Those of us who had the misfortune of growing up in the West of Scotland were taught a local version of The Green Cross Code:
Look right, look left, look right again, and if an Orange parade is not in the vicinity, it is safe to cross. If an Orange parade is in train, you must wait to cross the road. Under no circumstances must one attempt to disrupt the line of an Orange march.
Although Police Scotland provide security, the defenders of the Orange Order have typically been drawn from paramilitary groups such as the UDA and UVF. More often than not since the formation of these terrorist groups their members were interchangeable. The Orange Order is now the safe sanctuary of these outlawed terrorist organisations. They took up arms to protect the Protestant Ascendancy.
The Marching Season is the epiphany of their anti-Nationalist/anti-Catholic antipathy. The marches are an opportunity to remind the Catholic community of their Protestant supremacy; to put the Papists in their place.
Practicing Catholics are excluded from the Orange Order. Should one convert to the Protestant or Anglican faiths, one can in theory solicit the support of 75% of lodge members to gain admission. In reality this never comes to pass. Should one attend a Roman Catholic service of baptism, wedding or funeral, one is banished from the Orange Order. One is also prohibited from marrying a Catholic or engaging in a civil partnership with a Catholic. If one or both parents are Catholic, their offspring are prohibited from joining the Orange Order. A blind date with a Catholic could lead to expulsion. Roman Catholicism is perceived as an exercise in pagan idolatry.
Some bands that appear at Orange marches openly display support for loyalist paramilitary groups, such as by carrying paramilitary flags or sporting paramilitary names and emblems. These bands are often paid to carry these flags. Police Scotland turn a blind eye to the banners which venerate proscribed organisations.
The banner of Old Boyne Island Heroes Orange lodge bears the names of John Bingham and Shankill Butcher Robert Bates, who were both members. Another Shankill Butcher, UDR soldier Eddie McIlwaine, was pictured taking part in an Orange march in 2003 with a bannerette of killed UVF member Brian Robinson (who himself was an Orangeman). McIlwaine was also pictured acting as a steward at a 2014 Orange march. The Shankhill Butchers are known to have engaged in the sectarian murder of at least 23 individuals.
An Orange Order spokesman refused to condemn McIlwaine’s membership of the Order. Portadown Orangemen allowed known militants such as George Seawright to take part in a 6 July 1986 march
Seawright was a unionist politician and UVF member who had publicly proposed burning Catholics in ovens.
When a July 1992 Orange march passed the scene of the Sean Graham bookmakers’ shooting—in which the UDA killed five Catholic civilians—Orangemen shouted pro-UDA slogans and held aloft five fingers as a taunt to residents.
Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said the marchers “would have disgraced a tribe of cannibals“. In 2007, a banner commemorating UDA member Joe Bratty appeared at an Orange march. Bratty was said to have orchestrated the massacre.
Orange lodges in Scotland have also been accused of links with loyalist paramilitaries. In the early years of The Troubles, the Order’s Grand Secretary in Scotland toured Orange lodges for volunteers to “go to Ulster to fight”. Thousands are believed to have volunteered although only a small number travelled to Ulster. During the 1970s an Orangeman—Roddy MacDonald—was the UDA’s ‘commander’ in Scotland. In 1976, senior Scottish Orangemen tried to expel him after he admitted on television that he was a UDA leader and had smuggled weapons to Northern Ireland. However, his expulsion was blocked by 300 Orangemen at a special disciplinary hearing.His successor as Scottish UDA commander, James Hamilton, was also an Orangeman. Many Scottish Orangemen were convicted for loyalist paramilitary activity, and some Orange meetings were used to raise funds for loyalist prisoners’ welfare groups.
In an attempt to confer legitimacy on their terrorists in EasyJet uniforms, they parlay about being the heirs of a British Zionist tradition. This feeds in to their sense of supremacy.
They are the people. The chosen ones.
The Orange Order, which broke into two factions, actively promote their members to seek political office. The majority of DUP politicians are either members, or tacit supporters, of the Orange Order. Does Theresa May know the background of her new bed mates?
In her desperate bid to retain power has May ushered in a new era of Orange Order Ascendancy?
This Ascendancy could not have come at a better time for the Scottish Orange Lodges, whose numbers have dwindled to circa 2,000 hard-line bigots for whom Rangers Lite is their religion and Ibrox stadium is their cathedral.
To my mind the Orange Order should be proscribed. They are an anachronism of a time when cock fighting was prevalent. They have as much relevance to Scottish society as badger-baiting.
They espouse on their Traditions, their rights of free assembly. It was traditional for Ku Klux Klan members to sodomise, urinate on and string up African American children. Should this sense of ‘tradition’ be upheld?
There are many parallels between the Orange Order and the Ku Klux Klan. One can understand why Billy Fullerton, The Bridgeton Butcher, would seek to establish a chapter of the latter in Glasgow.
The bands which congregate to commemorate the massacre of Catholic landowners at The Battle of The Boyne on the 12th July are allowed safe passage by Police Scotland. They are allowed to engage in Catholic baiting with impunity. After a few hours of bombast they collapse in a drunken piss-stained heap on Glasgow Green.
If these are the people, what does this say about Scottish society as a whole? Are we too intimidated to question why this is tolerated in the 21st Century? Some of the individuals who are conspiring to murder me will be parading on the 12th.
It truly beggars belief that these marches of hatred are permitted. The Orange Order are fascists in fancy dress. The stench of The Orange Ordure should leave a bad taste in the mouths of all right-thinking Scots.