Disproving the ‘Elliott was provoked’ narrative

There have been attempts since Tom Elliott’s Count Centre rant to suggest he was provoked by republicans heckling him during his speech. Gregory Campbell on Seven Days today claimed Tom was “under pressure” at the count, whilst Elliott himself pointed during his Noel Thompson interview to the fact that he was being heckled by republicans.

The facts, however, very clearly (and audibly) suggest otherwise.

His speech continued amidst silence until the initial insult was delivered regarding the Irish National flag.

I’ve added a transcript from the Noel Thompson interview with Tom Elliott immediately following the comments, also added below:

TE: …..I see many people here with flags today, some of them with flags from a foreign nation. (cue unionist cheers/ republican jeers.) And I must say, I’m also, I’m also, I will expect nothing better from the scum of Sinn Fein than to come out like this, to be actually, yes, their counterparts in the IRA have murdered our citizens…..

Start of interview (NT- Noel Thompson, TE- Tom Elliott)

NT: Mr Elliott have you lost the run of yourself. That’s an extraordinary statement for you to make at this stage, surely?

TE: What is the extraordinary statement Noel?

NT: What can I expect from Sinn Fein scum were the words we just heard you say.

TE: Yes, and you heard how they were heckling and lobbying and I have to say that’s not something you expect at a democratic vote count here but that’s how it was. Let’s not forget I want to remember…

 (cue verbal wrangling between the two during which Thompson tried to ask question but Elliott talked over him.)

NT: What happened was you said there were people waving foreign flags, they cheered and you called them scum.

TE: Yes.

NT: Are you happy with that?

TE: I am, quite obviously or I wouldn’t have said that. These people were waving flags of a foreign nation. Is anybody denying that it is a foreign nation?

********************************

It is worth noting that Peter Robinson was draped in a Union Flag at his own Count Centre whilst Union Flags and Irish Tricolours were to be seen at most of the count centres during the day.

  • joeCanuck

    It’s now descending into farce. He doesn’t expect heckling! Shouldn’t be in politics then.

  • Alf

    Would David Cameron’s position be in doubt if he described BNP supporters as being scum?

  • Mark McGregor

    Remember when Mick had a list of banned words that Slugger wouldn’t accept in the comments?

    ‘Scum’ was near the top of the list – because it indicated a lazy mind engaging in abuse not debate.

    When the site moved to a new platform it could be be used again but hadn’t and wasn’t until the leader of the UUP decided it was suitable for a count centre.

    I recall Mick used to describe such language here along the lines of ‘the late night ramblings of the barflies’ – the reason such language was prevented.

    That’s Tom Elliott – someone that may not pass the basic civility standards required for a comment on Slugger.

    Yellow card 😉

  • Alf

    Mark,

    He might get a yellow card on Slugger, but many in the unionist community will be awarding him a VC.

  • andnowwhat

    Slightly interesting but very unsurprising to see who is giving Tom support on his FB wall…

    http://www.facebook.com/tomelliottuup

  • Seandoc

    “Would David Cameron’s position be in doubt if he described BNP supporters as being scum?”

    Surely his position is in doubt as a consequence of the diabolical election campaign and result as opposed to some ill concieved comments which were of course completly out of character for our most sophisticated leader.

  • Driftwood

    So, what position does the RoI flag have, officially, here in the United Kingdom? Or is it the flag of a state outside the United Kingdom? I thought the only official flag of our country was the Union Jack.
    If others wish to wave the Polish, Israeli or old USSR flag, fine, it’s not illegal.
    But they, like the Southern Irish flag have no status here.
    They should have stuck with the Glasgow Celtic jerseys as a celebration of their ‘irishness’ . Unless they’re embarrassed by Glasgow Celtic? Getting hammered by Inverness CT is something Sinn Fein just have to accept

  • Alf

    “Surely his position is in doubt as a consequence of the diabolical election campaign and result as opposed to some ill concieved comments which were of course completly out of character for our most sophisticated leader.”

    Seandoc,

    Really? How come the ‘outrage’ then? Btw didn’t he end up with the same number of seats?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Driftwood, you seem to be denying the common culture that exists between the people of these islands. When’s the last time you needed a passport to cross the border ?

  • andnowwhat

    Sorry for going of topic but if one looks at the Facebook link I posted David Vance seems to be having problems with singular and plural (he’s using the plural in the sense of his party’s entrance in to Stormont)

    It’s quite funny

  • Alf

    Comrade,

    There was never any requirement for a passport. Hence the large number of Irish men in the British army and on the reconstruction of their bomb ravaged cities. The British have always regarded the Irish as part of the UK. Regardless of what little Irelanders might think.

  • Cahir O’Doherty

    Driftwood, it has nothing whatsoever to do with a flag or Tom’s comment than it is a ‘foreign flag.’ Fair enough, the Tricolour is a foreign flag in Northern Ireland but as people have noted above, the Tricolour and Union Flag were present at a lot of count centres and while they may be seen as offensive to some people, they are part of the political culture here, so any mature person should be able to get used to it really (and I mean that for both sides of our divide).

    The problem is that he called all the various Sinn Fein representatives (29 MLAs, 4MPs, 14TDs, 3 Senators, MEP and cllrs) and Sinn Fein voters (178,224 in Northern Ireland and 220,660 in the Republic) scum. That would be an unacceptable comment coming after a late night drinking session with a bunch of bigots never mind coming from the leader of Northern Ireland’s third largest party.

    And as for heckling, if you can’t stick it then don’t go into politics!

  • Mike the First

    Actually (and forgive me if this has already been pointed out on here), the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 explicitly states that the UK doesn’t regard the ROI as a foreign country.

    To Chris –

    A side point I know, but would you agree with me that this flag waving by SF and the DUP is a bad idea? I thought it was especially odd (ironically enough given it was in the ROI) seeing footage SF supporters waving the Tricolour in the Dundalk count centre and elsewhere to celebrate their candidates’ election, when presumably every other candidate would give their allegiance to that flag also. It gives the impression that they see the flag as some sort of partisan, factional symbol of their “movement”.

  • Mick Fealty

    Hold on. Chris, I agree that Mr Elliott was the one who appears to have provoked the heckling, but how does that falsify Gregory’s assertion he was under pressure.

    He clearly WAS under pressure, not least from a media eager for a ‘meltdown’!

  • Alf

    “The problem is that he called all the various Sinn Fein representatives (29 MLAs, 4MPs, 14TDs, 3 Senators, MEP and cllrs) and Sinn Fein voters (178,224 in Northern Ireland and 220,660 in the Republic) scum. ”

    Cahir,

    I don’t believe that he did. He referred specifically to the howling mob of Provo supporters that confronted him.

  • Mick Fealty

    Mike,

    Why would a unionist feel bound by Iris statute?

  • Cahir O’Doherty

    Pedant alert..

    It was the British ‘Ireland Act 1949’ which doesn’t regard the Republic as a foreign country.

    As far as I can tell the Oireachtas ‘Republic of Ireland Act 1948’ does essentially declare the Republic a separate country.

    But good point anyway! Does that mean that the Tricolour isn’t a foreign flag then (because I know there is specific flag legislation..)?

  • A lot of people seem to be using the argument “he was technically correct” – while it may be “technically” true, the point is that as we all know, referring to the Tricolour as “foreign” in Northern Ireland is a completely different to calling any other national flag foreign.

    As a leader of (increasingly debatable) major party in Northern Ireland, one would expect Tom Elliot to have more tact, more understanding of the wider society in which he lives and more, to colloquialise, more “cop on” than to make the remarks he did on a public platform.

    Unfortunately, all Tom Elliot seems to have achieved is further cement the feeling that he is the captain of a doomed ship, heading only one way.

    I can’t help but wonder what difference it would have made if Basil McCrea had of been at the helm.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I find flag waving to be rather uncouth. You won’t find it anywhere else in the UK – except where the BNP are in attendance.

  • DC

    There is no excuse for what Tom Elliott, but then there’s no excusing Gerry Adams and his denial that he was ever in the IRA.

    Gerry Adams to me is another Albert Speer – he battles with truth. And this at times reflects on SF as a party in the ‘north’ or how others see that party in the north.

    Albert Speer was Hitler’s architect before the Second World War. Through Hitler’s great trust in him and Speer’s own genius for organisation he became, effectively from 1942 overlord of the entire war economy, making him the second most powerful man in the Third Reich. Sentenced to twenty years imprisonment in Spandau Prison at the Nuremberg Trails, Speer attempted to progress from moral extinction to moral self-education. How he came to terms with his own acts and failures to act and his real culpability in Nazi war crimes are the questions at the centre of this book.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Albert-Speer-His-Battle-Truth/dp/0330346970

    Regardless whether Tom Elliott was provoked or not Sinn Fein have at times been just too clever for their own good by avoiding difficult searching questions about past acts.

    Isn’t it time for a fessing up session all round, clearly Tom Elliott has problems moving on but a fessing up session might just help the victims move on and after that people like Tom Elliott!

  • andnowwhat

    @Barrymcgee

    Let’s not forget that his party elected him as leader some 7 months ago with a substantial majority. They knew what he was like.

    If Tom does indeed represent the whole party (though I doubt he represents the urbanite UUP) the issue we should be having is with the party itself. There could be little doubt that members were unaware of his true views. Goodness knows what he says out of the public gaze.

  • Cahir O’Doherty

    Alf, in his interview with Noel Thompson and John O’Dowd he was asked to clarify whether or not he meant Sinn Fein as a whole, or just those who were heckling and (I’m erring on the side of caution here) he refused to specifically associate his remarks with the hecklers. Considering he was given a perfect opportunity to essentially nip the problem in the bud (noone likes hecklers) he chose not to.

    Also, by ‘howling mob of Provo supporter ‘ do you mean Sinn Fein candidates and workers/supporters and what Chris points out as (potentially) ‘unionist cheers?’

  • dennis the menace

    does Ireland have an embassy in London? If so, that is because it is indeed a foreign nation

  • Hopping The Border

    “Would David Cameron’s position be in doubt if he described BNP supporters as being scum?”

    Are the BNP the second biggest party in the jurisdiction in which they operate, representing a significant portion of the population?

    As much as I dislike Cameron, he is polished and relatively considered in his statements, even off the cuff.

    Alex, sorry Tom Elliott, exudes two things; ignorance and a superiority complex.

  • Alf

    Cahir,

    Sinners do support what the Provos did don’t they?

  • DC

    – Tom Elliott *said.

  • Kevin Barry

    DC, glad to see you’re staying on topic, as per usual…

  • Alf

    “Are the BNP the second biggest party in the jurisdiction in which they operate, representing a significant portion of the population?”

    Hopping,

    If they were would their policies be legitimate?

  • Driftwood

    The only official flag of NI is the Union Jack. All other flags are ‘foreign’. That’s the way it is. Sinn Fein signed up to British rule in 1997, though they’ve tried to muffle the fact.
    Legally they are allowed to display the Star of David, the swastika, the Southern Irish tricolour, the Hammer and Sickle…whatever.
    Guess what flag flies over Stormont and other government buildings on official days?
    But sure ‘Ireland’ Is/will be bailed out by its British overlords for the forseeable future.
    So its not that ‘foreign’.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick
    Pressure can come from many sources, of course.

    Perhaps Gregory did mean he was under pressure from the strains of office, electoral disappointments and/or some other matter not related to the political roller-coaster.

    What is clear is that Tom Elliott was not responding to the provocations of Sinn Fein supporters.
    Even if he were, and I note Daithi McKay was heckled by TUV supporters during his speech, it is not grounds for making such comments.

    Now you’ve planted the first few notes of Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’ in my head I think it’s time I retired to bed….

  • DC

    Thanks Kevin, I hope I’ve revealed why some people might view SF as scum, given we are now in a post-peace process environment, why do others struggle telling the truth or admitting stuff – if we have moved on so so much together.

    To me it just acts as a drag on relations and holds back progress or retards progress, so if people behave a little retarded, well then who can blame them?

  • Mark McGregor

    I love the way the general condemnation lasted nearly 24hrs – until Unionism decided, he may have been acting like an idiot, but he is our idiot and themmuns are criticising too much. All row in behind him becomes the order of the day.

    Unionism is fantistically predictable.

    You’ve still got to face down the dead cop’s brother being disgusted and attack him before the collective arse is truly covered (in crap)

  • joeCanuck

    It’s a trusim that you can’t put the worms back into the original can; you need a bigger can.

  • dennis the menace

    So mark, are you in denial that Ireland is indeed a foreign country ? It has an embassy in London because it is indeed a foreign nation

    You make not like it but its the truth

  • Cahir O’Doherty

    Alf, I’m sure that some Shinners do support what the IRA did, but certainly not all of them. To quote John O’Dowd speaking on Saturday ‘murder is never acceptable.’

    Mick/Chris: I think the point is that all politicians were under pressure but the true measure of them comes from seeing how they cope under that pressure, and how they deal with unpleasant situations. Maybe Elliot isn’t quite as good a politician as he thinks..

  • Hopping The Border

    While I sense a trap of Godwinian proportions about to be attempted here, to answer your question Alf, any party which commands such a proportion of the vote in a democratic system must have their policies seen as legitimate, in the eyes of the people who elected them, since why else would they be elected?

  • iluvni

    What does the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Dublin think of this issue?

  • antamadan

    re the tricolour being a ‘foreign flag.. same as Polish Lithuanian’ etc.

    Surely the ‘G.F or B. Agreement’ has meant that although the North remains within the born-and-bred Irish citizens are clearly recognised, a completely different situation to immigrants..

    In addition, the Irish flag (influenced by the French rebellion) is the flag of Irish nationalism – throughout the island of Ireland, from long before partition.(Admittedly It has also been adopted as the flag of the new free state and republic, but it is still the Irish nationalist flag, and not an import to N.I,)

    That said, I’d be all all for no flags at count centres, but would any unionist agree?

  • antamadan

    typo. meant ‘remains within THE UK

  • joeCanuck

    Northern Ireland is an unusual political entity. It’s hard to think of another example; Belgium perhaps, which hasn’t had an agreed government for over a year. Reality should not be ignored; almost half of its population does not see the Republic as a foreign nation and that reality was put on a legal basis with the GFA. Some people wish to return to the old ways; obviously Elliot is one of those. There is no going back.

  • DC

    Well said Joe. There’s no excuse for what he said, it’s out of place given all that has happened.

    There is no going back.

    There is only one future, but – many paths.

  • What I found strange was the use of the term ‘foreign nation’. There is quite a difference between a state and a nation. You would think that a politician would realize that.
    @JoeCanuck
    The Republic is not a ‘nation’ for anybody. The nation is the Irish nation. Think about the President.
    Not all states are nations and not all nations have states and few, if any, have national boundaries that.
    correspond with state boundaries.
    Northern Ireland is a province of the UK with two main national groupings. Neither of the groupings are foreigners, I think that was that the GFA was all about recognizing that.

  • I love the way the general condemnation lasted nearly 24hrs – until Unionism decided, he may have been acting like an idiot, but he is our idiot and themmuns are criticising too much. All row in behind him becomes the order of the day

    Robinson and the DUP PR Dept may attempt to make capital from *how* he said it, but they can’t go too far down the “It’s not a foreign flag, Sinn Feiin aren’t scum” route when a fair proportion of the Unionist electorate in the border region but also probably a majority of their elected MLAs (Campbell, the McCreas, McCausland etc etc) would agree with *what* Elliott said.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Can’t see the point of flag waving at election counts. Perhaps the parties need to get together to agree a protocol that is adhered to by party members.

    It may not damage your health but it certainly has an effect on your career.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Hands up who thinks Mr Elliott was using the term foreign in the circumstances in order to clarify a technical point that the flag was indeed foreign which was in any respect germane to the matters under discussion at that time he was speaking (let’s set aside whether it is foreign or not or not) ? Nah, me neither. His comment was issued straightforwardly as a verbal one finger salute to the people who do not regard it as such, particularly but not specifically to those standing in front of him waving it – plain and simple. He knew he was on camera.

    As for the scum comment, I would on balance prefer to know that that’s what Elliott as party leader actually thinks than have him circle around the issue or deny that that’s what he thinks when he does indeed think it. To that extent, I’m not sorry he said it at all. I want to know that that’s what he and for all I know some/most of his party actually believe. It’s up to them to take a public position on his comments which either confirms that this is the case or whether it isn’t. I hope they’re as clear in doing so as he was rather than faffing around trying to explain why he might have said something he didn’t really mean in unusual circumstances.

    To the extent that his comments were spontaneous (although it’s hard to tell – Elliott doesn’t seem to enjoy a sufficient acquaintance with the language in order to introduce into his public speaking anything which people of ordinary intelligence could regard as ironic, still less insightful, even interesting) I think we can say with some certainty that that is not any form of exaggeration of what he thinks. Whether indeed it’s the thin end of the wedge of how he actually regards republicans, only he can answer.

    To the extent that the comments reflect what Elliott thinks it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference that he may have felt himself under pressure when making them.

  • Cynic2

    “I am heckled so I show myself up to be a sectarian bigot who cannot control his tongue. That’ll shoiw ’em!!!”

    Aye Tom. It did show us all.

  • Zachariah Tiffins Foot

    Tom Elliot was, as has already been noted, factual correct.

    His comments on the flag have touched a nerve with Irish Republicans because he pricked their fantasy about the existence of Northern Ireland as an integral part if the UK. Those in denial often react hysterically when presented with a dose of reality.

    As to Sinn Fein’s designation, well if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck……..

    Oh, the PR spin about those who vote shinner not supporting its murder campaign? Where is the groundswell within its electorate to challenge the continuing glorification of that campaign? Where are the challenges to the promotion of those involved in that campaign as ‘political representatives’? Of course neither exist.

    Every mark on the ballot paper for a SF member is a silent cheer for its murder gangs’ ‘achievements’.

  • Veda

    Driftwood, I saw a number of Ulster banners being waved by unionists at the count centres too. As far as I’m aware it doesn’t have offical status here either, but no one seems to be complaining about it.

    The fact of the matter is that some people here consider the Tricolour their flag, the one that represents their nationality. To call it foreign’, insinuating it’s on a par with any other international flag is disingenuous. We’re all aware at this stage that a significant number of people in Northern Ireland feel an affinity with the Irish rather than the Union flag and have done since partition. To willingly not recognise this is backwards – quite frankly.

    Is it not enough for Mr. Elliot that we’re part of the UK and that the vast majority of nationalists respect that this will remain so in the foreseeable future? To deny people display of the symbol of their nation and the expression of their sense of belonging, just because it doesn’t coincide with ones own political affiliations is a disgrace. You can get into an endless array of semantics about what’s official but we all know the score about nationality in Northern Ireland. The Irish nation includes the Irish in Northern Ireland who choose to belong to it. Therefore the flag that represents the Irish nation is not a ‘foreign’ flag in Northern Ireland.

    It’s nothing but intolerance Tom Elliot has revealed here. As for heckling being to blame for provoking those kind of comments? In politics – if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

  • Mickles

    Flags? Still? Really? This outburst made the news elsewhere in the world. This is embarrassing for either side but moreso for those people who couldn’t give a toss about flags or partitions, and who would rather have investment in local business and a focus on a better economy.

    Looks real bad if foreign investors see this kind of backward looking idiot hypocritically ranting about the other side, followed by the jeers and hypocritical whataboutery from that other side.

  • Nunoftheabove

    The ‘scum’ part of the story is more important than the flag piece; for one thing Elliott effectively makes his living flying flags and seems to spend a good deal of his leisure time marching behind them for that matter, for another SF regularly use it as a prop electorally to try to appropriate it from the SDLP. I can recall an account of the previous electioral count in Foyle where the local SF lot were literally waving the flag in Mark Durkan’s face as if to say ‘this is ours, not yours’ in an unbecoming manner. This is all innocent enough kickaround playground stuff, they can each wipe their behinds with the other’s flags for all I care frankly so long as they don’t do it where I have to look at it.

    Calling a good chunk of the population scum on account of their political preference is however an altogether different matter.

  • andnowwhat

    Talkback is going with the “Elliot was provoked” line

  • Tochais Síoraí

    A few observations…….

    Mickles point that this was the only coverage of the elections that registered with most people outside of NI is very true. Not a good image of a business friendly place.

    An agreement to ban on all flags in count centres might be an idea (if not, anyone selling tricolours at the FST count centre next time around will do a roaring trade!)

    The hecklers did appear to be quiet until TE mentioned the ‘foreign flag.’ You can’t help but think he wanted to get a reaction. An outburst like this a few days before the election would have increased the nationalist turnout by how much I wonder? Aside from all that, it just increases the angle of decline of the UUP.

  • Mickles

    @andnowwhat

    Well he was provoked – in that the sf people were waving their tricolours. Should the waving of that flag illicit that kind of response? No. But the sf supporters knew what they were doing, most likely in a way similar to what Nunoftheabove mentioned happened at a previous count.

    It would be better for political discourse if no flags were dragged out at a count (or anywhere really). But expecting normal, reasonable behavior by these parties is expecting a bit much, since many of them insist on using flags as part of their party logos like some sort of BNP offshoot, I doubt we’ll ever see this part of the world free of this kind of childish goading and response. Both Elliot and the flag wavers are morons and an embarrassment.

  • andnowwhat

    @Mickle

    Unfortunately,for as long as I can remember there have been flags flown in these situations. I have also heard a lot worse behaviour at counts.

    Just listening to the radio, most of Tom’s support is coming from ex unionist politicians. I think that says a lot

  • @Mickles
    Great points. From the tv pictures there were plenty of of both flags when he had his ‘moment’.
    The saddest thing is that both flags are supposed to be symbols of unity and indicate the exact opposite of what he said. Given how things have turned nobody seems to appreciate the gold in the tricolour at all. Equally the cross of St. Patrick in the Union Jack would indicate that the Irish are not foreigners in the UK. Go figure.

  • Mickles

    Yes, for the 27 years I’ve been alive all flags (union jack and tricolour) have ever meant to me is “I think I’ll walk the long way round this estate”.

    For the internet / facebook global community, who grew up in the information age – conversing, exchanging ideas and working with people of all nationalities and faiths from all over the world – the pissing contest of flags and tit for tat whataboutery by the dinosaurs of the past (unionist and nationalist alike) in this tiny part of a bigger global community seems laughably insignificant. Which is probably why young voter turnout is so poor.

  • In Holland there are really strict protocols about displaying flags and only certain ‘flag days’ (e.g. on Queen’s Day the flag is flown with a small orange pennant, Remembrance Day at half-mast, Liberation Day on the full). You can get a fine for putting the flag out at the wrong time. People take down the flags most of the time.
    I think that the flags can look nice if used sensibly but sticking a dirty flag on a pole to mark territory or wrapping it around yourself…….
    With the UK and US flags it’s even worse because they are used as fashion items. I have never quite got the Union Jack boxer short thing 😉

  • Mike the First

    Mick & Cahir

    Quite right – I should indeed have referred to the Ireland Act 1949.

  • qwerty12345

    Rewind to last summer and lets look at Tom’s take on flags.

    Lisnaskea, Fermanagh, an 80% Nationalist town is once again ILLEGALLY covered from top to bottom with Union jacks, orange banners and all the usual fun stuff that culchie unionists love so much.

    A few kids from a large housing estate remove some of the MANY union jacks that welcome visitors to their town. Tom goes on record in the local papers whining about an organised Republican attack on unionist “culture”

    So lets get this clear, its ok to make an 80% nationalist town look like it’s Sandy Row, and if someone gets annoyed its an attack on unionist “culture” but if nationalists bring their flag to a vote count they are scum.

    Tom Elliott is a bigot and a hypocrite.

    And as for the foreign flag nonsense, lets say it again for slow learners, a nation is not a state and the tricolor pre dates the state that has made it its flag. But really, Its not the flag that is foreign to Tom its the people. The majority of people in the county in which he lives.

    Thank god for Ballinamallard that safe little laager on the veldt.

  • Barnshee

    Where is elliott fFACTUALLY incorrect?

  • grandimarkey

    “Where is elliott fFACTUALLY incorrect?”

    Well, the scum line is up for interpretation. Whether you think Sinn Fein are ‘scum’ or not is up to you. The danger is that labeling a political party as scum can be seen by the voters of that political party as a label on themselves also. That leaves the head of a major unionist political party in Northern Ireland referring to the majority of the nationalist electorate as ‘scum’, which some would say is not the way to move the country forward.

    It also seems a bit strange for a party that sought, prior to the election, to gain a mandate for a more outward looking perspective in government, and indeed to “Get Stormont Working”, to be making these comments. “We must shift away
    from the pursuit of ‘us-and-them’ agendas” is a direct contradiction to the display at the weekend.
    Even the UU’s political Game-Changer in their manifesto seeks to bring the political parties together to “meet and agree a Programme for Government”. I’d imagine this would be difficult to do with a political party who one had just referred to as ‘scum’.

    The line about a foreign nation is again up for interpretation. The Republic of Ireland may be a foreign ‘Country’ but it may not be a foreign Nation as a many people living in Northern Ireland would see themselves as part of the Irish nation, as is recognised in the Good Friday Agreement that Tom Elliot’s party signed up to.