House of Commons
13th September 2005
I write to you as one of your constituents, and also as a member of the Loyal Orange Institution of England. I have the honour to be Secretary of Lord Carson Memorial LOL20 which holds a warrant granted in Farnham in 1955.
I expect you will be as dismayed and troubled as I am by the events of the past week-end in Northern Ireland. I wish to place on the record at the outset my total condemnation of the violence which we have seen, especially the violence towards officers of the PSNI, and members of HM Forces. But one does not need to support violence to understand the reasons for it.
For thirty years the Protestant and Unionist community in Northern Ireland bore the full weight of the ira’s murderous campaign. As an MP, I am sure you will be fully aware of the catalogue of cowardly attacks on innocent civilians. Claudy, La Mon, Tullyvallen, Kingsmill, Enniskillen, Teebane, Shankill; these names are ingrained in the memory, just as Guildford, Aldershot, Warrington and Canary Wharf are remembered here on the mainland. No attempt to airbrush these atrocities from the record will succeed. With the Peace Process, and the Belfast Agreement, came the long hoped for new dawn, but in effect all that happened was that the attack on the Protestant community took on a new and more subtle form. Concession after concession was made to the, now Armani suited and “respectable” terrorists, without one tangible and verifiable return being made. The ira and it’s sinn fein mouthpiece continued on its merry way, making use of the “peace” to train a new generation of murderers, continuing with punishment beatings and shootings; “internal housekeeping” as the late Mo Mowlam, jovially referred to it; importing arms, exporting terrorism, intelligence gathering, or “spying” as it used to be known, all of which culminated in “Stormontgate”, when even HM Government recognised that sinn fein were unfit for government and devolved government was suspended.
Since then the current Government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has done everything in its power to allow the unreconstructed terrorists of sinn fein/ira back into a devolved government. At the last General Election the Protestant community overwhelmingly voted for the Democratic Unionist Party to represent them, because the DUP promised to end the seemingly endless concessions to sinn fein/ira. The Protestant community has now learned a bitter truth. The British government, their government, does not care one iota for their democratically expressed wishes.
It is an open secret on the streets of Northern Ireland that Tony Blair’s terrorist friends in sinn fein/ira refer to him as the “Naive Idiot”. But this is a dangerous naivety. No sooner was the invisible ink dry on the latest ira “peace statement” than a whole new raft of concessions was rushed, with obscene haste, into place. A convicted mass murderer, released, then re-imprisoned because he was considered a danger, is released without any evidence being placed before a court. The security apparatus which has protected the people of Northern Ireland for so long is dismantled. The Royal Irish Regiment is to be disbanded without even a “thank you” from an ungrateful and spineless government. The PSNI appears more concerned with prosecuting God-fearing, law abiding, British citizens who wish to assert their civil and religious liberties, by walking the Queens highway, than with catching criminals. Who really believes that the Northern Bank robbers or the murderers of Robert McCartney will ever face a court?
The Protestant community, bombed, murdered, insulted, ignored, marginalised and finally betrayed, needed one more straw to break its back. The idiotic decision of the unelected quango which is the Parades Commission regarding the Whiterock Parade, provided that straw. The Parades Commission is not the answer to a problem, it is the problem. It is time for it to go, and I appeal to you as my MP to use your best efforts to achieve this, and to support those trying to achieve this.
Make no mistake. Northern Ireland is on the edge of an abyss. By their anti-Protestant, anti-Unionist agenda, this government has alienated the very people who are the most loyal and the most dedicated servants of HM the Queen, and the nation which is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The term “loyalist” has become pejorative, and it has to be admitted there are those who bring that term into disrepute. But the vast majority of the Protestant people of Northern Ireland live up to what that name implies. They have fought and died in their thousands to protect this country and the freedoms which we, and they, hold dear.
I close this letter, sir, with the words of Lord Carson, whose name my Lodge proudly bears, taken from his maiden speech to the House of Lords, on the occasion of the passing of the Irish Home Rule Bill.
"What has Ulster done? I will tell you. She has stuck too well to you, and you believe because she is loyal you can kick her as you like" Words as true now as when they were first uttered, and just as painful.
I urge you, sir, to use your best efforts to prevent the abyss from opening even wider.