Language of Hate

If UUP leader Tom Elliot is not a bigot his career should be in acting rather than politics. He has put on an Oscar winning performance in convincing just about everyone that he is. Even before his outburst against Sinn Fein, he had alienated Trevor Ringland of his own party who was much opposed to Elliot’s antipathy towards the GAA and Gay Pride.

Labelling Sinn Fein ‘scum’ is not far removed from the position of the deceased Scottish bigot George Seawright. How long before we hear Elliot calling for the burning of Catholics and their priests? As if to reinforce the point of how bigotry is blind, Elliot, for good measure, repeated his comments to the Belfast Telegraph. Bigotry is so natural to the man that he rests absolutely easy with it and displays not the slightest hint of embarrassment. And when he apologises to ‘good’ republicans he just means those he does not regard as scum.

Fermanagh from where he hails has a long line of prominent unionists every bit as bigoted as they were dull. It is where the ‘not a Catholic about the place’ had its origins. Harry West, who lost the 1981 by election to Bobby Sands, inspired only dullards of narrow outlook just like his own. It took the arrival of David Trimble, albeit hesitatingly, to put some sort of intellectual shine on the UUP and have it think outside the box. Elliot it seems is determined to undo that and in its place promote a Dawson Bailie style unionism.

It might be hard for Elliot to swallow the fact of his party’s lowly status. Outmanoeuvred and upstaged by both its erstwhile rivals in the Unionist laager and its one time (and still it seems) enemies in the nationalist camp, the mighty do not fall lightly. That Elliot should be lying on the floor allowing the DUP and Sinn Fein to stand on top of him as they perch the heights of perceived moderation, is indicative of a party having lost its way. Not able to think on his feet the leader of the party thought with them and aimed a good old fashioned kick at the Sinn Fein groin. Dull and not even worthy the UUP alone had the ability to pick a leader less capable than Reg Empey?

The lack of an opposition at Stormont to challenge the two party state that governs the North has left Northern society hearing only the sound of one hand clapping. Whatever chance an opposition may have had of coming into being has been scuttled by Elliot. The SDLP, even while to the left of the two dominating and domineering parties, could hardly join forces with that extremist. Surely if it did the sort of opposition it is likely to be is less than inspiring. Elliot would forever remain the dark blemish at the heart of it.

If Northern political discourse is to stay out of the sewers then Elliot’s ambition to be Top Turd ensures that he is not the man to be at the helm of the UUP. There is only one direction in which he can steer it – backwards. As John O’Dowd, one of the ‘scum’ referred to by Elliot said "I share the views of many in the Ulster Unionist Party (that) Tom Elliott will never make a political leader.’

John O’Dowd might just be wrong. Elliot could lead the TUV if Jim Allister someday decides to pack in politics and direct all his energy to law. It is noteworthy that it was from Allister that Elliot found his most vociferous support.

Lest we forget the marginalising of Elliot discourse by no means is indicative of trends towards a less sectarian society. As the Blogger Your Friend in The North has observed:

when it comes to eradicating sectarianism our current batch of mainstream political parties are just not up to the job. And why would they be? After all, their very existence is based on the continued survival of bigotry. Sectarianism is in their DNA. Yes, they may pay lip service to the so-called 'shared society' and our First Minister might pretend to have an interest in integrated education but when push comes to shove pacts and deals and local agreements will be struck to make sure 'themuns' are kept out. Nationalists do it in Belfast South. Unionists do it in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. They'd probably all like to do it in every area if only they could only find a way of getting everyone in their respective communities on board. I sometimes wonder why both sides here don't just drop the facade that there are serious differences between their various competing organisations and go back to the pre-1969 way of doing things: a single unionist party and a single nationalist party.

It might be the only option for Elliot’s party. Under his leadership the UUP is not on the UP but on the way down.


  1. Sure he's a bigot-can't expect anything less from an ex-UDR man from Fermanagh but I kind of admired his honesty even if I disagreed with his point. It was refreshing. He spoke his mind. Much rather listen to him than the endless lies spouted by the SF leader and his deputy.

  2. Attempt no;2 ,The auld ones used to say "if its not in ye it wont come out of ya" Elliot,s outburst was nothing more than giving vent to his inner feelings,I and many many more have met Elliot and his mates in uniform along country roads,lots of wee fat men with guns bigger than themselves and a hatred of anything Irish,or Nationalist to match, Elliot is a liar when he says he has republican friends,no republican would be a friend of trash like him,

  3. Marty said: The auld ones used to say "if its not in ye it wont come out of ya"

    Here's a few Tweets I picked up on from Tom on Saturday during Eurovision:

    Just drove across the border to vote for Blue 20 times. Have to cancel out the scum vote. Never let on

    Typical. Ireland have NO idea how this works. Cross-border bodies my bum.

    Snuck back across the border. Definitely putting the phone-votes for Blue on my expenses. Someone has to support the UK.


  4. Ian Knox has a crackin cartoon on pg 11 of todays Irish News,well worth seeing !

  5. Anthony,

    "The lack of an opposition at Stormont to challenge the two party state that governs the North has left Northern society hearing only the sound of one hand clapping."

    Voluntary coalition is perhaps the medicine?

  6. language of 'hate?'
    can any1 explain why SF were absent from the memorial service for ALL WW1 dead today?

    is the 'peace process' their photo oportunity only? A few people i know quite confused. Especially after all Adams and mi6 marty did to make today possible.

    Adams and mi6 marty are SCUM, self serving scum.

    think marty+gerry are talking the language of the confused, is it now catching up with them too ...?

    Queen is looking well. Think history is moving ahead of SF. Robinson looked much more diplomatic today.

  7. just heard SF say they are peacefully opposing the visit and celebrating their republicanism.

    Stormont ..ok
    RUC/PSNI ..ok
    Informers ..ok/encouraged
    Partition ..ok
    Principal of consent/veto ..ok
    Articles 2+3 unnecessary

    Curtesy to foriegn head of state 'unthinkable'. These people, SF Adams+co make me sorry i ever took them serious. Dumb+dumber.

  8. Whilst i dont support the Queens visit, it was funny to see her lay a reath 'to all those who gave their lives for Irish freedom' - how confused must the unionist population be now !!!

  9. Robert,

    I prefer the term voluntary opposition! Durkan raised it a few years ago and the political class almost choked

  10. Ryan,

    I guess you are right in that he was giving vent to a much wider sentiment. But he does seem such a reactionary with little in the way of leadership ability.