A truly shocking statement

They are scum. They are the vermin in politics… We should put them in a barrell and leave them to it.

No one could fail to wonder what is going on the head of someone who writes something like that. The sheer hatred (yet the author claimed to be Christian in other writings), the sheer de-humanization (the author viewed the target people as no better than rats), the sheer scale of the implicit threat (round them up and let them rot).

Let us be frank, if it was suggested that this quote came directly from a Nazi with reference to Communists or Jews, we would be unsurprised.

The truth of it is genuinely shocking.

For the above is a quote from Northern Ireland on 30 November this year.

At midnight of the night of Wednesday/Thursday, after a paint bombing of a house which could have killed a baby, the same author opined:

The matter of the fact is APNI [Alliance Party of Northern Ireland] it’s your own fault”

Again, you have to wonder how anyone with any sense of basic compassion or humanity could write that in the circumstances.

Let us a remind ourselves of those circumstances: a party’s democratically elected representatives go into a Council Chamber and vote in line with clearly publicly stated party policy. As a result, one is intimidated out of her home; a young couple in another Council is forced to leave with a young baby; many others are forced from their workplaces – and it’s their own fault?

Here is the shocking truth of it…

the author was a student at Queen’s University, a member of the Ulster Unionist Party, and an office holder in the party’s youth wing.

And here’s the even more shocking truth of it…

she still is.


23 thoughts on “A truly shocking statement

  1. I can understand how these people feel.being singled out for unwarranted attention by those who don’t seem to care what hurt or damage they cause to people who are serving the community .Disagreeing with somebody is normal.expressing that disagreement through violence is not although it happens frequently here,it shows we still have a way to go,what I believe is required is real leadership.Let us see what sort of leadership the uup show in relation to this .

    • Indeed Danny.

      I haven’t named the individual because the issue is the type of society we have created, not a single response to it.

      But you do have to ask questions about an organisation which seeks to discipline someone for seeking compromise, but not for hate-filled statements like the above.

      • harryaswell says:

        Have they decided to discipline anyone? I hadn’t thought so, not yet anyway. If they do, that is their right. However, you know and I know that those particular remarks are exactly what many people feel just now and sectarian hatreds run very, very deep at this time and lie barely concealed just under the surface.. On both sides, I do have to say. Alliance are incredibly stupid and unfeeling to not have thought this all out. It would have been better in this instance if they had, in fact, voted with the DUP and UUP on this one. Instead they have opened up this box of worms we all knew was there!! Sheer stupidity on their part. Republicans are notoriously good at setting traps for the unwary so that they can point fingers! Alliance, of course, fell right into it.

  2. Otto Weidinger says:

    Someone should tell the police…

  3. andyboal says:

    I think Michael Bower’s phone has been switched off ever since, and who can blame him? I left him a text and a voicemail of support anyway.

  4. Have you complained to a higher authority?

  5. harryaswell says:

    Specious as usual Mere rhetoric. More and more excuses and self justification. You do forget that these people do have a right to their own opinions as do you. You must also try to be more empathetic and just try to see where they are coming from. Alliance are being so politically naieve one can only suppose they are doing so on purpose. Surely, Alliance and their advisors “must” realise what would happen when they opened this particular Pandora’s Box? The dogs in the street know exactly what would happen. Violence is most definately not the civilised and democratic answer, no doubt. However, it is plain for all to see that Republicans and Nationalist activists have won all that they wanted bar a United Ireland by using the worst sorts of violence. They now attack our personal “British” identity on all occasions and this flag business is just that. Robinson was correct in what he said, quote, controversial and provocative..Alliance just hasn’t used common sense and thought it all through properly

    • Dr John Lowe says:

      I like how you can suggest that the person comparing human beings with differing political beliefs to rats and threatening their lives are the people who who WE must “try to be more empathetic [with] and just try to see where they are coming from”. Why should any sane person listen to them while they threaten lives? Utter nonsense.

      • harryaswell says:

        Supreme arrogance is as supreme arrogance does! – I have never said as you suggest that these sentiments were correct, right, or PC. They obviously are no such thing. However, they are obviously heartfelt and genuine, which is why YOU should be more understanding and empathetic. Remember, many thousands of people of all persuasions think this of each other, and worse! Sectarianism and bigotry has NOT gone away you know! I am only astonished that you, a Doctor, has not the ability to be more cautious in what you say. Understanding the reasons will aid a surer cure to the problem. “Britishness” is a highly emotive subject, and nobody but a fool would not see that Sinn Fein are being deliberately provocative and manipulative in all that they do. Chipping away at our Britishness is what they are at, and many people are badly frightened by this fact. Perhaps we should actually re-negotiate the whole dismal Good Friday Agreement so that it is a properly fair agreement rather than a fudge. So, the only utter nonsense is of your own making.

  6. JT says:

    let’s be blunt if they want to show their loyalty for the union jack enlist and fight terrorists, if they want to show respect do so in a respectful manner. but to be frank the people doing the rioting are just scum. scum who hold to bitter beliefs and will not move forward as they are afraid of the changes ahead.

  7. Clare says:

    Your basic problem Harry is that cannot (like many others) accept that there is another identity here that requires recognition.
    If in a hypothetical situation it had been decided that the Tricolour should be flown at the City Hall instead of the Union Flag I might see some sense in what you are saying but this is a reasonable compromise which recognises that there are two identities in the city.
    It’s not as if the flag will not be flying for example on the Queen’s birthday or her succession.
    It just seems that for some people still, in this sad backward looking place, compromise is still a dirty word.
    The rest of the world must be laughing at this, it really is a throw back to 1930’s Germany and we are seeing all the associated extremism, intimidation and violence.

    • harryaswell says:

      Another identity? We have already recognised that other identity ad nauseum. I presume that you mean the “Republican” identity? The Sinn Fein “identity”? The problem lies in that those involved with those two identities are deliberately provoking an already bad situation by pushing their luck in tryng to undermine the “British” identity. Sorry, but you are being totally specious here Clare, and I wonder at you. If Working Class Republicans held out the hand of friendship to their Working Class Protestant neighbours things would be fine. Sadly, they spend their time manipulating situations caused buy their own devious actions. The Flag flying problem is one easy example that even Alliance should have been aware of. NI “IS” British, So long as it remains that way, then the Union Jack should be flown without hindrance and given prioity over any other flags, and certainly NOT the Tricolour which belongs to, as far as we are concerned, a foreign although friendly state. The rest of the world? Don’t try that one! The rest of the world has similar troubles of it’s own and would have no cause or right to pontificate to us! France, Grmany, Spain, Italy, Greece, and most of the Middle East, ALL haver major problems, far more serious than ours!

      • madhava says:

        But you fail in your definition of N.I being British . Half the population residing dont feel a sense of Britishness . It is a somewhat unusual imposition to their indigenous culture . Most have no issues with it as it has become engrained within society for a long period of time and is obviously the cherished culture of the non indigenous population which should be equally respected like for like . However the rules of democracy must be adhered to in a democratic society , and having a limit on flying the union flag if it is the sole wish of the vast majority of the people of Belfast MUST also fall into the category of the democratic process . If the Irish tricolour which carries the allegiance of half the population of Northern Ireland cannot be equally flown its really best flying nothing at all , least a good compromise . Unionists will eventually learn that as the vast majority of of nationalists become the overwhelming eventual majority in N.I . Compromise and equality will need to become the standard order of the day . In full recognition of each others cultural traits . The equality process is simply in its infancy stage , but will ultimately become the norm as unionist domination has all but been relegated to history . I hence look forward to the new shared future of Btitish / Irish Northern Ireland as part of the UK .

  8. The repeated recitation from Loyalists that this is somehow the Alliance Party’s fault is sickening. Reminds one of nothing so much as the wife-beater, standing over his victim, muttering “Now look what you made me do”. Mealy-mouthed, half-arsed justification for terrorism, pure and simple.

  9. Clare says:

    But the Union flag is getting precedence. Republicans wanted it removed altogether, it isn’t a victory for them it’s a victory for reason and common sense.
    Let us remember that the City Hall is a Belfast City Council building. It’s not the seat of government.
    It therefore follows that the decision is for the people of Belfast and their representatives. It’s for that reason that this IS a democratic decision. Belfast city councillors represent Belfast citizens not The citizens of the whole of NI citizens.
    The situation requires calm mature reflection not hotheads. It was the right decision but unfortunately for Alliance they were in a no win situation and I suspect the impact with effect them in future elections, particularly in East Belfast.

  10. soisaystoher says:

    I feel a bit uncomfortable about this blog post Ian. Obviously I’m totally with you in terms of the content, the argument you make and the disgust you feel about the comments. I’m also conscious though that you’ve chosen to publicly target a young woman who doesn’t really have much power or influence when there are much older, more powerful people who’ve done more damage (albeit more subtly) and who deserve to be held to account. This young woman said some awful things and clearly has a lot to learn but to be honest when i was at that stage in my life I had some pretty shockingly bad ideas about the world too. People involved in student politics that i know are often very courageous, insightful, passionate young people but sometimes they are not and the whole process of being involved in student politics is to give them a chance to grow and learn. For someone in your position to call her out like this seems to me to be a bit of an imbalance of power. As a result of this post she has already been named on Facebook by one of her fellow student activists and i think that’s unfortunate as it wasn’t your intention, it was maybe inevitable though as even i knew who you were referring to straight away and i’m only really on the outside of that network of people. I’m totally open to being convinced if i may have assessed this situation wrongly and perhaps she is a high-flying soon to be power-broker who needs to be challenged in this way – I’m just putting the pieces together on my limited knowledge and it doesn’t feel quite right to me.

    • This is a wonderfully human response. I really hope you are involved in politics – we need your compassion.

      In this case, these were not particularly isolated comments and frankly, had any remorse or self-awareness been shown (or indeed advice taken from others), I doubt I would have proceeded.

      I emphasise my problem is more with the party for its inaction and with society for maintaining this poison. Nevertheless, I cannot accept that hatred of this scale can merely be put down to inexperience. Indeed, most people I asked were more even more shocked than I was.

  11. “However, it is plain for all to see that Republicans and Nationalist activists have won all that they wanted bar a United Ireland by using the worst sorts of violence. They now attack our personal “British” identity on all occasions and this flag business is just that”

    Many Catholics won equality through dignified protest, while others lost their rights by wanting revenge. There’s no Tricolour flown from Dublin City Hall every day of the week, yet The ability of people to identify as Irish, indeed the ability of Irish people in Britain to identify as Irish is unperturbed. Surely both nations should be worried at falling victims to the usury of bond holders and wreck less asking practices before looking at the relatively minor threat to independence, autonomy and self-determination coming from each other?

  12. Aaron Aababab says:

    Godwin’s law

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