My dictionary defines ‘double-think’ as “the acceptance of or mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination”. I think that summarises rather nicely what’s going on over the proposed republican parade in Castlederg.
“It is an outrage that Sinn Fein in west Tyrone has even organised such an event in this community” says the DUP’s Tom Buchanan. I don't think Mr Buchanan has expressed his views on the 20+ loyal order marches through the centre of Castlederg every year but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say he is vigorously in support of them. So our lot commemorating and even celebrating a battle in which at least 1500 died is commendable; that lot commemorating a conflict in which IRA volunteers died is ‘obnoxious’. QED.
And then there’s Ruth Patterson. The DUP councillor made her Facebook comment on a make-believe account of a loyalist murder attack on named republicans involved in the Castlederg commemoration parade. “Would I shed a tear? No. Would I loose (sic) a night’s sleep? No, would I really worry about what anyone else thought? No.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Ruthie is vigorously in support of the 20+ loyal order marches through the centre of Castlederg every year. Of course, you might decide that her later apology for her ‘lapse of judgment’ disqualifies her as a double-think representative but I must respectfully differ. My guess is that the DUP hierarchy leant on Ruthie and she was left with no other choice but an apology.
I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: conflicts, battles and the dead of same can be commemorated without doing the restless-legs thing and parading about. But if unionism sees it as perfectly reasonable/time-honoured to march through a town 20 times (not to mention the 3,000+ marches throughout the north every year), it’s entering Doublethinkland when it gets all outraged about one republican parade through - no, actually avoiding the centre of - the same town.
Please, tell me there are unionists out there who disown such mental knuckle-dragging.