Unionist negotiators must demand cultural protections around parades and bonfires
As the Irish language lobby increase their ever expanding list of demands, it is prudent for the unionist community to reflect upon what legislative provisions are being discussed for the protection of the Protestant, Unionist and Loyalist culture and traditions.
With much talk about ‘rights based issues’, it is notable that any reference to the rights of the Orange Order and marching bands are not being considered. The continual denial of rights of the bands fraternity and Orange Order is clearly an issue which should be on the table.
Every year we see further manufactured opposition to peaceful parades, with the overall republican agenda at the heart of each and every contrived parading controversy. Yet the republican community have the audacity, via their front groups in the Irish language lobby, to demand that Irish language signage would be forced upon unionist communities.
On Monday’s BBC Nolan Show, a spokesperson for the Irish language lobby confirmed that he believed Irish language signage should be forced upon areas such as the Shankill Road and east Belfast. This, of course, is the ultimate end-game for the aggressive Irish language agenda. Any legislative provision granted will not be good enough, they will continue to return for more year after year, until the they have their key demands which includes the following;
- discrimination against non-Irish speakers in public service employment
- mandatory Irish education in ALL schools (this means that Protestant children would be forced to learn the language as part of the curriculum)
- Irish signs forced into Protestant communities, without consent
The above demands is where any legislative process around Irish language will eventually end. There is even talk of a ‘commissioner’ being appointed to enforce their demands.
Given the aggressive cultural supremacy being demanded by republicanism, why aren’t the unionist negotiating team being equally forceful in demanding a cultural expression act, which would protect- as of right- areas such as parading and bonfires?