The long and winding road

that leads towards a real transformation of collective thought in NI, socially and politically

everyone lost                        

KEY POINT Only the people of Northern Ireland can reach a mindset that totally rejects sectarianism and racism. people in ni But a lot of them are not going to get there without some help. Here are some proposals government and local authorities could start implementing to start them off on the right road. out of here 1)A grassroots campaign To explain modern legislation, starting with the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights, moving on to the EU charter of human rights, relevant UK and ROI legislation, the GFA/Belfast /St Andrew’s Agreements. public meetings public meetings in town, club and church halls, street corners etc. red card A poster campaign, posters  to be displayed in all government buildings, public offices, shops, workplaces, public transport etc. anti-sectarianism A TV soap opera, radio phone-in

a radio call-in show.

All fully coordinated. For example if public meetings are exploring Art 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Posters should send the same message, the Soap opera will focus on this in its daily show

and so will the radio show. before the truth Advantages: The campaign will focus on educating people about their rights and duties in a modern state, provide a widespread forum for discussion even among those who do not attend the public meetings.



It will provide valid internships for young lawyers and teachers, work for graphic artists, script-writers, actors, radio and TV technical and administrative staff. Permanent jobs will be created as the media shows and posters etc can continue supporting other local civic and environmental concerns.



If programmes are well-made they can be syndicated to other troubled spots in the world, generating income.

Disdavantage: Government money will have to be invested and the Loyal Orders, DUP,TUV etc will block the initiative. Can their objections be over-ruled?

2) Separate the Loyal orders from Unionist political parties. snip

The loyal orders are secure in their own sense of false superiority and unearned entitlement to rule others. They should stand as political candidates on their values. Other political parties should be strongly encouraged to refuse candidates who are members of the Loyal Orders. So if a voter decides to vote for UUP, DUP, TUV, PUP etc , s/he is voting for what’s on the party tin – not a hidden Orange agenda. walk away

Interestingly the UK Government’s “Better Together” campaign against Scottish independence has already started along this road.




They made it clear they do not want Orange support.

The cross-party Better Together organisation banned the Orange Order from taking part in its official campaign as soon it was set up in 2012.

They feared it would inflame sectarian tensions or polarise voters.



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 if the order marches as threatened only days before the referendum could provoke an unwelcome backlash among liberal, leftwing voters at a crucial stage in the campaign.


Advantage: Making the Loyal orders form their own party  would probably serve to remove them from the political engine as they have about 30,000 members – a small minority of the population.

Disadvantage: Current Unionist MLAs and Ministers who are members of the Loyal Orders should automatically move into the Orange Order Party as other Unionist parties would be expected to de-select them. Others would have to choose – Party or Order.

3)The UK, Irish, EU and USA should proclaim their commitment to eradicating sectarianism and racism in NI.

They have everywhere else they govern. Why not here? Sectarian/racist- tainted institutions, organizations, laws and cultural influences should be removed from Northern Irish life by applying appropriate, existing laws to the full.

anti-sectarian police

4) The Loyalist people must have it “driven home to them” that their ancestors had participated in a “lawless conspiracy” while Britain was on the brink of WWI.

They must realise they are not “super Loyal”, that their crimes consist of several offences against the “common good” and that they will no longer be tolerated.

difficult roads

Outcome: After a few months of this type of actions being implemented let’s all have another look at proposals to deal with victims, flags, parades and so on. I guarantee there will be very little objection to anything. Otherwise

same old

we can stagger on in the same, old, same old way


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