By Councillor Stephen Cooper
Since the Belfast Agreement, the appeasement of Republican violence has been set as the central precedent of the so called peace process.
It is no surprise that the out-workings of that same government policy has resulted in the removal of any morality within the structures built on a foundation of lies and deceit.
The present impasse over parading has its roots entangled within the principle of ‘peace at any price’, exercised by consecutive British administrations in return for a bomb free city of London.
The Orange Order finds itself thrust upon the international stage with an expectant media waiting for its justification and reasoning for protesting against determinations set down by the Parades Commission.
That the same quango has favoured the protestors who have blatantly and openly threatened to bring thousands onto the streets if any decisions do not comply with their intolerant insistence of no Orange feet past their enclave, exemplifies the immoral vein running through its decisions and governance in NI.
The moral ground is sitting invitingly, almost pleadingly awaiting the brethren.
Rallying supporters and marchers to protests presents some degree of risk, as there is no guarantee of controlling the large numbers who are inherently aggrieved at their shoddy treatment.
The crux is that many in the PUL community are not merely opposed to being dictated to by the PC, but are opposed to the constant folly of rewarding violence.
If this mantra was to be adopted by the Loyal Orders, it would have a far reaching effect on their enemies’ strategies.
Sinn Fein would have the wind taken out of their sails, as they have used violence to gain power; the SDLP wouldn’t argue against rewarding violence, and the media and wider international audience would view it as reasonable and as noble a position any decent citizen of any country can hold.
Unionist politicians, some uneasy at defending a march solely on the basis that it is traditional, could bask in the limelight upon newly acquired moral ground, and espouse their opposition to rewarding violence and proclaim their desire for a new NI, free from terrorism and appeasement.
Protestors could perhaps arrive at rallies with a different agenda, pursuing the stance against rewarding violence, and thus reducing the risk of resorting to rioting, especially if they are protesting against that very action.
The NIO, and upwards to the echelons of the cabinet in Downing St would find it difficult to dismiss such a powerful and comprehensively reasonable objection to the on-going elevation of terrorism and rewarding of criminality at the expense of the law abiding majority.