Monster regiment of men

Geoffrey Beattie's article ("Unquenchable, except by death", 17 July) about the government's ban on the Orangemen marching down the Garvaghy Road requires some comment. Beattie was less than critical of those who want to march where they are not wanted. Reminding Tony Blair of Winston Churchill's words about the Ulstermen at the Battle of the Somme, in the title of the article, sounds like some kind of a threat.

May I quote Terence O'Neill, the former prime minister of Northern Ireland, on such Orange marches: "To those of us who remember the Thirties, the pattern is horribly familiar. The contempt for established authority; the crude and unthinking intolerance; the emphasis upon monster processions and rallies; the appeal to a perverted form of patriotism - each and every one of these things has its parallel in the rise of the Nazis to power".

Peter Mulligan
Secretary, Northampton Connolly Association

This article first appeared in the 31 July 2000 issue of the New Statesman, Why Tony Blair is a Bobo