“Peter Robinson poses as a unionist….”

I get the feeling Trevor has been itching to say something like this for a while. Here’s the presser from the Northern Ireland Conservatives’ Trevor Ringland on the First Minister’s queasy defence of Pastor Jack McConnell’s remarks on Muslims:

“The DUP can present a modern face when it needs to court moderate voters”, Trevor said. “But underneath the facade, with the old guard like Robinson, hate-mongering is never far away. In a free society Pastor McConnell had a right to make his remarks, but they should be challenged robustly by right thinking politicians, not endorsed, because they encourage racism and they demonise a huge number of people in the community they are supposed to represent. That responsibility is especially grave when people are already being attacked because of their background or the colour of their skin.”

“Peter Robinson poses as a unionist, but the truth is that he has endorsed and even elaborated on views which are profoundly un-British in their intolerance. Not only that, but they are views that completely ignore important Christian tenets like loving your neighbour and refusing to judge other people. As First Minister for the whole of this place, his attitude is completely disgraceful. His party contributed a great deal to the hatred which disfigured Northern Ireland in the past and, as we look to the future, he should be doing his best to challenge new hatreds in our society, not feeding them with inflammatory comments.”

Hmmm… Political leaders and their Pastors… At least Barack Obama had the Chicago machine to put the right words in his mouth

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty