Would it be possible to establish an organisation like the Orange Order in Scotland in 2018?
I rather think that such a new outfit might find itself on the wrong side of the law.
Of course, many things are tolerated in a society simply because they are “traditional”.
In sub-Saharan Africa female genital mutilation (FGM) is a staunchly defended tradition in many communities.
Yes, it is a barbaric form of child abuse with lifelong consequences for the woman.
However, it is traditional.
The Scotland I was born in had a different type of FGM and that was traditional too.
Fenians Gratuitously Maligned.
On Saturday on the steps of St Alphonsus, the FGM brigade let loose with saliva and sectarianism.
Since then I have spoken to several of the parishioners who were there that day.
They’ve been interviewed by the police and it would appear that Scotland’s finest are keen to get the man who spat on Canon Tom White.
I share the feelings of those that I spoke with is that this is a box ticking exercise for official Scotland.
If the spitter is brought to justice then the FGM can continue as per normal.
This statement from the Parish Pastoral Councils of both St Mary’s and St Alphonsus is hard to refute.
In the northeast of this country, there are thousands of parades by the “Loyal Orders” each summer.
Many historians believe that the spark that ignited the Northern war (1969- 1998) was when Apprentice Boys threw pennies down on the nationalist Bogside.
That taunting of a poor, socially excluded community from the city walls was also traditional.
Then on August 12th 1969, the Fenians of the Bogside decided that their days of being Generally Maligned was over.
The uprising had begun.
Thankfully there is no need for Molotovs in Glasgow to stop this toxic cocktail of Herrenvolk swaggering and ethno–religious hatred.
A petition to call time on the Orange Walk in Glasgow has already attracted thousands of signatures.
You can find it here.
The Orange Order is part of a tradition (there’s that word again!) that has a visceral antipathy towards a faith group that has historically been socially excluded in Scotland.
In Northern Ireland, the Parades Commission has been an important part of resolving the contentious marches issue.
The number of parades that cause difficulties has been slowly dealt with, mainly through re-routing or restrictions on music being played near Catholic churches.
Sometimes, the determinations of the Parades Commission are ignored by strangely dressed men with flutes.
However, overall it has created a forum for resolving these flashpoints.
It just might be that Fair Caledonia could learn from Northern Ireland on this issue.
I believe that it is still the contention of the SNP government that Scotland is the best small country in the world.