Orange March IS Illegal 123

The great Orange March in Edinburgh will be the only occasion on which the No side have managed to gather more than 300 people in one place in the entire campaign.

pm in glasgow uni

The average turnout for David Cameron’s big speeches of the campaign in Glasgow and Perth was under 200 people. On my own recent speaking tour we substantially beat that in Dundee and equalled it in the small town of Insch! Not to mention the 70,000 people who have watched my St Andrews speech online. Gordon Brown’s speaking tours have been strictly ticket only – and a fair number of the invited have declined the opportunity.

Search online as much as you like. There are no substantial No gatherings of any kind, no No flash mobs or mass canvasses. There is no speech for the No campaign that has a fifth of 70,000 views online.

But they do have the Orange Order and their grand March in Edinburgh on the 13 September. This parade of knuckle dragging Neanderthals, many of them off the ferry from Northern Ireland, is the only show of popular enthusiasm for the Union ever to be mustered by Better Together. Unfortunately it is illegal.

As I posted on 11 August, this proposed Orange March is plainly in contravention of the Public Order Act 1936, which bans any demonstrations in uniform for a political object.

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 :

Normally, the Orange Order in Scotland are allowed to march on the (dubious) grounds that their object is cultural not political. But on this occasion they are marching as a registered participant with the Electoral Commission in the Referendum campaign, and with the avowed object of promoting a No vote. There is therefore no doubt whatsoever that the march is political and, if in uniform, illegal. Orange Order sources confirm they will be marching in uniform.

The march can be carried out in uniform with the consent of the Chief Constable and the Secretary of State for Scotland. But an assiduous reader of this blog has received confirmation from the Scottish Government that the Orange Order do not have this permission:

Dear xxxx
Thank you for your email. Following a search of our records I can advise that the Scottish Government has neither received nor granted an application from Police Scotland under the Public Order Act 1936 to permit the wearing of political uniforms by members of the Orange Order. As I stated in my previous email, I am unable to provide legal advice interpreting whether or not the Act applies in this situation.
Yours sincerely
Mathew West
Police Powers Unit
Safer Communities Division
Scottish Government

What is at question here is not whether it ought to be illegal to march in uniform for political objects. The fact is that plainly it is illegal. The law is not moribund – it was applied for example against Irish republicans in London in the 1980s.

The real question is whether the law is applied impartially to all, or are those who have the support of the Establishment allowed to break the law flagrantly and massively?

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123 thoughts on “Orange March IS Illegal

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  • Phil

    “It’s not a question of morality or spirituality, but economics and National/tribal pride. Can we agree on that at least?”

    I don’t know mate. Possibly all of the above.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I never liked Oranges for this reason – and there is a Reason For This. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that when I was an Altar Boy – I partook in these enormous Catholic Processions from my Local Catholic Church in Oldham..It is far more boring than that – and you really do not want to know…but I will tell you anyway.

    I was breastfed until long after I could walk…at least 15months old..

    My Mum tried to substitute this horrible Orange Juice For Her Breast Milk…

    I Protested.

    Sorry about that.


  • Tony_0pmoc

    I have some good news to tell you…I might as well tell you now…

    Thank You…for allowing me to write here..and not deleting absolutely Everything.

    I have just heard some completely wonderful news from my Ex-Girlfriend – who I met a few weeks ago at Cambridge Rock Festival…I asked Everyone To Pray For Her…We hadn’t met each other for 33 years…

    She has told me the Results of All Her Tests…Took 3 Days…Barium Meal…Full MRI Scan – and The Other One..and Something Else

    She hasn’t got Cancer and She will Be O.K.

    Thank You For The Prayers and The Mass.

    I don’t do Religion..but I thought a bit of Prayer wouldn’t hurt.

    It’s Innocence. It’s Love..I Didn’t invite Her Ex– He Works For UAE…You Know That Place Near To Potter Heigham Bridge…

    I thought wtf is going on…My Wife meets her Teenage Ex – Well He was Her Best Mate’s Really..But I have Read Her Diaries…sorry about that…if you don’t want anyone to read them..don’t write them…

    He said are you …… “maiden name”

    And I said…what did you say..I hadn’t seen him for 30 years either..but he and his friends have stayed at our house about 30 years ago…He looked absolutely ‘kin georgeous..I can understand that..if I was a girl..I would have done…but they didn’t…

    I’m expecting The ‘kin drummer to turn up next..He won’t be Ginger Now..He Will Be Completely BALD.

    Mine still grows out of my head – all of it…

    I met my ex – the next day. I hadn’t seen her for 33 years.

    Synchronicity or What?


  • Tony_0pmoc

    University of East Anglia UEA – sorry about that…I didn’t want Craig To Know…My Wife and I know Norwich..and Certainly not The Telegraph. I’ll shurrup now or i will get my lad into trouble.

  • Jives

    Welcome to our new trolls Ben Spiro and Al Milliner…

    Just as idiotic as our normal ones;Jemand,Res Diss,Kempe,Fred,HabbaClown et al…

    Fascinating that the Scottish referendum brings out the hasbara though…

    Quite revealing is their omnishambolic presence.

    Yet apparently they don’t have a dug in this fight..lolzzzz

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Thank You Craig..It Put a Big Smile on My Face…oh and it wasn’t the United Arabic Republic Emirates…or wtf…Nah it was that even Bigger place…Oh Shit…you know where they have all these Princes in Robes and Stuff..

    My Son’s Invite was on Completely New Business…On The Internal Flight…They passed him 3 of their National Newspapers…He Didn’t Recognise The First Two…He was Hosting The Third…

    Then Completely Jet Lagged…They Invited Him Into This Meeting…with very little Briefing…and My 25 Year Old Lad Did a Full Professional Presentation in English To The Fucking King or whatever…his son’s…he went in Really Hard…

    He said your kit is 20 years out of date FFS you haven’t even got email working properly yet…Who Sold You This Kit???It Certainly Wasn’t The British.

    He Said The Americans Have Been Ripping You Off…The Interpreter Had To Be Polite.

    I never did that.

    He said to his the hell do you meet a girl here…as the boys went in the male side of McDonalds..and the Girls went in the Female side…

    What The Fuck?


  • Gary

    I’m sure I read that the authority responsible have granted permission on condition that uniforms are not worn. I think with recent reports, one year overdue, of the young lady from Glasgow allegedly tweeting from Syria and an alleged Scots journalist being threatened with beheading AND our politicians alleging they fear “carnage” and intimidation at the polling places will work together with UKIP and Orange Order demonstrations to put fear in the hearts of voters. The fear is of public disorder/civil war should they vote YES. However, they’ve overspun it. They’ve cried wolf too many times and this just at the point when the population is reawakening politically.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Alan Nimmo turned up in a Kilt..and I shouted To Them…Can You Please Behave Yourselves…

    He Says..We are King King From Glasgow…

    I said yer what???…Its English Down Here…

    Oh All Right Then…

    We Stood Entranced and We Slowly Danced

    “King King – Jealousy”


  • Tony_0pmoc

    4 Sep, 2014 – 12:46 am,

    Yeh – O.K. This old bloke said this in the USA on Fox News…

    He is Two Years Behind…

    Do you Really want Me To Tell You What Happenned in Libya – in Bengahazi???

    On the Ferry from Naxos To Athens..a couple of years before….

    And then I got robbed on The Modern Underground They had built for The Olympics…

    I Knew it was happenning and I screamed at them…

    It was a bit of a bummer actually…cos they took all my money my wallet everything – and my wife is like a queen – she never carries any money…

    So I tried to report it to the police…where it happenned…they laughed at me…

    We carried on to the airport..I tried to report it to the police at the airport…

    They said…you need to report it at the central police station…I asked how far is it…they said…you will need to get a taxi..I said I didn’t have any money…it got stolen…

    The Greek Police Smiled at Me as if To Say…You are Fucked Then Aren’t You…

    They hadn’t stolen our tickets…nor our passports…

    My lovely wife said…we will get home O.K.


  • Tony_0pmoc

    Shit..I want The Scottish on My Side…Wouldn’t You in a FIGHT…

    Can us lot in The Border Country..You Know Like Berwick on Tweed…and The Lake District and Northumberland..Good University at Durham..and well North Yorkshire and Well Lancashire Too…Don’t take The Brummies..Nor that Lot in South Yorkshire…Unless They Want To Join Us With The Welsh and The Cornish in The New Great Britain…note The Celtic Spelling of Britain…It includes The Celts Too…

    The Anglo Saxons Can Fuck Off

    Oh You Get The Idea…sorry…

    North Western France, Wales, Edinburgh..and Fuckin Staithes…We Landed There in the Year 1600..we said would you like some of our Fish…

    They replied in their Yorkshire accents..where the Fuck Have You Come From??

    Sorry We only Speak French

    Sorry..We parler français … -Tu anglais … Voulez-vous un peu de poisson


  • N_

    I will be voting NO. But when I heard about the Orange Order march in Edinburgh, planned for the Saturday before the referendum, I wondered whether the NO campaign might be trying to lose.

    Here is the bottom line: if NO lose the Catholic Labour vote, they will lose the referendum.

    And having a big Orange walk in Edinburgh, which will obviously be a big talking-point in that Sunday’s newspapers, seems a good way to achieve exactly that. The whole point of most Orange walks (except in Donegal!) is to alienate Catholics and often to threaten them.

    So Craig, from your pro-YES point of view, you should support the march going ahead. The perceived division will be between YES, selling inclusivity and the future, and NO, selling sectarianism and archaism. Which is surely ideal for YES.

    Or maybe you just think YES should help publicise it? Which would make a lot of sense, so long as the work is not done by official YES figures.

    There are bound to be punch-ups on the march. Why? For the simple reason that YES have built up a substantial street presence. And while Better Together haven’t got much interest in dominating any streets, that’s not true of the Orange Order when they’re having a walk.

    Me, I hope NO whisper in some ears and stop the march from going ahead. It’s not as if MI5 haven’t got a presence in the UDA…er, I mean the Orange Order.

    But of course it’s very hard to tell the Orange Order what to do. “Remember 1690” and all that. Maybe a word could be had through masonic channels? After all, this is Scotland!

    Nigel Farage of UKIP will also be in the news at that time. If I’m not mistaken, he will be visiting Scotland the day before.

    Is this what NO need – a cocky Englishman coming to Scotland to promote the continuation of the Union? That’s precisely what YES want. That’s why Salmond wanted to debate not with Darling but with Cameron.

    And Farage’s visit will be followed by a march by boneheaded brutes in uniforms whose whole ideology is about sectarian stubbornness and not forgetting the past? Oh bloody dear!

    YES have successfully created a carnival atmosphere in many towns. It’s not just that they are better organised. They are obviously better funded. In the second Darling-Salmond debate, it was also clear that they had outplayed ComRes, which must surely take a fair bit of money to achieve. They ‘won’ the debate not on any particular point of argument, not just on technical presentational excellence by their performer without regard to content, but on audience selection.

    Is someone helping them?

  • craig Post author


    Having been part of the “Yes” carnival atmosphere, I can assure you there is no major central funding behind it. Folk are regularly digging into their own pockets, as I witnessed.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    I wonder if sight could be restored to the blind eye customarily turned to the activities of the Orange Order. Marches in uniform for political purposes? How about a march past St. Giles’ in camo, balaclavas and black berets, with the pipes playing “Flower of Scotland”? Or, better still, a patriotic air that it is actually possible to play on the pipes?

    Still, things haven’t reached this stage yet, though there’s every possibility they will…

  • N_

    I forgot to say: given that the YeSNP have tied their wagon to the EU horse, the UKIP anti-EU message has a lot of traction among those Scottish Protestants who believe the EU is Catholic-dominated.

    And remember that in a referendum, unlike in a general election, all votes really are equal. So getting a vote out of someone who’d otherwise stay at home in, say, Shetland, where there might be 80% support for NO, is worth the same as getting a vote out of someone who’d otherwise stay at home in Edinburgh, where the respective support levels might be closer to 50-50.

    Some are saying that the result of the referendum will be decided by older people, who are more likely to a) be registered, b) vote, and c) vote NO.

    Is it possible that the Orange Order march is designed to make sure that those among the minority of older Protestant unionists who might otherwise abstain are encouraged to get out and vote?

    Cue SNP complaints after a NO victory that the Orange Order were offering lifts to polling stations?

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    O/T, sorry, but very revealing:

    Israeli soldiers opened fire, on Wednesday morning, at a number of Palestinian fishing boats close to the shore in the Sudaniyya area, west of Gaza City, and kidnapped two.

    Eyewitnesses said that Israeli navy boats opened fire at random, before attacking the fishing boats, and kidnapped two fishermen identified as Mohammad Zayed and Mousa Sultan.

    On Monday, at dawn, soldiers also attacked a number of Palestinian fishing boats, close to the shore, in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

    The ongoing attacks come in direct violations of the Egyptian-mediated cease-fire agreement on August 26, ending Israel’s war on Gaza that started on July 8.

    At least 2137 Palestinians, including 577 children, 263 women, and 102 elderly have been killed, and more than 11100, including 3374 children, 2088 women and 410 elderly, have been injured.

    The attacks are also a violation of every cease-fire deal mediated between Israel and the resistance in Gaza, including the Israeli offensives on Gaza in 2012 and 2008.

    On Tuesday, Israeli warships opened fire at Palestinian fishermen in Gaza territorial waters.

    The August 26 agreement stipulated that Israel would immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast to six nautical miles, and would continue to expand over time.

    According to the deal, they would be allowed to sail out as far as nine nautical miles, a week from the cease-fire date, and as far as twelve, a month from then.

    Under the Oslo Agreements, the Palestinians are supposed to be allowed to fish within 20 nautical miles, but the Israeli navy kept attacking them, and their boats, even while docked at the shore, causing dozens of casualties, arrests, and destruction of shipping boats.

    Obviously designed to stir things up again. The Israelis do not want peace.

  • N_

    Ba’al – well there is a (pro-IRA) Scottish republican scene that overlaps a lot with the Scottish-based Irish republican scene, and they do like to get boys to march along in lockstep playing music. For some reason, they don’t go to Ibrox much.

    I wonder who’s playing who at football the weekend before 18 Sep?

    When someone gets punched by an Orange steward on a walk in Glasgow, the police usually look the other way.

  • JimmyGiro

    “The real question is whether the law is applied impartially to all, or are those who have the support of the Establishment allowed to break the law flagrantly and massively?”

    Is the metewand of Justice to measure strictly every action? If so, all Scottish actions would need an army of lawyers and bureaucrats just to scratch their arses.

    Surely, law is to be interpreted and only called for when their is a problem; to bring it onto every action is the act of control freaks… Craigspierre. And how many control freaks do you know, who could comprehend the meaning of ‘impartiality’?

    Your system of universal impartiality would only work in a society of clones, for only then does fascism lose its sting.

    And since this infraction to your egalitarian sensibilities was furbished by the “Scottish Government”, acting as the ‘Establishment’ in question, shouldn’t your grievance be against them?

  • nevermind, Scotland will be free

    Congrats to Tony for the good news, must have lifted a stone of your hearts.
    Thanks for that update Ba’al, just what we expected, Bibi is all talk and he only acts to steal land, but has problems with giving it back and if he finds oil in our back gardens, he’ll think nothing of taking it out under force of arms.

    Yesterday Obama Boomed in Estonia how ‘armed conflict can never be allowed to change borders’, well the bugger should speak to Bibi about that, but Bibi seems to tell him were to get off every time they meet, so the two don’t really get on and Bibi does as he like’s the little murderous tyke.

    The BBC is getting cold feet over the upswell in positive yes support for Scotland, the stock market is having kittens, the whole QE scaffold structure will be coming crushing down on their derivatives. Oh dear…..

  • BrianFujisanWabi-sabi


    Im From the west Coast..lived here all my life…it’s a beautiful place…

    I can ASSURE ASSHOLES there will be NO Sectarianism after 18th …

    NOTICE TO ALL… IT DOSE NOT EXIST HERE…To anything remotely serious Levels GOT IT

  • Vronsky

    “Yet apparently they don’t have a dug in this fight”

    Oh, but they do. Most on the independence side recognise that separation is a serious blow to the UK ruling elite. They hope for a benign domino effect, where an independent Scotland demonstrates that the neo-liberal consensus in London, far from being the only socio-economic option, is foolish and impractical, not to mention immoral.

    Both sides in the debate can claim to be rainbow alliances: on the independence side are the SNP, socialists, assorted radial left groups, Greens, and non-aligned citizens. For the Union we have the Tories (in three flavours, Lib, Lab, and Cool Original), the BNP, UKIP, the Brittanica Party and the Orange Order. It seems quite clear that one side wants movement to the left, while the other wants the status quo or preferably movement to the right.

    Our watchdogs are aware of this and have been instructed to snarl. They are the dugs in the fight.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    There has been some speculation as to the identity of (relatively) new poster “Al Milliner”. He has been identified, variously, as “Anon” and, ludicrously, as Resident Dissident.

    Fair enough.

    Shall we also speculate on the identity of (relatively) new poster “Republicofscotland”, the variety of whose themes reveals him to be an old hand on here?

    Where’s Werrity? 🙂

  • apple not orange

    It is not unlawful to wear uniform on a political march. It is unlawful to wear uniform on a political march which signifies the promotion of political object. They’d have a defence based on how to interpret “signifies”. They could say that the fact that they are having a political march doesn’t make their uniform other than cultural.

  • N_

    Brian, if you think all sectarianism will disappear after the 18th (whoever wins), you are living in cloud-cuckoo land. Do you really think anyone who doesn’t think it will disappear on that date is an “ASSHOLE” (capitalisation and US spelling retained)?

    So for example the Orange Order itself will disappear? Or maybe you think it isn’t sectarian or will stop being sectarian?

    I suggest you try to get things in proportion.

  • nevermind, Scotland will be free

    Would it be an idea, should this march of historically bypassed thugs be allowed to walk their talk, to organise lots or yes meetings within a mile of their hippocritical NO expression to Independence?

    If their march is only watched by a few NO campigners, then that can only backfire on the ‘carry on as usual’ campaign.

  • BrianFujisanWabi-sabi

    i should clarify..

    There so no Sectarianism Re indyreff…Hereaboots… one of my children have fought in illegal wars …

    I’m very well placed to let people on this blog Know..when racism kicks in, or WONT happen

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