The National:

FOR the last number of years, one thing has been a constant: as we get to the “Marching Season” there will be notifications of where marches and parades will be taking place. As far as I'm aware, as long as the police assent, these events will take place as notified.

Then, every year, we hear the same complaints and objections about the marches passing places where they could cause particular offence (primarily Catholic churches), or taking place at all.

This was exacerbated after the disgraceful attack on Canon Tom White. Glasgow City Council has tried to alleviate this situation as best as possible, but without police input, it becomes challenging.

In recent years we've seen gallant efforts, primarily from women, to safeguard these places of worship by silently standing outside as the marchers pass. At this point, I have to congratulate Call It Out for being the main drivers of this effort.

The National:

A silent Orange Order band walks passes by a Call It Out protest outside St Benedict's church in Easterhouse, Glasgow

However, the fact that individuals feel driven to take these measures suggests the existing methods of organising and policing these parades are simply not working. We've seen other high profile incidents recently of the police being accused of being too close to certain types of marchers.

Then there is a voluble group that feels the police are not exactly even-handed in policing such marches. Now it doesn't matter if this is correct or the normal confirmation bias that we often get in such cases; the fact is that a sizable group of influential voices believe so, and we end up in the same unsatisfactory place each year.

My suggestion of a Parades Commission could take a lot of the heat out of these conversations. A non-aligned, totally independent Commission would allow for a statutory body to decide where each march was allowed, or should I say, not allowed, to go.

This would take the confusion out of the existing decision-making process and put it out into the open. Of course, I've already had opposition to my suggestion, some of it from where I would expect, groups who feel targeted, such as the Orange Order and some of their followers.

What surprises me is hearing the same people, from “the other side” of the discussion, who have previously been loud in their disapproval of the policing of marches, now telling me the solution lies in policing the events.

“Just get them to do their jobs properly”, “we have existing laws in place”, etc.

This may all be true, but if you don't believe it's working, why not look at alternatives?

The National:

The Orange Order parade in the village of Hillsborough, Co.Down, as part of the July 12 celebrations

Orange walks stem from Northern Ireland. Just possibly, so does the solution.

Most of us will remember the annual battles at the Garvaghy Road and other places throughout Northern Ireland, so why don't we see this on our screens every year anymore? Because, not without some initial pain to be sure, they introduced a Parades Commission.

Since then, after the initial teething problems, I can recall only one incident, and that was back in 2016.

Ultimately the Twaddell Avenue dispute in North Belfast was resolved after dialogue between the Loyal Orders and local residents.

However, the Parades Commission had issued a determination that the marchers could not pass a certain point, and the police had enforced that ruling.

READ MORE: Andrew Tickell: Orange Order marches are fooling no-one - they represent bigotry not ‘culture’

I'm not saying this is a magic bullet; what I am saying is that it's worth looking at calmly. Moreover, for the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would fear it. Let's be clear here, in a democracy, people have the right to assembly and free speech.

However, places of worship and other important places also have the right to be respected.

Everyone in this country should have the right to go about their daily lives without disruption or intimidation.

There are only three reasons why I can see anyone would object to what I'm suggesting:

1) We want to continue as we always have,

2) We want all these marches off the road, particularly (enter your group of choice),

3) We wish to continue the battle.

In my view, the only thing that matters is that people get to live their lives in peace and places of worship do not feel under threat. If this is a way to help do that, then why would anyone oppose it?

Just as an aside, today I read an article from the Grandmaster of the Orange Order, Rev Mervyn Gibson, where he said: “We believe there's enough laws to do with antisocial and hate crime.”

Last night I was sent a copy of a tweet from someone from Call It Out saying: “Take the law we already have; interpret it carefully for local authorities and tell them to implement it.”

Of course, as well as both sides agreeing to leave things as they are, there are clearly still some differences as the Reverend Gibson went on to say: “I would urge the Scottish Executive not to dance to the tune of a small number of Roman Catholic protestors who don't want a Protestant about the place.”

On the other hand, Call It Out spend an inordinate amount of time fulminating at the Scottish Government for not meeting with them.

So maybe, just maybe, this Parades Commission idea is precisely where it should be.

That is on the side of the vast majority of people who want to get on with their daily lives free from hassle and intimidation.