14/07/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


14/07/2013

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nights of rioting in northern Belfast, the Orange Order are

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branded Reckless, the Secretary of State answers questions on the way

:01:39.:01:49.
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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2217 seconds

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Northern Ireland. Two nights of rioting and North Belfast, hundreds

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of police drafted in from Britain, the Orange Order branded reckless by

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the Chief Constable and the Parades Commission condemned again by the

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Unionists. Welcome to summertime in Belfast. We will give from Theresa

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Villiers, the Secretary of State, in a moment. The Progressive Unionists

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also give us the analysis of events. We are joined by two of our

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leading political journalist, Liam Clarke and Sam McBride.

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A clean-up is underway yet again after a second night of rioting and

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North Belfast. Trouble started on Friday evening after police enforced

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a ruling banning a return parade for the area around Ardoyne shops.

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Police said 32 of their officers were injured in the violence and DUP

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MP Nigel Dodds was taken to hospital unconscious after being hit by a

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missile thrown by Wallace. Officers used baton rounds and what can to

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contain the violence. Last night trouble flared again with petrol

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bombs thrown at police lines at it was less severe than Vegas nights.

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The Secretary of State Theresa Villiers joins me now. Who is

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responsible for this violence? people who are responsible are those

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throwing petrol bombs. Everyone must reflect on how we can all encourage

:40:07.:40:12.

cam in this situation. It is shameful the violence that we have

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seen on the streets of Belfast. It undermines much of the progress that

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we were able to demonstrate at the G8 with a modern and forward-looking

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Northern Ireland in which a huge amount had been achieved. This

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undermines Northern Ireland's ability to compete in the world for

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jobs and investment and it is essential that stops. The Chief

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Constable was clear in his comments that the Orange Order brought people

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out on the disputes to protest without a plan or any way of

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controlling them and he says that was reckless, do you agree? I think

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he is correct. It is important for the Orange Order to reflect on their

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role. I know they are angry and I understand their anger about the

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Parades Commission determination, but bringing many people out onto

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the streets to protest when the situation was as tense as it was,

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without the kind of plan that the Chief Constable has talked about, I

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think that was part of the problem, it is part of the cause of the

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disturbances we have seen. Mark Baggott says the Orange Order must

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reflect on the leadership it gave, do you agree with that? Yes, I do

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think they must reflect on that. It is important for all of us in

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Northern Ireland's political leadership, the Orange Order, for us

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to call for these issues to be resolved peacefully. The Orange

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Order did the right thing is starting to engage with residents,

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something they had not previously done. They were correctly praised

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for that. I hope that when things have calmed down that that local

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dialogue can continue, it is the best way to find a long-term

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solution. No one is defending the British culture, no one is defending

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Unionism by throwing bricks at police officers, this is undermining

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the very cause that the Orange Order seeks to support if we see this

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violence continue. It is pretty obvious that there is a section of

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our community who feel disenfranchised, marginalised and

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that no one is listening to their concerns and their anger is directed

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at the Parades Commission and specifically it -- its ruling

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regarding Friday 's parade. Did the Parades Commission get it correct?

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They are an Independent body for a good reason. When these decisions

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were taken by the police and the Secretary of State, the situation

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tended to be even more difficult. There has been progress and there

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are many thousands of rates that take place in a peaceful way in

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Northern Ireland. The way forward is for calm on the streets over the

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next few days and a local dialogue for progress on the working group

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that they get the First Minister rightfully set up to look at

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long-term reform. I understand that you say it is not helpful to comment

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on individual determinations, but with respect, it is dangerous for

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you to equivocate, because the Secretary of State appoints the

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commission and you hold the Commission to account. If you do not

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see that the determination on Friday was right, people will read that as

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you not giving your full backing to the commission and suggesting the

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decision was wrong. Can you clear that up? I do not think they will

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read it in that way. The Parades Commission as independent for a good

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reason and that is why their decisions are copied. -- obeyed.

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Does the Parades Commission have your backing? It does. Violence is

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not inevitable. Some have said it was inevitable. It is not

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inevitable. Even a controversial decision, this decision did provoke

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concern from part of the community, but that does not justify or make

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violence inevitable. The are other ways to express concern about

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decisions like this, but there are far better ways to get a solution I

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talking to people, having a local dialogue and following the example

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set by the apprentice boys of Derry who have made real progress because

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they talked to the residents who were affected. To be clear, you will

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not say one way or another whether this issue has been resolved

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directly by the Parades Commission? I do not comment on their decisions

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directly. The Parades Commission have my full confidence and anyone

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who seeks to disobey their determination is risking the kind of

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scenes we have seen over the last few nights and risking criminal

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convictions. What is your understanding within the heart of

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the longest community at that ruling on Friday? What steps have you taken

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in the last 48 hours to try to have a better understanding of what it is

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that has so upset that community resulting in the violence we have

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seen? Before and after the determination I sought out many

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conversations with people with differing views on this

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determination. In fact, over the last few months I have had a

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succession of meetings with residents, MLAs and ministers to

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listen to their views and to seek a way forward. At all those

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discussions have arched a peaceful approach, a non-violent approach,

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respect for the rule of law and looking for a local dialogue to

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resolve these issues in the future. Have you spoken to Nigel Dodds who

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was injured and taken to hospital? have tried to get hold of him but I

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have not been able to speak to him yet since Friday night, obviously

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the days in the run-up to Friday I had spoken to him. Very quickly,

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what is the next move in the days ahead? The Assembly on Tuesday will

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debate this issue. I do not know if that is a good or a bad thing, but

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many will look to you and other senior politicians to dealers out of

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this difficulty. What must happen now? Strong support for the police,

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they did a brilliant job. They put their own personal safety at risk.

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They have upheld the rule of law. They have done an excellent job and

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we should have a unanimous reaction from Northern Ireland's little

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leadership supporting them but calling for the Parades Commission

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determination to be respected. you for joining us.

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Let US Open the discussion to the Belfast Telegraph's Liam Clarke and

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Sam McBride from the News Letter. Liam Clarke, what are you make of

:47:06.:47:10.

what the Secretary of State has had to say about what has unfolded in

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the past 48 hours? What the secretary of state said was what you

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would X X hard to say. She supports legal institutions and the rule of

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law, the Parades Commission which is legally appointed by the police and

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calling for calm. There is no sign of the wobble that some of the DUP

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and the Orange Order wanted where she would intervene and overturn the

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determination. That is not good to happen. We must take it from there.

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Is it enough, Sam McBride, as the Secretary of State has done to stay

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outside the debate about whether or not the original determination by

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the Parades Commission was the correct one or the wrong one?

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are serious questions over the two determination because it gave the

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idea that the violence last year from dissident republicans was

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rewarded in terms of the march being stopped. They went out of their way

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to get buses and all sorts of things last year, it was a strange

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determination. I do not think it is the place for the secretary of state

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to step in however, otherwise every single time in every part of

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Northern Ireland when there is a decision that one site does not like

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it would come down to the secretary of state. Lots of people would love

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to see the Parades Commission gone but even those people recognise you

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must have a body to do this. What is your sense of how things will unfold

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from a political sense, Liam, and the next 24 hours? I do not know

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whether Tuesday will help or hinder progress, but whether we like it or

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not MLAs will gather again and talk about the determination itself and

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the event that followed. Clearly there is a rethink within unionism.

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I understand both parties were asked to come onto this programme and did

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not. Perhaps it is a good thing to take some time out because a lot

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will depend what is said and the assembler on Tuesday. It could be a

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time to articulate and and it could be an opportunity to calm things

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down. The motion that the DUP put it is very interesting. They have

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decided that that they have described the Parades Commission

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decision as illogical. We will come back and hear more from both of you

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later in the programme. Liam, we did ask the Ulster Unionists, the DUP

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and the Orange Order to join us but no one from those organisations was

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able to be here. Thank you both for the moment.

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There has been criticism of the violence and the Orange Order's call

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for protest against the Parades Commission ruling. They have since

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called for protest to be suspended but not before the Chief Constable

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displayed their actions as reckless. Some of the leadership within the

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Orange Order must reflect upon whether they provided the

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responsible leadership asked for by myself and by the party leaders.

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Some of the language was emotive and having called thousands of people to

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protest they had no plan and no control. Rather than being

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responsible, I think the word for that is reckless. We were very clear

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from day one that our overriding concerns for public safety, crowd

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safety, and the interests of thousands of people on the street,

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and with hot weather, with alcohol flowing freely and with a volatile

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situation with passions raised, not to have a plan, not to have the

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control, compromised the safety of many people. We were attacked by

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fireworks, missiles, masonry, catapults. By laser pens by a whole

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range of weapons. That is what led to the 32 injuries. It would be

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wrong in any way to see those injuries and that the Rogers attack

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on the police line was some sort of demonstration of righteous anger, it

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was nothing but thuggery on a grand scale. Joining me now are the North

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Belfast Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly and the East Belfast MP PUP

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councillor John Kyle. We just heard from the assistant chief constable

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Will Kerr. He said this was not righteous anger, it was thuggery on

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a grand scale. Do you agree with them? No, I do not. I think that the

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violence was highly regrettable. It was extreme and four, that I think

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there is a genuine anger. Let me set the context. Last year very

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stringent restrictions were placed on the parade past Ardoyne. Those

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restrictions were complied with. The Orange Order issued their contents

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of template for dealing with particularly difficult problems. The

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white rock Parade and other parades all went off very quietly and

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smoothly with a lot of work done by communities, so therefore given that

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context and all the work that has been done, the efforts that have

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been made by the loyal orders and the communities to comply with what

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has been asked of them, they then find this year they are told they

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cannot even return and so that understandably sends the message

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that it does not matter what you do, you will never do enough to

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satisfy the Parades Commission. may be the case, but we heard from

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the Chief Constable and the Assistant Chief Constable that 32

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police officers were injured, an MP knocked unconscious and taken to

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hospital, violence that went on for many hours on Friday and Saturday

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night, surely it is more than highly regrettable and unfortunate. It was

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thuggery. Those people did not need to do that. I'd agree with that. It

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was wrong and I would condemn the violence, but in condemning it you

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must also understand the context that gave rise to it. Gerry Kelly,

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what do you say in response to that? John Kyle has condemned the violence

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but there must be an understanding of why it happened, that is his

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:53:43.:53:46.

point. Let's put # let us put this in context. Most of this parade was

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uncontentious, there was no issue. Orangemen talked about an Orange

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vest, if you want one of them have it where it is accepted and welcome.

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Why would you even think about trying to move through that area

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which is not acceptable. We are not just talking about this year, but we

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had sectarian abuse, anti-Catholic songs. I have seen on this same

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parade in the past Orange women breast with beer bosoms to attack

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the very core of what is Catholicism in this area. That is what we are

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dealing with in this issue. John Kyle's point and points other people

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have made from the Orange Order is that this looks like, to them, a

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reward for violence because last year there were those from the

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republican community who had a violent reaction to the fact that

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the parade did take place. Loyalists interpreted as a pat on the back for

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them and Unionists think they are being punished. You have heavy

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counterarguments to that which is the Parliament edges -- the

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paramilitaries were going in every time there was an issue around

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this. This has been repeated time and again, there would be Armageddon

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and violence. There would be a terrible situation. Let us not talk

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about this as if there was no threat of violence from the others. We

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talked about community relations. Is there no notion that these

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contentious parades, 3600 parades, and a handful of them which cause

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this level of violence and the difficulty of those periods, was

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there no notion that that was doing damage to community relations over a

:55:46.:55:56.

very long period of time? This parade is not through a republican

:55:56.:56:06.
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area, it is past Ardoyne. That is not strictly correct. It is the only

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route home for the parade. Now, it is not. They have gone to great

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lengths. There were negotiations with local residents to try to

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arrive at some accommodation and agreement. There have been rigorous

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attempts and consistent attempts over the past year to try to resolve

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some of these differences. It is not as if people are sitting on their

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hands. What has been done has failed, and was attempts dead in the

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water? No, they are not. Past 48 hours have been a setback. A setback

:56:42.:56:48.

for Unionists and loyalists? Some would say an own goal for Unionists

:56:48.:56:52.

and loyalists. The Secretary of State said this does nothing to

:56:52.:56:56.

promote or celebrate Britishness. is a mistake to blame the Orange

:56:56.:57:03.

Order or loyalists for what has happened over the last 48 hours.

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That is what Mark Baggett has done. He has fallen into the same trap as

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others. They demonise loyalists and condemn the Order. We all have a

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responsibility to work to resolve these contentious issues. Gerry

:57:17.:57:20.

Kelly, there is no point in demonising these people, do you

:57:20.:57:26.

agree with that? I do not think that Unionism and loyalism should be

:57:26.:57:31.

demonise. My community has been demonised many times. But this is an

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issue of criticising the Orange Order and the leadership of Unionism

:57:35.:57:39.

who are not showing the proper leadership to bring us through.

:57:39.:57:46.

Mervyn Gibson who is irreverent and as the chaplain has thought about

:57:46.:57:51.

the flag-wavers, he has thought about war. He has thought about all

:57:52.:57:58.

of that. Is that what a judge is Persian should be seeing and is that

:57:58.:58:05.

what you see when you think you are going to have this sort of violence?

:58:05.:58:10.

Mervyn Gibson cannot defend himself. At some stage in the future he will

:58:10.:58:16.

come in and talk about that. Thank you both for joining me. Let us hear

:58:17.:58:22.

more from Liam and Sam. Sam McBride, no agreement between the two guest

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today, do we now have an opportunity to try and resolve this issue or

:58:28.:58:36.

does it get worse and worse? only be that this can be resolved as

:58:36.:58:40.

for all of the politicians to come to an agreement. If you are Peter

:58:40.:58:50.
:58:50.:58:50.

Robinson trying to sort this out or if you are Martin McGuinness, this

:58:50.:58:58.

is very difficult for both of them. This has not been resurrected in the

:58:58.:59:04.

lifetime of this government. The Democratic coalition has not had a

:59:04.:59:09.

proposal from Stormont saying that they want it repeated. I think there

:59:09.:59:14.

is a need to get things in perspective. They are more matches

:59:14.:59:19.

this year than last year. The Orange Order has not really had its nose

:59:19.:59:25.

rubbed in the docks to the extent that some are claiming. We need some

:59:25.:59:32.

perspective. Thank you for the moment. Let us take a look at the

:59:32.:59:40.

political week that was in 60 Seconds.

:59:40.:59:44.

Blue skies and sunshine this week but not so in the Assembly where

:59:44.:59:49.

there was little warmth when members were we called the debate that BBC

:59:49.:59:53.

Spotlight red sky investigation. When the First Minister goes to his

:59:53.:59:57.

house to talk about transparency, that he might have been going to

:59:57.:00:01.

tell us about the details of his relationship with these

:00:01.:00:06.

individuals. Building Bridges proved difficulty

:00:06.:00:12.

this week. The narrow water project was put on hold after the figure was

:00:12.:00:15.

increased unexpectedly. Orange Order talks with national

:00:15.:00:19.

residents failed to reach an agreement beating the final decision

:00:19.:00:26.

to the Parades Commission. Our job is incredibly difficult to manage

:00:26.:00:28.

the way through this and take decisions that are fair and balanced

:00:28.:00:36.

which we believe this one has. the Orange Order. We are angry and

:00:36.:00:40.

there will be protests. It is our intention and prayers that those

:00:40.:00:48.

protest will be peaceful. Martina Purdy reporting. Final

:00:48.:00:56.

thoughts. We, looking ahead to Tuesday, what can we expect? It is a

:00:56.:01:00.

test of the maturity of the political system. Can the

:01:00.:01:04.

politicians claim back from this situation? I hope there is no

:01:04.:01:08.

grandstanding. They must show that they can provide solutions.

:01:08.:01:15.

crucial thing is whether the Sinn Fein and Unionist relationship has

:01:15.:01:22.

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