The Grand Orange Lodge in Scotland has as many as 50,000 members and its roots in the social and religious conservativism of Ulster Presbyterianism.
The Times reports the Grand Master, Ian Wilson as announcing that his organization would look to actively support pro-Union political parties in Scotland:
Mr Wilson, who has been attempting to reposition the Orange Order as a moderate force in public life, said in a newspaper interview: “There is no question in my mind that the biggest problem facing Scotland at the moment is the growth in Scottish nationalism.
“And the Order – as one of Scotland’s biggest unionist organisations – has got to get real about it. The reality is that the only party you can do that through in Scotland is the Labour Party.”
This would make a change because, as with various Unionist parties in Northern Ireland, the GOLiS traditionally has been right-of-centre and, if anything, alligned to the Conservative party. SNP sources appear to be aware of the odd bedfellows this may make:
SNP sources responded to Mr Wilson’s suggestion by claiming that it wasn’t so much damaging for them as embarrassing for Labour.
Meanwhile, the row about the state-funding of the Scottish-Islamic Foundation, dominated by SNP employees/activists and several members of the Saeed family – Osama is SNP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Westminster seat of Glasgow Central, and former regional organizer of the Muslim Association of Britain – rumbles on.
UPDATE – as James points out in the annotations, the Orange Order may have its roots in the religious conflicts which cleaved Ireland, it was not Presbyterianism.