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Members of the Orange Order. Violence seems likely ahead of July 12th, Marching Season. Photo by: Wiki

Orange Dis-Order threatens North peace once again

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Members of the Orange Order. Violence seems likely ahead of July 12th, Marching Season. Photo by: Wiki

As predictable as the swallows returning to Capistrano the threat of Orange Order-inspired violence once more hangs over Northern Ireland as the 12th of July approaches.

This time the Orange have roped in mainstream Unionist politicians, including the First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson, as well as leaders of political fronts for paramilitary groups.

They issued a threatening statement after a controversial march past a nationalist interface in north Belfast was banned.

They said the decision by the independent parades committee "creates a serious situation for Northern Ireland.

"We know, having seen republican threats of violence being rewarded, the conclusion is swiftly drawn that violence pays.

"We have, for some time, been aware that such an absurd parades determination would bring with it a very real risk of widespread violence and disorder."

There you have it the same old Orange card with saber-rattling and threats of violence.

What is extraordinary is that Peter Robinson allows himself to be identified with such threats.

Last year the Orange and their cohorts rioted for days on end when the same parade was banned, sending shock-waves through an already fragile peace process.

This year we will have First Minister-sanctioned saber-rattling that will quite likely lead to violence which will be more extreme even than last year’s horrific scenes.

The parades commission reached their decision as they have been empowered to do so. That should really be the end of it.

Not for Peter Robinson, though, who is guilty of what he has often accused Sinn Fein of, leaving the option of violence hanging if he does not get his way.

It has been clear for some time that Robinson is unable to confront issues that cause him difficulties within his own community.

His weak leadership stands in contrast to his predecessor Ian Paisley, who led Northern Ireland to an unprecedented era of shared government and responsibility and brought his own community along.

Robinson in contrast, as seen with this parade issue, seems captive to the worst elements within the Orange Order and the paramilitaries.

It is a march to nowhere strategy as previous issues relating to marches have turned out to be. Remember Drumcree which caused loss of life, enormous hurt and suffering and ended up in a resounding defeat for Orangeism?

The era when King Billy’s bullyboys can march with impunity through nationalist neighborhoods or past Catholic interfaces is gone, dead, over.

What is tragic is that Peter Robinson cannot seem to grasp that and risks placing the peace process in jeopardy in order to salve the wounds of the most bigoted members of the clan.

Northern Ireland will be in lockdown for the next week or so, sending a horrific message worldwide about the stability of its institutions.

Read more: Big dreams for kids in Belfast as Troubles fade

Peter Robinson loves to portray to Americans his belief that the new Northern Ireland is a place that can be as attractive to overseas investors as the Irish Republic.

Not as long as the long march to nowhere continues with his Orange Order pals.

The Orange compulsion to march in "Croppie lie down" mode through nationalist neighborhoods is deeply disappointing, yet there is sufficient goodwill towards the peace process to resolve such issues.

By siding with the extreme elements however, Robinson is undermining the very agreement that has made peace possible.

Leadership this is not.

Here’s footage from 2013:

Big dreams for kids in Belfast as Troubles fade

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