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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 March 2007, 17:49 GMT
Orange warning over Union danger
The march in Edinburgh
The Lodge said the Union could be under threat in the May elections
Scotland's most senior Orangeman has warned that the Union is under threat at this year's Holyrood elections.

The Grand Master of the Grand Orange lodge of Scotland, Ian Wilson, said voters would have to be "careful" if they wanted to keep the Union together.

His comments came at a march through central Edinburgh to celebrate 300 years of the Union with England.

Mr Wilson also said he was "concerned" that there had been little celebration to mark the anniversary.

Orange Lodges from across the UK marched alongside 80 bands through the capital on Saturday afternoon.

We're saying that the Union has been good for Scotland and will continue to be good for Scotland
Ian Wilson
Orange Order in Scotland

Speaking at a rally in the Meadows beforehand, Mr Wilson outlined the reasons for holding the march.

"We were a wee bit concerned in the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland that there didn't seem to be much in the way of celebration about the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union," he said.

"We felt as a Unionist organisation that there deserved to be.

"It surprises me that the best that seems to have been done is that a new 2 coin has been struck, apparently a train has been named, and beyond that there hasn't been anything exciting at all.

"The other factor is with having a parliamentary election this year and the Scottish National Party apparently riding so high in the polls, this has put an extra impetus on this event."

'Be canny'

Mr Wilson said that part of the message from the event was that people also needed to "work for the Union".

He added: "We're saying that the Union has been good for Scotland and will continue to be good for Scotland.

"I think Scots people have to be a wee bit canny and a wee bit careful on 3 May as to how they vote in the parliamentary election."

More than 12,000 Orangemen were commemorating the old Scottish Parliament voting itself out of existence and politically coupling Scotland with England in 1707.

A commemorative 2 coin was launched in January to mark the unification of England and Scotland into Great Britain.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Mr Wilson says the Union has been good for Scotland



SEE ALSO
Anniversary of north south Union
16 Jan 07 |  Scotland
'Most' support English parliament
16 Jan 07 |  UK Politics
Quick guide: Act of Union
15 Jan 07 |  Scotland
Parliament announces Union events
15 Jan 07 |  Edinburgh and East
Town's historic place in Union
15 Jan 07 |  Scotland
Special coin to mark Act of Union
15 Jun 06 |  UK Politics

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