THE ORANGE CARD 20.21
Playing the “Orange Card” is when British politicians use the threat of unionist violence in Ireland for their own political ends. It has a long and bitter history. The term is attributed to Randolph Churchill who stoked up unionist threats to home rule in his parliamentary battle with the then British Prime Minister Gladstone in 1886.
Boris Johnston, the British Prime Minister came to power on the back of Brexit. His government has decided that endless battles with Brussels will continue. Even threatening to send his navy to sail into a fishing dispute with France.
The Orange Card is in play again. The “Northern Ireland Affairs Committee”, a Westminster committee of MPs met yesterday with the Loyalist Community Council on Brexit and Irish Protocol. The meeting was boycotted by Stephen Farry MP of the Alliance party because of the make-up of this self-appointed Council. This group is the umbrella organization for three illegal unionist paramilitary bodies, the UVF, UDA, and RHC. A member of their delegation at the meeting refused to rule out the use of violence in their opposition to the post-Brexit International Trade Agreement!!
Three illegal paramilitary groups responsible for hundreds of sectarian killings were invited to Westminster to give evidence on an International Trade Agreement. Could you imagine US-based armed and illegal organizations being invited to testify on trade issues in Congress and refusing to rule out violence if they did not get their way?
The British Government instead of challenging these groups is talking up the threats. It’s the orange card at play in their endless battle with the EU. No doubt the British Government will attempt to play the orange card in the US promoting threats of violence as an excuse for undermining agreements. The US has stood up for the agreements and democratic and peaceful progress free from threats. The Agreements are the only game in town and the Orange Card must be of no value.