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Britishness riots coming to Scotland?

Posted on December 12, 2012 by

Herald reporter Gerry Braiden posted these tweets last night:

We’ve contacted him asking if he has any more information, to which he replied “checking now”. It remains to be seen if the threatened protests will materialise, but in the meantime an alert reader uncovered a story from the Sunday Herald in 2001, in which the then-Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge in Scotland claimed that the British-nationalist organisation would turn itself into a paramilitary terrorist one if Scotland ever achieved independence.

You can read the full original story here. [Alternative link.]

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51 to “Britishness riots coming to Scotland?”

  1. Doug Daniel says:

    Well if it happens, let’s just hope the media remember which side decided to make violence part of the issue for the first time. It certainly won’t have been the dreaded Cybernats.

  2. Cuphook says:

    I’m sure that if violence happens the media will be on hand to explain how the independence movement provoked it.

  3. Training Day says:

    @Doug Daniel

    Remember Scotland on Sunday’s ‘expose’ of the ‘group’ advocating ‘violence’ which would participate in September’s independence march?  In that context the Scotsman is likely to lead with:

    “Salmond accused of provoking peaceful Belfast Flag protestors’

  4. sneddon says:

    And I’m sure the half dozen SDL twats will be made welcome by the local anti facist groups.  Mind you it’s the second last week for xmas shopping, I don’t think their partners will let them off so easily “cannae go shopping luv ah’m aff to protest for union jacks o’er belfast toon hall” ‘ ” WTF get yer arse doon tae the shops an’ git the weans thier presents ya daft B*****d”  Ah I’d hate to see domestic harmony sullied by politics:)

  5. David Smith says:

    That link appears to be broken Stu. Unless someone’s trying to bury something.

  6. Bill says:

    I will be attending Kirkcaldy protest with camera and a Saltire to observe the orange scum rioting! Wish me luck.

  7. Doug Daniel says:

    @David Smith – that’s very interesting, because it was working when Stu first posted the article (I know because I clicked on it & read it).

    Maybe it’s just a problem with the Wayback Machine, though. 

  8. Turnip_Ghost says:

    Surely we can simply request a copy of the story from the paper themselves?

  9. JLT says:

    If the the Grand Master of the Lodge did say that, then I think he said it as an act of bravado.
    Any act of terrorism, for that is what it is, will be rightly condemned all over the world. The Lodge would be blacklisted, and if Europe has its way, they will go out their way to shut them down.
    Tradition is one thing …terrorism is a totally different thing.

    I think the Lodge will protest if it can, but I can’t see it bringing terror to its own people. After all …who do they target? Considering half of Scotland is going to vote for Independence, then they would be on a very sticky wicket …and what happens if half of their own families are voting for independence …are they going to target their own kin; their father, mother, etc?

    Hollow threats. And if it happened. Jail them for 10 years each. Just …hammer them.

  10. Cuphook says:


    While you’re there, perhaps you could give them some better together placards to wave.  

  11. cadgers says:

    Link timed out on me. Very quickely.

  12. If there is threats of riots from extremist who can’t accept majority vote & making threats to prevent PPL voting, should be arrested now and charged with threatening behaviour in order to encite violence. Lets not forget WM Gov role in Irish troubles.This country if it choses Indy or not should do so without threats from other either side.

  13. BillyBigBaws says:

    Worth a wee watch to see what some of this tracks back to:

    Bear in mind this was made in 1993, and times have changed.  It was made by Anti-Fascist Action, who were not averse to taking physical action on the streets themselves, but the information is useful nevertheless.

    Although this sectarian/loyalist side of things is something to keep an eye on, it shouldn’t be allowed to play any major part in campaigning for a Yes vote.  We shouldn’t acknowledge these clowns at all really. That would be playing into the hands of the more extreme unionists.  There is nothing they would like more than for the political debate on Scotland’s future to be brought down to the level of street confrontations between militant loyalists and their opponents.  It would suit them down to the ground.

    Still, it’s worth knowing about, and seeing from whence these people sprang.

  14. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    @David Smith

    Here is another link to the same story, but this time the fall out as reported by the BBC:

  15. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    “The Orange Lodge would become a paramilitary force, if you like. It obviously implies a recourse to arms … we’d have a group of people who would be pro union.”
    Jack Ramsay – General Secretary of the Orange Lodge of Scotland (2001) 

  16. James McLaren says:

    I wonder if the Pat Finucane revelation today adds an extra dimension of what could happen from certain elements of Westminster

  17. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    @DavidSmith: the link is correct, the Wayback Machine may be having some sort of flakeout. In the meantime you can read the piece here:

  18. Bill C says:

    According to Wikipedia The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland claim to have 50,000 members in Scotland.

  19. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Wayback Machine now back online.

  20. JLT says:

    Bill C says:

    According to Wikipedia The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland claim to have 50,000 members in Scotland.

    They maybe 50’000 strong, but that can be whittled down. Orangemen would walk away if they were told to kill fellow Scots. Can you just imagine the following scenario.

    ‘Right boys…enough of this Independence malarky. We’re going to set off a bomb outside the parliament, or on Princes Street, and blow some folk up. Who’s in? who wants to do this?

    …..defeaning silence….tumbleweed tumbles through the Lodge Hall….a pin drops and bangs loudly on the floor….

    Yes, you will get the odd one or two who might say ‘aye’ out of 50’000 (think of the two knuckle draggers who posted a bullet and mock bomb to Neil Lennon. They got jailed for that, even though they didn’t even harm a hair on Neil’s head …yet they were vilified for it throughout Scotland by all walks of life) …so, in reality …no one will step up to the mark. 
    Who wants to kill their own Countrymen, who are in all reality, fighting for Scotland. It’s not like their Lodge is being disbanded, or wiped out. But, the minute they take violence into their hands, then it really will be game over. The US, Europe, and even the UK Government would have to step in and end them. There might be 50’000 of them, but there are 5’000’000 Scots who will oppose them furiuosly.

    Imagine the shame that would be on one’s family for killing fellow Scots, who were only defending their country by taking it in a different political direction. No…I don’t see anything silly being done by the Lodge. They will say they will oppose….but violence…No.
    Better to have an Orange Order in an Independent Scotland, than to to be totally wiped out and utterly vilified by everyone in Scotland and around the World.  

  21. BillyBigBaws says:

    The Orange Lodge seem to do alright in independent Canada, they are huge over there, and they still have the Queen as head of state. Hard as it might be, we should probably be looking to reassure them about what their status will be in an independent Scotland. It’d be pretty much unchanged from now, I would think.

  22. Siôn Eurfyl Jones says:

    Isn’t British Nationalism just a particularly nasty form of tribal, aggressive supremacism?  And yet they accuse us Celts of being the aggressors. They just don’t understand, do they? 

  23. David Smith says:

    Thanks for the links gents, I’ve got it now.
    Bookmarked just in case it’s needed when some hothead starts to bump his gums about the ‘extremist seperatists’

    Your assistance is much appreciated, Stu, Doug, Scott.

    Let’s hope the Realpolitik as described by JLT prevails. 

  24. JLT says:

    STV has more info:

    Seriously…there are times when I think Strathclyde would be better off creating a new nation with Northern Ireland. I honestly don’t think, I would be too fussed if Strathclyde wanted to leave Scotland. I know that is a terrble thing to say, but seriously, when half of the citizens of that Region are obsessively watching what is going on in Ulster…it leaves me shaking my head. I mean …seriously ….Who ….CARES !!!!
    In fact, it might be the the only partition in the world where the citizens of all nations involved would be happy with it !!

  25. Arbroath1320 says:

    Nice to see BBC have their fingers on ther pulse of this story….erm ….NOT!

  26. David Smith says:

    The fact that I was born and lived in the west frankly embarrasses me these days due to the continuation of this unpleasant nonsense. I hope I would still qualify for Scottish citizenship in the event of partition! Daft as it sounds, I’ve always felt the east to be more ‘Scottish’ than the west! It’s where I’ll move to post-indy if I can get out of England!  

  27. Bill C says:

    @JLT – With all due respect, your posts on here indicate that you do not have a great deal of knowledge of either loyalism or the 2 million residents of Strathclyde.

    Firstly, I wonder have you ever experienced an Orange Walk? Have you ever spoken to loyalists about their beliefs and politics? Have you ever been attacked and had bottles and rocks hurled at you by loyalists sinply because they didn’t like your politics?  Has your mother been threatened  with a club by an Orange Walk steward sinply because she wanted to cross their lines?  I can answer yes to all the above and much much more. 

    Secondly having been borm in Govan only yards from Ibrox Stadium and worked in Glasgow for most of my working life, I can honestly say the vast majority of people in the West of Scotland couldn’t care less what happens in Ulster, most folk in Strathclyde abhorr sectarianism. However there is an element on both sides who are more interested in the politics of Northern Ireland. Unfortunately on the loyalist side their interest in politics also extends to Scotland.  The determination of Scottish loyalists to keep Scotland in the union should not be underestimated.   

  28. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Take up arms? Why?  They are trapped in some kind of sick 17th century mentality as an escuse for their Catholic hating sick minds.

    The last bastion of constitutional bigotry remains the monarch, as the head of state is barred from being a catholic and marrying one.  Not my choice to keep them, but shouldn’t that   keep them happy?

    Personally, I take their threat with a pinch of salt.           

  29. AndrewFraeGovan says:

    @Bill C


    Sectarianism in the West of Scotland has Irish origins.
    Of course said “Irish origins” have British origins!

  30. JLT says:

    Bill C,

    I apologise if I offended you. It just drives me scatty when I see the West Coast watching what goes on in NI.
    As to what you say about being chased and harrassed, the honestly, the answer is ‘No.’
    However, my grandfather was Irish and catholic, but bizarrely, he married a staunch protestant scots woman, and then he got flack from the Catholic community, the church and his own family (it caused a great schism). Therefore, when I was raised by my dad, he told me to never be swayed by either side. He kept me away from Old Firm football, and told me to have an open mind, and never judge by race, colour and creed. I have stuck to this no matter what.
    So Bill, when I see the lengths that folk will go to …to protect what?…in reality …what? What is it to be truly British? What is it to be truly Orange? If half of the Orangemen, as well the Rangers supporters really truly knew what King Billy thought of the Scots (he didn’t give a stuff in truth. That is one of the 2 reasons why the Darien project failed (the 1st being it was a mad idea!!). He told English colonies NOT to deal with the Scots, and he closed English markets off to us).
    I just wish Strathclyde, wouldn’t involve itself so much with Northern Irish politics…

  31. Bill C says:

    @ronald alexander – I totally agree with all but “but shouldn’t that keep them happy?”. However I sincerely  hope you are right with “Personally, I take their threat with a pinch of salt.” I really do.

  32. JLT says:

    Bill C,

    As I said, I apologise, and to any other Strathclyders. I’m just severely annoyed today at having read that the Orange Order ‘may’ take a stance (and go further), and that there is to be a protest in George Sq. over the Union Flag row that is in Ulster (why??? ….it still beats me).

    So, apologies Bill. It was just a mad onnoyed moment, and I posted out of turn.

  33. Bill C says:

    @JLT- Absolutely no need to apologise, it is good to exchange ideas, beliefs, experiences etc., it is one of our strengths in Scotland that most of us can still debate without causing offence. I also have experience of what used to be called a ‘mixed marriage’ (a dreadful term!), my mother was a Catholic and my father a Unitarian Protestant although he detested all religion. Like you, both my parents took great care to make sure I was not infected by the blight of sectarianism.  Your father sounds like a very wise man.
    As to the rest of your post I could not agree with you more, it is Scotland’s curse that our land is blighted by such medieval bigotry. 
    Here’s to independence and an end to the bigotry. All the best.   

  34. Bill C says:

    @AndrewFraeGovan – Andrew, being from Govan you’ll have as much (if not more) experience as me of sectarianism and you are 100% right “Of course said “Irish origins” have British origins!“. 
    British imperialism has been responsible for some of the worst sectarian conflicts on this planet. 

  35. JLT says:

    Cheers Bill.

    Something tells me, having heard your story, and comparing it with my Grandfathers, that family matters like this are more common than we thought. It must have been tough times from 1900 to easily the 1970’s / 80’s for some families when the two different religions mixed. I guess this happened more times than we think. It may be one of the reasosn why most folk in Scotland abhor Sectarian nonsense, because for most of us, we have mixed religion somewhere within our families.

    The reason I said strathclyde, and it was stupid of me, is that it is mainly due to the Old Firm. Both do have a set of hard core fans who happily revel in the powderkeg that is Northern Ireland. And because both teams play in Strathclyde, I stupidly just said that region.
    In reality, most OF Fans come from all over Scotland, and also from NI. We all know at least one person who will be a hard core OF Fan. However, against that, I know there are OF Fans who would happily vote for an Independent Scotland.

    Hopefully, the march in Glasgow for the Union flag in Belfast will have a poor turn-out. It would certainly raise hope for us all, that for most Scots, what goes on in Belfast, really….really doesn’t bother us, and we couldn’t care less…           

  36. pmcrek says:

    If we could encourage members of the Orange order to take up an interest in geneology, they would most likely find their ancestors chopping and changing their religion every couple of generations.

  37. Bill C says:

    @JLT – No probs. Apparently the organisers of the Facebook page have had 12,500 ‘likes’ which is depressing. Hopefully they are keyboard warriors and no one will turn up.
    Cheers for now.

  38. Silverytay says:

    How many of the 12,500 likes originated in N.I ?

  39. Bill C says:

    @Silvertay – Fair point, all of them I hope.

  40. Derick fae Yell says:

    Interesting debate.  Of course the British State will respond to the existential threat that Scottish Independence poses with infiltration, dirty tricks and violence.  Why would they not? That is just standard operating procedure against any ‘subversive’ element. Look at the Mark Jacobs case which has only come to light (maybe?) because of his attack of conscience. Put yourself in the shoes of British Intelligence – what do  you do?  Argue rationally? Fund failing newspapers to pursue a commercially suicidal editorial line? Of course you do? Set off a wee bombe surprise in an Orange walk, and a wee false flag operation (shall we call this the SNLA gambit?). Of course you do.  Remember the 1820 Rising – entirely fomented by British Agents. Think they have forgotten the basic skills since then? Aye right.  Both Bill C and Douglas Clark are right to a degree. Of course they will use dirty tricks, and of course we should not be deflected by their (ultimately futile) pish.

  41. Bill C says:

    @Derick fae Yell – The point I was trying to make is that we, i.e. supporters of Scottish self determination should be aware that there are forces at work in this country who do not play by the normal political rules. As I write this, I am listening to a report on the murder of Northern Irish lawyer Pat Finucaine, even David Cameron appears to be shocked by the level of collusion by British security forces in his murder.

  42. Nairn Clark says:

    Trust me, the Orange Lodge is definitely not huge in Canada. Maybe there’s something in the Maritimes and parts off Ontario, but their visibility out here in the West is somewhere south of zero. I’ve met more Cove Rangers supporters than Orangemen round these parts.

    On edit – apparently there is a lodge here in Calgary, but going by their website, it appears to be in some guy’s basement.

  43. JLT says:

    Bill / Silvertay,

    12’500 is still not a lot. I would say that you could take 99% of these folk, and just call them ‘Weekend Bedroom Warriors’. In other words, folk just see something on Facebook and click ‘Like’. I would then surmise that half of them are just daft wee laddies (lates teens / early 20’s).
    Now, ask them to turn up this Saturday to George Square. I bet most of them are from places like Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth, Livingston, Fife …hell…even the Outer Hebrides, . If this is the case, then I don’t see many of them turning out (in fact …I would go with the grand number of …zero!!).

    Let’s hope that it is absolutely hoying it down on Saturday; …I mean…I’m talking biblical rain, and it’s also F***** freezing with a howling gale wind.
    Let’s see how committed they are as Orangemen then, when it comes to defending the Union Flag over a town hall in Belfast.   

    I did check the weather…and it’s not that great. Raining all morning into early afternoon. Mild, but not that mild. In other words…are you going to stand around in George Sq. protesting about a flag under dismal weather….or will you be glancing up Sauchiehall Street, and going ‘I fancy gawin’ shoppin’. It’ll save me comin’ back in next week tae dae it…plus if ah dae it thu day, ah git it ooer un dun way, whereas next week, it’ll be pure dead chockers here. Naw …dae it thu day, plus it’s pishin’ doon annaw…the crowds fir this flag thing look rank, anyway. Naw, ah’m away, stuff this…’
    This could be a possible scenario for many a young teenage ‘Orangeman’     

  44. JLT says:

    Here’s a thought….

    Let’s compare 2 marches. During the summer (and I know it was excellent weather that day), but 10’000 Independence minded folk marched into the Edinburgh Gardens to celebrate Scotland and Independence. It was an un-official gathering, and organised by no main party.

    Well, if we take that March as an un-official barometer, you could do the same with George Sq.

    Here’s a chance for the Unionists; it’s un-official, organised by no main party, and what it is that they are marching for, you could say, has meat on the bones. Something …to protest for and against!!
    Let’s see how many go to Geroge Sq. to celebrate Scotland and the Unionism. Fair do’s that the weather might not be great, but they can kill 2 birds with 1 stone; protest about the ‘disgraceful’ way that the Union flag is not being flown everyday over the town hall in Belfast, and then they can go on their way to do Christmas Shopping in Sauchiehall Street. Brilliant!!! – a pretty good idea in my book !!

    Let’s see the 10’000 plus in George Sq. on Saturday…(which I have no doubt, the BBC will tell us was around 25’000 …but weirdly…there were no camera’s, photographers, reporters, cats, dogs, or even the George Sq. pigeons at it).   

  45. scottish_skier says:

    I’d imagine, as noted by others, many if not most of those 125k likes originate from N. Ireland.

    I’d also bet better together are praying nobody turns up to George Square too. No matter what size the crowd, the type of people who would chose to protest in Glasgow, Scotland, over a lack of union jack flying in Belfast, (N) Ireland, are not those you’d want obviously on your side…. 

    Think union jacks, buckfast and broken windows.

  46. Training Day says:

    SS is correct.  Capturing a few knuckledraggers on camera in George Square ‘defending’ the union flag would do the Yes campaign a power of good.

  47. Luigi says:

    Think union jacks, buckfast and broken windows.
    And a few, conspicuous “Better Together” placards would be the icing on the cake!

  48. scottish_skier says:

    To be clear; I hope nobody turns up at all. We don’t want this sort of moronic crap in Scotland.

    However, it undoubtedly presents a major problem for the pro-union campaign. As others have said before, we will never see a march in support of the union organised by Better Together because it would be impossible for them to avoid the kind of union jack waving, swearing and sticking two fingers up at families with kids etc type people we saw protesting against the independence rally in Edinburgh.

    After all, we have on the pro-union side:
    British National Party (racist authoritarian)
    British National Front (racist authoritarian)
    British Defense Leagues (racist authoritarian)
    British Orange Order (bigoted authoritarian)
    British Conservative and Unionist Party (right/neoliberal authoritarian)
    N. Irish DUP etc (right/conservative authoritarian with bigoted elements)
    British One Nation Conservative Party (formerly New Labour, right/neoliberal authoritarian)
    British Orange Book [Neo]liberals (formerly Liberal Democrats, right/neoliberal)
    In contrast, pro-independence:
    Scottish National Party (centrist/left leaning liberal, social democratic)
    Scottish Green Party (left liberal, democratic socialist)
    Margo M (left liberal democratic socialist)
    Scottish Socialist Party (left democratic socialist)
    Fellow Scots, which of the two groups do you prefer?

  49. Bill C says:

    @S_S – I like the line up the teams, which one is Barcelona and which one is the Third Division side from Glasgow? Oops, sorry, that was a stupid question!

  50. BillyBigBaws says:

    @ Nairn Clark, I might have been misinformed about the Lodge in Canada, but I know someone who was surprised to go over there and run into the same Orange Walks they had hoped to leave behind in this country – though I understand the Canadian version has less to do with the spiteful expressions of supremacy over the neighbours than the marches we see here.

    It occurs to me that when Jack Ramsay says the Lodge would become “a proscribed organization” in an independent Scotland, he might actually think it would be outright banned by an independent Scottish government. He’s probably convinced himself that they wouldn’t even be allowed to wear their bowler hats in the pub anymore, never mind being allowed to march. It seems it’s the usual hysterical paranoia so characteristic of Loyalism that’s driving him to the usual reaction of threatening violence.

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