As we saw six months ago, again we have Unionist protesters pledging loyalty to Her Majesty by ignoring her laws and Unionist politicians doing nothing to stop them.
I was struck by footage of one riot situation in which protesters were heard singing the National Anthem. I wonder if they were aware of the second verse as commonly sung, which contains the line: “May she defend our laws” – that everyone, even the Monarch, is subject to the laws of the land is a fundamental feature of Britishness stretching back centuries.
The irony of people breaking her laws in support of people who would rather ignore them should not be lost on anyone claiming to be “loyal” and “British”.
One protester was interviewed, asking what “right” the Parades Commission had to determine as “no one elected them“. Ahem, but someone did elect the Government of the United Kingdom (the same United Kingdom to which that protester presumably claims “loyalty”) which appoints the Parades Commission (effectively to act impartially on its behalf) on the basis of a Law passed by elected MPs in the United Kingdom’s Parliament (a Law signed by the Queen, of course).
The irony of people claiming to be “loyal” to the Queen while ignoring and indeed breaching Laws she signed should not be lost either, of course.
Again, the basic problem is the notion, inherent within too much of what passes for “culture” in Northern Ireland, that abiding by the Law is something you can opt out of if you happen to disagree with that law. It isn’t. Absolutely fundamental to any democratic society is acceptance of the Law, even of the aspects of it with which you disagree; where you disagree, you campaign politically (including at elections) to change that law, but you have no right to ignore it.
Who is going to stand up and explain this?