framed Colin Wallace?” It would appear that NI had its own ‘elite priesthood’.

    No doubt! I have no love for being these dinosaurs advocate, but their primary historical foe was Irelands Elite Priesthood – no quotes required.

    Carsons prosecution of Wilde brought up the subject of sexual.. criminalisation. How does history judge the Orangemens opponents in this area?

  • Clark

    Phil, I know you were pleased to discover that HTML “a” tags can be submitted in comments, but I’ve ended up editing your comment of 30 Sep, 11:20 am because it didn’t work. WordPress removes the “greater than” and “less than” symbols unless it recognises approved formatting, so I couldn’t see where you’d actually linked to.

    The correct format is as follows, but with the inequality symbols replaced with curly brackets, so that WordPress doesn’t hide the tags and just display the text as a clickable link:

    {a href=”http://htmldog.com/reference/htmltags/a/”}Format of “a” tags{/a}

    However, I advise just posting whole, bare links, as that enables other readers to see what target you’ve linked to.

  • Mary

    From a long list about paedophile rings et al.

    Journalist Chris Moore wrote The Kincora Scandal an investigation into the Kincora Children’s Home in Belfast in the UK, where housemaster William McGrath, and others, abused children.

    William McGrath, a Protestant loyalist and member of Ian Paisley’s Free Presbyterian Church, reportedly worked for the UK spy service MI5.

    Lord Victor Rothschild – spy for the UK ‘and Israel’.

    Reportedly, McGrath had contacts with UK spy Ted Rothschild’s friend Sir Anthony Blunt, the ‘paedophile’ spy.

    Sir Anthony Blunt, allegedly linked to child murder according to T Stokes (ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT COMING SOON)

    McGrath had contacts with Sir Knox Cunningham who has been linked to paedophile rings and who was a pal of Tony Blair.

    Right-wing Loyalist Sir Samuel Knox Cunningham, who befriended Blair at Fettes school.

    Reportedly, the Kincora Children’s Home, in Belfast in the UK, was used by the spooks as a boy brothel.

    Kincora’s clientele included top politicians , judges and other public figures .

    “MI5… used it as a blackmailers lever.” (Michael stone, MI5 and Kincora – Irish Nationalism)

    McGrath was linked to right-wing protestant paramilitaries in Northern Ireland (as was Anders Breivik, reportedly).


  • Anon

    “Conservative, Labour, Liberal, SNP? The choice in mainstream party politics is so small as to be no choice at all. Step away from the system.”


    You are spot on, well said and 100% true. All the main parties have been bought and are now owned by far right, all is lost.

    The choice in mainstresm parties is so small

    Only the SNP want to bring independence to Scotland which will lead to Trident being moved out of Scotland and threaten it’s existance.
    These facts are major differences between the SNP and all the 3 major westminister parties.
    Once Scotland gains it’s independence the SNP may not be relected.

  • Mary

    Another ‘What Cannot Be Forgiven” as these two brothers attempted to find a bit of protein with which to feed their children.

    Israelis kill Palestinian fisherman in Gaza: medics
    (AFP) – 29th September 2012

    GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — The Israeli navy killed a Palestinian fisherman and wounded another in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical officials said on Saturday.

    The brothers had been near the coast off Beit Lahiya along with other fishermen when the Israeli navy opened fire on their boats, the Gaza fishing union said.

    “Fahmi Abu Rayash and his brother arrived wounded at Beit Lahiya hospital late on Friday morning. Fahmi, who suffered a gun shot wound to the leg, lost a lot of blood and died before midnight,” medical officials told AFP.

    An Israeli army spokesman said their soldiers had fired on two Palestinians who had entered a restricted zone near the security barrier separating Israel and the Gaza Strip in the Beit Lahiha sector.

    “The soldiers spotted these Palestinians, who continued to advance towards the barrier in a prohibited area despite warning shots. Then the soldiers opened fire on them,” said the spokesman.

    He denied that the Palestinians had approached from the sea.

    Israel imposes a strict maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip, restricting the access of Palestinian fishermen to three nautical miles (around 5.5 kilometres) of the Mediterranean Sea.

  • thatcrab

    I have no hatred of Catholic people, or priests, and no like of bringing up this dirty washing. But i think it only fair in this kind of thread.

    “The true scale of child abuse perpetrated by Catholic clergy in Ireland has still to be established. It may never be fully discovered given the passage of years and the fact that many victims and perpetrators have died. But unearthing the facts has also been held up by the determined resistance of the Irish Catholic church and, until very recently, the reluctance of the Irish state to intervene.”

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