Tom Elliot reflects on Biden’s Ireland pub speech
A Unionist politician in Northern Ireland has accused President Biden of once again showing bias towards the Republic of Ireland, after making an embarrassing slip-up during a speech in a pub last night. Speaking after making the journey from Northern Ireland to the Republic yesterday, Joe Biden confused the rugby team the All Blacks for the auxiliary military force that fought in the Irish War of Independence, the Black and Tans.
An Ulster Unionist Party member of the Stormont Assembly told TalkTV this morning that President Biden’s mix-up showed him once again to “not be an honest broker” on Northern Ireland, showing favouritism to the Republic of Ireland.
Speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer, MLA Tom Elliot said: “Comments like that demonstrate that he has a deep-rooted Irishness and that he is on the side of the nationalist community.
“What really annoys me I suppose is most of the gaffes are against the British or the unionist community.
“He doesn’t even try to be neutral in those occasions, he just declares his Irishness and that he isn’t an honest broker in our view.”
Mr Elliot also pointed to a number of other pro-Irish comments by the President, including a joke made during a St Patrick’s Day event when he said: “If you’re wearing orange, you’re not welcome here.”
When asked a question by a BBC reporter, Joe Biden retorted “The BBC? I’m Irish.”
Tom Elliot said that taken together all of the president’s gaffes demonstrate “that he has a deep-rooted Irishness and he’s obviously on the side of the Irish community as opposed to [having] any unionist sympathies whatsoever”.
He said: “That’s what frustrates the unionist community in Northern Ireland.”
Yesterday the White House was forced to deny claims by former DUP First Minister Arlene Foster that the President is “not anti-British”.
At a briefing in Belfast, the President’s senior director for Europe Amanda Sloat denied the president’s Irish heritage made him biased against the British.
She said: “I think the track record of the president shows that he is not anti-British.
“The president has been very actively engaged throughout his career dating back to when he was a senator in the peace process in Northern Ireland and that involved engagement with leaders of all of Northern Ireland parties from both of the two main communities.”
The comments came after an interview with Arlene Foster on GB News.
Mrs Foster said: “He hates the United Kingdom.”
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“I just think that his coming here won’t put any pressure on the Democratic Unionists at all, quite the reverse because he is seen by so many people to be simply pro-republican and pro-nationalist.
“He is the most partisan President there has ever been when dealing with Northern Ireland.”
President Biden previously recalled his mother’s hatred for England, with her once refusing to use a bed that Queen Elizabeth II slept in.
His Irish-American great-aunt Gertie Finnegan once told him: “Your father is not a bad man. He’s just English.”
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