by Tom Cooper (for judecollins.net)
Perhaps one reason why the Northern state turns a blind eye to the naked sectarianism displayed at 11th July bonfires is the fundamentally sectarian foundations of the British Constitution. The Act of Settlement of 1701, the cornerstone of the British constitution, forbids the Monarch, its spouse or any of the great office holders of state from being a Catholic (Tony Blair converted to Catholicism after he stood down as Prime Minister), and automatically grants seats in its upper house to Anglican bishops. A strange traditional practice in a country which prides itself on its secular and progressive ethos.
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