Tories silent on growing evidence of anti-Irish and anti-Catholic bigotry inside party

Tory “gypsies” rant follows paedophile and “fenian blood” posts by party supporters

A TORY COUNCILLOR in Warwick has been suspended in the latest blowback from extremist online posts by party councillors and supporters.

Nick Harrington, a Tory on Warwick District Council, posted on Sunday 14 May after midnight: “You can keep your f’king gypsies! Hard border coming folks!” in response to Ireland’s appearance on the Eurovision song contest.

The anti-Irish rant has led to his suspension, but is the third in a series of attacks by Tory members or supporters directed against Ireland or Catholicism to have come to light in the past week. 

Tory councillor for Dunblane and Bridge of Allan Alastair Majury has pledged to undergo anti-sectarianism training after the Scottish Catholic Observer revealed his history of anti-Catholic posts.

Read more - Extremist Tory candidates elected to councils across Scotland

He used a secret Twitter account, which ‘joked’ that the Catholic Church was against birth control “Because they’ll run out of children to molest”.

Tory leader Ruth Davidson also posed with hard-right British nationalist John Buchan last week. Buchan, one of four prominent supporters for a photocall with Davidson, had made threats against Nicola Sturgeon, supported far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, and had shared several anti-Catholic posts online.

Buchan shared a post containing the lines “up to our knees in fenian blood” and “fuck your Pope and Vatican”. The Press and Journal reported that he had been reported to the police. He did not respond to comment requests from the media.

Before the latest scandals, a series of Tory councillors had already been unmasked for making abusive and extremist comments - with links to far-right groups, xenophobia, anti-refugee campaigns, and Ukip among the revelations.

In April 2011 "viable" parcel bombs were sent to high profile Scottish and Irish Catholics, including then Celtic manager Neil Lennon, lawyer Paul McBride QC and Trish Godman MSP in the West of Scotland.

The growing theme of anti-Irish and anti-Catholic abuse from party members and supporters harks back to a history of state sanctioned discrimination. Irish immigration to Scotland and the rest of the UK was met in many cases with persecution, with bigotry and anti-Irish employment practices. While progress has been made in eradicating institutional bigotry, its cultural form continues. The Orange Lodge, itself accused of anti-Catholic bigotry, claimed at least six of its members had been elected to councils in Scotland.

The UK Conservative Party, asked to comment by CommonSpace on the series of anti-Irish and Catholic comments, did not respond by time of publication. 

In February 2016 British nationalists targeted North Lanarkshire councillors over plans to fly the Irish flag, and were warned against any “illegal” actions.

In recent years dozens of threats towards journalists by loyalist groups have been recorded by the National Union of Journalists in Scotland. Dozens of arrests were also made at the British nationalist riot in Glasgow George Square following the vote against independence. 

In April 2011 "viable" parcel bombs were sent to high profile Scottish and Irish Catholics, including then Celtic manager Neil Lennon, lawyer Paul McBride QC and Trish Godman MSP in the West of Scotland.

In this context, Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson made comments online about the Troubles in Northern Ireland – where three and a half thousands people were killed. She attacked Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn claiming “Corbyn and co wanted the IRA to win”.

Read more – Ruth Davidson roundly mocked for Corbyn IRA jibe

Picture courtesy of twitter

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