Orange Blackout 131


My mole at Pacific Quay tells me that there will be no BBC coverage of the Orange Order No campaign march in Edinburgh on 13 September. It has been decided that this would “present an unfairly negative image of the No campaign.” I find that fascinating, as the BBC has certainly never shirked from portraying an unfairly negative image of the Yes campaign. Apparently BBC Scotland have taken the decision “in consultation with” their bosses in England.

The proposed Orange for No march appears plainly to be in contravention of the Public Order Act 1936. This act makes it illegal to wear a uniform to promote a political cause:

Section 1 (i)

Subject as hereinafter provided, any person
who in any public place or at any public meeting wears
uniform signifying his association with any political
organisation or with, the promotion of any political
object shall be guilty of an offence :

For the Orange order to march through Edinburgh in uniform to support the No referendum campaign seems to me as blatant a contravention of the Act as can possibly be imagined. The Act remains in force, this section has not been modified by subsequent legislation and it does apply to Scotland. The specific provisions for Scotland at Section 8 relate solely to the mechanics of administration.

Orange marches in Scotland are not normally prosecuted on the (frankly weak) grounds that they are a cultural not a political manifestation. But that cannot be said of the September 13 March which is being undertaken by the Grand Orange Lodge as a registered participant in the referendum campaign. If they march in uniform they are very plainly indeed in breach of the Public Order Act.

The Act is not a dead letter from the 1930s. It was used to arrest and convict Irish Republicans in the 1980s demonstrating at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park for wearing black berets. Its breach of the peace provisions were used against pickets in the miners’ strike.

There is therefore a key question here – is the law applied impartially, or is it only applied against political demonstrations opposed to the Westminster Establishment? Is the law ignored for political demonstrations in support of the Westminster Establishment?

It is not a case of whether you support the existence of this particular law. It is an essential attribute of a democracy that where the law exists it is applied impartially. That appears not to be the case in Scotland.


131 thoughts on “Orange Blackout

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  • doug scorgie

    Fred
    12 Aug, 2014 – 12:18 am

    “I’m not for the Orange order I can’t stand them. I’m just against anybody who incites sectarian unrest.”

    ———————————

    Perhaps it is sectarian unrest that the British State wants in Scotland Fred. A few riots here, some shooting there, maybe a bomb.

    Divide and rule no?

  • fred

    “Perhaps it is sectarian unrest that the British State wants in Scotland Fred. A few riots here, some shooting there, maybe a bomb.

    Divide and rule no?”

    Then why don’t we not give the British state what they want by attaching so much importance to what is a very small percentage of the population.

  • fred

    “It’s the Scottish National Party, not the Scottish Nationalist Party.”

    Like the BNP.

  • doug scorgie

    Mary
    12 Aug, 2014 – 8:01 am

    Mary, did you see this paragraph in the link you gave?

    “In a July 2001 interview with the Sunday Herald, Jack Ramsay, the General Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, stated that if Scotland became an independent country “the Orange Order would become a paramilitary force, if you like. It obviously implies a recourse to arms”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Orange_Lodge_of_Scotland

  • Mary

    This was written in May. Do the numbers still apply? If so a massive presence.

    ‘The militantly Protestant Scottish Orange Order is planning a pro-union march of up to 25,000 Orangemen and women through central Edinburgh five days before the Scottish independence referendum takes place on 18 September.

    The parade – potentially the largest by the order to take place in the Scottish capital in decades – will feature Orange Order flute bands, Orange lodges in full regalia and members of the Apprentice Boys of Derry from Northern Ireland.

    Senior figures in the pro-UK Better Together campaign have said they fear a direct link between the Orange Order and the anti-independence cause only days before the referendum could provoke an unwelcome backlash among liberal, leftwing voters at a crucial stage in the campaign.’

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/11/scottish-independence-uda-ulster-loyalists-campaign

  • Mary

    This was written in May. Do the numbers still apply? If so a massive presence.

    ‘The militantly Protestant Scottish Orange Order is planning a pro-union march of up to 25,000 Orangemen and women through central Edinburgh five days before the Scottish independence referendum takes place on 18 September.

    The parade – potentially the largest by the order to take place in the Scottish capital in decades – will feature Orange Order flute bands, Orange lodges in full regalia and members of the Apprentice Boys of Derry from Northern Ireland.

    Senior figures in the pro-UK Better Together campaign have said they fear a direct link between the Orange Order and the anti-independence cause only days before the referendum could provoke an unwelcome backlash among liberal, leftwing voters at a crucial stage in the campaign.’

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/11/scottish-independence-uda-ulster-loyalists-campaign

  • Mary

    How strange that that post above was duplicated. I had in fact answered Doug Scorgie first saying that I had noticed it and had meant to refer to the threat. Very dangerous these proddies.

  • Juteman

    Why do you always project your British Nationalism onto others, Fred?
    Is it because you think everyone must think like you?

  • Republicofscotland

    No wonder the BBC won’t be covering the Orange Order march next month, both they and the no camp, will not want to see their bigoted foot soldiers run amok in Scotland’s capital, broadcast all over the tv, though I’m pretty sure Henry Dunbar would be proud of his sectarian scrappers.

  • Mary

    On the Empire Games/Commonwealth Games/aka Bread and Circuses.

    Empire shadow still hangs heavy over Scotland

    ‘While other European empires had been swept away upon the succession of hostilities in 1919, one consequence of victory was that our Empire survived, as did that of the French. Versailles allowed both parties, along with the emergent US to reshape Europe, as they had already carved up the former Ottoman territories into appropriately sized Middle East mandates which also suited emerging oil interests, via the Sykes-Picot Agreement 1916, the Balfour Declaration 1917 and the Cairo Conference of 1921.

    Almost 100 years later, their manipulation of these lands to suit French and British geopolitical interests lies in bloody tatters. Europe’s League of Nations restructuring fell away much earlier with the rise and subsequent defeat of Hitler, whose power base in part came from the national humiliation inflicted by Versailles.’

    /..
    http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/08/12/empire-shadow-still-hangs-heavy-over-scotland/

  • Argyll

    Fred – you are just being ridiculous so there is no point in discussing this with you further.

    Gutter “So you define who belongs to your “nation”, and you want the best for them, while the rest of us can go to buggery. That is surely the very definition of a tribalist.”

    I am not defining who belongs to our nation and neither is the Scottish Government. Who belongs to our nation is defined by who lives here – plain and simple. And we welcome immigrants – unlike the UK as a whole. (Except of course that because we are still in the UK, we are not allowed to follow a progressive immigration policy). So does that make everyone who wants to “define who belongs to their nation” (i.e. by keeping immigrants out) a tribalist?

    The whole point is that the Scotland that I want and I believe the Scotland the Scottish Government wants will be inclusive, tolerant, diverse and progressive. The rest of the UK, led by the South East of England in particular, seems hell bent on being exclusive, intolerant, insular and regressive.

    Kind of like the Orange Order, to get back to the topic.

  • doug scorgie

    Fred
    12 Aug, 2014 – 2:01 pm

    “Then why don’t we not give the British state what they want by attaching so much importance to what is a very small percentage of the population.”

    That sentence makes no sense Fred. Can you elucidate? (It comes under e in the dictionary).

  • doug scorgie

    And while I’m at it; can those people here stop trying to imply that this referendum is about the SNP?

    A yes vote is not a vote for the SNP!

  • fred

    “Who belongs to our nation is defined by who lives here – plain and simple. And we welcome immigrants – unlike the UK as a whole.”

    Yet the 2011 census shows that only 1.4% of the population of Scotland is Muslim compared to 4.8% in England and Wales.

  • Gutter

    Argyll:

    1. Fred’s sentence may be inelegant but it makes perfect sense.

    2. You are defining who does and doesn’t belong to your tribe when you declare, as Tony M did earlier in this thread (and you did not dissent) that an independent Scotland can wash its hands of all responsibility for its Northern Irish colony, because Ulster Scots have some English and Irish ancestry and so aren’t real Scots.

  • Argyll

    Gutter

    I don’t know which of Fred’s sentences you are referring to.

    Your reference to Scotland’s Northern Irish colony is non-sensical. I do not accept that it is a Scottish colony – any more than Scotland is an Irish colony. It is true that there was much migration between Scotland and the North of Ireland in times gone by. As I understand it, there was migration to Scotland from Ireland and then migration back to Ireland. I believe that the flow of population was a two way process for a prolonged period. However, I claim no particular expertise on this.

    The important point however is that at no time has Ireland or any part of it been a colony of Scotland’s. It was conquered by England. Subsequently Scotland, as part of the unified kingdom, played its part in exercising colonial control over Ireland. So to the extent that Ireland has ever been a colony, it was first an English colony and then a British colony. When Ireland was partitioned in 1922, Northern Ireland was the continuing British “colony”, although by that time the whole of Ireland had been assimilated into the UK, so the creation of the Irish Free State was an act of secession from the UK.

    Northern Ireland is now an integral part of the UK, as is Scotland. It has never been a Scottish colony, however strongly you might assert that it has.

  • Juteman

    I am honestly baffled by the stance taken by certain alleged left leaning British Nationalists. What is it they actually have a problem with in regard to Scottish independence?
    Do they think that no country should have left the bosom of mother England? Were the Australians Nazis for leaving? The Yanks?
    Does wanting to be independent automatically make you a Nazi?

  • Gutter

    Argyll:
    That really is sophistry. Yes, Northern Ireland is a British colony now, but if you succeed in eviscerating the UK, then Britain will no longer exist, so it will no longer be British, it will be Scottish. It is very close to Scotland and it is full of Scots, so it would be very perverse to say it was English or Welsh, wouldn’t it?
    As I said to Tony M, you’d not be so keen to disclaim it if it had oil fields.

  • Argyll

    Well put Juteman. As you will have seen from my exchanges with Fred, it does not matter about the substance of the policies – it is sufficient to have the word National or Nationalist in your governing party’s title. That makes you a “tribalist”. The fact that many people intending to vote Yes are not SNP supporters or the fact that around 30% and rising of Labour party supporters are inending to vote Yes does not seem to enter into their thought processes. If you are a Yes voter, you are effectively a Nazi in their minds.

    Sad, but unimportant.

  • Argyll

    Gutter

    Your ignorance is showing.

    First, Britain will exist until we are struck by an asteroid or the planet explodes or some equivalent catastrophic event occurs. Britain is the island on which the nations of Scotland, England and Wales exist. (I understand that Wales was designated a nation a few years ago. Previously it was a principality of England.)

    Second, Northern Ireland is not a colony of anybody’s. It is an integral part of the United Kingdom and has been since 1801.

    Third, the UK government has been at pains to stress that what I would call rUK (i.e. the UK without Scotland) will be the continuing state in the event of Scottish independence. This is how they justify their assertions that rUK will continue in Europe, whereas (they say) Scotland will need to apply to join. It is how they justify their position on the currency union – they claim to be the continuing UK so the £ sterling is theirs. I also assume they will want to keep their permanent seat on the UN Security Council. If the UK government is constitutionally correct, then Northern Ireland will continue to be part of what will then be rUK.

    Now there is an argument that says the UK will cease if either of the two signatories (The Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England) to the bi-partite agreement to unify secedes. If this was accepted, constitutional lawyers would have a field day, but I think a reasonable assumption would be that arrangements would revert to their pre-unification state. If that turned out to be the case, then Northern Ireland would revert to being a colony of England, as it was before the creation of the UK.

    Whether there is oil in Northern Irish waters is irrelevant. Northern Ireland is not mine to either claim or disclaim. My personal view of the best course for Northern Ireland would be unification with the state if Ireland. But that is not for me to decide – I have no say and I do not wish a say.

  • fred

    “I am honestly baffled by the stance taken by certain alleged left leaning British Nationalists.”

    You could always find a blog where left leaning British Nationalists post and ask them.

  • Gutter

    Argyll:
    More sophistry. Obviously I was referring to the polity of Britain, not the island of Great Britain.
    And according to Wikipedia, most of the original Scottish colonists settled Ulster in the early 1600s. So Northern Ireland had been colonised by Scots for a full hundred years before the Act of Union.
    It takes heroic act of revisionism to claim that Ulster was then or ever has been an English colony. It is unambiguously a Scottish colony.

  • Juteman

    No serious answer then, Fred?
    I can understand you being against indy, as the UK allowed you to sell your flat down south under Thatcher for a huge profit, and buy a large plot of land up here. The UK has been good to you. Fuck those Jock plebs and their foodbanks, eh?

  • fred

    “No serious answer then, Fred?
    I can understand you being against indy, as the UK allowed you to sell your flat down south under Thatcher for a huge profit, and buy a large plot of land up here. The UK has been good to you. Fuck those Jock plebs and their foodbanks, eh?”

    Whenever someone tries to argue the case against independence there is always a Nationalist comes in name calling, making personal accusations, harassing and intimidating.

    These are the tactics of the Nazi, these were the tactics of the Black Shirt.

    Laughable there are people here trying to argue that the SNP aren’t like other nationalists when you are proving that they are.

  • Juteman

    So you won’t answer the question, Fred?
    Why are you so against Scottish independence?

  • Mary

    Who else should the BBC choose to host Scotland Decides tonight on BBC2 at 9.30 but Andrew Neil.

    Duration: 1 hour http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04dr69k

    ‘So far the Scottish referendum debate has been almost entirely about Scotland – what is good for it and what is bad for it. But what about the rest of the UK? Whatever the result, the UK as we have known it for the past 300 years is set to change dramatically, and may never be the same again.

    If you think independence would not make any difference to the other 58 million people on these islands, think again. The reverberations could be felt across the land, from the future of the armed forces and nuclear deterrent, to the UK’s place at the international top table; from the fate of the union flag to the entire British political landscape.

    Andrew Neil explores what an independent Scotland would mean for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the huge constitutional changes that may lie ahead whether the vote is yes or no.’

  • Fool

    Gerallt Lloyd Owen the Welsh poet’s obituary appeared in the Independent today (obituaries of Welsh language poets in English papers, even the Indy, doesn’t happen very often)

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/gerallt-lloyd-owen-renowned-welsh-poet-9662458.html

    Wylit, wylit, Lywelyn,

    Wylit waed pe gwelit hyn.

    Ein calon gan estron ŵr,

    Ein coron gan goncwerwr,

    A gwerin o ffafrgarwyr

    Llariaidd eu gwên lle’r oedd gwŷr.

    “You would weep, weep, Llywelyn/ Weep blood if you saw this./ Our heart with a foreigner/ Our crown with a conqueror/ And a populace of favour-seekers/ With meek smiles, where once were men.”

    Although I haven’t made my mind up about the referendum yet I think it reasonable to say that Gerallt Lloyd Owen had and so only right that I should post that in the Independent obituary Meic Stephens says:

    At his request, donations instead of flowers were to be sent to the Yes campaign in the referendum on Scottish independence.

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