Tuesday, 16 August 2011
It's my parade and I'll play what I want to
There's a touch of the poet about the Rev Mervyn Gibson, I think. Poets are the misers of words: they use them sparingly, and when they do, they make them work really hard, often doing two things at once. So too with the Reverend Mervyn Gibson. He's declared that the Parades Commission ruling that an Orange Order band marching through a nationalist area should play only 'Abide With Me' was the kind of thing you'd get in a jihad or holy war. The Parades Commission was acting like the Taliban or a group of mullahs.
See what he did just there? Very good, very economic. He managed to insult not one, not two, but three groups of people with the same words. He insulted the Parades Commission, by suggesting they were unreasonable and even fanatical. He insulted the followers of Islam, by implying that to be a mullah is to have an unreasonable, even a fanatical attitude to others. And of course he insulted the nationalist people enduring the Ballymacarret Orange marchers, by implying that the Orangemen should be given their head and allowed to play whatever comes into their little minds to play.
I like that. If you're going to put the boot in, put it into as many people as you can with a single lash. Good man, Mervyn.