O’Dowd’s Elliott rebuke contender for quote of the campaign

 Put down of the election belongs to Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd. Following on from the UUP Leader’s ill-tempered remarks during his acceptance speech, when he made reference to the people waving “foreign flags” before labelling them as “scum” when they responded to his jibe, O’Dowd commented on the BBC: 

“I share the views of many in the Ulster Unionist Party [that] Tom Elliott will never make a political leader.”


  • joeCanuck

    “Foreign flags and scum” shows the true nature of Elliot. I could be tempted to call him scum but I don’t need to; his words speak for themselves. It’s amazing to think that the DUP are now more moderate than the UUP.

  • Obelisk

    You just know the DUP are going to have a field day with this quite, theres just so many ways they can spin it to the detriment of the UUP.

    Tom the hypocrite?
    Tom the man under stress who might not be up to the job?
    Tom the political opportunist?
    Tom the bigot?

    All of which carry the subtext of ‘Trust and Vote DUP’.
    Not to mentioon he’s probably chased a good number of Catholic Unionist Unicorns back into the woods.

  • Elliot stated what the rest are thinking for that he deserves some credit, can’t see it doing him any good though as it doesn’t help Allister.

  • Kevin Barry


  • Ronan McDonald

    As has been pointed out elsewhere, under the Ireland Act 1949, the south is “not a foreign country for any purposes of law”.

    The use of the word “nation” is particularly inaccurate. Nations, as cultural, social, or ethnic communities, do not necessarily correspond to political entities. That’s why we can’t talk about the Kurds or Catalans as constituting a nation, if not an independent state. It’s also why Ireland is not a foreign nation for the purposes of rugby or cricket.

  • Driftwood

    Is the flag of the Irish Republic a foreign flag to the United Kingdom? Simple answer yes or no.
    Not what you think it should be, but simply what the flag of the United Kingdom is.
    The ‘scum’ comment is a different matter. Depends on whether he was referring to the rabble (Celtic jerseys etc) or to the SF electorate. I think he was referring to the former.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Does this mean he mightn’t be going to the Ulster Final this year?

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    naw, can’t make any excuses – uncalled for. Massive own goal on his part. As the DUP and SF have shown – you may think that about your opponents but you have to be a bit more savvy. I can’t see any way back for Elliot, although they did muster a few seats in the end.

  • Cynic2

    He’s why I didn’t vote UUP

  • Mark

    Surely he can’t continue as party leader after this …The man is the leader of one of the two main Unionist parties . Young people look to their leaders for guidence and advice etc. You cannot have Tom Elliott saying what he did earlier and expect to carrying on leading the UUP . No doubt there are many in his own party who were mortified by what he said.

    For the UUP to taken seriously ( even down south where there is no way of spinning this to the southern public) …. he has to go. There was McNarry before him and now this . The likes of these politicians cannot progress . Their outbursts prove this. Not only did he call SF scum but by extention , SF voters and supporters . He should resign immediately for the sake of community relations , sectarian tensions throught the North and the fact that he is not fit to lead on any level …

  • joeCanuck

    I just watched him speaking on BBC. It is astonishing. He is most definitely yesterday’s man and would seem to be a nasty person. If the UUP don’t dump him, they will be tarred with his bigotry. Amen Tom.

  • Comrade Stalin

    It’s amazing to think that the DUP are now more moderate than the UUP.

    (smug mode) I have been saying this for years. I hope now the mask has finally slipped sufficiently for this to be unambiguously clear.

    Driftwood, technically yes, the tricolour is the flag of a “foreign country”. But in practice the relationship between the two sovereign nations in these islands does not make them “foreign” to one another. I would say exactly the same to a republican describing the UK in these terms. Like it or not, we have a shared history and heritage, and frankly I regard any talk of “foreign” in these circumstances as an attempt to marginalize and delegitimize other communities.

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    Ah he might attract a few Unionist hardliners to the party. Such comments were once only expected from the DUPers in the past.

    The “foreign flags” terminology is such old rhetoric too!

  • Framer

    Joe if you are tempted to call Elliott scum you will understand the greater temptation for someone like him to call people who have done (or perhaps worse, supported) what ever they did that he does not approve.

    It may have been wiser or more pc for him to have resisted the temptation but we cannot all be as precious as the DUP has become.

    Jeffrey Donaldson now condemns the UUP for being negative and resisting progress, while the Beeb purrs, reserving their venom for Elliott.

  • Progressive Unionist

    What a terribly offensive thing for Tom to say. You’d think that having led the UUP to its worst ever result of a paltry 13% of the vote he’d be more humble and at least acknowledge what the people of Northern Ireland have voted for.

    Instead he tries to do some imitation of a hardliner from the 1970s or something, with his ‘foreign flags’ nonsense let alone his awful ‘scum’ comment.

    Tom Elliott and Jim Allister may to go back to the 1970s but the vast majority of UUP voters don’t want that and would be appalled at Tom’s comments.

    Time for sectarian Tom to go!!! UUP have had a terrible election (dropping behind SDLP into 4th place) but at least under someone non-sectarian like Mike Nesbitt or Basil they might have a chance of rebuilding before Alliance overtakes them into 5th place.

    Ashamed to be an Ulster Unionist supporter tonight.

  • Alias

    PIRA are scum, and their supporters are scum-lite. Elliot isn’t wrong there. However, it isn’t appropriate language for a leader of a political party. It’s too crude. “Morally debased” or “affliliates of unrependent murderers” would mean the same thing but have a more polite ring to it.

  • Progressive Unionist

    Also, Tom Elliott’s ‘scum’ comment is all over the national BBC news channel (broadcast worldwide) and thanks to Tom we’ve now got everyone in the rest of the UK thinking of NI as similar to the deep south or apartheid south africa etc at a time when Northern Ireland needs to give a positive image to the world for inward investment and jobs.

    Way to go Tom. Resign now!

  • Comrade Stalin

    PU, Agreed with your sentiments and yes, I have heard that Elliott’s remark has made national news. What an embarassment.

  • Where and when he said what he said was wrong. He was clearly being goaded. Leaders need to show leadership and that was not leadership. It ramps up tension we don’t need and he will regret it – at least politically.

    I thought driftwood made an interesting point [although DW don’t ask me about creationism] 🙂

    I married into family down there and coming from a middle class townie background I realised that 3 degrees of separation would lead you to someone murdered/attempted murder by the IRA in FST. This concept was reinforced on my stag weekend which was attended by my bro in law who held my friends by reciting stories of what it was like down there to be a Prod and the lifestyle some had to lead to prevent targetting. Quite simply Roman Catholic RUC officers and their families had to get reassignment to the east of the province otherwise they were dead men walking.

    I also noted that when Tom mentioned ‘their counterparts in the IRA have murdered our citizens’ it brought a great cheer from the SF supporters. Funny Chris didn’t mention this point in the blog. Maybe he’d like to comment on whether he thinks it is approp that SF members/supports/reps should cheer in support of these comments. An Ireland of Equals eh? Seems that some pigs are more equal than others..

    Personally I would have wound the Shinners up with some comments regarding their acceptance of the state of Northern Ireland / Policing and Justice / whatever. He walked right into their hands. It won’t derail anything apart from maybe Tom.

  • Mark

    Alias ,

    Are young first time SF voters scum-young , scum lite … ?

    I see your new yr resolution about fixating on SF / Northern politics lasted 4 months ( not bad ).

  • George

    It’s a far cry from the UUP talking about buiding bridges across the divide during the Westminster campaign in 2010. Seems it was a cynical ploy after all. Hard to believe the hand the UUP was reaching out with was meant for people they consider “scum”.

    Ah well, within the next 5 years there will be 600,000 Irish citizens living in Northern Ireland so Mr Elliott better get used to the “foreign flag”. That’s a lot of scum to deal with.

    I fear he really doesn’t get the British, Irish or both thing.

  • Dewi

    UUP are just totally bonkers. Astonishing lack of party management. Irish flags “foreign” in Fermanagh? Nutter.

  • Barry the Blender

    The IRA weren’t scum.

  • Mark


    Tomorrows news will be all about Tom and his Scum statement ( at at polling station ) ….

    Very weak whataboutery comeback ……

  • Mark,

    You don’t think I realise that? I’m not about to defend the scum comment. As a pragmatic Unionist I accept the SF mandate and the people who vote for their political agenda. Care to comment on SF supporters cheering murder?

    Ps that’s not whataboutery 🙂

  • Comrade Stalin

    I also noted that when Tom mentioned ‘their counterparts in the IRA have murdered our citizens’ it brought a great cheer from the SF supporters.

    I’d have jeered at that comment had I been in the crowd. Not because I support murder, but because I get seriously turned off by a beaten docket politician wheeling out all the tired old arguments of the past.

  • joeCanuck

    Agree totally, Comrade. That’s why I called him yesterday’s man earlier. The DUP have moved on; the UUP are mired in the past.

  • trodat

    It’s a sad state of affairs when Tom Elliot’s disgraceful comments are going to be the main talking point of
    this election. They are utterly
    insulting to the thousands and thousands of people in this country who 1. voted for sinn fein and 2. who declare themselves as Irish. I’m a proud Irish republican and I would never label anyone who is either a unionist or declares themselves as British as “scum”. Mr. Elliot I think has consigned himself to the political rubbish bin.

  • The Raven

    “O’Dowd’s Elliott rebuke contender for quote of the campaign”

    I have one other. Marty’s comment that the low turnout was reflective of how content everyone is with them ‘running the place’.

  • Munsterview

    As ‘Yesterdays’ man’ fancy any unfortunate Catholic or Nationalist meeting him at a roadblock check back then when his UDR uniform gave him carte blanch to be as insulting as he liked ?

    If this is the ‘mature’ elderly ‘reasonable’ Tom Elliot, elected Assembly man and party leader, no marks for guessing what he was like back then. Many, far, far too many Catholics and Nationalists do not have to guess however, they had direct experience of ‘soldier’ Tom and his like minded UDR buddies !

    I could well understand the ironic cheer from celebrating victorious Republicans that Tom Elliot and all he stands for is now gone from their sphere of relevant, dominant politics and into my sphere, that of academic history!

    Like ‘Rhodesia’s’ ‘Hairy Armpits’ and the rest of the uniformed tugs that served the fag end of Empire and stood in the way of political freedom, that history will not be kind or very understanding to Tom and his cohorts either!

  • Tweedybird

    Barry the Blender….T Elliott was wrong with his comments, as a leader of a political party he lacks the art of diplomacy, but don’t try and whitewash the atrocities this organization you say aren’t scum. What do you call men as they sit in hedges/stop a minibus full of workers/ attack mission halls/leave bombs in built up areas, killing innocent members of the public, then ? Please tell me the alternative word for it .

  • joeCanuck

    Please tell me the alternative word for it

    The alternative word for those whom you describe is “murderers”.
    Please don’t confuse them with democratic electors.

  • Tweedybird

    Furthermore, we always hear a big hue and cry about the offense it causes and the word bigot being bandied about when Union Jacks are being flown but likewise, when the tricolour is displayed on lampposts and waved about by the nationalist community god-forbid anyone complaining about that;,- is respecting each others culture just one-sided ?
    I don’t want to get into a “whataboutery” debate because it really does not get us anywhere but I found your statement unbelievable and your underlying implications about this organization that caused so much death and destruction in our community couldnt be left unchallenged.

  • Henry94

    JandK a contributor to politics.ie has produced a nice map showing the Sinn Fein vote throughout island.


  • Nunoftheabove

    The only vague surprise about his remarks is that they were volunteered publicly as opposed to being hissed out of that unsightly mouth of his in some musty orange hall in some dreary bible belt hamlet.

    Most of us didn’t require any additional evidence of just how mediocre and parochial Mr Elliott is. We knew all that already. I think that what we catch a glimpse of in the clip is the real UUP rot here; standing there with a beaten up wreck of a party at his feet, electorally teetering, directionless, futureless, purposeless. Clueless and moribund. Windless sails.

    Staring out and down at a few fluttering tricolours and cheering victorious nationalists, we hear in Elliott’s words and tone – sneer and all – the UUP confronted with the reality they’ve been in such deep denial about for so long; confirmation that time has passed it by. We also hear their handed-down ‘entitlement to rule’ in his words, his party’s inherited right to deny Catholics in government as equals violated and repudiated into perpetuity, comfortable in their own skin in the state Elliott’s forefathers and party elders used to boss. No longer the ruling class, no longer deferred to by anyone. Esteemed by a minority, pitied by some.

    Elliott was acknowledging the UUP’s consignment to history as a meaningful political force. What we heard and saw was not anger or nastiness – he’s not much worse than most of them are – what we were seeing was a reluctant, graceless acceptance of irreversible change. It was mourning.

  • JoeBryce

    Coming from a unionist background, I have had in recent years to get my head round how Northern Ireland felt to catholics / nationalists. For example, it genuinely shocked me to see a recent Peter Taylor documentary on torture in Castlereagh. I can therefore now begin to understand what made people do what they did.

    Likewise people should try and get their head round what growing up in Fermanagh must have been like for Mr. Elliott. He’ll have lost family and friends, and been often in fear of his life. To understand may be, if not to forgive, then at least to make allowances.

    The bottom line, however, was well expressed by Mr. O’Dowd. Mr. Elliott simply is not up to the job. In many ways that is very sad, but it is the case. He should resign.

  • Nunoftheabove


    The more telling point is whether, notwithstanding the obvious scope for opportunism to seize the moment, is the extent to which the UUP rank and file itself decide on the strength of this to put it up to Elliott – that either he must go or they will. There is no upside for them if they don’t and wearily decide to support him, some possible scraps of redemption for them as a party if they do. It’s blink time for the UUP.

  • JoeBryce


  • Zachariah Tiffins Foot

    Was it only the other day that Sinn Fein were crying about the ‘intimidation’ wrought by one Union Flag in Limavady? I can understand Mr Elliot’s discomfort at the sea of tricolours he faced, waved by those who a few years ago preferred flaunting much more substantial and deadly expressions of Irish Republican ‘culture’.

    Wrong time and place perhaps but I can’t fault his sentiments. It was also quite refreshing to hear someone cut through the sickly sweet perfume wafted by others in an attempt to cover the miasma rising from the befouled political system that presently masquerades as ‘government’ in Northern Ireland.

  • AGlassOfHine

    You gotta 😉

    ” tired old arguments of the past” comrade

    Then up pops Munster……right on queue…….;-)

    You couldn’t make it up !!!

  • IJP

    Progressive Unionist

    I hear and respect what you say.

    But the challenge isn’t for Elliott here. His anti-gay, anti-GAA remarks showed the type of politician he is, and he saw no reason not to seek the Leadership after that. He’ll see no reason to resign it now because he and his coterie see no wrong in what he said.

    The challenge is actually for the likes of yourself. How long can you stay in a Party whose Leader (and Leadership) thinks like this? If he doesn’t take appropriate action, and we know he won’t, for how long can you remain a “UUP supporter”?

  • “Those whom the Gods destroy they first make mad”.
    God is obviously intent on destroying the UUP.
    THAT word. Muttered by various politicians and indeed their voters about various Parties.
    One wonders what would have happened if a fringe politician from a fringe Party had used the word…..say from the BNP.
    Deny him air time. Journalists calling for his Press Conferences to be boycotted. So it will be interesting to see how Journalism reacts to Tom Elliott.
    Elliott seems to have chosen a very bizarre way to resign from the leadership of the UUP.
    If its merely a matter that he dared to say what the UUP voters/members in Fermanagh and South Tyrone think………then I think thats unfair and no doubt UUP members would wish to take the opportunity to distance themselves from both the “word” and their Leader.
    Over to you Mr Nesbitt….what question would you have asked as a journalist? what defence will you put up for your boss in the same Havelock House studio on Monday?
    Whatever individuals may think of Sinn Féin…there is very little mileage in saying it out loud. People have moved on or WANT to move on.

  • oracle


    “Surely he can’t continue as party leader after this …”

    What complete bollock’s! Why shouldn’t he?

    He stated something that was technically correct the tricolour is foreign flag. Under the terms of the GFA equality is guaranteed to the different religions and perceived political traditions within Northern Ireland there is no equality for different flags.
    Nowhere in the GFA does it state that the tricolour is to be equated with the union flag!
    Indeed when Sinn Fein went to court over this when they realised that they had made another childish blunder in the original negotiations the Judge slapped them down and forced them to fly the Union flag in their Stormont offices.

    “The judge also dismissed the argument that flying the Union flag discriminated against nationalists, ruling that it reflected Northern Ireland’s position as part of the United Kingdom.
    As for the “scum” remarks I think Tom was wrong because that is clearly not true I know quite a few who aren’t.

  • oracle

    Prog Unionist,

    Don’t really think you have any voice for the UUP electorate as you voted for the Alliance and the DUP so your complaint should be filed under Alliance voter will never vote UUP again.

  • junkyarddog

    Tweedybird (profile) 8 May 2011 at 3:27 am
    Barry the Blender….T Elliott was wrong with his comments, as a leader of a political party he lacks the art of diplomacy, but don’t try and whitewash the atrocities this organization you say aren’t scum. What do you call men as they sit in hedges/stop a minibus full of workers/ attack mission halls/leave bombs in built up areas, killing innocent members of the public, then ? Please tell me the alternative word for it .

    Tweetybird I call them the British Army.

  • Nordie Northsider

    It may be the case that Elliot was being jeered. It’s also true that he was under the emotional pressure of another bad result. I suppose that Peter Robinson was under some emotional strain the night of the Westminster count, having lost his seat to Naomi Long. He still managed to make a generous speech. While we’re at it, let’s compare Elliot’s Fenian-baiting with Robinson’s dedicating the DUP success to the memory of Ronan Kerr.

    The subtext of the UUP campaign was all sectarianism. Even during the counts Elliot could be heard complaining about SF voters transferring to the DUP and vice versa (something I’d like to see hard evidence of, but that’s another story). Elliot seemed to be saying that such Prod/Taig fraternising is morally wrong.

    The only good thing about the UUP result is that they still have some seats to lose in the next Assembly election, will have to ditch their next leader and send spokespeople into TV studios to make dopey statements about the need to renew the party organisation.

    The UUP – the gift that keeps giving.

  • oracle

    Why in hells name should Tom resign…..????

    He didn’t have a cosy relationship with multi-millionaire developers.
    He doesn’t have £5 ransom strips hanging out of his ass.
    He didn’t put his wife in hospital.
    He didn’t persuade old women to bring their sons home so he could murder them.
    He isn’t calling at war-widows doors at midnight for sexual favours.
    He didn’t string victims of child rape along for 5 years in the hope that they would forget about it.
    He didn’t bring people he “Believed” were child rapists out canvassing with him.
    He didn’t hide behind his wifes cancer in order to evade questioning.
    He didn’t bury mothers of 10 on isolated beaches and then deny all knoweledge of the event.

    I’m not a unionist but I support the right of Tom Elliott to say whatever he likes so long as it’s the truth, when you can catch him lying then you can get the noose ready… not before.

  • Reader

    junkyarddog: Tweetybird I call them the British Army.
    I think tweetybird had some specific examples from our local history in mind, which you probably don’t. However, that aside, are you suggesting that both the IRA and the British army are scum, or that neither of them are?

  • Comrade S,

    “I’d have jeered at that comment had I been in the crowd. Not because I support murder, but because I get seriously turned off by a beaten docket politician wheeling out all the tired old arguments of the past”.

    They didn’t jeer they cheered. They cheered the murder of people in FST. That is wrong [it won’t matter though] the media have their story and that is of a political leader, losing his cool and as I’ve said before – it will cost him and his party.

    I’m certainly not a ‘Tom apologist’ and I’m not even in the UUP – I’d struggle with their positioning left of the TUV. I said from the start it wasn’t a comment that a leader and public rep should be making, it wasn’t ‘leaderly’.

    The scum comment was what I’d expect from Allister and he is a dinosaur.

    I’ve tried to give context to the circumstances regarding why he might have said it.

    Nordie the SF/DUP transfers – I saw one in 10,000 odd – its just a media story.

  • Nordie Northsider

    Nordie the SF/DUP transfers – I saw one in 10,000 odd – its just a media story.

    As I suspected. Even to raise such a non-issue is further testimony to the calibre of Elliot Mess.

  • separatesix

    The republican supporters knew that Elliott found the Irish flag deeply offensive yet they persisted in taunting him with it, I thought Sinn Fein were supposed to have changed, evidently not.

  • Nunoftheabove


    If Elliott really is that stupid and is genuinely offended by flags then he really ought not to give hostages to fortune by making a fairly decent living waving them himself.

  • Comrade Stalin


    I don’t interpret the cheer that way.


    He stated something that was technically correct the tricolour is foreign flag.

    Yeah but as a politician you can’t get away with stating things that are technically correct.

    It may be technically correct to say that David Cameron is a wanker, but it doesn’t mean that it’s appropriate to say it on live TV. It may indeed be technically correct, to use a less flippant example, to point out that Charles Kennedy had a drink problem, but Iain Duncan Smith came in for serious criticism whenever he was foolish enough to say it in public.

  • separatesix, If Elliott is going to be offended by the Irish flag, he’s gonna have to move out of Ireland !

  • Can someone provide clarification? I’ve had some non-political problems to resolve and I’ve ignored most of the media coverage of the election. Were flags being carried/waved inside count centres? I thought such a practice would run counter to a neutral working environment.

  • Nevin there were flags of all shades being waved in count centres so the balance was there in terms of neutrality, unfortunately Mr Elliott couldn’t cope.

  • Munsterview

    Aglass : “….Then up pops Munster……right on queue…….;-)”

    Yes indeed and I had the same irritating tendency for Unionism all during the Troubles from the beginning of the Insurgency campaign right through to date. One of the things that make me different in this regard from the majority of the thousands of other Southern Republicans who did likewise is that as a qualified historian I had personal witness to many of the events and accordingly I describe and narrate these events inside acceptable, authoritative academic parameters.

    A nice Sunday afternoon out : on such a Sunday afternoon decades ago, I was in a Northern town I was in the house of an artist friend who has a provincial, all Ireland, British, European and American reputation. The man was also hospitalized having been set upon and beaten to within an inch of his life by an orange mob during one marching season.

    This artist like most of his extended family was then and remains anti-violence but he was a peaceful Civil Rights campaigner. On his way home from his studio he was pointed out as ‘ The bastard that started everything around here’ and set upon by a two uniformed Loyalist marching bands. Two protestant women managed to drag him into a hallway and keep the mob at bay until the police and ambulance services arrived. They did save his life.

    When I heard about it some days later I rushed up there. His family was already send to the Continent and he was about to follow. A long night followed and the net result was that he decided to stay not only in Ireland but there as he realized the part that his contribution was making to Irish and indeed cross community culture.

    Two streets in that Nationalist town meet at a junction and back some fifty yards from the point of the junction another street runs across linking the other two. A UDR patrol had one side of the streets closed off below the cross street. On a sunday afternoon about this time I see two Nationalist youth turned back and told to ‘go around’ only when by the time they did the ‘road block’ was now on the other street and they were told go around again !

    I watched this charade of ‘roadblocks’ and the gratuitous annoyance, aggravation and humiliation dished out to those Nationalist Youths by that UDR patrol for two hours as the same ‘musical chairs’ of the road block was shifted from one side of the V to the other just as soon as the young lads had cleared the junction and started up the other side. This continued from around three o’clock up to five.

    On a scale of one-to-ten this probably did not rate a one in the average UDR dishing out of humiliations and treatment of Catholics Nationalists who were unfortunate enough to cross their paths !

    There are two reactions to this, one on the Unionist side of people genuinely attempting to come to terms with what their State meant to almost fifty % of an alienated population within it’s borders and as to the other mentality….. well that also is well reflected in slugger, it is little different from that UDR patrol and ‘ it has not gone away you know’

    AGlass……. in my immediate academic circles currently I know four post grad Doctorate students who come from Republican families in the South and whose fathers had first hand experience of the North during the Insurgency and Counter Insurgency period. Other graduates from this background are already writing and lecturing and preparing even more such historian graduates.

    Republican Ireland is no longer dependent in the likes of Dr John A Murphy, a serving Senator during the Insurgency and an apologist for establishment containment and failed politics to articulate the history of the struggle. Winston Churchill once said that he believed that history would be kind to him….. as he himself was writing it!

    History will also be kind to the Republican struggle for Independence on this Island for we Republicans will be writing it from inside the Academic Establishment. ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ was the first popular historical epic from this new school, one of the learned historical Dr.’s acting as adviser was all of twenty seven years. There are dozens of such people in the Republican community in the North also.

    It is no longer a matter ‘our day will come’ for Republicans….. our day is here, the political struggle to achieve our objectives realized, time is the only variable there.

    The cultural revolution to consolidate this achievement is also well underway and ‘aglass’ and others of like ilk better get used to a different narrative emerging to the one that they have been breast fed on by the Unionist state for that is the way of the future!

    Politics to move on must sometimes gloss over and ignore certain aspects of the past. A historian on the other hand must bear witness to the past and has a duty to reveal it in all it’s stark reality.

    The violence of the Insurgency and Counter insurgency and the collateral damage of this do not have to be denied and it should not be as to do so diminishes every death caused.

    However what needs to be done is take this factual narrative of the struggle out of the ‘Security Conference only’ behind closed doors environment and let the ordinary people see in these Islands what was really done in their name in the guise of ‘Counter Insurgency Warfare’

    Once this is done and the activities placed in the context of Insurgency and Counter Insurgency Warfare, then very different narrative quickly emerges….the true narrative of ‘The Troubles’ If that day ever comes there will be a lot more ‘Dispatch Box Apologies’ from the British PM of the Day for it will be shown that far from ‘Bloody Sunday’ being an aberration, it was part of an ongoing government sanctioned strategy of Counter Insurgency Warfare violence that lasted for decades and indeed is still ongoing in an albeit much scaled down form in this Island.

  • Comrade Stalin

    aglassofhine, jesus please don’t encourage him.

  • Munsterview

    ComradeS…..like most things eminating from Alliance and it’s supporters….. to late to be relevant!

  • between the bridges

    MV you forgot to mention the plantation…re topic tom spitting the dummy out liven up a rather dull election and o Dowd’s put down was a cracker.

  • JR

    There is no doubt in my mind that Toms comments awakened nationalist sentiments in many moderate young catholics that they never knew they had.

  • Nunoftheabove


    Sentiments such as ‘if unionists keep electing berks like that to the position of party leader then our future’s even brighter than we had thought’ perhaps ?

  • Zachariah Tiffins Foot

    Ah Jeez! Please God don’t go down the road that Tom Elliot’s remarks signals the spark that ignites the passions of dormant Irish Republicans. I can well understand that having been on the losing side for some 800 years or so every tiny little microscopic chink of light needs to be hailed as the Second Coming but, for pity’s sake, just leave it.

    Remember you are all supposed to be confident of a UI by 2016, or next week or whatever the present fantasy is. Your Day Has Come and all that.

    Be happy; you wouldn’t want to give the impression that at times the Scum Fein (oops) generated smoke and mirrors clear to give you an all too brief glimpse of reality. Now would you?

  • Munsterview

    Zac…. : ” Ah Jeez! Please God don’t go down the road that Tom Elliot’s remarks signals the spark that ignites the passions of dormant Irish Republicans……”

    Oh no worries on that ! That cheer and laughter that greeted his remarks from Republicans in the hall said all there was to say on the subject from a Republican perspective.

    From the Unionist perspective however in the immortal words of W B Yeats, “you have disgraced yourselves again” ! At least some have the awareness to see that even if more of the backwoods men cut from the same political cloth are attempting to justify his remarks.

  • between the bridges

    MV ‘cheer and laughter that greeted his remarks from Republicans’…much the same reaction as most unionist then..

  • JR

    Ah Jeez! Please God don’t go down the road that Tom Elliot’s remarks signals the spark that ignites the passions of dormant Irish Republicans…

    That is not what I was saying at all. I just know that his comments would annoy even those Catholics in the don’t give a crap camp many of whom don’t vote.

  • andnowwhat

    I was watching the other side (Imissed the remarks live by a couple of minutes) and Gerry Kelly’s reaction was the best attitude to take….a smirk and a non verbal dismissal of the man as an eejit.

    Has anyone considered that he thought/knew his time was up as leader and just thought Fek it (or whatever the fundy equivalent is) and came out with that crap?

  • Barnshee

    ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ was the first popular historical epic from this new school, one of the learned historical Dr.’s acting as adviser was all of twenty seven years”

    Was fiction (in keeping with ther rest of your piece)