“Even Glasgow City Council admit that this is the largest event of its kind in the city each year,” said the sombre, besuited Orangeman on the platform, as his monotonous speech concluded a dreich afternoon in Glasgow Green. I’m not sure what clever point he thought he was making here, but it’s one that’s hard to dispute – today certainly was the biggest event of its kind in Glasgow, as is always the case on the first Saturday in July. Whether that’s something to celebrate or not is presumably a more contested area of debate.
Thousands of Orange Lodge members and hangers-on marched from four ends of the city – and back again – over the course of Saturday for their annual Battle of the Boyne commemoration, ahead of similar events in Belfast next weekend. For an organisation that exists to uphold ancient “cultural traditions”, it’s no great surprise that their events are always incredibly ritualistic. Walking through the Green today, it felt exactly like every other year – the underlying tension, the changeable weather, the men giving boring speeches that no one was watching or listening to, hunners of cops, and plenty of folk using it as an excuse to get pissed. Same old, same LOLs.
However, we weren’t going to let that stop us heading along to soak up the er “atmosphere”, which is why we’re now able to present you with our rundown of the nine most loyal loyalists from today’s big Orange day out…
1. He’s a #Superstar
And don’t you be afraid,
Think of all the friends you’ve made,
Like any other night you’ve got your name in lights,
You’re a superstar!!!!!!
2. The Pretendy Paras?
This flute band were all wearing mock Parachute Regiment berets. The Paras are a regiment in the British army. Given the context, it’s pretty fucking horrible. If someone has an alternative explanation for this one, please oblige…
3. Hates Catholics and Proud of it
This is the famous “EDL Abdul”, who was standing on the Saltmarket handing out photocopies of a 2011 Daily Record clipping from the time he got a £600 fine for shouting “Fuck the Pope” at Ibrox. “It’s about me,” he explained while handing me a copy.
4. Umbrella Organisation
5. Drumk in Love
6. Buckfast Loyal
While there was a lot of people drinking nondescript bottles of mysterious liquids with the labels torn off, these guys weren’t letting any by-laws get in the way of the full 70cl bottle of tonic experience. Which is, in fairness, the only acceptable way to drink Buckie, a wine made by Catholic monks.
7. King of Flegs
Have you ever seen such a loyal fleg as this? Look at how much it has going on with it.
8. Clydezilla Gives the er… Green Hand of Ulster
Clydezilla is back!!!
9. This House is Loyal
THIS HOUSE IS LOYAL, yeah yeah… THIS HOUSE IS LOYAL.
Interestingly enough, there wasn’t any paramilitary flags up in Bridgeton (where this house is) this year, which makes a change – bizarrely, just lots of the Royal Standard of Scotland instead.
UPDATE: the only reason there wasn’t any UDF and UFF banners up in Bridgeton is cause the council removed them on Saturday morning, under police protection (via LAD.)