I was born into a small farmer family in Donegal. It had strong belief in the Orange Order. My uncle who brought me up was what was termed at a "Worshipful District Master" of this organization. I was being groomed to follow in his footsteps but that did not work out. However that is another story. As part of this grooming when I was around 12 years old I found myself in the home of a well off Protestant farmer and merchant. My uncle was collecting a donation from him for a new banner for his Orange Lodge. The farmer merchant was not a member of the Orange Order. He let others do his dirty work for him. Without hesitation he handed over a check for the new banner. I did not realize then I was watching one class finance an organization to represent its interests. Anyway this man asked my uncle had he seen what was going on in the US. He said:"have you seen what is going on over in America, W. Them black boys,(these were his words) they are trying to get up. If they ever get up they will never get them put down again." This was a conscious member of the upper class. He then went on: "And if they get up W. these boys here of ours might want up too. And not only them Catholics but our own kind as well. That is the importance of your organization W. of the Order. It teaches the Protestant worker, our own kind his place. If they were ever to get the notion that they could run things this would be bad. That is why your organization is so important. To keep the Protestant worker in his place" These words live with me to this day.
I remembered them again when Paisley died. What a contemptible creature and enemy of the working class and especially the Protestant working class. He saw his job as to keep them down, keep them subservient to the sectarian capitalist system that ruled and exploited them. Take one example. When the civil rights movement developed one of its aims was to end the situation in the North where the more property you had the more votes you had in local elections. This was clear discrimination against the Catholic working class in particular as they had less property. But it was also discrimination against the Protestant working class. The Protestant working class who had no property were also discriminated against by this system. You never heard Paisley saying anything about that. The mass civil rights movement ended this unequal voting system. It won one person one vote for all. If my memory serves me right this resulted in up to 150,000 Protestants getting the vote in local elections which they did not have before. If it had been up to Paisley they would not have won this reform.
On top of that Paisley continually would up sections of the Protestant working class into sectarian actions. He continually pushed them into sectarian para military organizations. But he himself was very careful to keep out of these organizations and let ordinary working class youth and workers take the fall. What a contemptible creature and enemy of the working class including the Protestant working class. Sean
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