Hug an Orangeman 83

Back in 1979/80 I had an American girlfriend who I was taking to see Stirling when an Orange march (it was some kind of national Orange event) came through town. She had not the first idea what it was about, but she felt terrified and threatened and ended up in tears, despite being a Presbyterian from Illinois. I tell you that story because it is difficult to get over to people who have not experienced it, just how nasty the atmosphere of an Orange march is. The aggressive rattle of the drums, the fierce posturing and apoplectic faces of the participants, the plain enactment of an aggressive territorial possession ritual, and of course the drunken and swaggering followers walking on the pavements forcing people off them or into the shops.

The great John Stuart Mill made the point in On Liberty that it was a perfectly legitimate point of view to express that corn merchants were thieves who made fortunes out of the starving and misery of the poor. But to use precisely the same words shouted to a howling mob bearing torches, outside a corn merchants’ house in the middle of the night, was not legitimate. Even the apostle of liberty held that freedom of speech could not be absolute but must be linked to context and intent.

That Mill’s observation is followed in practice is well illustrated by the Northern Irish practice of restricting Orange marches away from Catholic areas and churches. But the whole question of Orange manifestations raises difficult questions of how to tolerate the intolerant and to deal with mass threat. There is not a simple right or wrong answer.

But what I do know is that it is very wrong indeed that in Scotland in 2015, I had to warn Nadira this morning to be extremely careful as she set off to go to Queens Street station and then on to a meeting in Glasgow Film City in Govan.

As to the legal position, Orange displays are very plainly illegal under the Public Order Act 1936. This has not been repealed or contradicted by subsequent legislation and it does apply to Scotland. It is not otiose – it has been used against striking miners and against Irish Republicans.

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 :

The Orange Order registered as a participant in the referendum campaign. It is therefore by definition an avowedly political organisation.

Without any need to get in to the fact it is the only remaining effective part of Scottish Labour and Gordon Matheson’s sole resource on the ground.

If section 1 is not enough for you, and you would have to be a dedicated sophist to claim it does not apply, let me refer you to Section 2b which bans “the display of physical force in promoting any political object”. No reasonable person who has ever seen an Orange march can deny that is precisely what it is. (I do not use their lying term of walk designed precisely to obscure this truth).

Whether Orange street events should be allowed is a difficult question. Whether they are illegal is an entirely different question. They are illegal, and the fact the law is not enforced takes us back again to the subject of the institutional corruption of the Scottish legal establishment. I guarantee you that if I suggested we walk down Sauchiehall Street all wearing black berets in support of independence, we would be in the pokey PDQ.

Anyway, my knowledge of Northern Ireland comes largely from Graham Norton. So anyone who comes across the Orangemen in Glasgow today, I suggest that you, if you are male, scream out at one:

“Oh Wow! Look at you! You look just Gorgeous! And Orange is SO your colour!!! I had no idea you could be so dominant. I can think of things we could do with that umbrella/flute/drumstick/furry cockade. Anyway I shan’t bother you now in front of your charming butch friends, but we really must do it again sometime. (Mime “phone me”).

If you are female, you can play too, but better use a lower voice and say this:

“Oh wow! You look great. I am so glad I ran into you again. Honestly, I have been wanting to see you to say please don’t worry, it happens to a lot of men. Especially your age. Maybe it would help you if you wore your uniform?”

Go on, hug an Orangeman.

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83 thoughts on “Hug an Orangeman

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  • Juteman

    I counted 87 folk on the webcam at the Fester. Excluding the 33 media folk, I make that 44 marchers.
    Forty five if we include Fred. 🙂

  • Villager

    There is a time and Place (read Thread) for everything

    6 Jun, 2015 – 3:15 pm
    “PS My post on the Scottish Parliament debate on Scotland and Alcohol was ON topic. Craig mentioned ‘drunken and swaggering followers’.”

    Context woman, context is everything. Your context was ” Assuming that the death of Charles Kennedy brought the subject to the fore”. There is a Charles Kennedy thread. Stop twisting!

    “Why use the epithet Orange Woman to address me? Your point is?”

    Clue: Orange avatar. You’re all dressed up for it, very matching!
    Mary did you really never learn “There is a time and place for everything”?

  • Brus MacGallah

    They are Orange Marches all over Ireland on the 12th of July, many of them in County Donegal, held by Planters who were left by their Ulster Brethern on the wrong side of the Partition, in order to ensure a vaiable Protestant State. Stripped of their political significance these are very low key affairs.
    In 1990 Bord Failte encouraged the Orange Order over the Border to the site of the Battle of the Boyne (near Drogheda) to celebrate it’s 300th anniversary.

  • fred

    “Forty five if we include Fred. ”

    Fuck off and die shit for brains retard scum.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Once, on a sleepy summer’s morning in Glasgow, while out walking I heard the sound of drums and made out loud, rhythmic banging, the noise of blown instruments and massed orange banners. Ah, I thought, an Orange March, right, I’d better head in the opposite direction. Then I saw middle-aged South Asian women dressed in saris on the march and for a demented, improbable and wonderful moment, I thought, Oh, goodness, the Orange Lodge has gone all multi-culti! Then of course, absolute numptie that I am, I realised that it was in fact a Sikh march! There is a comedy sketch in there somewhere.

  • Roderick Russell

    Though it was many years ago, like Ti (above), I too was brought up in Glasgow in a Protestant (Church of Scotland) tradition, but not an Orange one. It’s amazing how little has changed. Orangemen marching in support of a concept of Union that no longer exists elsewhere (and hasn’t for decades), and “liberals” who want to ban things which they don’t like.

    A concept of Union that no longer exists? Yes, the Union and its institutions were once very decentralized when compared to other countries, Today everything is highly centralized and controlled out of London. The symbols (Union Jack, Monarchy, etc.) of Union may have remained the same, but the institutions that these symbols represent are entirely different. I recall the historian AJP Taylor making this very point. He talked about his father, a Manchester businessman, doing business all over the world and only spending two nights in London. He then pointed out that today (writing in the 1960s perhaps) it is very different as everything flows through London.

  • OldMark

    Read this OldMark

    I’ve read it RoS and I think the Reverend gentleman doth protest too much.Of course the Mail’s anti SNP spin is to be expected, and the twattersphere is full of idiots letting off steam at high profile MPs, but the Mail’s report on the successful SNP candidate going apeshit when Kennedy honed in on his banker background rang true. As for the ‘innocent’ explanation for the upturned bins suggested in your link, the weather there on the night of 7/8 May was bog standard Scottish-shitty (‘blustery showers’ back then, pouring rain for the ‘Orangefest’ in Glasgow today)), but no gales were reported-

    I’m thus inclined to accept Mr O’Neill’s explanation rather than the lame ‘it’s the weather wot dun it’ line extruded by Wings over Scotland

  • Republicofscotland

    “I’m thus inclined to accept Mr O’Neill’s explanation rather than the lame ‘it’s the weather wot dun it’ line extruded by Wings over Scotland


    Below is what Mr O’Neil said.

    Hardly a statement of fact is it now,that any political opponent had a hand in upsetting Mr Kennedy’s bins.

    “This unedifying act of vandalism — carried out, O’Neill assumes, by someone loyal to Kennedy’s political opponent.”

    But like eveyone else you’re entitled to your opinion.

    But don’t go confusing assumptions with facts.

  • Republicofscotland

    No surprise that the London owned unionist newspaper the Daily Record,has said the Orangefest was a success,and that 2000 people (a major exaggeration) had shown up.

    The Canary Wharf owned gutter rag goes on to call the Orangefest “cultural” hmmm..the Record hasn’t lost its sense of humour,or perhaps Murray Foote has drank too much orange juice.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The Loyal Orange Order would still be a very useful tool for dividing the Scottish community, should the Establishment care to use it. Northern Ireland demonstrated conclusively that it would. Look forward to an inconspicuously-sponsored resurgence of this bunch of football casuals in Masonic kit, and watch how you react.

  • Gary

    ‘Fraternal organisation’ ridiculously accepted as such and not ‘political’ or ‘sectarian’. Their entire premise should be illegal.

  • Mary

    Keep on keeping on with your drivel Villager. Your remark is puerile and silly.

    By your reckoning, we should address each other according to the colour of the gravatars. Grow up.

    PS My name is Mary. Not ‘woman’ or ‘Orange woman’.

  • Enoch

    Lifelong Catholic – always enjoyed the Orange Lodge marches. Only a neurotic would find them threatening. You’re a real fascist, Craig. You have total contempt for most people (and most people don’t share your weird views). You do have some respect for famous political opponents whose names you are fond of dropping. Frankly, you’re a tit.

  • Rotterboy Rab

    I am sure for appearances sake all was well controlled at Orangefest in George square,however from experience there is always underneath a threat of violence towards almost everyone who is not of the right kind.

  • Lord Palmerston

    Surprising to see Mr. Murray being so conformist. The 40-year project
    to abandon the Ulster Unionists – not merely Britain’s friends but
    literally its flesh and blood – is in its later stages. A Two-Minutes
    Hate against this awkward remnant will upset no one in the
    enlightened establishment.

    How emblematic of modern times that a campaign to betray one’s friends
    and relatives commands so much support. We do live in interesting
    times: how much lower can enlightened opinion go?

  • N_

    @Republicofscotland – You call the Daily Record, part of Trinity Mirror, “London” owned, “Canary Wharf” owned, and “unionist”.

    Its editorial line is certainly unionist, and in that sense it’s in the same camp as the Scotsman, owned by the Johnston Press, a company which is registered in Edinburgh but with its HQ in Cavendish Square, again in the notorious town of London. So by your thinking, it’s London-owned and more specifically Cavendish Square owned.

    On my planet, towns and buildings neither own newspapers, nor – and this is far more important – do they control them.

    I like to see the press get a good kicking, so I’d encourage you to make your criticism more exact. As in, who does what to whom?

  • N_

    Hey Lord Palmerston, so the Ulster Unionists are “literally” Britain’s “flesh and blood”?

    Do you know what “literally” means? Britain is an idea, a brand – it doesn’t have any “flesh and blood”, any more than Coca Cola does.

    Can you argue in a less metaphorical way?

  • Mary

    Something really ‘Orange’ here.

    Netanyahu Steps Into Israel Boycott Debate
    Western diplomats believe the prime minister may be getting involved over the boycott issue to further his country’s own aims.

    ‘The biggest bombshell was the announcement by telecoms giant Orange that it was axing a deal which gave an Israeli mobile phone company rights to use its brand – following pressure over services it provides to Israeli settlements in the West Bank – deemed illegal by the international community.’

  • John Seal

    The first time I remember experiencing fear was on the high street one day with my parents, age 6 or 7, and running into an Orangeman’s parade. Much alcohol had been consumed (not by us).

    Time number two was about a year later when a surly group of skinheads got onto our train at Lime Street station (I think) and proceeded to misbehave.

    There’s not much difference between surly skinheads and drunken Orangemen.

  • MerkinOnParis

    I have a pub ‘aquaintance’ who is a very,very traditional Labour, Unionist, Rangers type – holding elevated positions within the ranks of related organisations.
    He is a helluva nice guy but I don’t agree with his views in any area other than cooking.
    Bumped into him a couple of days after the election.
    He told me he had just been at a meeting of the ‘National Executive’ and resigned after pointing out that it was against Standing Orders for Steerpike to remain as Scottish Labour leader (branch office, I think he meant).
    The next time I saw him was a couple of weeks later on the day that Murphy won a vote to remain in office. He would have been there, normally, but instead was walking on the pavement alongside a relatively modest Orange procession which went through my locality. He looked a broken man. I felt only pity. As with the demise of NuLabour in Scotland, so the demise of the Orange Order. These are not unconnected.

  • AWoLsco

    One of the biggest cons of all time is this ‘Orange’ business.
    Scots, please drop this absurd ‘loyalty’ to this outright self-seeking, self-aggrandising rapscallion…. a tool of the jews, the money men of Amsterdam.
    His real name was Willem Stadholder, a Dutchman of very humble origins, but insanely,ruthlessly, ambitious…. qualities that attracted the attention of what would be his ‘handlers’….. the money men of Amsterdam.

    Once you appreciate that, then ‘British’ history falls into place……
    The re-admission of jews into England, the bloodless ‘Glorious Revolution’, where a foreign monarch alights on our shores, unopposed. The scuppering of the Darien scheme, the visceral hatred of all things Scottish, seen as different and ‘other’, but nevertheless a feature of the history of those islands for a millenium. Others had different ideas. Ideas of Union. Personally, I don’t think he held such views for he was intellectually, a bit of a numpty, but his handlers had very definite views and a radically different agenda, where Scotland was going to be sent to the dustbin of history.

    I’m a Scottish Christian presbyterian,and if the day of judgement comes, I will pin my strip of red cloth to my person to identify myself to my enemies….if necessary… did my forbears, the original ‘rednecks’….but……
    I will not take part in any Orange march…or support this anachronistic order one iota.
    The idea that I should honour some jumped-up, jewish-sponsored, Dutch gangster, is utterly preposterous.

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