Today saw a resumption in the sort of violence in Ulster that was reminiscent of 15-20 years ago with violence on the streets and paramilitary action firing automatic weapons and bombs at the police and the army. The police chief blaming the political convenors of the movement for pre-meditated violence and attacks.

Was this the return to violence of the IRA? No, this was the Orange Order and loyalist paramilitaries responding to the police stopping the march in Belfast going down a Catholic area thru’ the peace wall.

Why is it a problem for them to march you may say? As with so many things it stems from a historical antipathy between 2 communities. I believe I have done a potted history before so I won’t dwell too much on it but basically the Orange Order wished to hold their march which commemorates Protestant victories over the Catholics. It is obviously small wonder that the Catholic community will be somewhat reluctant to allow such a parade and self-evident that the police may wish to avoid the likely confrontation. There is precedent for it, sectarian violence has been commonplace in Ulster and the Orange marching season, be it in Belfast, Derry, Portadown or Drumcree has often been the blue touch paper waiting to be lit.

To put it into context it would be akin to a group of Germans wanting to march through a German-Czech bordertown to commemorate the ‘liberation’ of the Sudetenland in 1938.

Now had this been sectarian violence the other way round the news tomorrow would be dominated by bigots like Ian Paisley demanding to know when the British government was going to censure the political parties of the Republican movement and barking about how the IRA were still an active paramilitary organisation and not to be trusted. The media would be buzzing around Messers Adams and McGuinness asking the same questions as they have done for years about whether the IRA are committed to peace.

Will the same thing happen with the interrogation of Paisley and his acolytes, most of whom are prominent members of the Orange Order? Will airtime be given to Sin Fein allowing them to cast their distain at the violence from the loyalists and asking questions as to whether the loyalist paramilitaries have any real intentions of giving up their arms?

Will it bollocks!

Song Of The Day ~ Turin Brakes – Blue Hour

Original Comments:

Christopher made this comment,
The problem, as always, is the myth of sovereignty. Hence, Michael Stone gets stuck in a revolving door (symbolism, eh?).
comment added :: 5th December 2006, 15:18 GMT+01