Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Order protest not doing them any favours

I have admitted in the past an ambivalence toward Orangeism and the Orange Order. I would like to be more sympathetic, but the organisation really doesn’t do itself any favours at times. You have to wonder does anyone at all furnish the Order with public relations advice, and if so do they listen or does some dour Ulster thranness cause them to act directly counter to these suggestions?

Take the OO’s protests outside Hillsborough Castle last night. It takes a peculiarly warped sensibility to make genuine victimhood appear like a specious type of martyr complex, but the Orange Order has managed it. There is a concerted and sectarian campaign by republicans to attack the Order’s property. That is a fact and one which has gained the organisation some sympathy. These attacks are particularly reprehensible because they are aimed at small rural Orange Halls which play a pivotal role in their communities and are often used by people of all religions and political opinions for a myriad of purposes.

Why then, instead of highlighting the insidious nature of these attacks and how they are aimed not only at the organisation but at the very fabric of the communities in which the Order exists, do 200 Orangemen (including Grand Master Robert Saulters) elect to bear posters with the legend “fair play to protestants” and engage in whataboutery claiming the police would be more concerned with attacks on GAA halls?

1 comment:

Kloot said...

You have to wonder does anyone at all furnish the Order with public relations advice, and if so do they listen or does some dour Ulster thranness cause them to act directly counter to these suggestions?

Couldnt agree with you more. They really need some external advice on public relations.
In the main, the OO has a positive message to sell, which it already does to one community. Its a cultural/religious organisation, with strong historical roots. It provides a focal point for young people, educating them in music and matters religious and instilling a sense of community.

Now of course, its not all rosey, it does have its failings, like any organisation, and the last 40 years of NI history has amplified some of those. It has problems in areas such as contentious marching, attitude towards the catholic faith in general, it has some bad eggs hanging on to its coattails.

Over all though, its an institution worth preserving. Advice from a good PR company could go a long way towards reversing its bad image