By John Kelly
It may seem that there is little in common between soccer hooligans who managed to cancel England as the venue for the World Cup and fanatical loyalists who fire pistols at Drumcree.
But they are both sides of the same coin. They expose the seamy streak of Fascism that runs through the British right wing.
It is a quirky coincidence that the same water cannons used by Belgian police to repel rioting soccer thugs were also used to wash away a menacing at Drumcree
Such mobs bring the Nazis to mind. One does not have to be Jewish or have a personal recollection of the Nazis to understand one of the most abominable episodes in human history.
Frequently in Belfast, especially during the 1970s, nationalists shuddered in anger at the hateful rhetoric of Ian Paisley. He knows how to stir the worst passions of a mob almost as effectively as Hitler did.
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He turns the Gospel of Christ on its head. His motto –and the motto of the Democratic Unionist Party — seems to be that each of us should hate our neighbors simply because they are perceived to be different.
When you hear Paisley and cohorts in full sectarian flight, you hear the hiss of Fascism.
When you see English soccer yobs as they spit insults and split skulls all over Europe is a similar manifestation of the most incarnate evil.
Not alone is it the ugly side of British Fascism, it is also organized. It lives and breathes in Drumcree as well as the sectarian ghettos of Belfast.
An otherwise sleepy village dominated by one of Ulster’s innumerable dreary spires has yet again become the pivot of the struggle for Loyalist rights. Paramount among these is the right to dominate.
Don’t be fooled — the real purpose of Orange marches in Northern Ireland is to prove the domination of one side over another. It is not just a celebration of the victory of a Dutch Protestant over a Catholic king; it is the celebration of sectarian conquest and control.