Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Orangefest to be gay but not camp

If two of Northern Ireland’s newspapers are to be believed the Orange Order is sending out contradictory signals about Monday’s parades. The Belfast Telegraph reports that crowds in the city centre will enjoy street entertainment as part of the ‘Orangefest’ celebrations. Iris Robinson will be shocked to learn, however, that one of these acts is to be a ‘Gaiety Engine’ who will be presented by ‘Strangelings’. This revelation seems to sit uneasily with Fionnuala O’Connor’s claim, in her Irish News column, that the Order’s Drew Nelson plans to clamp down on ‘camp followers’.


andrewg said...

Please tell me "Orange Dan" is a joke...

Anonymous said...

Sam Gardiner MLA, the Ulster Unionist Assembly Member for Upper Bann, who is a Past District Master of Lurgan District Orange Lodge and is currently Senior Imperial Deputy Grand Master of the Black Institution, has said:

“I know that there is an increasing emphasis on turning the Twelfth into a festival which everyone can enjoy and there is no harm in that. It is important to remember it is a celebration. It is also important to remember, however, what it celebrates.”

“The Twelfth is a celebration of civil and religious freedom and of the British constitution which has given our freedom under the law, and our rights as citizens. The whole fabric of our society - our political rights, our financial system, our individual freedom – all developed out of the constitutional settlement of 1688-1690 which it celebrates. We owe the creators of the Revolution settlement a lot. This country would have been a very different place without the stand they took against arbitrary power.”

“People should also remember that the Twelfth is about civil and religious liberty, and about the freedom of people to express their beliefs and views. It is not about domination or suppression of other people’s views. We should be proud that in this part of the United Kingdom we celebrate such a worthwhile set of ideas and principles.”

“So let it be an Orangefest by all means but let us also remember the serious messages it conveys about personal liberty and freedom. These freedoms and liberties are so much under threat these days from an over-powerful government machine and control freakery that we would do well to remember that the core message of the Twelfth is about freedom, liberty, human rights and human dignity.”