Letters: Anger at the Orange parades

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The Independent Online
Sir: We are told the Orange marches in Northern Ireland should be allowed to go ahead because they are hallowed by tradition. But what validation is that? G K Chesterton wrote on the subject:

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death.

In many ways Britain and Ireland may be blessed by their traditions, yet in this instance to maintain tradition is to see nothing but the triumph of the past over the present.

STEPHEN HOWARTH

Shelton, Nottinghamshire

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